Pilots optimistic about Uganda Airlines future

Uganda Airlines: Captain Charles Karabarinde in the cockpit as he chats with Uganda's Ambassador to Tanzania, H.E Amb Richard Kabonero
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Kampala, Uganda – Uganda Airlines pilots have painted a positive picture of where they see the airline after they successfully ran a couple of commercial flights to different destinations.

Captain Emmanuel Mutebi said the airline’s marketing strategy will play an important role to get more people to fly with it. He said they expect to start realizing good numbers on board within three months.

The revived Uganda Airlines flew its first commercial flight to Nairobi on Wednesday August 28, 2019 with just eight passengers on board.

It flew to Mogadishu the following day with 33 passengers and on Friday to Dar Es Salaam a few passenger shy from being full.

The airline has said it is fully booked on the Dar route from September 3 to September 7, 2019.

Captain Charles Karabarinde has called on Ugandans to support the airline. He said it was new, with experienced pilots and expected everyone to support it.

Karabarinde has 40 years of flying experience.

Uganda Airlines comes at a time when almost all the airlines on the continent – except Ethiopian Airlines – are struggling to make money.

Kenya spends millions of dollars annually to bail out Kenya Airways that has been making losses.

Rwanda also spends heftily from the public purse to keep its national carrier running.

So is South Africa with South African Airways. Analysts have said Uganda airlines must be in charge of the ground handlings business at Entebbe, which will make for it a bit of money.

The handling is currently done by Enhas Uganda which was owned by Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa and was in 2017 sold to a businessman from United Arab Emirates.

It will be difficult for the airline to get this business to its possession.

Also, government employees account for the biggest traffic on the airport. This is constituency that the airline must tap into.

On August 5, 2019, President Museveni ordered in a cabinet memo that all government officials travelling to destinations where the airline flies must go with the airline.

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