As the Uganda Airlines makes its inaugural flight to Nairobi, a day ahead of the first commercial flight on Wednesday, a senior economist has said the national carrier is ‘currently surviving’ on charity and should ‘do a lot more than just flying’ in order to survive alongside other major airlines.
The Tuesday morning 55-minute flight will depart from Entebbe Airport to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) at 10am.
And as technical officers, government officials, and media scrambled for seats on the bombardier CRJ900 jet to Nairobi, a senior economist advised that the airline faces dark times ahead.
When asked by nbs Morning Breeze host Simon Kagwa Njala on Tuesday whether the airline’s future was rosy, Dr Fredrick Muhumuza said it was both ‘rosy and dark’.
“Roses have thorns. Same with Uganda Airlines which is covered by roses and thorns plus green grass and ofcourse yellow withering grass,” he responded.
“Do we have consultants and professionals to run the airline? The master plan is what the board should be telling Ugandans.”
Dr Muhumuza added that the Uganda Airlines management now need to look at making it profitable because at the moment it still survives on charity.
“Most profitable firms look at the future. Let’s not wait for these issues to crop up. Airlines make money from moving people not just flying,” he added.
The first flight on Wednesday is expected to leave Entebbe at 6.00am and land at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi at 7.15am with other flights scheduled for Dar-es Salaam, Juba and Mogadishu.
According to the airlines commercial director Jenifer Bamuturaki, the Mogadishu flight will leave Entebbe at 5.37pm and land at Aden Adde International Airport at 8:00pm making it the the only airline flying direct from Entebbe to Mogadishu.
Other routes will include Bujumbura (three times weekly), Mombasa (three times weekly), and Kilimanjaro (daily). Other destinations will be Harare, Accra, Lusaka and Johannesburg.
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