June 18, 2024

By Apolinari Tairo
Published August 14, 2018

African governments have announced plans to revive their airlines amid stiff competition in the African skies between the continent’s leading African airlines companies and Middle East-registered air carriers.

Uganda Airlines, that was founded in 1976, went into operation in  1977 and ceased operation in 2001, is planning to buy four CRJ900 regional jets from Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, and is looking to operate the CRJ900 in a dual-class configuration with 76 seats, including 12 first class seats.

The airline’s plan is to provide the most modern passenger experience in regional aviation to the people of Uganda and across Africa, also building more connectivity in Africa with its proven track record in Africa and other regions of the world.

RELATED:Tanzania Takes Trade Expo to Kenya

The airline had also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for two A330-800neos. The A330-800neos will help the airline to build its international long-haul network. The aircraft will feature a three-class cabin layout comprising 20 Business, 28 Premium Economy, and 213 Economy seats. The A330-800neo combines low operating costs, long range flying capability, and high levels of comfort.

If all goes as planned, Uganda Airlines will become the world’s first operator of the latest generation of the Airbus, the A330 – 800 Neo. Uganda Airlines officials placed an order for two A330-800 Neos, as well as four CRJ900 Atmosphere Cabin aircraft from Canadian plane makers Bombardier during the just-ended Farnborough Air show in England.

The airline is now in a rapid revival phase having gone defunct for nearly two decades. It will also be the first African airline operating the CRJ900 Atmosphere Cabin aircraft.

RELATED:Cross-Border E-Commerce Good for African Businesses

Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s President, has said in neighbouring Tanzania that his government is now working seriously to revive his country’s national airline. He says that he has asked the Chinese President to open the Chinese skies for Uganda Airlines to land in China, targeting more Chinese tourists and travellers to fly to Uganda and Africa.

President John Magufuli of Tanzania says four of the seven aircraft his government had ordered with a view to reviving Air Tanzania that was founded and went into operation in 1977, was renamed Air Tanzania Corporation Limited in 2003, have been delivered.

RELATED:Talented Young Rapper Drops New Hit Single

In West Africa, Nigeria Air will begin operations in December 2018, the government’s aviation minister, Hadi Sirika, says.

The planned launch comes 15 years after long-standing Nigeria’s flag carrier ceased operations, and almost six years since, Air Nigeria took to the skies for the final time.

“Nigeria has unfortunately not been a serious player in aviation for a long time. We used to be a dominant player, through Nigeria Airways, but sadly not anymore,” Sirika says.

He says that the Nigerian government would not own more than five percent of the new carrier or have a say in how it is run.

RELATED:Infrastructure Key in Driving Africa’s Growth Agenda

Mauritania is the other African nation which has placed an order for two E175 jets.

As part of its fleet modernisation programme, the 2010-founded Mauritania Airlines is planning to add two E175s to replace some of its older narrow-body jets and complement its younger aircraft. The Nouakchott-based carrier signed a contract with Embraer for the new E-Jets at the 2018 Farnborough Air show held in London in July 2018.

RELATED:Kenya Tourism on the Upswing

Each E175 will be configured with 76 seats in dual class. Deliveries start in 2019. The airline currently operates one 48-seat Embraer ERJ145 between the domestic cities of Nouakchott, Nouadhibou, and Zouérat. This is the first time the carrier will fly an E-Jet.

According to Radhy Bennahi, CEO of Mauritania Airlines, the E175s will be able to offer even better service to customers, with greater comfort, adding more frequencies and new destinations.

An eTurboNews article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap