China’s air transport regulator CAAC has granted Uganda Airlines rights to fly to China. The letter assigning the rights was addressed to the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority. The airline got the information on June 17. Uganda Airlines cleared for services to Guangzhou.

According to the letter, the Ugandan flag carrier is allowed to operate a single weekly frequency to any point in China except Beijing and Shanghai. The restrictions are benign to the airline which has always intended to fly to Guangzhou as it said so in January.

Uganda Airlines manager for Corporate Affairs Ms. Shakila Rahim, says there is no clarity on when scheduled services could start: “We don’t have a start date at the moment because we need to sit internally and come up with definitive information on how we plan to operate the route. It is only after we have firmed details like a preferred day of operation and slots that we shall write back to the Chinese Authorities,” Shakila told AirInsight.

She explained that while the airline intended to operate more than one flight to Guangzhou, the current restriction to a single frequency would probably be reviewed once the Covid-19 situation in China has improved.

The authorization comes as a relief to the airline, which is struggling with the capacity utilization of the Airbus A330-800 fleet. The two aircraft were intended for operations to Dubai, Guangzhou, London, and Mumbai but so far, only China has come through.

Flights to Dubai were also cut back by a single frequency due to ongoing maintenance works at Dubai International Airport DXB. Chief executive Jenifer Musiime says the airline was given the option of maintaining the full schedule if they relocated services to Dubai World Central/Al Maktoum but they opted for DXB because it is more convenient for the bulk of their customers, mainly traders.

There is no update on the planned services to Mumbai while London also remains work in progress.

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Michael Wakabi
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