Uganda’s Skyjet taking to the skies again


KAMPALA, Uganda (eTN) – After an anxious wait, when bureaucrats and politicians dragged their feet to grant the final permissions to Uganda’s latest airline to at last take to the skies, all systems are now go for Skyjet.

The airline’s aircraft sat on the ground for weeks after getting its Air Operator Certificate (AOC), costing investors much loss. However, the long wait has now ended.

Commercial director Emmanuel Okware briefed this correspondent on the airline’s plans and confirmed that they would operate daily early morning flights from Entebbe to Juba and then on to Khartoum, before returning in the afternoon via Juba again to Entebbe. It remains to be seen if Air Uganda will make any changes to their Juba flights so that a morning and afternoon departure from Entebbe will offer better choices to travelers.

Skyjet has been given designated carrier‚ status by the Ugandan Civil Aviation Authority to fly to Southern Sudan, Sudan, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Djibouti, South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania.

Flights will commence with a Boeing 737-200 previously operated in the US. A second aircraft is expected to join their fleet by May this year, also from the US, before by end 2009 a B767 is due to join the fleet for the longer routes, also coming from the same previous owners. The airline will eventually commence a three times a week flight to Cairo, via Khartoum, probably when their second aircraft is operational.

Skyjet’s two letter code is UQ‚ or Uniform Quebec‚ in airline lexicon, assigned a few weeks ago by the International Air Transport Association.

Bookings can be made through the leading global reservation systems like Galileo and Amadeus to facilitate business through travel agents, although Skyjet, of course, accepts direct bookings.

The airline will be e-ticket compliant and launch fares for the Juba and Khartoum routes are a bargain.

The baggage allowance is 30 and 40 KG, respectively in Y and C Class.