Monica Ntege Azuba

Kampala: Works and Transport Minister, Monica Azuba says Uganda’s first aircraft will jet in 2019 following the payment of $120 million to a Canadian firm that manufactures and assemble aircrafts.

In efforts to enhance the country’s competitiveness by reducing the cost of air transport and easing connectivity to and from Uganda, government signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus company and bombardier to deliver two airbuses (A330-800neo) and four CRJ900 regional jets at a cost of US $800,00 million and US $400,00 million respectively.

Speaking at Media Centre, Azuba said one aircraft CRJ900 is in January expected to be delivered by bombardier, the other three will be brought in a period of three months and airbuses will be imported in 2020, “The national carrier will be called Uganda Airlines Company limited,” she revealed.

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Reviving of the insolvent National Airline is based on desire to improve the overall growth of Uganda’s air transport sector, by enhancing its competitiveness and turning its International Airport into a Regional transport hub.

Azuba watered down all allegations that the country is procuring outdated model of air buses that are not recommended by International Aviation saying A330-800 family of aircraft is the most popular aircraft in its class and preferred by the majority of airlines worldwide.

“A330-800 has the largest customer base in its class with 105 customers worldwide compared with only 41 customers for its direct competitor the B787 and it is 99 per cent commonality across in terms of spares and components which lowers the potential cost of maintenance for this aircraft compered to Boeing 787,” she said.

She said the country loses $450 million to various airline companies such as Ethiopian airways, Rwanda air, and South African airways and upon reviving national airline Ugandans will cut on costs incurred when using other companies.

National airline was liquidated in 2001 after it had become insolate leaving Ugandans at the mercy of foreign airlines.