Uganda Airlines, the national carrier of Uganda, has bolstered its regional fleet with two new planes following the successful delivery of the Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft to the country from Canada yesterday.
The delivered two planes bring the number of the Bombardier CRJ900 to four planes. The first two Bombardiers arrived in April this year, marking the official revival of Uganda Airlines that was liquidated in 2001.
Uganda Airlines now awaits two Airbuses that are also expected in the country soon to complete its fleet of six aircraft. This will help the national carrier to spread out its wings to the international market.
According to Gen. Katumba Wamala, Uganda’s State Minister for Works, the much larger, long-haul jets are expected late next year and at the beginning of 2021.
Before the arrival of the third and fourth Bombardier planes, the airline has been limited to nearer destinations - Nairobi (Kenya), Bujumbura (Burundi), Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Juba (South Sudan) and Mogadishu (Somalia).
But now, the carrier will widen its route network to reach many other destinations in Central and Southern Africa, according to the airlines’ chief executive Cornwel Muleya.
Muleya says that they will now fly to Kinshasa (DR Congo), Asmara (Eritrea), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Lusaka (Zambia) and Harare (Zimbabwe).
Uganda Airlines is the first African airline to fly Bombardier’s CRJ900 aircraft, fitted with new Atmosphere cabin.
Muleya explained that the planes have come “equipped with more luggage space, wider seats and ambient lighting”.
He is overseeing an airline operating both cargo and passenger services, with scheduled and non-scheduled flights within the East African region and near-international markets.
On Monday, the two new aircraft touched down the Entebbe International Airport tarmac within minutes of each other on a scorching afternoon, before taxing for the ceremonial water salute.
Captains Charles Karabarinde, Emmanuel Mutebi, Steven Ariong and Kenneth Fisher, together with the few staff on board, then stepped off the two planes for the official welcoming ceremony.
Uganda Airlines resumed commercial operations at the end of August. The planes have 76 passenger seats, with 12 for business class and 64 for the economy.
The carrier is still running a two-month-long promotional campaign with subsidized fares.
Any traveller can book and purchase their Uganda Airlines tickets at their offices in Kampala at Victoria University House, Victoria Mall in Entebbe town and at Entebbe International Airport.