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Museveni welcomes ‘baby’, pushes for East African airline

The dance that welcomed the Bombardiers on Tuesday. PHOTO AFP

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Yoweri Museveni has said he is an advocate of an East African Airways to be owned and run by the East African Community bloc to stem what he called unnecessary competition.

Museveni urged East African countries to work together instead of competing in the aviation industry after he received Uganda Airlines’ new planes, two Bombardiers that landed at Entebbe Airport on Tuesday.

“My ideological orientation still believes we can have an EA airline if we amalgamate all national airlines. It partly explains why I delayed the revival of Uganda Airlines but our friends did not see this, some of them were discriminating against Ugandan travellers,” he said..

Museveni went on to describe the revived Uganda National Airline as a new born baby that has been delivered to Ugandans and cannot be allowed to die.

Receiving the two airplanes at Entebbe International Airport on Tuesday, Museveni was open about the demise of the former national carrier in 2001, noting that “I was among the undertakers who buried the old airline.”

Colourful reception for Uganda Airlines Bombardier. PHOTOS PPU/UG AIRLINES MEDIA

He said the Airline’s marketing team must study the four groups of people who occasionally travel and know if they are potential clients to the revived airline.

They include Ugandans in the diaspora, returned Ugandan Asians, the business people and tourists.

He said Ugandans spent up 1.5 trillion Shillings annually on travel, which is given to foreign airlines. He said since the Airline has been revived, Ugandans will be spending money on their own Airline.

Captain Michael Etyang, the chief plot of Uganda National Airlines, said there are several things that need to be addressed. They include training and certification process before commercial flights start in July.

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URN

4 comments

  1. In 1977, Uganda airlines was born after a “whimsical” thought by then Ugandan president IDD Amin. It was rundown and eventually collapsed in 2001 during the reign of president Museveni who by any measure, a more refined leader than his predecessor, IDD Amin. What makes these two leaders “identical”, is the manner in which they arrive at critical decision. If what Mr. Mwenda reported in these pages is anything to go by, the idea of ” reviving” the airline was not borne out of a thorough economic thought- there was no feasibility study that preceded its revival. It was another “whimsical” thought- a culmination of frustration that has led to this so called “baby.” As a Ugandan, I am proud that we “own” an airline. But I would be more proud if that airline was protected from its earlier “inadequacies” that led to its failure in the first place.

    • President Amin set up an airline because Kenya had confiscated all assets of EAST AFRICAN AIRWAYS (which was shared by the three member states) after Nyerere killed the East African Community. The Airline outlasted his regime and was run down by those who also dismantled the Uganda railways. For your information, Amin was not corrupt and owned no substantial property accruing from his presidency.
      By labeling it ‘whimsical’ you insult President Amin who all and sundry agree he was the most patriotic Ugandan leader ever……who built Uganda House in New York and London, expropriated Indians to last cent. It is not disputable that many people died in his time and some on his orders but he was not corrupt/thieving.

  2. Amalgamating all regional airlines into ONE airline will create a MONOPOLY. Do we want a monopoly which will result in higher ticket prices ?
    My opinion is for African governments to adopt the open skies policy protocol. It is amazing African governments have met twice at the AU and signed the open skies protocol but to no avail. Our policy makers are good at talking but no action.

  3. Why would I fly on a Uganda Airlines plane (or Rwandair, KQ) if I can fly KLM or SN Brussels that offer much better services?

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