Uganda Airlines to start ground handling services

Uganda Airlines’ performance, according to government, was disrupted by Covid-19 thus experiencing a sharp expansion in losses.  PHOTO | FILE

What you need to know:

  • With the inclusion of cargo in August last year, the airline carried more than 230 tonnes of cargo out of Entebbe and over 400 tonnes inbound.
  • Shs102b loss: Uganda Airlines recorded for the Financial Year 2019/2020 according to the Auditor General’s report.

Uganda Airlines intends to start its own ground handling services to lift it from its loss-making position fuelled by the Covid-19 pandemic . 

The plan which has been delayed by two years is currently awaiting a concession agreement from the aviation regulator Uganda Civil Aviation Authority. 

Ms Jennifer Bamuturaki, the acting chief executive officer, says they expect to start their own ground handling services in the first quarter of this year. So far, they have procured the equipment, recruited and trained their own staff who have been licensed.

“The Airline is set to roll out its self-handling project by the first quarter of this year. This will involve passenger baggage and cargo handling, maintenance, security and general ground operations,” she says.

Asked how many routes they are currently flying and which of them is busiest so far, she said they are handling 18 regional routes and four international routes of which Mogadishu, Bujumbura and Juba are the best performing.

Asked if the Airline has started attracting passengers to ensure financial viability, Richard Kinalwa, the acting manager ground operations says last year alone, the Airline carried 154,245 passengers compared to 93,780 in 2019 and 2020 combined. With the inclusion of cargo in August last year, the airline carried more than 230 tonnes of cargo out of Entebbe and over 400 tonnes inbound.

Asked whether the airline has the capacity to maintain its aircraft,  engineer Ephraim Bagenda, the director maintenance and engineering, says when the airline started operations four years ago, they had to look for approved maintenance organisations to carry out the maintenance since there were no capable local  organisation. 

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