November 06, (THEWILL) – Uganda Airlines has announced it would extend its passenger operations to West Africa in December, launching commercial flights into Nigeria from Uganda.
The statement was made by the Chief Executive Officer, Uganda Airlines, Jenifer Bamuturaki, after receiving an award as one of the top 100 African women in travel and tourism, during the 18th AKWAABA Africa Travel and Tourism Market held in Lagos.
Speaking, Bamuturaki noted that flights to Lagos will begin before the end of December, while flights to Abuja will begin in 2023.
“I am happy to tell you that we, the Uganda Airlines, will begin our flights to Nigeria, first time in history, from December 2022.
“This will be our first flight to West Africa, we will begin that and then, begin to grow slowly.
“When we come to Nigeria, we will be working through the recognised travel agents and tour operators”, she said.
Bamuturaki, while appreciating the Management Team of AKWAABA Africa Travel and Tourism Market, for recognising her effort in the travel space, encouraged more women to aspire for leadership roles in the tourism and travel industries. She, thereafter, acknowledged how difficult and tasking it was working in a male dominated industry.
“I feel so honoured because we are not many women in leadership in the aviation industry. So, to be recognised is a good thing because there are few women in the industry.
“Most of the women in aviation are doing jobs that are operational, so, to be in administration is one thing to tell the young girls that you can rise through operations, flights dispatch and end in leadership, where you can see everything from the backside view.
“It is not easy for women because it is a male dominated society, we have more men flying, more men doing dispatch and a fewer women.
“Most women want to go for the easy area which is cabin crew but I want to encourage women to look at the other side which is the administration and leadership areas, it is fulfilling but difficult”, she said.
Bamuturaki, with over 15 years experience in the aviation industry, said that the secret to running a successful airline was to have good managers overseeing various aspects that needed to be monitored.
She said that Uganda Airline was also facing problem due to hike in aviation fuel as experienced in Nigeria, among the local airlines.
According to her, the airline has, however, been able to manage the situation by increasing sales of different travel and holiday packages.
She advised African airlines to invest in different forms of partnership to improve seamless travels across the continent.
“We have new aircraft and we have a total number of six aircraft, we are known for good services, we can’t increase airfares at the moment.
“We are looking at our passengers as our guests and we always want them to be comfortable at all times”, she said.