ENTEBBE- Hundreds of people on Thursday flocked Entebbe International Airport as the facility resumed normal operations, following its closure in March to prevent the spread of the Covid -19 pandemic in the country.
Mr Peter Lokeris, the State Minister for Works said that as Uganda Airlines resumed flights to several countries that the resumption will strengthen social interaction, trade and tourism.
Mr Lokeris said the recent ranking of Uganda as the best country in Africa in managing Covid-19 will give confidence to visitors as the country is a safe destination with trusted health measures.
The spokesperson of Uganda Airlines, Mr Deo Nyanzi said the company was in its infancy stage at time the airport was closed in March.
“We have been ready during the lockdown. We have been preparing for normalisation of operations and carrying out repatriation flights for stranded Ugandan’s abroad,” he said.
Mr Nyanzi said although the airline has lost income during the lockdown, it has put in place various mechanisms to help it recover.
“Like any other airline, we have lost income, the impact may have not been great as some other airlines, on the operations side we have used that little to prepare for flights,” he said.
The spokesperson Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) Mr Vianney Luggya said that 12 flights were expected on Thursday as commercial passenger operations resumed.
He said that Turkish Airlines, Uganda Airlines, Qatar Airlines, Fly Dubai, Tacco Airlines, Kenya Airways, Rwandair and Emirates are some of the airlines companies that resumed operations on Thursday.
Mr Luggya said 15 flights are expected on Friday, six on Saturday and 16 on Sunday.
“We erected automated sanitisers within the terminal building for passengers and airport users, the ground floor and passenger waiting seats are marked for social distancing,” he said. “We are frequently disinfecting surfaces and erected glass shields at immigration and check-in counters to reduce on direct interface between passengers and staff members.”
Mr Luggya said that UCCA has emphasized safety procedures on aircrafts which will be disinfected after passengers disembark.
“For incoming passengers we request them to come in with a negative PCR test certificate obtained from the country of origin, undertaken within 72 hours prior to boarding the aircraft bound for Uganda, the same applies on departures for passengers to have a negative PCR test that is in compliance with the destination country they are going to,” he said.