Picture of the Airplane.
By Misairi Thembo Kahungu
Kampala — The Uganda National Airlines will spend at least Shs258.5b on general operations in the first year of flying the national carrier, Daily Monitor has learnt.
The airline being revamped after it was grounded in 2001, will start flying aircraft for commercial business starting July.
The State minister for Transport, Mr Aggrey Bagiire, yesterday confirmed to the Parliamentary Committee on Physical Infrastructure chaired by Nakifuma County MP Robert Ssekitoleko that the first two Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft will be delivered at Entebbe International Airport on Tuesday next week.
“The planes will land at Entebbe International Airport on Tuesday, April 23, at 9am. This is the time when the Head of State (President Museveni) will be available to receive them,” Mr Bagiire said.
A look into the breakdown of the national carrier’s expected expenditure for the Shs129.5b that is in the Ministerial Policy Statement for the Financial Year 2019/20 by the Ministry of Works and Transport, the money being requested for does not include remuneration of staff.
Mr Cornwell Muleya, the airline’s technical adviser, told Daily Monitor yesterday that sensitive issues that include the remuneration of staff, especially pilots, do not require being published in the media to avoid landing in the ears of the competitors.
Last week, Minister Bagiire told MPs that the Airline has recruited 24 pilots, including Captains and first officers to fly the aircraft. He said their salaries were negotiated in the range of other airlines in the East African region.
Under the general operations, funds will be spent on: Agents commission, distribution and corporate social responsibility costs, catering services, fuel, landing fees, airframe maintenance, navigation fees, insurance, training, and, advertising, among others.
Mr Muleya said most of the costs are unavoidable because they are incurred by all airlines worldwide, whether government run or privately run.
A case in point, Mr Muleya said, is the navigation and landing fees, which must be paid to the countries that run the airports of destination. He explained that navigation fees are not only paid to the country of destination, but to all countries whose airspace the aircraft flies over.
Among the 19 destinations, Mr Muleya revealed that Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa will be the long haul destinations for the Bombardier CR9 aircraft.
The airline expects to receive two Airbus a380-800 planes that are expected to fly intercontinental long haul routes.
Some of the planned expenses
Agents’ Commissions Shs9.34b
Distribution and CSR costs Shs8.7b
Catering services Shs11.7b
Airframe maintenance Shs8.18b
Navigation fees Shs12.8b
Landing fees Shs6b