New African flag carrier Uganda Airlines expects to launch initial services in August, after the country’s aviation regulator awarded an air operator’s certificate (AOC), which was officially handed over at the company’s annual meeting July 29.
The last airline to bear the Uganda Airlines name, a state-owned entity, collapsed in 2001, while privately owned Air Uganda closed its doors in 2014. Since then, Ugandans have had to rely on foreign carriers.
The new Uganda Airlines is state-run and the east African nation hopes the presence of more competition for local passengers will drastically cut the cost of air travel.
The airline had planned to start services in the spring, but there have been delays in completing required formalities for launch.
Services are scheduled to start in late August, using two Bombardier CRJ900 regional jets to neighboring nations. Two more CRJ900s are scheduled to arrive this fall, followed by a pair of Airbus A330-800s for long-haul services to destinations such as London and Mumbai.
The initial routes to be served will be Nairobi (Kenya), Mogadishu (Somalia) and Dar-es-Salam (Tanzania). These will be followed by Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Bujumbura (Burundi) and Mombasa (Kenya).
The CRJ900s will operate in a two-class, 76-seat configuration, with 12 business-class and 64 economy seats. The A330-800s will reportedly have a three-class layout, with 20 business, 28 premium economy and 213 economy seats.