Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda will not start long-haul flights until at least early 2021, Uganda Airlines has announced.
In a promotional video, 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.
Uganda has ordered for two A330-800 Neo aircraft from Airbus. The first delivery was expected in October.
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.”
In April last year, Airbus announced that Uganda Airlines, the national carrier of Uganda had firmed up its order for two A330-800 airliners, wide-body airliner. This meant the manufacture of the planes started.
Uganda currently has four bombardiers – CRJ 900 series, plying up to eight regional routes since August 2019.
At the moment, all Uganda Airlines planes are grounded as all countries have to place travel restrictions due to coronavirus.
Uganda Airlines was expected by April to fly to Lusaka, Harare and Johannesburg but this was put on halt. Affected were also parts for mid this year where the airline expected to fly to Khartoum – Sudan and Cairo.
The global travel industry is on halt now as countries scramble to stem the spread of coronavirus. It is possible that recovery will take a while even when countries eventually allow flights into their territories.
African airlines are expected to lose tens of billions of dollars in 2020 with initial estimates at $4.4bn in revenue, according to International Air Transport Association (IATA).