Museveni takes Uganda Airlines to the skies
President Museveni fulfils 2016 presidential campaign pledge by taking Uganda Airlines to the skies. Photo/Agency

Museveni said, by taking Uganda Airline to the skies, the ruling NRM government was fulfilling a promise it made during the 2016 presidential campaigns.

Uganda Airline on August 27th, 2019 was launched at the Entebbe International Airport with its first commercial flight set for Wednesday, 28th August.

The maiden flight officiated by the Prime Minister, Dr.Ruhakana Rugunda and the Minister for Works and Transport, Monica Ntege Azuba left to Nairobi with 76 passengers inclusive of Members of Parliament, media personalities among others.

While speaking at the launch ceremony yesterday, the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda who was also the main celebrant of the event sitting in for H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni the President Of Uganda thanked the people who made it possible to successfully purchase two Bombardier Airplanes with two more expected next month plus two Airbuses in 2021.

According to Hon Rugunda, the national carrier will earn the government an extra $450 million that was in the past going to other airlines.

Each year, Ugandans were donating $450 million to other countries through foreign travels and this is a lot of money,” Museveni said in his speech delivered by Rugunda.

Adding that there has never been a better time to resume commercial flights than now when the number of passengers is increasing every day.

In addition to the speech, Museveni said by the Uganda Airlines taking to the skies, the ruling NRM government was fulfilling a promise it made during the 2016 presidential campaigns.

This pledge was done to reduce the cost of air transport and also ease connectivity to and from Uganda. Besides, there was a lot of inconvenience by not having direct flights and even being charged discriminatory fairs,” Museveni noted.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Works, Eng. Monica Ntege Azuba said that the national career revival will serve a big purpose for the economy.

β€œThis is another milestone but the Uganda Crane will not only take to the sky but will grow bigger and better,” Azuba said before warning the Uganda Airlines staff of the big task as they try to keep the national airline afloat.

The national carrier collapsed 20 years ago but government three years ago kick-started the process of its revival but many have been sceptical about the viability of the project.

The Uganda National Airlines Company will operate four CRJ900 Bombardier jetliners in dual-class configuration with 76 economy seats and 12 first-class seats.

The new CRJ-series atmosphere cabin owned by Uganda is the first to be owned by an airline in Africa.

The Uganda Airlines commercial flights that begin on Wednesday will go to Nairobi, Dar Es Salaam, and Mogadishu.

According to the Works Minister, other destinations including Khartoum, Kinshasa, Kigali, Lubumbashi, Harare, Lusaka, Addis Ababa, Zanzibar and Johannesburg will be added after the arrival of the other two CRJ-900s aircraft set to arrive in September.

By John Dalton Kigozi