Yogi Biriggwa the former CEO South African Airlines in Uganda, says Uganda Airlines needs a competent board of directors and staff. "Uganda Airlines must be operated like a business and people including crew members must be recruited on merit to attract passengers and make profits."
The conservationists argue that giving tokens or incentives to communities living near protected areas will encourage them to alert rangers when wild animals leave their habitats and also ensure fellow community members do not kill the animals.
Sadala Musoke, the Chief Executive Officer NODL, says the new ferry dubbed MV NODL will complement MV Kalangala to meet the increasing demand due to the growth in passenger numbers over the years particularly during the festive season.
The toll collections will be made by French firm Egis Operations SPA. Uganda National Roads Authority -UNRA has contracted the firm at a cost of shillings 122billion for maintenance and tolling operations for five years.
Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, the Minister of Health, while addressing the media at the health ministry headquarters on Friday, says the government will test all arriving passengers to curb the importation of COVID-19 variants into the country.
Njuki says service providers such as taxi drivers, conductors, boda boda motorcyclists and crews for water vessels like MV Kalangala should get vaccinated. "In future, it could become a requirement that only those who are vaccinated will be allowed to carry passengers," says Njuki.
Another staff member, who issues receipts, says staff are currently scared that they might lose their jobs if they do not get fully vaccinated by end of November.
Uganda was red-listed on June 30, at a time the country was battling with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, the country was implementing a 42-day lockdown, as one of the measures taken by the government to keep Coronavirus at bay.
Mujjuzi however says levying each departing passenger 10 US Dollars, as approved by parliament to boost aviation revenue, and mandatory testing for all arriving passengers could discourage non-essential travel. The government is expected to pronounce itself on both proposed measures and whether or not they will be implemented at the airport.
The passenger numbers began dropping in May from 77,063 travellers to 75,472 passengers in June. The airport recorded the lowest number of travellers in July, with 61,328 passengers. Luggya explains that the growth trend in the last three months was partly impacted by the necessary COVID-19 precautionary measures.
Uganda Airlines had initially planned to start flying to Dubai on July 16, 2021, but postponed the launch because CAA had not approved the two A330-800Neo Airbuses to be included on the Air Operators Certificate- AOC.
The Higher Education State Minister, John Chrysostom Muyingo and officials from the Ministry of Education and Sports, the Uganda Athletic Federation and the National Council of Sports received the team.
She noted that the national carrier had initially planned to start flying to Dubai, United Arab Emirates on July 16. However, the company had to postpone the launch because UAE suspended flights to Uganda to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Uganda Airlines has also been preparing to launch flights to Dubai at the end of this month using its two newly acquired A330-800Neo Airbuses. And the over 200 labour export companies under Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA) will soon meet to discuss the latest move and communicate the way forward.