Minister of Works and Transport, Eng. Monica Azuba Ntege has called on local air operators not to treat the revived national carrier, Uganda Airlines as their competitor, but as a facilitator of their own growth and expansion.
The minister said Uganda Airlines, when back in the skies, will not only expand the aviation business in Uganda, but will also attract foreign customers that will be taken up by the local airlines.
Government is currently in the advanced stages of reviving the national carrier, which was liquidized in 2001 following failed attempts to privatize it.
Government has since ordered six brand new aircraft from Airbus and Bombardier, with which Uganda Airlines will resume operations.
The aircraft are planned to operate regional routes and later long haul flights.
Speaking Thursday at the Aviation Week Stakeholders Engagement Breakfast in Kampala, Minister Azuba told local air operators to consider the national career as a blessing.
“I urge all the other air operators to look at the national airline not as a competitor, but one that will complement your business through bringing in onward traffic that can be shared by existing operators in connecting to other destinations,” she said.
“The national airline will also further open up more domestic routes and help to complete the tourism supply chain by joining other domestic operators in picking up passengers brought in by international air operators and conveniently connecting them to their tourism destinations upcountry.”
The minster went on to point out government’s ongoing efforts to promote Uganda to the world as a preferred tourism destination.
“Government through Ministry of Tourism has appointed Market Development Representations (MDRs) from the US, Europe and is in the process of appointing others in China and the Middle East to promote Uganda as a tourism destination.”
Meanwhile during the event, the minister congratulated the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) – the national aviation regulator – upon being awarded the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Systems Certification by the United Kingdom Accreditation Services (UKAS)
“International Certification by a highly reputable standards organization is a sign of progress in the right direction,” she said.