Authorities have announced that Uganda Airlines will resume direct flights to the Rwandan capital, Kigali, for the first time since its 2019 renewal.
This development follows several at-time disputes between officials from the two countries on the issue.
The announcement was made by Ugandan Foreign Minister Jeje Odongo on Friday at the conclusion of the 11th meeting of the Rwanda-Uganda Joint Standing Committee, which lasted two days in Kigali.
According to Mr. Odongo, the movement aims to address the transportation challenges faced by the business community in both countries, boost trade, improve communication and contribute to increased exchanges between people.
“Uganda welcomes the acceptance of the designation of our national carrier Uganda Airlines by the Rwanda authorities, which will lead to its commencing of direct flights from their hub in Entebbe to Kigali,” he said in a statement.
Uganda Airlines resumed commercial flights in 2019, mostly targeting regional destinations, but the company’s efforts to secure landing rights in Kigali have been in vain, largely due to a diplomatic row.
The airline currently operates flights to Nairobi, Kinshasa, Juba, Mombasa, Dar es Salaam, Mogadishu, Kilimanjaro and Bujumbura.
Since the renewal, authorities in both countries have been negotiating for the company to be allowed to operate direct flights from its Entebbe hub to Kigali.
However, the two countries are at odds diplomatically, prompting Kigali to close its shared border with Uganda for more than two years.
Rwanda accused Uganda of supporting forces bent on overthrowing the Kigali government and abusing its citizens living in Kampala.
On the other hand, Uganda accused Kigali of spying on and infiltrating its security forces.