Uganda Airlines officials appearing before COSASE

MPs on the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) have questioned salary disparities at Uganda Airlines.

According to the Chairman of COSASE Joel Ssenyonyi, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Uganda Airline earns Shs87 million compared to Shs73 million earned by the Chief Financial Officer. The Manager Finance earns Shs58 million, Director Maintenance Shs80 million. Others; the Manager IT Shs36 million, Human Resource Shs43 million, Manager Cargo Shs14 million, and Quality Assistant Shs43 million.

The committee questioned why some Pilots get Shs60 million and others Shs50 million. Some Cabin Crew members earn Shs4 million, while others earn Shs2 million. The CEO Uganda Airlines said that Airbus has a different pay structure while the CRJ Bombardier also has a different one.

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“We are not against the salary of the Pilots, but asked Uganda Airline officials to explain why the Airlines which is making loses (Shs160bn) a year is paying managers and directors exorbitantly with the CEO earning Shs87 million,” Ssenyonyi said.

The CEO of Uganda Airlines Jennifer Bamuturaki said that they are currently reviewing these salaries.

The committee quizzed the new CEO Uganda Airlines Jennifer Bamuturaki on how she got appointed as Aide to the acting CEO and yet she had no appointment letter and was not being paid a salary. The committee also questioned how she rose from Aide to CEO.

Jennifer Bamuturaki however said she was not among the 40 Ugandans who applied for the job. “On the day I was going to apply, that is when I was appointed,” she said this while appearing before COSASE.

Herbert Kamuntu, board member of Uganda Airlines said when Uganda Airlines advertised for the position of CEO, at least 40 Ugandans applied. However, following a presidential directive to appoint Jennifer Bamuturaki, the whole process was halted.

In 2018, Uganda mooted an idea to revive its airline and hence ordered four Bombardier CRJ900 regional Aircrafts. In 2020, the government of Uganda received four Bombardier CRJ900 regional Aircrafts that were ordered by Uganda National Airlines Company in July 2018 and two airbuses which were delivered in 2020 and 2021.

Following the arrival of airbuses, the country launched its long-range operations with non-stop intercontinental flights to the Middle East, Europe and Asia.

Established in May 1976, Uganda Airlines, started operations in 1977 and was liquidated in May 2001 after efforts to privatize the company failed due to massive debts it had incurred.

Uganda Airlines is competing with Africa’s best such as South Africa Airways, Ethiopian Airways, Kenya Airways, Rwandair and others on the continent, not forgetting International ones such as Emirates Airways, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airways among others that land at Entebbe International Airport.