President receives new Uganda Airlines Bombardier Aircraft

Tuesday 23rd April 2019
PPU

President Yoweri Museveni has assured the people of Uganda that the new Uganda Airline will be a successful undertaking because of the big Ugandan diaspora, the very many Uganda business people that travel and the many tourists coming to visit the country (Pearl of Africa).

The President, who was accompanied by the 1st Lady who is also Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Museveni, was speaking at the ceremony of receiving 2 new Uganda Airlines Bombardier airplanes at Entebbe International Airport.

“When you are mingling millet, you must wait for the right temperature of the water to put in flour. If too early, it will be spoilt and if too late, it will be spoilt. The old Ugandan Airline died and in Africa when you die you are buried. But when old people die, new ones are born; so this is the new baby. I was among the undertakers of the funeral of the old airlines. Here I am among the midwifery delivering the new baby,” he said.

The ceremony marked a historical day for the revival of the Uganda Airlines since its collapse in 2001.

Upon touching Ugandan grounds this morning at a few minutes of 9.00 this morning, the two beautiful state of art airplanes, CRJ 900, received a water salute, followed by dancing from the Crane performers and applause from the expectant Ugandan officials.  

The 76-seater planes each are slated to commence regional commercial flights in July 2019. The Government of Uganda has committed to procuring 6 Bombardier planes from their Canadian manufacturers and will be receiving two more Bombardiers in July and September this year, while two Airbus planes which will ply international routes are expected early next year.

The President was happy to inform Ugandans that the two new planes had been paid cash by the Government of Uganda worth US$28 million per plane. He further disclosed that installments on the remaining planes had been paid.

Mr. Museveni noted that the revival of Uganda Airline would reduce on the foreign expenditure since Ugandans would now be spending their travel money on their own air carrier.

He also said that he had a dream for the formation of East African Airways but added that “there is no need for unnecessary competition because regional airlines can amalgamate their efforts and have one consolidated regional airline.”

He hailed the Parliament of Uganda for having supported the revival of the Uganda Airlines. He also commended the Ugandan team, led by Engineer Bagyenda, for having for having worked hard to see to it that the planes arrived as planned. President Museveni also thanked Canada for having partnered with Uganda in the procuring of the aircrafts.

The President, once again, emphasized the need for Ugandans to preserve their beautiful country and environment noting that the heavy and sometimes destructive rain patterns that the country has been receiving recently, were as a result of the misuse of swamps and cutting down trees.

 “I want to thank Canada because it is trying to break the monopoly for manufacturing planes. We are related to Canada through commonwealth. By buying your planes, am also encouraging to make more planes so that we have a diverse source,” he said.

The CEO of Uganda Airlines, Mr. Ephraim Bagenda thanked the government of Uganda and other agencies for working very hard towards the success of the airlines. He urged them to continue supporting the project because it was still far away from the promised land.

Chairman of the Uganda Board of Airlines, Captain Gad Gastura was happy to note that the recruitment of international work force on the Uganda Airlines was done on merit and that; a Ugandan emerged as the best. He alluded this to the good training from the East Africa Aviation school in Soroti.

He added that an investment in a national airline is an investment in the country’s infrastructure. He noted that the authority has has already granted licenses to the airlines and had been registered. We are now going through the certification process. He noted that once the certification was done, the airline would begin operations.

In his brief address, the Vice President of Bombadier for Middle East and Africa, Jean Paul Boutibou, thanked the government of Uganda for choosing Bombadier to start their new operations.

Minister of works and transport, Monica Azuba who led the Ugandan team to Canada to receive the planes urged Ugandans to take pride in their airline and use it. “It is a beginning of a new era where Ugandans will get good airlines services that they deserve,” she said.

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