The historic launch of Uganda Airlines has been set back by several months due to a widening rift between the airline’s interim board and the implementation team.
The friction between the two sides has forced Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to intervene after the launch, which was expected in April, was postponed until June. Talk of a revised launch date was confirmed by the chief executive of Uganda Airlines, Ephraim Bagenda, last week, the East African reported.
The delay is a consequence of key milestones, including securing an Air Operators Certificate (AOC) — which is contingent on having key post holders in place — being missed.
Five in total, the key posts, which include chief pilot, director of operations and director of maintenance, are responsible for compliance with the terms of the AOC at the airline level. Without the above the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) cannot issue an AOC and in turn an aircraft cannot be registered to the airline unless it holds an AOC.
In a domino effect, the missing key posts have impacted aircraft delivery. Earlier registering them under the government’s name was considered as a stopgap measure.
Delivery of aircraft was scheduled to start this month, with the first handover of a CRJ 900 jet now pushed to February 23. This will be followed by others in March, July and September.
Pilots will also now have to be trained in the US and Europe after they missed out on being trained at manufacturer Bombardier’s facility in Montreal, Canada. Thirty-six pilots will be needed by Uganda Airlines for its four Bombardier jets. Uganda Airlines will need 36 pilots for its four Bombardier jets.