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First two Uganda Airlines planes arrive

By Moses Walubiri

Added 23rd April 2019 12:00 AM

President Yoweri Museveni and a number of government dignitaries will be on the tarmac at the old airport to receive the planes.

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One of the Bombardier planes that will arrive at Entebbe airport today. Courtesy Photo

President Yoweri Museveni and a number of government dignitaries will be on the tarmac at the old airport to receive the planes.

Close to two decades since the Government decided to fold the operations of the national carrier over its precarious financial position, only a small percentage of Uganda’s largely youthful population truly remember the livery of Uganda Airlines.

But like a phoenix that rose from its ashes, a ceremony this morning at Entebbe International Airport to receive two Bombardier planes from Canada will be a major milestone in the revival of the national carrier to take to the skies once again.

In July last year, Canadian jet manufacturer Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced that it had signed a $190m firm order for four new CRJ900 regional jets with Uganda National Airlines Company.

The first of the two Bombardiers, according to the works minister, Eng Monica Ntenge Azuba, are expected to land at Entebbe at 9am on Tuesday.

President Yoweri Museveni and a number of government dignitaries will be on the tarmac at the old airport to receive the planes.

The two planes’ itinerary started at Montréal-Mirabel International Airport in Canada and had stopovers at airports in Iceland, The Netherlands, and Aswan in Egypt before landing at Entebbe.

“These are not long haul planes and so the stopovers were necessary. The stopover in The Netherlands also served the purpose of picking maintenance equipment,” Azuba said on Monday.

The two planes, according to Azuba, took off within a few minutes of each other.

On board each plane are four pilots — two Ugandans and the other from Bombardier. Each plane also had a Ugandan engineer.

“There are no passengers on these planes because these are ferry flights not commercial ones. This also explains the presence of not only our pilots, but also those from Bombardier,” Azuba said.

The minister said one of the pilots on the planes is the chief pilot of Uganda Airlines, Capt. Michael Etiang.

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