The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) says it has approved the two Airbus A330-800 Neo to be included on Uganda Airlines’ Air Operators Certificate (AOC).
UCAA states that the two aircraft arrived in December 2020 and January 2021, but they remained grounded pending CAA’s approval.
According to UCAA, the approval process takes five phases including pre-application, application, and document evaluation, demonstration of the approved documents and inclusion of the aircraft on the existing Air Operator’s Certificate.
According to Mrs. Jenifer Bamuturaki, Uganda Airline Acting Chief Executive Officer, the development is a boost to the airline since it plans to start flying long-haul commercial routes to places like Dubai. Uganda Airlines had initially planned to start flying to Dubai on July 16, 2021, but postponed the launch because UCAA had not approved the two A330-800 Neo aircraft.
Mrs. Bamuturaki adds that the flights were also delayed because of the suspension of flights by UAE to Uganda to combat the spread of COVID-19. The country was battling the second wave of the pandemic.
The airline reveals that it is targeting migrant workers who travel to the Middle East and businesspeople among others on the Dubai route. Between 200 and 300 migrant workers leave the country daily for work in Saudi Arabia, Oman, and other Gulf countries every day.
Uganda Airlines says it hopes to attract more clients on the Dubai route and other routes by offering affordable prices and excellent services.
The airline reveals that it hopes to commence London flights in November this year. The airline had expected to operate its first London flight in September but has postponed the launch because the UK also red-listed Uganda in June over surging COVID-19 cases.
Mr. Bamuturaki says the airline plans to launch other regional and international routes such as Mumbai, Guangzhou, Lagos, and Kisangani by 2023.