After a precipitous drop in traffic in March 2020 passenger traffic into and out of Uganda has responded well to the reopening of the economy with numbers for May trending above the African average of 74%. Uganda’s Entebbe Airport makes steep recovery.
Passenger traffic through Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport , reached 89.7% of pre-pandemic levels during May, reflecting the stead recovery in airline schedules as travel restrictions ease for Ugandans. Monthly data by the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority CAA, shows that 125,933 international passengers passed through the facility during May 2022.,
The numbers are a bounce back from the record lows recorded in March 2020, when international traffic through Entebbe fell to just 987 passengers. The airport is served by 18 international airlines flying to 30 destinations.
“Traffic averaged 4.062 passengers daily during May 2022. We are yet to recover to the daily average of 5.000 passengers but we see light at the end of the tunnel,” said Vianney Luggya, the manager for public affairs at the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority.
Key drivers have been full reinstatement of airline schedules after the full reopening of the economy in January and the relaxation of travel restrictions in April. Fully vaccinated passengers entering and leaving Uganda no longer need to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR certificate. However, unvaccinated passengers arriving and leaving Uganda must present a negative PCR test within 72 hours to departure.
The schedule is at 295 weekly departures, with the Entebbe-Nairobi route as the busiest sector at 45 departures.
Flag carrier Uganda Airlines is flying to all the nine destinations it was serving before the crisis plus Johannesburg and Dubai which launched during the crisis. Save for Nairobi which now operates double-daily, instead of three times, all the other routes are back to the pre-crisis schedule.
Traffic has grown incrementally this year from a daily average of 3.566 passengers in January to 4.062 in May. Growth has also been supported by the entry of new international carriers during the last quarter of 2021. South Africa based Airlink started flights to Entebbe last September followed by Air Arabia a month later on the Entebbe Sharjah route while Saudi Arabian also started services to Jeddah.