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Dreamliner makes maiden flight to Entebbe airport

By Vision Reporter

Added 2nd September 2012 03:24 PM

Activity at Entebbe Airport came to a standstill recently as Africa’s first 787 Dreamliner made its maiden flight to Uganda to complete a trip dubbed ‘The Dream tour’.

By Samuel Sanya
 
Activity at Entebbe Airport came to a standstill recently as Africa’s first 787 Dreamliner made its maiden flight to Uganda to complete a trip dubbed ‘The Dream tour’.  
 
Ethiopian Airlines becomes the first African airline to own the modern aircraft after Japan acquired the first two units days after the plane was launched in the US. 
 
“This is a big milestone in the history of the airline and the development of the African aviation industry,” said Ermejachew Regassa, the Ethiopian Airlines area manager. 
 
“To the Ugandan market, it means improved schedule flights, better service delivery and value for money, satisfaction and comfort….there is no better gift than launching the B787 Dreamliner as Uganda celebrates 50 years.”
 
The much-hyped plane is made of light carbon material, consumes 20% less fuel and comes with larger passenger leg space and windows, in addition to lower sound levels. 
 
Tewolde Gebremariam, the carrier’s boss, said the acquisition of the plane is an affirmation of the airline’s commitment to Africa, adding that the B787 Dreamliner will be named “Africa First.”
 
Re-establishment of a national carrier 
State minister for transport Steven Chebrot said the success of the Ethiopian Airlines highlights the need for Uganda to re-establish a national carrier. 
 
“Passengers at Entebbe Airport have increased from 100,000 in 1991, to over 1.2 million passengers annually. I will advise the Government on the need to acquire a national airline,” he said. 
 
“We will continue to expand Entebbe Airport in anticipation of larger aircraft,” Chebrot added. 
Rama Mukuza, the Civil Aviation Authority managing director, said the entry of large fliers has enhanced the tourism industry and increased the efficiency of business operations. 
 
“The growth of Entebbe International Airport is dependent on the operation of a national airline bringing in passengers, even those simply in transit,” he said. 
 
“The type of model the airline would use would depend on whether the business strategy is for us to operate national, regional or global routes,” Mukuza explained.
 

Dreamliner makes maiden flight to Entebbe airport

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