Annews24 Kampala. A former Ethiopian Airlines chief executive has said the Ugandan government should not meddle in day-to-day operations of Uganda Airlines if the national carrier being revived is to succeed.
Mr Girma Wake told this newspaper in an interview that what the new management team requires is relevant manpower, adequate resourcing and proper regulation and operational framework.
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“I know the chief executive officer that has been appointed for Uganda Airlines is a good man, I believe if they really consciously do the right things they can make it,” Mr Wake said in an interview in Toulouse, France, a fortnight ago.
He spoke to this newspaper on the sidelines of the launch in France of the White paper, the Great Enabler: Aerospace in Africa, which attracted top African government officials, policymakers, business leaders, and representatives from intergovernmental bodies and multilateral development organisations.
Mr Wake, who steered Ethiopian Airlines for seven years from 2004, added in respect to Uganda Airlines revival, that: “The right things [for the government to do] are; give them enough capital, stop government interference, build capacity, create a regulatory framework that is necessary for them to do their work. If they do this, I think, they will succeed.”
The government has named Eng Ephraim Bagenda as the chief executive for Uganda National Airlines Company, the parent company for a revived Uganda Airlines. In September, the government put up 35 jobs for grabs as it assembles a team to lift the wings of the national carrier again, 19 years after it folded up.
Works ministry Permanent Secretary Bageya Waiswa in July, this year, said the management of the Airline would be in the hands of competent managers, under the stewardship of the board with strategies aligned to the economic objectives of the country.
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Uganda Airlines is expected to take to the skies between February and April, next year, with a number of regional routes using Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft and later international routes when the Airbus A330-800 planes are delivered.
According to the available information, the airline will operate scheduled and non-scheduled passenger and cargo flights to destinations in Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East and beyond as it expands its network across the world.
The Uganda National Airlines Company, however, differed.
“The intention to launch international flights, with the Airbus A330-800 aircraft, is in line with our business/ implementation plan and was based on thorough market research and analysis, including passenger/cargo traffic demand forecasts, hub connectivity, suitability of the aircraft, the competition in the market.”