Presiden Museveni has said that he intends to take legal action against Uganda Airlines officials for the national carrier’s failure to launch direct flights to the United Kingdom on time.
Museveni, who was meeting with Lord Popat, the United Kingdom’s Trade Envoy for Uganda and Rwanda, and Kate Airey, the British High Commissioner to Uganda, said he would push the Civil Aviation Authority and Uganda Airlines to complete the necessary paperwork as soon as possible to ensure direct flights begin, but insisted that the officials were being lazy in their work.
“During Amin’s reign, we discovered that the public service had collapsed. These individuals are complete parasites. They’re simply waiting for their paycheck. Despite the hurdles posed by public service, the army and the private sector have played a crucial role in Uganda’s recovery and redevelopment. They have contributed to the recovery of the economy “he said.
“The airline employees are adequately compensated. Why aren’t they able to put an end to the problem of direct flights? They are considered to be the country’s adversary.”
The president’s rage was sparked by concerns raised by the UK trade ambassador, who inquired about Uganda Airlines’ flights to the United Kingdom.
Lord Popat requested that the Ugandan government investigate the possibility of Uganda Airlines launching direct flights to the United Kingdom in order to stimulate tourism and investment.
“If Uganda is willing, we are prepared to bring our aviation personnel here to assist the Civil Aviation Authority of Uganda (CAA) so that we may have direct flights to the United Kingdom.”
Flights to the United Kingdom
Uganda Airlines was granted permission to begin flights to Heathrow Airport in London, United Kingdom, a year ago. According to James Pearson, a top analyst for aviation growth, the national airline has been granted slots at Heathrow Airport in the United Kingdom.
“Although it is not currently open for booking, it will operate five weekly flights utilizing Airbus A330-800s, with arrivals at 6:45 a.m. and departures at 9 a.m.,” Pearson said in a statement last year. “The flights will arrive at 6:45 a.m. and leave at 9 a.m.”
To explain why Uganda Airlines was granted Heathrow rights, the aviation development chief analyst stated that over 84000 passengers flew on the Entebbe to London flight on a two-way point-to-point basis in 2019, making Entebbe the second-largest unserved market from Africa to London after Harare International Airport in Zimbabwe.
However, more than a year later, the flights have yet to take off. The Uganda Airlines interim Chief Executive Officer, Jenifer Bamuturaki, recently announced that the debut of direct flights to the United Kingdom had been postponed until June of 2022 due to unforeseen circumstances.
The airline had been told by the UK aviation authority that it would be forced to apply for a foreign carrier licence, which was one of the changes brought about by the Brexit law, she stated.
Before commencing commercial flights to, from, or within the United Kingdom, all non-UK air carriers will be required to obtain a Foreign Carrier Permit from the Civil Aviation Authority of the United Kingdom. This requirement will take effect on December 31, 2020.
It is anticipated that this procedure would take six months, according to the interim CEO of Uganda Airlines. Uganda Airlines aims to establish itself as a major player in the international market by launching a number of long-distance routes, including those to Dubai, London, and Guangzhou, on which the national carrier will use its two Airbus A330-800 aircraft.