Uganda sets launch of commercial flights for national carrier next month

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Uganda has pushed the launch of commercial flights for Uganda Airlines to August, attributing the delay to acquisition of air operation permits.

Monica Azuba Ntege, minister of works and transport told reporters here on Tuesday that the flights were supposed to start this month but they have been moved to August.

“The airline has been working to complete the five phase certification process required to obtain the Air Operator Certificate (AOC). Considerable progress has been made on the certification process and currently the airline is at Phase 4, leaving only one more phase to be completed before the AOC can be issued,” the minister said.

The minister said that although the AOC is likely to be issued on July 28, the national carrier will not fly until after 30 days when the booking, reservations, ticketing and accounting systems of the airline are ready and activated in a ‘test environment’.

“Uganda Airlines will need about 30 days from the date of receipt of the AOC to finalize the testing and setting up of the systems and processes as well as acquiring clearances/operating authorizations from destination countries before embarking on commercial flights,” she said.

Uganda Airlines, according to the minister, will initially fly to Nairobi, Dar es Salam and Mogadishu.

The destinations will later be expanded to Kilimanjaro, Juba and Mombasa. Other destinations after the delivery of two other aircraft in September and conclusion of the permissions will be Khartoum, Kinshasa, Kigali, Lubumbashi, Harare, Lusaka, Addis Ababa, Hargeisa, Zanzibar and Johannesburg.

The national carrier collapsed in 2001 after it faced financial difficulties. It was liquidated after years of making losses. The country in April received two new CRJ900 Bombardier aircraft.

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