Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital Business
Capital Business
Uganda’s Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda (2R) flanked by Minister of World and Transport Eng. Monica Azuba Ntege (2L) and the State Minister for Tourism Godfrey Kiwanda (R) at the launch of Uganda Airline’s maiden flight/AFP - Isaac Kasamani

Headlines

Uganda launches national airline with flight to Kenya

Uganda’s Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda (2R) flanked by Minister of World and Transport Eng. Monica Azuba Ntege (2L) and the State Minister for Tourism Godfrey Kiwanda (R) at the launch of Uganda Airline’s maiden flight/AFP – Isaac Kasamani

Uganda Airlines is launching into increasingly crowded East African skies, where both Rwanda and Tanzania have in recent years revived their national airlines in a bid to capture a slice of the booming market.

They are taking on regional giants Kenya Airways — which continues to expand despite struggling with years of losses and management woes — and Ethiopian Airlines, which largely dominates the skies.

“Uganda Airlines is coming to compete in the market alongside other airlines”, said Transport Minister Monica Azuba.

Uganda Airlines was founded by former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in 1976 but the carrier was liquidated in 2001 after a failed bid to privatise the floundering company, dogged by corruption and mismanagement.

The country has acquired two new Bombardier CRJ 900 jets, and will take delivery of another two in September, while the addition of two Airbus A330-800 planes in 2020 will allow it to carry out long-haul flights.

“Uganda Airlines will have direct flights from Uganda to China plus other countries, and it will be very important in hitting the four million tourist goal the government has set,” said Tourism Minister Ephraim Kamuntu.

Uganda welcomed 1.8 million tourists in 2018, according to official statistics.

Meanwhile, neighbouring Tanzania has invested heavily in reviving its airline, with the purchase of six planes including Bombardiers, Airbus and one Boeing dreamliner since 2016. Air Tanzania launched its first route outside of the continent to Mumbai, India, in July.

Rwanda has massively invested in its national airline Rwandair, with a fleet of 12 jets which now fly 29 routes around the world, with the most recent flight launched to Israel in June.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Rwanda breached its debt ceiling of $500 million by $87 million due to the lease of new aircrafts in 2018, and is seeking further loans to expand routes and make a profit.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Numerous airlines in Africa have failed to stay afloat, or survive on government bailouts.

Click to comment
Advertisement

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Headlines

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...

Ask Kirubi

It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the whole world by surprise. Although its full impact is yet to be...

Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...