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Uganda Airlines sends Airbus plane on demo flight to South Africa

Uganda Airlines sends Airbus plane on demo flight to South Africa (PHOTO /Courtesy)

KAMPALA — Uganda Airlines has on Thursday August 12, sent one of its two rare Airbus A330-800neos on a demo flight from Entebbe to Johannesburg, South Africa.

The flight is part of the process of securing an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) for the new and rather special widebody aircraft.

The seven-month-old aircraft, registered as 5X-NIL, took off from Entebbe International Airport (EBB) with a limited number of passengers at 11:56 local time on Thursday. Flight time between EBB and Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) is just over four hours when it is operated by one of Uganda Airline’s CRJ-900s.

On its social media channels, the airline has shared footage of the boarding process. We look forward to potential photos of the very first arrival of an Uganda Airlines A330-800neo outside of the country’s borders.

The passengers are also the very first to enjoy Uganda Airline’s A330neo’s gorgeous interior. The planes have a three-class configuration. There are 20 lie-flat seats in business class, 28 seats in premium economy, and 210 in the main economy cabin.

Future Prospects

Uganda Airlines later plans to operate its new jets to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia – in particular London, Dubai, and Guangzhou. In fact, earlier this year, it secured early morning landing slots at London Heathrow. However, at the time, it had expected to gain certification for its new bird from the Ugandan authorities by the end of April.

The first of Uganda Airline’s A330-800neos was delivered in December last year. The second was set to follow in January 2021, but an internet blackout in Uganda caused the delivery to be pushed back until February 2nd. Both planes were ordered in 2019 as part of the carrier’s ambitious plans to expand beyond Africa.

Once the airline gains certification for the jets, it will be a complete game-changer in terms of route planning. The airline, which officially commenced operations in August 2019, has a fleet consisting only of four CRJ-900 regional jets.

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