Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The former Country Director of Ethiopian Airlines Abbey Egesa has advised the Uganda National Airlines company to consider cargo transportation and domestic travel as key components for the operations of the National Flag Carrier –Uganda Airlines.
Egesa said that many of the airline companies across the world benefit most from the transportation of cargo across borders for export and import and thus a revived company such as Uganda Airlines would need to focus on increasing cargo transportation.
To achieve this, he says, the airline company should register in the cargo charter groups of the aviation industry, advance the improvement in the use of the aviation world for export and import trading and propose a broad domestic service plan to supplement the Entebbe Hub development.
Egesa also observes a need to market Ugandan airfields in Arua, Gulu, Kasese, Mbarara, Murchison falls, Soroti, Tororo and initiate the use of the current fleet of Uganda Airlines aircrafts to increase both domestic and international traffic for the National Flag carrier.
He was speaking at the launch of the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority Quarterly Magazine “Nyonyi” on Thursday evening said that processes like planning and strategizing are extremely important for a National Airline to thrive.
The newly revived Uganda Airline now has a fleet of four aircraft, all CRJ 900 series operating routes in East and Central Africa. Early this year, the government equally firmed up its order for two A330-800 airliners, the latest version of Air Bus’ popular A330 wide body airliner.
Currently, most people bringing cargo into the country use the sea and road transport from Dar Es Salam and Mombasa ports in Tanzania and Kenya, respectively. But Egesa says that the trend can change if the National airline introduces flights from the different ports and ensure safe and quick transportation of goods to and from Uganda.
The same strategy was adopted by Kenya’s National Carrier; Kenya Airways which now operates several flights with different destinations within Kenya. For instance, the airline through its subsidiary Jambo jet operates flights to Kisumu, Mombasa, Eldoret, Isiolo international airports, among other destinations in Kenya.
Egesa says, whereas, there is a lot of competition amongst the different airline companies across the region, the operators should not look at one another as competitors but partners.
Mike Ndawula, the Chairperson Board of Directors, Uganda Civil Aviation Authority says that there is need to improve communication between the different aviation operators and the regulator in order to ensure proper regulation and advancement of best practices.
The Aviation industry in Uganda has since 2014 registered tremendous improvement amongst which include an increase in passenger traffic and the amounts of cargo being brought in and out of the country.
David Mpango Kakuba, the Director General of the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority says Uganda airlines has so far made tremendous strides in air transport in the past three months that led to an increase in the number of flights to major routes like Nairobi to 4 from the initial two flights at the start of operations in August.
Ephraim Bagenda, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Airline company indicated that the company will greatly rely on the increasing traffic and economic growth within the country to rally more clients to use the flagship carrier of the country.