Uganda Airlines makes maiden direct Hajj flight

More than 200 Ugandan Muslims took off aboard Uganda Airlines in its maiden flight to Mecca for their Hajj pilgrimage.

The airline’s Airbus A330 took to the skies on June 19, 2023 for the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in what has been described as a breakthrough for the national carrier, as it establishes its position regionally and internationally.

Jennifer Bamuturaki, Uganda Airlines chief executive officer said this is the first step which will herald the airline into scheduled flights to the Gulf nation later this year.

“All is set for us to start flying to Jeddah in September this year. We shall be doing three flights a week,” she told Habari Daily in an interview.

Bamuturaki said currently, the airline flies regional routes –Nairobi and Mombasa in Kenya, South Sudan capital Juba, and to Kinshasa in DR Congo. It also flies to Dar es Salaam, and Zanzibar in Tanzania, in addition to Mogadishu, Somalia and Bujumbura in Burundi.

She said another 250 passengers would be flown to Jeddah on Tuesday, in a move that will save Ugandan Muslim pilgrims the headache they have experienced in the past where they had to connect through other countries for their pilgrimage.

Between two to three million people participate in the six-day ritual annually, which is viewed as a once-in-a-lifetime obligation for all able-bodied Muslims of financial means

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