Suppliers missing out on Uganda Airlines deals due to quality issues

Uganda Airlines says suppliers must be ready to meet required specifications because it serves a global market. Photo / File  

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  • Suppliers missing out on Uganda Airlines deals due to quality issues

Suppliers must be willing to follow unique specifications if their desire to supply Uganda Airlines is to be achieved.

Speaking at the Uganda Airlines Suppliers Forum, in Kampala yesterday, Ms Jennifer Bamuturaki, the Uganda Airlines chief executive officer, said many Ugandan suppliers are not consistent, which does not work well for international businesses such as airlines. 

“Remember, for a long time Uganda Airlines was being told that it is serving juice that is not from local manufacturers. There is a reason for that. There is a content that was required but Uganda’s factories do not have it,” she said, noting that suppliers must ensure that when specifications are put in place, they are met at all times. 

Ms Bamuturaki also indicated that whereas many Ugandans have complained of the airline maintaining foreign suppliers, issues of quality must be adhered to and there must be continuous supply of products without fail given that airline contracts are structured to meet long term purposes.

For instance, she said, at one point the  airline had given a local juice manufacturer an opportunity, but has not been able to supply a single consignment in over three years. 

Buy Uganda Build Uganda

Thus, Ms Bamuturaki said that whereas they desire to push the Buy Uganda Build Uganda concept, the issue of quality and consistency still holds many Ugandan suppliers back. 

She also gave another example of a yoghurt supplier, who during dry seasons, could not supply as required, but after several engagements, the issue has since been resolved with supplementary supplies from other producers. 

Mr Alex Odwong,the Uganda Airlines manager procurement, said in the coming financial year 2024/25, they have tentatively planned to use about $95m in supplies for different goods, services and works.

This, he said is intended to support various operational and infrastructural needs of the airline service delivery and  maintenance of its fleet, covering areas such as aircraft maintenance, leasing, new equipment purchases, service contracts and infrastructure development. 

Ms Bamuturaki also said that the airline intends to start sourcing its uniforms locally, pending resolutions of some issues, which she did not indicate. 

However, she also challenged Ugandan suppliers to familiarise themselves with the operations of the airline business if they are to fully benefit from lucrative contracts in the sector. 

“We are serving a global clientele that wants things to look a certain way with a certain feel. We cannot compromise on a business where our supplies have to tell our story. Even if it has a slight difference, it has a story behind it,” she said.