President Museveni has asked Ugandans to embrace the newly revived Uganda Airlines instead of speaking negatively about it.
Museveni, who was the chief guest at the welcoming ceremony of the first two Canadian made ‘Bombardier CRJ 900’ aircrafts on Tuesday at Entebbe International Airport, said Ugandans have a tendency of not embracing their own blessings yet people outside Uganda always praise them.
The government spent over Shs280bn on the two Bombardiers.
However, many Ugandans expressed little or no trust in the move following the current regime’s history of poor management of government parastatals.
These included among others, Captain Francis Babu, an Aviation expert, who had earlier in the day castigated the government for spending huge sums of money to start a new airline.
“The Uganda government is not revamping an airline but starting a new airline,” he told Morning at NTV.
“As a reasonable businessman, I would not have invested in an asset, I should have started a business using wet leased airplanes and eventually bought the aeroplanes,” he added.
But Museveni, while delivering his speech, said “We managed to secure money for the first two planes through prioritizing and we shall not borrow any coin to finish the four remaining. We shall use our own money. The good thing is that we paid all the first instalments and manufacturers are working on them.”
According to the President, Uganda has been losing over Shs1.5trillion on travel. This money, he said, is now going to be earned by our newborn baby (Uganda Airlines).
“Even though tourists to Uganda have been overcharged by other regional airlines, they have always travelled to Uganda. Now that we have our own (airline) the number is going to increase since they will be flying directly from say Amsterdam to Uganda. Uganda is very fabulous, but what worries me, is Ugandans don’t see this but only faults. We need to stop this.”
Uganda Airlines needs four Bombardiers and two Airbus neo planes to fully compete with other airlines in the region.
Works and Transport minister Monica Ntege Azuba has asked for the full government support until the company can fully support its self.
Ndawula Kaweesi, Chairman Board of Directors Civil Aviation Authority said that the two aircraft have already been endorsed and have reached the standards needed.
“The airline has been registered with the international aviation authorities and in the period three months all processes will be done. Come July we shall be able to witnesses the first flight,” said Kaweesi.
Bombardier aircrafts will operate within the region while the Airbus planes will operate at an international level.
Bombardier also promised to set up a facility that will offer training and help to the cabin crew and captains.
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