Ignore Media reports; we are on the right path- Minister Breaks silence on Uganda Airlines Revival

Posted: 2018-07-24T11:42:09Z
Ignore Media reports; we are on the right path- Minister Breaks silence on Uganda Airlines Revival

After weeks of speculation and criticism from members of the public, Monica Azuba Ntege the minister of works and transport has clarified on the revival of the national courier, Uganda Airlines.

The airline which after running into severe problems, in mid- 1990’s was recently revived after an announcement by H.E the President in January 2017. 

According to minister Azuba, the effort to revive the national Airline is premised on the desire to improve the overall growth of Uganda’s air transport sector, by enhancing its competitiveness and turning its International Airport into a Regional transport hub.

The minister adds that revival of the National Airline is based on; the need to enhance the country’s competitiveness by reducing the cost of air transport and easing connectivity to and from Uganda, to support faster harnessing of opportunities in the economy to promote tourism, agriculture, minerals, oil and gas and to meet the growing demand for air transport (passenger and cargo).

Uganda has since purchased the Airbus A330-800 neo series attracting criticism from media and other Ugandans. 

Recently, an article published by the East African branded the airbus unwanted. “Uganda Airlines to fly the unwanted Airbus 300 neo” they wrote. 

However, while addressing the press at Uganda media centre today, minister Azuba clarified that the statement is misleading as it seems to suggest that the A330neo is an unwanted aircraft while the opposite is in fact true.

“Industry figures show that the A330 family of aircraft is the most popular aircraft in its class and is preferred by the majority of airlines worldwide.The A330 family of aircraft has the largest customer base in its class with 105 customers worldwide compared with only 41 customers for its direct competitor the B787” the minister said.

The aircraft was recently cancelled by Hawaiin Airline for some unknown reasons. Minister Azuba however claims that the fact that Hawaiin Airlines had chosen the A330 neo is enough to show that it is the best aircraft on market. 

“What is clear is that Hawaiian Airlines had performed an aircraft evaluation, similar to what Uganda Airlines has done, and had initially also selected the A330-800 neo for the same good reasons which include, its range payload advantage, its fuel efficient new engine, revamped cabin and other enhancements.

This example reinforces the advantage of the A330 neo. The change of order by the Airline was mainly on Political grounds according to our sources” she argued.

She further explained that the aircraft is not in development as alleged by the East African, but rather that the A330neo (A330-900 variant) is already delivered to other customers such as TAP Portugal and is flying today. 

While many a people were concerned the “unwanted aircraft” would have no spare parts, the mister says it has 99% spares commonality across the fleets making it easy to maintain: “a key component in aircraft selection is the availability of spares and support arrangements for the aircraft across the intended network” she added.

The minister says the commonality of spare parts lowers the potential cost of maintenance for this aircraft compared to others, enabling maintenance services to be shared across airlines with spares being available in many places worldwide and reduces inventory levels and operating costs for the airline.