It was excitement on April 23, 2019 as Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni received two Bombardier CRJ900 jets from Canada at the Entebbe International Airport. This officially marked the revival of Uganda Airlines.
Three years down the road, we assess how the national carrier is promoting the ‘Buy Uganda Build Uganda’ (BUBU) policy that is being promoted by Government.
Firstly, the national carrier employs over 300 Ugandans at the hub and about 60 foreign nationals in different departments (where a particular skill set is not available in Uganda) as well as in the destinations Uganda Airlines operates.
It’s understood that in Uganda Airlines flights, mainly locally manufactured Ugandan products are used.
These include Kakira Sugar, Bond 7, Uganda Waragi, Wava water, Endiro Coffee, Mukwano tea bags, Jesa Yorghurt and Jesa milk among others.
Asked what the airline considers before using Ugandan products/services, an official who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that certification from Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) and quality of the product and packaging are very key.
“Whatever we take on board should not be bulky for efficient use of space,” the source said, adding: “Whatever is taken on board should not have combustion ability to minimise fire hazards.”
Government has been encouraging Ugandans to fly their own (Uganda Airlines) as first choice to show patriotism.
The national airline is also expected to promote the country’s tourism sector.
At the recently launched Johannesburg route, the Airline partnered with Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) to promote Destination Uganda by showcasing the ‘Pearl of Africa’.
It’s understood that talks are underway with Tourism body to firm up the partnership.