Uganda Airlines will start commercial operations in August according to the Minister of Works and Transport, Hon Monica Ntege Azuba.
She said that the national carrier will start operations to Nairobi, Dar-salaam and Mogadishu.
“These destinations will be operated first to orient staff and service providers on Uganda Airlines procedures and standards. Immediately after that, other destinations will be added and they include, Kilimanjaro, Juba, Bujumbura and Mombasa.,” She said .
Azuba added that after delivery of the additional two air crafts in September, Bujumbura, Kinshasa, Khartoum, Addis Ababa, Zanzibar, Kigali, Harare, Lusaka and Johannesburg will be the other destinations.
The national carrier was expected to start commercial operations in July 2019 following the arrival of two CRJ900 Bombardier aircrafts in April.
Azuba said that the airline has been working towards completing the five-phase certification process required to acquire Air Operator Certificates(AOC), which shows that the crew can fly safely to any part of the world.
“This takes approximately 90 days to complete. This informed the initial timeline to start commercial operations to be July 2019. Considerable progress has been made and the airline is currently at phase 4,” said Ntege Azuba.
She added that the targeted date for issuance of the certificate by Civil Aviation Authority is 28July 2019, ‘meaning that Uganda Airlines can fly after that date’.
“Bookings, reservations, ticketing and accounting systems have been activated in a test environment. Issuance of Air Operating Certificates will trigger activation of codes in a live environment. After getting live mode, its only then that commercial flights will start,” said Ntege Azuba.
She also said that the national carrier does not have the capacity to handle cargo services, and as such, one of the companies operating at Entebbe international airport has been procured.
“Within this time, Uganda could not set up cargo handling facilities because of shortage of finances and equipment. We advertised and out of the three companies operating cargo handling services, one of them will provide for this,” she added.
The company will later take delivery of two airbus aircrafts that will be used to operate on the long haul routes to Europe and Asia.All this came after a section of members of parliament tasked minister Azuba to explain why the operations of Uganda airlines had delayed to kick off yet government had paid the required funds for the airline to start flying.