RUNWAY PERIMETER FENCE PACKED AS EXCITED UGANDANS WELCOME AFRICA’S FIRST A338NEO
(Posted 23rd December 2020)
(Pictures courtesy of author and Uganda Airlines)
Ugandans lined the runway perimeter fences and crammed into other viewpoints giving them clear sight of the airport’s runway, taxiway and parking apron, as 5X-NIL, an Airbus A330-800Neo named Mt. Elgon first performed a low altitude fly-over before landing at Entebbe International Airport.
On board was a delegation from Uganda’s Ministry of Transport, led by the Minister for Works and Transport Gen. Katumba Wamala, officials from the airline including staff who had completed training at Airbus and flew home on the delivery flight, a delegation from Airbus and invited media from both Uganda and France.
Coming home in time for Christmas did the arrival of the first of two such aircraft – the second is due for delivery in January – see President Museveni take a short break from the campaign trail, as he flew in on the presidential helicopter from Mpigi to perform the welcoming ceremony at the old airport side.
As the aircraft taxied in was it accorded a water cannon salute as is customary for inaugural flights and new aircraft deliveries.
The new Airbus A330-800Neo, a first for Uganda and Africa in fact, will from late January be deployed across the network to showcase the new aircraft to corporate clients and travel agents at African destination airports before then commencing commercial operations to Dubai.
Transit traffic will be the key to commercial success of the long haul flights out of Entebbe and the airline’s sales teams are out and about to hard sell transit traffic via Entebbe. Towards that end will flight schedules be aligned towards long haul departures to give passengers as short a transit time as possible.
At the time will have flights to Lusaka and Johannesburg been launched already, yet further expanding Uganda Airlines’ reach into Africa.
When the second aircraft joins the fleet will long haul flights expand to include Mumbai and Guangzhou as well as London.
From ATCNews, which was privileged to be on board the ferry flight from Toulouse and had reported over the past weeks about the airline and the aircraft’s technical specs and interior design, best wishes for the future and Happy Landings, always, to aircraft, crews and passengers.