As part of efforts to revive the national carrier, Uganda Airlines, the company’s two Bombardier CRJ900 jets will touch down at Entebbe International Airport on April 23. Bageya Waiswa, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Works and Transport, said Tuesday, April 23, is the tentative time that the Government is tentatively working by.
He said the ministry will go through the process of formally receiving the planes before lying them to Uganda.
“People will be able to see the physical planes, from there; one will go for a maiden tour and the second one will be used for training of staff and crew and then we start the process of licensing them,” said Waiswa.
This development follows the recent Parliament’s clearing of a sh280b supplementary request by the works ministry for the procurement of the aircrafts.
“In the next 90 days, we shall be ready to launch lights to the region because that is mandatory period; you cannot simply start lying. The activities of receiving, training crew and licensing will take some time before the start of the lights,” said Waiswa.
Don Wanyama, the senior press secretary to President Yoweri Museveni, yesterday tweeted about the expected date for the arrival of the irst plane at Entebbe.
“Be there! On April 23rd, at exactly 3:00pm, the first of the @UG_AirlinesBombardier CRJ900 will touch down at Entebbe International Airport. And with that, will mark the revival of the airlines. Great times ahead #SteadyProgress,” he wrote.
The two planes were manufactured by Bombardier Aerospace, a Canadian company. When asked about whether light routes were secured, Waiswa said the jets will be lying to Nairobi, Mombasa, Kigali, Asmara and Lubumbash in DR Congo among others.
“Ugandans have waited for long, but they should continue doing so until we complete the whole cycle of receiving, and launching the planes. We have already hired the staff, so let them wait and start lying aboard their own carrier,” Waiswa said.
The works minister, Monica Azuba, also confirmed the news of the delivery of the first two planes although she did not divulge details. “This is a big milestone in the revival of Uganda Airlines,” she said. In related development, the national carrier has affirmed its order for two A330-800 airliners, from Airbus, an European company with headquarters in France.
A statement issued by Airbus yesterday said: “Uganda Airlines, the national carrier of Uganda, has firmed up its order for two A330-800 airliners, the latest version of the most popular A330 wide body airliner.” “Fitted with the new Airspace by Airbus cabin, the A330neo will bring a range of benefits to Uganda Airlines and its customers, offering unrivalled efficiencies combined with the most modern cabin,” the statement added. “Uganda Airlines plans to use the A330-800 to build its medium and long-haul network with the aircraft offering cutting-edge technology along with more efficient operations.”
The Airbus statement said that launched in July 2014, the A330neo Family is the new generation A330, comprising two versions: the A330-800 and A330-900 sharing 99% commonality. “It builds on the proven economics, versatility and reliability of the A330 Family, while reducing fuel consumption by about 25% per seat versus previous generation competitors and increasing range by up to 1,500 nm compared to the majority of A330s in operation.”
“The A330neo is powered by Rolls-Royce’s latest-generation Trent 7000 engines and features a new wing with increased span and new A350 XWBinspired Sharklets. The cabin provides the comfort of the new Airspace amenities including state-of-the-art passenger inlight entertainment and Wii connectivity systems, amongst others,” it added.