The Minister for Finance Matia Kasaija has said Uganda is in talks with the government of China and other development partners to secure over $340m to buy at least 6 aircrafts to kick start the national airline.
The minister revealed that if all goes according to plan, Uganda airline will start operations by end of this year which will help the country to maintain the capital that Ugandans have been spending on travels on foreign airlines to different countries.
Kasaija said Ugandans have been spending an estimated amount of $ 8m on travel tickets adding that “this money will be reserved to the national treasury if Uganda secures its own airline.”
According to the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Works and Transport Bageya Waiswa, all plans for the national airline to begin making travels are complete and once the money to buy the aircrafts is secured, the airline will finally start working.
“We are planning to buy four short range aircrafts from Cambodia and 2 long range aircrafts from Airbus. These will be used in the beginning as we secure more,” Waiswa said.
The two government officials revealed this while speaking to journalists at the Ministry of Finance head offices on Wednesday afternoon after the agreement signing ceremony where Uganda received $15, 155000 to modernize its customs monitoring system at the border as well as improve the infrastructure at the Uganda Roads and Railway polytechnic project in eastern Uganda.
In his 2018/2019 budget speech early this year, Kasaija had revealed that the country had plans to immediately revive the national airline and that studies were already completed.
“The revival of the national airline will enhance Uganda’s competitiveness by reducing the cost of air transport and ease connectivity to and from Uganda. It will also fasten harnessing of opportunities in tourism, agriculture and minerals like oil and gas,” he had said.