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Parliament summons Azuba over delayed Bombardier flights

Uganda Airline’s Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft at the Old Entebbe Airport. Uganda Airlines is expected to start operations this July 2019. (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA – Parliament has summoned Monicah Azuba, Minister of Works and Transport to come and explain why there have been delays on the rollout of commercial operations of the national carrier.

The matter was raised by Roland Mugume (Rukungiri Municipality) who questioned why the flights haven’t started despite Government promising that flights would start on 1st July 2019, but two weeks down the road, the Bombardier planes remained grounded.

Mugume said, “I have heard from many Ugandans who are concerned and asking when the government will update them on commitments made by Works on the revival and commercial operations of the national airline. This issue is not clear, does the sale affect the business Uganda had with the company, we need answers.”

The official handover of the first two CRJ900 Bombardier Aircraft to the Minister for Works and Transport Monica Azuba Ntege Prepare to fly in the revamped Uganda Airlines. (PHOTO/File)

However, there was no immediate response from the Ministry with Katumba Wamala, State Minister for Works later telling journalists saying, “We promised that the first flights of our airline will be on 31st July and we are still standing by that date. We had to do a lot of things like putting in place the Board of Directors doing all nitty gritty that once we go airborne there is no stopping. We have started advertising the routes, so we should be ready to go by 31st July, we didn’t say 1st July, we said 31st July.”

The development comes at a time when Government confessed that it will take Uganda Airline ten years to make profits, with 2029 being looked at as the year the country will reap fruits from the airline.

In May 2019, Parliament approved the Ministry of Works request for a supplementary budget of Shs280,046,776,933Bn required as down payment for the first phase of the two 2 Bombardier jets from Canada that would operationalise the highly anticipated revival of the Uganda Airlines.

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