The Uganda Airlines which is set start plying the skies will create more than 500 jobs in the first five years of its operations according to the feasibility study by the National Planning Authority (NPA).
The study shows: “The airline will provide direct jobs to about 300 employees for regional operations and about 139 employees for international operations within a five year period”.
“Within the first year of operation, the airline will create about 225 direct jobs which will expand to about 299 jobs in its fifth year of operations for regional operations and 139 employees for international operations,” the study reveals.
The feasibility study further indicates that over the past 20 years, the export of Fish, Flowers and Fresh produce though showing some decline up to 2009/10 has continued to show a rising trend in recent years.
According to the study, this has helped to sustain a good cargo industry with a boom having been reached during the years when DAS Air Cargo operated with its hub at Entebbe International Airport.
Europe commands the greatest market share of Uganda’s air cargo at 46 percent, followed by the Middle East with 28 percent market share and South Africa at 10 percent.
Growth in cargo through Entebbe International Airport (EIA) in recent years has been marginal to negative after plummeting during the 2009 recession and has not yet recovered to 2007/8s levels.
Researchers said “this may be due to the lack of a strong home based airline with regular air services promoting Uganda and its products internationally.”
The Uganda National Airlines Company has already ordered four new CRJ900 regional jets with the Bombardier Commercial Aircraft in a bid to revive the national airline.
Based on the list price for the CRJ900 aircraft, the firm order is valued at approximately $190 million (Shs700m).
The twinjets will feature a dual-class configuration with 76 seats, including 12 business class ones.
Earlier this month Uganda’s Minister for Planning, David Bahati, told a cabinet meeting that he expects the state-backed carrier to commence operations between March and April 2019.
In line with its international aspirations, the Ugandan government has also alluded to acquiring two A330-200s for Uganda Airlines.
Uganda has been without a large scale commercial carrier since the then cash-strapped Air Uganda was forced out of business in 2013.