Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The recent COVID-19 worldwide lockdown has not affected the building of Uganda Airlines’ two A330-800 planes ordered from Airbus.
Despite a two month delay, one of the two Airbus planes is in the final stages of completion, with its manufacturers sharing a photograph of it fully painted today.
Uganda Airlines plans to use the A330-800s to build its medium and long-haul network with the aircraft offering cutting-edge technology along with more efficient operations.
In a recent interview, Cornwell Muleya, the company acting CEO said they hope to receive the wide-body aircraft by December, a slight delay from the earlier plan of October 2020 – consequently pushing the start of international flights to next year.
Muleya said “We’re targeting that we receive the aircraft in the last quarter [of the year] at least by December so that early in the New year we can launch our operations.”
He added that “We’re targeting mainly three connections to overseas markets, which is Dubai, London as well as the Chinese market in Guangzhou.”
Uganda currently has four bombardiers – CRJ 900 series, plying up to eight regional routes since August 2019.
Launched in July 2014, the A330neo Family is the new generation A330, comprising two versions: the A330-800 and A330-900 sharing 99 percent commonality.
The plane, according to Airbus, builds on the proven economics, versatility and reliability of the A330 Family, while reducing fuel consumption by about 25 percent per seat versus previous generation competitors and increasing range by up to 1,500 nm compared to the majority of A330s in operation.
The A330neo is powered by Rolls-Royce’s latest-generation Trent 7000 engines and features a new wing with increased span and new A350 XWB-inspired Sharklets. The cabin provides the comfort of the new Airspace amenities including state-of-the-art passenger inflight entertainment and Wifi connectivity systems, amongst others.