The Uganda National Airlines Company chief executive, Ephraim Bagenda revealed yesterday that the carrier will commence operations early next year with flights to some 19 destinations around Africa, and add international flights by 2024.
Mr Bagenda was talking at a public hearing convened by the Civil Aviation Authority. He said the airline does not plan to “compete aggressively” with already established carriers like Kenya Airways and RwandAir, but will instead operate a “unique” business models centred on “flight frequency” to the destinations, especially those in Africa, to win over hearts.
“Our business plan addresses a flight plan that will be embarked on from the airport to ground handling,” Mr Bagenda added. He said the company will handle its ground handling and later venture into third-party ground handling.
Mr Bagenda and the company’s technical adviser, Cornwell Muleya further revealed that the Bombardier CRJ900 planes that have been procured by the airline will fly to regional destinations while the Airbus A330-800neo planes will ply long-haul routes like London and Beijing.
Mr Muleya said the airline will have to “adequately compete” with other established fliers and therefore won’t be low-cost.
He added that the revived national carrier was registered as a limited liability company under a new name—Uganda National Airlines Company—as opposed to being established as a parastatal.
Previously, Uganda Airlines was part of the Uganda Development Corporation, which was supposed to be the government’s investment arm.
But the officials said UDC didn’t have the capacity to operate the revived carrier, which compelled cabinet to revive it as a limited liability company responsible for its own income, assets, debts and liabilities.
“We also didn’t want scenarios of third party management. In this case, the Uganda National Airlines Company management are only answerable to the two shareholders — the ministries of finance, and works and transport,” Mr Muleya said.