The Uganda Airlines has taken delivery of its second AirBus A330-800neo, completing the country’s national carrier’s order of two A330neo from aircraft manufacturer AirBus.
The latest delivery follows a previous one for the first A330neo in December 2020.
The delivery, according to the Uganda Airlines, is an ‘affirmation’ of the national airliner’s ambition to start long haul operation.
The airline said the new wide-body pair will serve its international network expansion with flights from Entebbe International Airport (the hub), to intercontinental destinations in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
Uganda Airlines said: “The A330neo addition to Uganda Airlines fleet offers #ANewWorld of greater connectivity for the travellers, superior comfort and the best passenger experience with its unique Airspace Cabin with 20 full-flat business – class beds, 28 premium – economy seats and 210 economy – class seats, totaling 258 seats; the quietest cabin in its category, high definition video, 3D capabilities touch screen and WiFi connectivity.”
Speaking at Entebbe Airport shortly after the plane had landed, the minister for Works and Transport Gen. Katumba Wamala said that Uganda Airlines is 100% owned by the government of Uganda, refuting claims that the country owns only 0.2% of the shares like several social media reports have been indicating.
“Uganda Airlines, whose new A330neo is being received today, is 100% owned by the government of Uganda, with ministry of works and ministry of Finance as the two shareholders, each ministry holding 50% shares,”Gen. Katumba said.
According to experts, flights to Dubai, London and China will be a step in the right direction since the country has a lot of interests in those destinations.
Dubai is a hub for a number of activities including trade, work and tourism, and therefore, many people fly to the city.
Many Ugandans working in Middle East will be flying using the national carrier since almost all of them have to go through Dubai.
Also many people flying to North African countries have to first reach Dubai before connecting to their destinations; Uganda Airlines will therefore come in handy.
The flights to China will also be welcomed by many Ugandans, especially traders who ply the route on several occasions to do business in several Chinese cities.
The acquisition of a second Airbus brings the national carrier’s fleet to six aircraft after four 72- seater Bombadier CRJ9OOs that arrived earlier for shorter regional routes.
Nile Post understands that government paid $145m (Shs 536 bn) for the two aircraft as the airline prepares to start operating long-haul flights to Dubai , London, Guangzhou and India.