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Uganda Airlines First Flight for July

The minister for Works and Transport Eng. Monicah Azuba says the national airline will launch its first flight three months after the arrival of the two air crafts that have been purchased.

Audio 4

The Minister of Works and Transport Eng. Monica Azuba has said that the National Airline will launch its first flight in July.

Azuba explained told MPs on the Committee of Physical Infrastructure that the two CRJ900 bombardier air crafts will arrive in the country next week.   

She was responding to questions from MPs led by the committee vice chairperson, Wilson Kumama over the delayed arrival of the planes. Kumama, who is also Bbaale County MP, demanded an explanation on the delays.

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Bunyole West MP James Waluswaka told Azuba of how MPs on Monday went to different airfields across the country to wait for the new air crafts.

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Azuba attributed the postponement of the arrival date due of the planes to the failure by the finance ministry to pay the funds by 31st of last month.

The Canadian company had expected that the government would pay for the Bombardier air crafts by 31st March but Azuba says that the money was paid on April 5th.

On March 29th, parliament approved the 280 billion shillings for Uganda Airlines through a supplementary budget after Azuba explained that Uganda would lose US $ 27 million Dollars (approximately 100 billion shillings) if the money was paid by 30th March. 

The delayed payment, therefore, caused the postponement to later this month.  

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 The technical adviser for the Uganda Airlines, Cornwall Mulewa says that it takes a minimum of 90 days to complete the procedures to certify the operations of the airlines.

The airlines will also wait for a minimum of 90 days to meet the same procedures of potential civil aviation authorities of particularly those within East Africa such as Kenya, Kigali, Mombasa and other countries including Zambia and South Africa. 

  

However, the Committee chairperson Robert Ssekitoleko reminded Azuba that the Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah backed by Parliament recommended among others that the 2019/2020 budget for Uganda Airlines should not be approved unless a substantive board is appointed by end of April. 

Parliament adopted the budget committee report that raised a red flag on the composition of the interim board of the airlines and recommended that a substantive one is formed.

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The interim board members of the Uganda National Airlines Ltd include Permanent secretary for works and transport ministry Bageya Waiswa, Permanent Secretary, Secretary to the Treasury Keith Muhakanizi, Laban Mbulamuko, a Commissioner in the finance ministry, Bisereko Kyomuhendo, a Commissioner in the justice ministry and Capt. Gad Gasaatura who is a retired flight captain.

 It was noted that Gasaatura, who is the chairperson of this board has never been registered with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), contrary to the law.

Azuba pledged that a substantive board shall be appointed by end of this month.

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The committee will consider the ministerial policy statement for the ministry of works and transport which includes funds for Uganda Airlines next week.



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