The Uganda Airlines on Monday received the last bunch of the Bombardiers CRJ 900s aircraft at Entebbe International Airport.
The two new Bombardiers, flights UR474 and UR470, have been christened 5X KNP to mean Kabalega National Park & 5X KDP for Kidepo National Park. They touched on Ugandan soil at around 03:05 pm.
The first bunch was received in April this year and they officially started operating in August.
Uganda Airlines currently has four Bombardier jets each costing around Shs102.5 billion. All the four Bombardiers will be operating regionally as the airline waits for two Airbus planes in 2020 to strengthen the fleet. Each airbus will cost over Shs405 billion.
The State Minister for Works and Transport Gen Katumba Wamala who presided over the ceremony of receiving the two bombardiers said that the arrival of the other two planes is a win against those who thought that it was a joke and assured Ugandans that Uganda Airlines will boost tourism through many ways.
“I thank the President, Parliament, Cabinet for approving the revival of Uganda Airlines and the Finance Ministry for ensuring the aircraft were paid in full using Government of Uganda funds. I also thank the nation at large for the support rendered to the airline ever since it started flying,” he said.
“These planes, as you’ve heard are our property, they are our sweat, they are our taxes. So let us support our Airline. Let us stop the negative talk, stop that negative energy about our bombardiers. I challenge all Ugandans to support the airline and be patriotic.”
The minister also challenged media to desist from giving bad publicity to Uganda Airlines and asked them to have the spirit of nationalism.
Uganda Airlines Chief Executive Office Cornwell Muleya also said that the arrival of the last two bombardiers is a testimony to government’s commitment to steer development through investing in key sectors like aviation.
“We are currently flying to 5 destinations, but with the arrival of the new fleet, we will expand our footprint to cover more destinations in East Africa and beyond. In December 2020 & January 2021, we will also be receiving our airbuses and this will connect Uganda to overseas markets and we will ensure that our plans stay in the sky,” he said.
Currently, the destinations of Uganda airlines include Kinshasha in D.R.C, Zanzibar, Asmara in Eritrea, Hargeisa in Somaliland, Lusaka in Zambia, Harare in Zimbabwe, Johannesburg in South Africa, Djibouti and Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. Other international destinations will be added to the network on the acquisition of two Airbus A330-800neo wide-body aircraft slated to join the Uganda Airlines fleet in the latter half of 2020.
According to Muleya, Uganda Airlines is the first in Africa to fly this particular make of the Canadian brand. The CRJ900 planes come with 76 passenger seats, 12 business class and 64 economy class. They also come equipped with more luggage space, wider seats and ambient lighting.
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