Close to three decades since the Government decided to fold the operations of the national carrier over its precarious financial position, only a small percentage of Uganda’s largely youthful population truly remember the livery of Uganda Airlines.
However, on Tuesday April 23rd 2019, Uganda received its first two plane fleet (CRJ900 Bombardiers). The President of Uganda; Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was the chief Guest chosen to receive these two planes as they touched down at the Entebbe International Airport. The two bombardier planes are expected to complete the Air Operator Certification (AOC certification) process because it is mandatory process and for it to be affected, physical presence of jets on land has to take place.
Government of Uganda recently requested Bombardier Commercial Aircraft (Uganda airlines), the manufacturer of both planes and trains to consider establishing a training and maintenance facility in Uganda. The request was made by Works and Transport Minister, Monica Ntege Azuba as the company delivered the first two of four CRJ900 aircraft ordered by Uganda National Airlines Company in July 2018. Minister Azuba who officially received the 2 CRJ900 aircraft on behalf of Uganda government asked the Canadian Commercial Aircraft to launch a training facility in Uganda, assuring them of full support from the government. She told Mr. Fred Cromer, the President Bombardier Commercial Aircraft that the maintenance facility in Uganda will enhance Bombardier’s competitiveness in Africa.
Mr. Cromer congratulated Uganda Airlines for taking delivery of their very first CRJ900 jetliner fitted with the Atmosphere cabin in a dual-class configuration with 76 seats, including 12 first class seats. He said that the CRJ Series is recognized for its superior economics and efficiency adding that he was confident that it will be the stepping stone for the development of Uganda’s regional air travel.
Relatedly, Entebbe International Airport has had a steady traffic growth of 7.9% annually. In 2018, the airport handled 1.84 million passengers increase from 1.65 million passengers in 2017. The traffic flow means that Entebbe handled at least 5,027 passengers and 81 aircraft per day last year.
On board each plane are four pilots, two Ugandans and the other from Bombardier. Each plane also had a Ugandan engineer. The minister said one of the pilots on the planes is the chief pilot of Uganda Airlines, Capt. Michael Etiang.
We hope the rebirth of the Uganda airlines will boost Ugandan tourism as it will make it easy for tourists to come to Uganda for Uganda safaris and visit destinations like Mgahinga gorilla National Park for a Uganda gorilla trekking safari, Kibale National Park for a Uganda chimpanzee trekking safari, Mountain hiking safaris Uganda in Mountain Rwenzori National Park, Lake Bunyonyi Uganda for Uganda birding safaris, Semuliki National Park for birding safaris Uganda, Lake Mburo National Park for a Uganda wildlife safari or short Uganda wildlife safari and many more interesting destinations.