Finance minister Matia Kasaija yesterday instructed the management of Uganda Airlines not to issue air tickets to government officers on credit, saying all government departments have budgets.
Between the 1990s and 2000, Uganda Airlines suffered financial difficulties due to several factors leading to its collapse and liquidation in 2001.
Making a brief statement at the Ministry of Finance headquarters after the Air Operation Licence was handed over to the management by the Civil Aviation Authority, Mr Kasaija said Uganda Airlines should run a business.
“Uganda Airlines is a business and we don’t want to see [it] failing again because of lack of money,” he said.
The airline business is a commercial enterprise that provides scheduled flights for passengers nationally, regionally and globally depending on the strength of the company.
Focusing on the new board of directors and the management of the revived Uganda Airlines, Mr Kasaija, said:
“This is a business. It is not something you can run anyhow; Uganda Airlines should be managed and run professionally as a business.”
Reflecting on what has been happening and the confessions that have been surrounding the revived Uganda Airlines, Mr Kasaija said the money for Uganda Airlines was budgeted for.
Last Thursday government released Shs445 billion to the national airlines to enable the purchase of the next fleet of two Bombardiers.
“We have walked a long journey, very trying with misgivings of the handling of Uganda Airlines. The planes are sitting in Entebbe.
I would be flying already if it was a taxi. We should have regional flights after the issuing of this ACO,” Mr Kasaija said.
Mr Kasaija advised citizens to view Uganda Airlines as their national asset.
The managing director of Civil Aviation Authority, Prof David Mpango Kakuba, said they were given 90 days to get the Uganda Airlines Operating Certification.
Prof Kakuba said the 90-day period allowed them to carry out all the due diligence/ procedures needed for an airline to acquire Air Operating Certification and have concluded that the planes that Uganda Airlines is airworthy. “Uganda Airlines has completed all the regulation and license to operate,” he said.
He explained that Air Operator Certification is the most important thing for any airline company because it opens the way for it to operate or land in any airport, while at the sometime becoming a member of International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The Works and Transport minister, Ms Monica Azuba Ntege, said: “This is a very great day for Uganda Airlines, a lot of work has been going on behind the scene and this very big achievement.
We will start operating at the end of August.”
“Now that we have ACO, we are going to be registered as a national carrier, sign agreement with other foreign countries,” she added.
Purpose. The International Air Transport Association maintains an international perspective and provides a unique global voice on behalf of its members.
From 57 founding members in 1945, IATA now represents some 290 airlines in 120 countries.
Carrying 82 per cent of the world’s air traffic, IATA members include the world’s leading passenger and cargo airlines.
By Daily Monitor