Airbus A330-800neo, the latest addition to Uganda Airline’s fleet
Uganda has taken delivery of a brand new aircraft two days to Christmas, an Airbus A330-800neo, from Toulouse, France. This addition makes the fleet of the petite Uganda Airlines to become a total of four in number.
The Uganda Airline which was resurrected on 28th August 2019, barely seven (7) months before the COVID-19 scourge paralyzed air travels, and after 18 years in the grave, could now be seen waxing stronger with all the determination to succeed, and this time around, it’s enjoying the strong support of Uganda government.
At a brief reception in Entebbe International Airport, to receive the bird, the Uganda President, Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, warned the airline management and the supervising government ministry against corruption.
He said the fastest way to bring the humongous investment on the airline to zero was through corruption in the course of various operations the highly ambitious airline would embark upon.
President Yoweri Museveni, however, commended the committee that midwife the national carrier and were also instrumental to the acquisition of the new Airbus, said the new aircraft will provide a great lift for the fledging Uganda Airline’s regional and international operations.
The President congratulated the team that delivered on the resurrection of the national carrier, commended the fleet expansion program and charged that “the revived Uganda Airlines will support our economic growth by facilitating transport and tourism”.
He further charged that the national carrier should be run in a way that it will contribute to Uganda’s gross domestic product. He volunteered a business lead for the airline’s management by saying that, “It will be a major boost if the $400 million that Ugandans spend annually on air travel comes to our own airline”, the President said.
The President specially recognized the team who gave birth to the airline and embarked on fleet expansion. They were all given a national award with a plaque for their patriotic service to their country
Leader of the delegation that safely landed the aircraft at Entebbe International Airport, the Minister of Works, Gen. Katumba Wamala, said he was excited that all the brains behind the Ugandan Airline re-establishment, Management and its fleet expansion program, were all Ugandans.
Gen. Katumba Wamala said, “I feel very proud. Not only are we getting an asset (airbus A330-800neo) of this nature, but that the guys behind the cockpit are Ugandans. When the airline was established, we noticed that we had very many Ugandans with a lot of qualifications scattered all over who were giving services to other people. Why not give these services to Ugandans? So, I’m very happy,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Ugandan Airlines, Cornwell Mulewa, who was among the delegation, described the acquisition of the aircraft as historic.
He added that the new machine, A330-800neo, will boost the airline’s operations and aid its niche service delivery to the larger travelling community in Eastern Africa.
He added that the airline’s fleet was being built in preparation for its eventual, “desired services standards for long-haul operations.”
The Airbus A330-800 neo, the first of the two orders was flown by Captain Etyang Michael, a Ugandan and the First Officer a lady, also a Ugandan.
According to Airbus, the second aircraft will be delivered in January 2021.
Uganda Airlines with the codes; IATA: UR, ICAO: UGD; is the flag carrier of Uganda. The company is a revival of the older Uganda Airlines which was established in 1976, but started operations from 1977 until May 2001 when it ceased operations.
Just before the paralyzing effect of COVID-19 pandemic on air travel in March 2020, Uganda was being serviced by airlines it had a subsisting Bilateral Air Service Agreement.
They were Emirates Airways, Turkish Airlines, South Africa Airways, KLM, Ethiopian Airlines, Egypt Air, Delta Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Qatar Airways and United Airlines.Share