Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Grounded Uganda’s seven-year hitch

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Air Uganda's ascension to IATA was supposed to be a watershed moment for the privately-owned carrier, heralding a new era of industry cooperation and paving the way for significant expansion of its turboprop fleet.

The seven-year-old airline joined the global club on 2 June 2014, having made significant progress in negotiations with Uganda's government over the acquisition of a strategic stake.

"Certainly the government does want to partner with us to create a strong airline for Uganda," chief executive Cornwell Muleya told African Aerospace shortly after receiving his IATA certificate. "There is willingness on both sides to ensure that we have a strong home-based airline out of Uganda – one which would facilitate the growth of the economy of Uganda. As the market grows, everybody wins."

But the upbeat mood was to be short-lived. Just one fortnight later, Uganda's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it was withdrawing the Air Operator's Certificates (AOCs) of Air Uganda and two local freight carriers, Transafrik and Uganda Air Cargo...