As the country excitedly continues awaiting the start of the operations of the revived Uganda airlines, Airbus, a global aeronautics company, has announced that Uganda has firmed up its order for two Airbus A330neo aircrafts.
Uganda airlines started operations in 1977, but got liquidated in May 2001, but government opted to re-launch it with six new jets, out of which two are wide-body, long-range A330-800 and the other four being CRJ900 aircraft.
Now, Airbus has said in a statement that the ordered airliners are the latest of the popular A330 widebody airliner.
“Uganda Airlines, the national carrier of Uganda, has firmed up its order for two A330-800 airliners,” reads the Airbus statement in parts.
Mid last year, Uganda Airlines signed a memorandum of understanding for purchase of two A330-800neos.
The agreement was announced at Farnborough airshow by Ephraim Bagenda, CEO of Uganda Airlines and Eric Schulz, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer.
With the order, government had made a commitment fee of USD 800,000 for the two planes in upfront payment.
The firming up of the order implies that Uganda has made payment of another installment, although Airbus did not state how much.
“Fitted with the new Airspace by Airbus cabin, the A330neo will bring a range of benefits to Uganda Airlines and its customers, offering unrivaled efficiencies combined with the most modern cabin,” Airbus said in a statement on Monday.
The A330neo family is a new generation of A330, comprising two versions, the A330-800 and A330-900 sharing 99 percent commonality. It builds on the proven economics, versatility and reliability of the A330 family.
According to Airbus, the Airliner reduces fuel consumption by 25 percent per seat in comparison to the previous generation competitors and increasing range by up to 1,500 nm compared to the majority of the A330s in operation.
Last month, Parliament of Uganda passed the Supplementary request of Shs 280bn as development expenditure to the Ministry of Works and Transport for the purchase of the Bombardier aircrafts ordered by the national carrier, Uganda Airlines.
On Monday, Susan Kataike, the Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of Works and Transport, told SoftPower News that the first delivery of the Bombardiers (CRJet 900) will be happening on April 23.
According to the discussions, the Airbus manufacturers were given a minimum two years to have completed the Airbus planes, said Minister for Works and Transport, Monica Ntege Azuba.
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.
In explaining the choice of the A330-800neo last year, Ephraim Bagenda, the CEO of Uganda Airlines said the model 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 Bagenda.
According to Kataike, the Airbus planes will be delivered in 2021.