Ugandairlines: Transport Minister tasked to explain delay as launch pushed to August
Ugandairlines commercial flights launch date has been postponed to August and not July as earlier planned. This was announced midweek in a statement to the Ugandan Parliament by Cabinet Minister for Works and Transport Monica Azuba Ntege .
She explained to concerned parliamentarians that rescheduling was due to the fact that the revived National Carrier is yet to get an Air Operating Certificate (AOC) from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
She said that there are phases that the Airline has to go through before getting an Air Operating Certificate required in order to start commercial operations.
The AOC shows that the airline is ready. ‘Right now we are at phase 4 which involves so many other things including ensuring that the right crew is in place, that the aircraft are sound test flights have been done, the pilots are tested and that evacuation procedures are in place’.
She further explained that ‘…..the codes are then received, for now, all this work has been done using provisional codes but when that is tested thereafter the live system shall be activated. The airline then has to study Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASA’s) even if they are already doing that and it is at this stage that we get the AOC after certification by CAA and International Air Transport Association (IATA) issue it as proof that we are ready to fly according to regulations. Since it takes up to 30 days in which to get a response when you apply to a country for BASA’s, it was therefore only prudent that we extend the launch of commercial flights by another 30 days’
In the weeks before there was anxiety in the media when Bombardier sold its Commercial program to Mitsubishi which would further delay the launch of Uganda Airlines. However, the Ugandairlines CEO Ephraim Bagenda allayed fears saying this shall not have any hindrance from the transition. All we need is spare parts and a few other services and this remains in Canada’ he said..
The government revived the Uganda National Airlines that was established in 1977 but ceased operations in 2001. This year in April, two Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft were purchased from Canada at Shs 280bn (circa USD 75M) with more similar aircraft expected and later two A330-800 airliners, the latest version of the most popular A330 widebody airliner to boost the airlines medium and long haul networks.
Additional news from Uganda here.