Abu Dhabi: Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, strengthened its presence in East Africa today with the launch of new services between Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Entebbe, in central Uganda.
Inaugural flight EY645 departed Abu Dhabi at 7.50am and touched down at Entebbe International Airport on schedule at 12.50pm, where it was welcomed by a delegation consisting of senior representatives from the airport, government officials and local dignitaries.
Operated by a two-class Airbus A320 aircraft with 16 Business Class and 120 Economy Class seats, the new service is designed to provide business and leisure travellers with a direct four-times-per-week service between Entebbe and Abu Dhabi, with convenient onward connections to key destinations in the GCC region, Europe, Indian Subcontinent, North Asia, Southeast Asia and Australia.
The new service also provides convenient access to the nearby Ugandan capital of Kampala, one of the fastest growing cities on the African continent and the centre of trade and commerce in the country. Uganda has a total population of nearly 40 million, and is the world’s second most populous landlocked country after Ethiopia.
“Uganda is one of the continent’s fastest-growing business and tourism destinations, and the launch of services to Uganda is consistent with our strategy of targeting areas of strong growth in emerging markets,” James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said.
“The UAE is a major trading partner with Uganda and our new point-to-point services strengthen the two-way flow of trade and commerce between the two countries. The flights are also scheduled to offer convenient onward connections, catering to strong traffic flows between Uganda and key destinations across our global network, such as Ahmedabad and Mumbai in India or Beijing and Shanghai in China.”
“Not only does this service provide our guests with direct access to an exciting new business and tourism destination, it also further strengthens our presence in East Africa and across the African continent,” he added.
Etihad Airways currently operates scheduled services to eight other destinations in Africa and the Indian Ocean, including: Cairo, Casablanca, Dar es Salaam (Dec 2015), Johannesburg, Khartoum, Lagos, Nairobi, and Mahé in the Seychelles.