At the 18th Akwaaba Africa Travel and Tourism Market, Jenifer Bamuturaki, the Uganda airline chief executive, announced that flights to Lagos will begin before the end of 2022 and that more flights to Abuja will begin in 2023. Bamuturaki was speaking about the airline’s expansion plans. However, the exact dates and frequency have yet to be disclosed. Bamuturaki went on to state that she was delighted to announce that Uganda Airlines would start flying to Nigeria for the very first time in the company’s history in the month of December 2022.
Starting with their first flight to West Africa, they will gradually expand their operations. They will use reputable tour operators and travel agencies in Nigeria. The main hub for the national carrier is located in Entebbe, and it serves 11 different destinations across Africa and the Middle East. Despite high demand, probable launch dates have yet to be revealed for the three weekly flights to London Heathrow Airport. In light of the current COVID-19 restrictions within the country, it appears that plans to begin service to Guangzhou have also been put on hold.
The event focuses on the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries.
The Akwaaba African Travel Market is an annual international event in Lagos, Nigeria, that focuses on tourism, travel and hospitality. It is targeted at businesses, investors, decision-makers, governments and buyers in the sector and offers business opportunities, industry information, and product displays for Africa and other parts of the world. In its inception in 2005, only two countries, Ghana and Sao Tome, sent representatives to the event in Nigeria, and it has expanded to include over 20 countries, an estimated 10,000 attendees, and partnerships with the tourism boards of several African nations.
During the course of Bamuturaki, who is the Uganda airline chief executive keynote speech at the event, she stated that the airline was experiencing difficulties as a direct result of the rise in the price of aviation fuel. She went on to say that the airline had successfully managed the situation by increasing the number of holiday package sales and that there were no intentions to raise airfare prices. A request for additional information has been directed to Uganda Airlines.
Bamuturaki was honoured for her labour in the aviation industry.
At the ceremony that took place last week, Bamuturaki was also honoured with the 100 African Women in Travel and Tourism Award, which recognizes and honours diversity in the travel and tourism industry. She chose to devote her prize to Africa, young people interested in aviation, and Ugandan women for going forward and persevering despite all circumstances. Bamuturaki expressed her gratitude to the conference convenor Ikechi Uko for the distinction and thanked her for it.
She went on to say that she was incredibly pleased by the honour because there are not many women in positions of authority within the aviation sector. Therefore, receiving acknowledgement is a desirable outcome. For women, this is a victory. Bamuturaki took over as CEO of Uganda Airlines in July, officially succeeding Cornwell Muleya, who had been removed from his position in February, awaiting an inquiry into allegations of abuse of public funds and improper hiring practices.
The airline also surfers a huge margin loss in 2021.
In 2021, the airline had a huge loss margin of UGX 232 billion ($61 million), which Bamuturaki has been responsible for resolving. Notably, she has advocated for its extension into new regions, particularly Asia and Europe, and the network’s success in doing so. Concerns were raised over Bamuturaki’s qualifications for the position due to her lack of postgraduate education in August. However, she then refuted the allegations, saying that she had been hand-picked for the CEO position and that her staff had 100 years of cumulative expertise.