President Museveni on Thursday flew aboard one of the Uganda Airlines’ Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft to Tanzania and back to Entebbe.
Museveni had flown to Tanzania to finalise the signing of the host agreement between the Tanzanian government and the investors in the East African crude pipeline project that will see the investors in the project get equal dividends according to the earlier agreement.
Museveni, who on a rare occasion decided to leave his presidential jet behind as he opted for the national carrier stopped briefly to talk to the pilots and some airline crew before and after the flight.
Speaking of his maiden flight, Museveni described the experience as worthwhile.
“I had not flown using the airline but today I went to Dar es Salaam and back and it was a wonderful flight. This is a wonderful airline,”Museveni said.
The president also hailed the Uganda Airlines crew including Captain Okoth Clive, Ahmed Bamweyana, Sheillah Kashillingi, Joseph Lukwago and Mark Kyaligonza for their professionalism.
“These young people are good pilots and don’t look down upon them. They are from villages but they are very good and professional,” Museveni said.
“The crew is very good. When we were landing here, I didn’t know we had landed because they are very smart.”
He assured the public that the national carrier has a bright future.
On arrival at Entebbe International Airport VVIP Section, the president was received by the Minister for Presidency Esther Mbayo, the Head of Public Service John Mitala, AIGP Andrew Sorowen, Commissioner of Prisons Dr. Johnson Byabashaija and Airforce Commander Lt. Gen. Charles Lwanga Lutaaya.
Uganda Airlines earlier this year received its second Airbus A330 Neo to make it six, the fleet for the revived national carrier that seeks to dominate the African skies.
The national carrier currently operates flights to Bujumbura, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Juba, Mogadishu, and Kinshasa with its four 72- seater Bombadier CRJ9OOs that arrived earlier for shorter regional routes.
The airline is soon expected to add Johannesburg, Lusaka, Harare, Khartoum, Addis Ababa, Lagos, Accra, Goma, Lubumbashi onto their regional routes.
After the acquisition of the two A330neo Airbus aircraft, Uganda Airlines will embark on long-haul flights to Dubai, London and Guangzhou for the start.
Uganda Airlines in March got rights to commence flights to Heathrow Airport in London, UK as part of its operations.