Uganda Airlines (UR, Entebbe/Kampala) is to debut its first intercontinental flights - to Dubai Int'l - on October 1, 2021, using its pair of A330-800Ns.

According to its social media posts, the flight from Entebbe/Kampala will take place three times weekly. Flight UR444 is scheduled to depart Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays, according to the ch-aviation schedules module. It has been timed ahead of the start of the World Expo hosted by Dubai from October 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022.

Acting chief executive Jennifer Bamuturaki previously said the target market would be business travellers and migrant workers travelling to the Middle East.

It will be the airline’s first commercial flight out of Africa. Initially planned for July 16, 2021, the inaugural flight was twice rescheduled due to delays caused by COVID-19 travel restrictions and regulatory delays in the certification of the two A330s. They were delivered from Airbus in December 2020 and January 2021 respectively and were supposed to have entered international service in March 2021. As reported, Uganda Airlines eventually managed to add the two A330-800Ns - 5X-CRN (msn 1979) and 5X-NIL (msn 1977) - to its Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) in August 2021, allowing it to plan for flights to Dubai, to be followed by services to London Heathrow, Mumbai Int'l, and Guangzhou. Bamuturaki previously said the airline is hoping to start flights to London in November 2021, pending its removal from the UK COVID-19 red list.

The state-owned carrier currently serves 10 regional cross-border routes including Bujumbura in Burundi; Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, and Zanzibar in Tanzania; Johannesburg O.R. Tambo in South Africa; Kinshasa N'Djili in the DRC, Mogadishu in Somalia; and Mombasa and Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta in Kenya, according to ch-aviation schedules data.

The four-year-old airline was wracked by controversy earlier this year when its Board and management team, including former chief executive Cornwell Muleya, were removed from office amid allegations of mismanagement and corruption. Amongst the allegations were that pilots with less than 500 flying hours on the airline's four CRJ900LRs were being trained to fly the two A330s.