Entebbe International Airport, Uganda’s premier international gateway, has shattered its previous records by registering its highest monthly international passenger traffic ever in July 2023.
The airport, which has been a crucial hub for both passengers and cargo, witnessed 185,253 international passengers in that month alone, broken down as 93,727 arrivals and 91,526 departures. This averages to a staggering 5,975 passengers each day, setting an unprecedented record for the busiest month in the airport’s history.
These numbers don’t merely represent a short-term uptick. The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) highlighted that international traffic experienced a rise of 24,338 passengers compared to June 2023, which recorded 160,915 passengers. “To offer a perspective on the growth trajectory, this July’s numbers surpass those from July 2022, which were at 151,653, and even the 166,980 recorded back in July 2019,” commented UCAA spokesman, Mr Vianne Luggya.
On the cargo front, the airport is also seeing buoyant activity. July 2023 accounted for an impressive 5,745 metric tonnes of cargo, split into 4,198 metric tonnes of incoming cargo and 1,547 metric tonnes of outgoing cargo.
The impressive growth figures come as a beacon of hope, symbolizing the recovery of the aviation sector in Uganda, which was significantly crippled by the global Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic had brought global air travel to an almost complete standstill. However, Entebbe Airport seems to be soaring high once again. Reports from UCAA highlighted that the airport’s operations had rebounded to approximately 80% of the pre-pandemic levels.
Furthermore, Entebbe International Airport is in the final stages of major rehabilitation works. These upgrades are set to further enhance the passenger experience and efficiency of the airport’s operations. UCAA Director General, Fred Bwamesigire, expressed his optimism regarding the upgrades, stating, “Upon completion of the ongoing projects, Entebbe will epitomize what an international airport should represent.” He further enumerated on the various enhancements, which include expanded spaces in the arrivals, departure, and immigration zones, a twin road system leading to the Departure terminal, and upgraded waiting lounges, among other amenities.
In conclusion, the unprecedented passenger numbers and the nearing completion of extensive upgrades mark a pivotal moment for Entebbe International Airport. As the world grapples with returning to a semblance of normalcy post-pandemic, such landmarks serve as an inspiration, showcasing resilience and the promise of a brighter future in air travel.