Former CEO Ephraim Bagyenda appointed director engineering and maintenance
Kampala, Uganda | ISAAC KHISA | The soon-to-be appointed CEO of the revived Uganda Airlines will have a challenging job ahead as he or she tries to identify the major shifts in the aviation industry and steer the company towards the high growth path.
The airline has in the past two months battled with numerous challenges such as weak top leadership and a poor publicity strategy since it started operations in August amidst the stiff competition.
Presently, Uganda Airlines is competing for a share of the available 1.8million passengers that pass through the Entebbe International Airport annually, with more than 20 other carriers.
These among others include; Kenya Airways that operates five daily flights and its subsidiary, Jambo jet, that flies twice daily out of Entebbe.
Other airlines that have multiple flights out of Entebbe include; RwandAir, Ethiopian Airlines, Air Tanzania and Fly Sax. Last week, the government said it has initiated a process to recruit a new CEO for the newly revived Uganda Airlines.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works and Transport, Waiswa Bageya, said the airline was searching for a ‘new vibrant CEO ‘who could drive the airline forward.
The former CEO, Ephraim Bagyenda, who been at the helm of the carrier since 2018, has already been moved to the position of Director of Engineering and Maintenance – the position he served at RwandAir for six years prior to the appointment.
Bagyenda has been replaced by Cornwell Muleya in acting capacity. Muleya has been serving as a technical advisor to the airline since inception, and previously served as CEO for different carriers including the defunct Air Uganda.
The aviation guru, however, feigned ignorance of the recruiting process. “I think you are premature into the story now because like that one, I have not even heard. So, maybe talk to the [Works and Transport] Ministry. I don’t know what they [Works and Transport Ministry] are doing,” Muleya told Daily Monitor in a phone interview.
With now four CRJ900 aircraft on the fleet, Uganda Airlines is eyeing 13 countries to fly from Entebbe, among them neighbours Kenya, South Sudan, Burundi, Tanzania and DR Congo. South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan are also coming on board soon.
Presently Uganda Airlines flies to Nairobi, Juba, Bujumbura, Dar es Salaam and Mogadishu, adding Mombasa and Kilimanjaro in a few weeks to come.
By the end of 2020 or in early 2021, the airline may have acquired two Airbus A330-800Neo aircrafts to enter the long haul market with flights to India, China and the United Kingdom.