First Glimpse on Uganda Airline, Everything on track

The first CRJ900 aircraft for Uganda Airlines is currently being assembled in Canada at the Bombardier Headquarters. The planes are expected in the country in early 2019, according to the works minister, Monica Azuba.

Azuba said the first of four CRJ900 planes will arrive in January, followed by the remaining three over the following three months. Two A330- 800s will be delivered from Airbus, France later in 2020, she added.

One of the aircraft being designed, 5X-KOB, is named after the Uganda Kob, which is part of the Uganda Coat of Arms. This is geared toward promoting the uniqueness of Uganda’s tourism and wildlife industry.

The CRJ900 is in the final assembly stages, with the painting and livery branding about to be complete. The next stage shall be to fit the engines and the interior cabin. Uganda Airlines is expecting to hit the skies in November. The permanent secretary of the works ministry, Bageya Waiswa, said recruitment for hundreds of jobs has already started.

The Government signed a deal with Canadian Jet Manufacturer Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, for four new CRJ900 jets. The firm order is valued at approximately $190m (sh700b). Uganda Airlines will operate the CRJ 900 in dual-class configuration, with a maximum 90 passengers.

The planes have maximum cruising speed of 871km per hour, six screens and can fly to the altitude of 12,497 metres. According to the Aviation Safety Network (ASN), the CRJ900 has one of the safest records.

 Bombardier is a global leader in the transportation industry, headquartered in Montreal, Canada. There are 21 operators flying 58 CRJ Series in Africa. According to the Bombardier data of March 31, the company has got 444 orders of the CRJ900 series and has delivered 424. Since April 2016, City Jet has bought 14 jets, Air Canada, five, Industrial Bank of China, 10 and an unidentified customer, six.

 On May 3, American Airlines bought 15 planes, on May 15, Uganda Airlines ordered four planes and on June 20, Delta Airlines paid for 20 planes. Waiswa said the airlines will begin with 10 senior managers, 20 lower managers and over a dozen lower cadres, who include pilots, engineers and cabin crew.

 Azuba says the Government has paid a commitment fee of $100,000 on each of the four planes and another $400,000 for the Airbus A330 series.

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Lukwago Joseph grew up in a newspaper family, and rumor has it that instead of playing the guitar in his infancy, his parents put a reporter’s notebook and a pen next to him shortly after he turned born eight years. Before becoming editor of UGANDANZ, Lukwago was a parliament news editor for WBS TV. He joined UGANDANZ in July 2018, A few months after the company launched. Lukwago also spent five years as a freelance reporter, where he covered reporting for the highest bidder, intelligence, foreign policy, and Ugandan police. Lukwago graduated from Makerere University in 2008 with a B.A. in Journalism and worked on his college newspaper.