KAMPALA – President Yoweri Museveni has held talks with Airbus group representative Patrice Bauebo over plans to revive the defunct Uganda Airlines.
A statement from his office on Sunday revealed that Museveni’s talks with the Airbus official at State House in Entebbe on Saturday revolved around the prospect of resuscitating Uganda Airlines which folded sixteen years ago after being hit by a backlog of debt.
The Ugandan government in March approved a proposal to revive the defunct national carrier to boost the country’s trade and development prospects in the East Africa region and beyond.
Museveni told Bauebo that a revived Uganda Airlines will succeed thanks to direct travel opportunities for Ugandans especially those in the diaspora, the business community, tourists and the vast domestic travel market.
“Uganda has a captive travelling population. Many people want a flying schedule that suits them and yet most of the airlines look at nationalism and must first pass through their countries of origin” he said.
The Airbus official reportedly agreed with Museveni’s proposition calling on the Ugandan government to develop its fledgling aviation school to train pilots, engineers and other aviation related jobs.
The now defunct Uganda Airlines was established in May 1976 by the government of Idi Amin but was liquated in 2001 after incurring debts in the neighbourhood of $6 million.
During his inaugural address to Cabinet last year, President Museveni had complained of the lack of a national carrier, describing it as a national disgrace.
In the absence of a national carrier Ugandans have been left to fly others from Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa at what Museveni called exorbitant prices.
Source: Alleastafrica and agencies