By Raymond Baguma
Etihad Airways will today launch its inaugural weekly cargo flights between Abu Dhabi and Entebbe Airport.
According to the online publication Gulf Business, the weekly service is expected to carry large quantities of electronics and textiles to Uganda, with the return flight primarily loaded with perishable goods for the Gulf region and Europe.
The direct cargo service will operate every Monday using an Airbus A330-200F freighter, with a capacity of 64 metric tonnes, Etihad said in a statement.
Kevin Knight, Etihad Airways’ chief Strategy and Planning officer, said: “Uganda is an important market for Etihad Cargo, and the new Abu Dhabi-Entebbe freighter service will allow us to capitalise on the strong import and export demand to and from East Africa.
“In addition, whilst we expect to see strong onward trade flows over our Abu Dhabi cargo hub to destinations across the Middle East, subcontinent and Europe, ultimately this service will further strengthen the trade ties between the UAE and Uganda.”
Etihad Cargo, which offers services to 103 destinations internationally, recently announced that it carried 127,821 tonnes of freight and mail in the first quarter of this year, up 26 per cent from the previous year. Revenues during the period reached $243 million.
The cargo operator currently has a fleet of nine freighters, consisting of three Airbus A330-200F, three Boeing B777F, and three Boeing 747F. It will take delivery of one new freighter, an Airbus A330-200F, next month.
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