Uganda Airlines, the national carrier of Uganda, has signed a memorandum of understanding for two A330-800neo, the new version of the best-selling A330 widebody airliner, featuring new wings new Rolls-Royce’s latest-generation Trent 7000 engines, new systems and a new Airspace cabin interior.
The agreement was announced at Farnborough airshow by Ephraim Bagenda, CEO of Uganda Airlines and Eric Schulz, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer.
Uganda Airlines plans to use the A330-800neos to build its international long-haul network with the aircraft offering cutting-edge technologies along with most efficient operations. The aircraft will feature a three-class cabin layout comprising 20 Business, 28 Premium Economy and 213 Economy seats.
“This agreement demonstrates our ambition for economic growth supported by a robust aviation industry. The A330-800neo combines low operating costs, long range flying capability and high levels of comfort. We are looking forward to launch operations and offer our customers best-in-class service”, said Ephraim Bagenda, CEO of Uganda Airlines.
“We are delighted to welcome Uganda Airlines among our A330neo customers, the A330neo will bring a range of benefits offering unrivalled efficiencies combined with the most modern cabin. We look forward to see the A330-800neo flying in the colours of Uganda,” said Eric Schulz, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer.
Recently, government said that the national carrier will be ready for the skies by March 2019.
State Minister for Finance, David Bahati said that Cabinet had discussed the Uganda Airlines and finally agreed to move forward.
In May, the Works and Transport Minister said that the first four aeroplanes (Bombardier CRJ900 regional jet liners of 80 to 100 passenger sitting capacity) would be purchased by the end of this year and would be the first to take to the skies, majorly ply regional routes within the East African Community.
In total, government plans to acquire six aircrafts, four mid range Bombardiers and two Airbus A330 wide-body-twin-engine jet airliners. Mr Waiswa Bageya said that engagements have already commenced between government and both manufacturers (Bombardier and Airbus).
Uganda has already paid an upfront sum of USD 1.2 million (Shs 4.4bn) in commitment fees for the six aircrafts.
Last week, Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija revealed that USD 340 million (Shs 1.3 trillion) is required by government for the purchase of the planes. He said that government was in talks with potential financiers but could not reveal details.
“We have already budgeted for Shs 129 billion in our own budget to kick start the process for this financial year. The rest, we are looking to get a financing line,” Bahati said.