Ugandans ecstatic as national airline makes first trip to Nairobi next week


Ugandans ecstatic as national airline makes first trip to Nairobi next week
The two Uganda airlines CRJ 900 planes’ tails decorated with Uganda flag colours. PHOTO COURTESY

In Summary

  • The airline was liquidated nearly four decades ago due to mismanagement and public debt.
  • In 2015, an incident pitted President Museveni against Kenya Airways after the airline turned down a request from him.
  • The BBC reported that the President had requested that the airline pick him from his expansive home and fly him to Nairobi but they declined.

Ugandans are fired up after the country’s national airline announced plans to make its first trip to Nairobi in over 30 years.

Uganda Airlines will make its maiden trip to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Wednesday, August 2019.

A spot check on the company’s website shows that an Economy Class return ticket for the Nairobi-Entebbe route costs Ksh. 16,720 ($167.20).

“The objective is to increase Uganda’s competitiveness by reducing the cost of air transport and ease connectivity to and from Uganda,” Ugandan Works and Transport Minister Monica Azuba said.

The launch of the flight had been scheduled for July but Azuba said it was put off as the airline had failed to get the Air Operator Certification (AOC).

According to the East African newspaper, there are critics against the revival of the airline including some at the Ugandan Central Bank.

The airline was liquidated nearly four decades ago due to mismanagement and public debt.

In May this year, Vanguard News reported that a technical advisor for Uganda Airlines had a difficult time trying to justify the Ush. 575billion (Ksh. 16billion) budget for the revival plan.

“We are looking at Ush. 575billion as a very big figure relative to other sectors. The status of preparedness of this company is wanting…as we speak now, they don’t have a board, they have not recruited staff and other aircrafts are not yet here. We need to get a more detailed breakdown before we get any conclusions,” he said as quoted by the Vanguard.

President Yoweri Museveni however insisted that the airline will boost tourism in the country and reduce ‘unfair’ competition in the region.

In 2015, an incident pitted President Museveni against Kenya Airways after the airline turned down a request from him.

The BBC reported that the President had requested that the airline pick him from his expansive home and fly him to Nairobi but they declined.

He would later use Ethiopian Airlines for his trip to the regional heads of state meeting that was being hosted by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Following the announcement of the revival of the airline, Ugandans showed their enthusiasm with some sharing their sentiments online.

“Finally I can fly to beloved Uganda in style. I can’t wait to start accumulating my miles flying Uganda Airlines,” one Edmond Shoko Lekhuleni said on Twitter.

“I have many friends in South Sudan who can’t wait for you to start your operations. When can we expect Ebb -Juba flights?” Patrick Oyulu posed.

“Obviously this is a nice this to hear about. I personally cant wait to fly with Uganda Airlines,” Brian Kimbugwe added.

 

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Story By Karanja Morgan
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