June 5, 2023

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Uganda to sign several air service agreements with different countries

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Uganda will be signing several bilateral air service agreements with different countries, a move that would give her access to the air space of more countries.

According to a brief on Tuesday of what transpired in cabinet, “the agreements will put Uganda at equal legal footing with her Partners.”

A bilateral air service agreement is concluded between two contracting countries and opens up commercial civil aviation services between those countries.

The agreements allow airlines of contracting countries to operate commercial flights that cover the transport of passengers and cargo between those two countries.

Uganda revived its national airline last year and had to sign a number of bilateral air services agreements to open up the routes for the airline. Now Uganda Airlines goes to at least seven routes in Africa.

The signing of new agreements means the airline can expand its reach.

As of last year, Uganda had at least 47 agreements signed but many had not been activated because the country had taken more than two decades without an airline to operate routes in these countries.

The agreements will bring down the cost of landing in another country.

A study by InterVistas and UKaid recently concluded that if the East African community liberalized its airspace through these agreements, it would lead to 9% lower average fares and a 41% increase in frequencies to some routes, which in turn stimulate passenger demand.

The African Union has called on countries to push for open skies and lower fares of air transport to boost trade on the continent.

Isaac Shinyekwa, a research fellow on integration at Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC), welcomed Uganda’s move to sign more agreements said flying in around the continent was still very expensive which calls for countries to sign friendly agreements that will cut the cut of air transport.


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