Uganda Airlines has dismissed media reports that the National carrier is seeking UGX 85bn to buy a new CRJ90 engine (Bombardier engine).
Rahim Shakila Lamar, the Corporate Affairs & Public Relations Manager at Uganda Airlines has clarified that the UGX 85bn Uganda Airlines was seeking Parliament to approve is the annual allocation from Government for the National Carrier operations but not for the engine.
“The cost of the CRJ engine is approximately USD 7.5m ( about UGX 26bn) which is a fraction of the UGX85bn budget,” Shakila said.
She further explained that the engine is meant to be a reserve so that in case one fails, it is replaced immediately without causing disruptions which is an industry practice.
“Otherwise if we have CRJ in AOG (Aircraft on ground) mode because of engine failure, we might be grounded for some time while in queue waiting resulting into delays, cancellation of flights and loss of charter business,” Shakila explained, adding: “This would mean loss of business.”
She further added that aircraft engine failure can happen due to foreign object damage or bird strikes and repairing the damaged engine is costly and takes time.
“Engine failures can not be controlled due to unpredictable environments the fleet is operated,” Shakila said, adding that if the engine is not in reserve, it may cause disruptions in the operations of the airline.