KAMPALA – Finance minister Matia Kasaija has cautioned Uganda Airlines management against accumulating debt, saying this was the reason why the national carrier collapsed in the past.
Speaking at the handover of the Operation Licence to the Uganda Airlines management by the Civil Aviation Authority on Monday, Mr Kasaija said Uganda Airlines should run a business and those government officials should also not be allowed to fly on credit.
“Uganda Airlines is a business and we don’t want to see [it] failing again because of lack of money. “This is a business. It is not something you can run anyhow; Uganda Airlines should be managed and run professionally as a business,” he added.
The minister also advised citizens to start viewing the national carrier as a national asset and start flying with it.
“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.
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 sometimes 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.
Last Thursday government released Shs445 billion to the national airlines to enable the purchase of the next fleet of two Bombardiers