Entebbe, Uganda — The first of two Bombardier CRJ900 planes purchased by Uganda landed at Entebbe International Airport (EIA) on Tuesday, 23 April 2019, with President Yoweri Museveni and other government dignitaries gracing the event to receive them.
Upon touching down, the planes received a water salute, involving firefighting rigs spraying arcs of water over them as a sign of respect, honour and gratitude.
” The old Uganda Airlines died and was buried. We now have a new baby,” President Museveni said.
The president said that, Uganda was moving forward and that the country was unstoppable. (…) But in the airlines business, “I still believe in an East African Airlines.”
Adding that, “One reason I took long to revive the airlines was that I thought we [East Africa] could share airlines.”
Museveni mentioned FOUR CONSTITUENCIES that would keep the new airline from dying: The four include Ugandan diaspora, Ugandan Indians, business people as well as tourists.
Out of the four Bombardier planes government of Uganda ordered, it received two with 76 seats in a two-class configuration, and is also the first African operator to select the Atmosphere cabin fitting option.
– Journey to Entebbe –
The two planes itinerary started at Montreal-Mirabel International Airport in Canada and had stopovers at airports in Iceland, The Netherlands, and Aswan in Egypt prior to landing at Entebbe.
Works and transport minister Eng. Monica Azuba Ntege was filled with joy and herd this to say:
“This is the day that the Lord has made,” adding that, “Today marks a historical landing of the wings and wheels of the new airlines.
On board each plane were four pilots – two Ugandans and the other from Bombardier with each also having a Ugandan engineer.
“These are Uganda experienced pilots who have worked in US, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Indonesia,” said Dhizala, the interim Uganda Airlines human resource manager.
Africa Tembelea has learnt that each of the four Bombardier CRJ900 planes cost US$27.3m (shs102.5b). Uganda also ordered for two A330-800 neo planes made by airbus. The airbus planes will arrive at a later date.
The Airline is expected to make flights to 26 destinations. The confirmed 19 regional and seven international routes are demand driven.
Regional routes will include Addis Ababa, Bujumbura, Dar es Salaam, Goma, Harare, Johannesburg, Khartoum, Kigali, Kinshasa, Lusaka, Nairobi, Lagos among others. The international flights are to Amsterdam, Bombay, Doha, Dubai and London.