Uganda Air­lines chief ex­ec­u­tive Ephraim Ba­genda con­firmed that the launch of com­mer­cial ser­vices had been moved from April to June 2019

The East African - - NEWS -

made up mostly of by civil ser­vants — miss­ing tar­gets such as re­cruit­ment and train­ing of pilots, and in­stalling key po­si­tion hold­ers.

Al­though Septem­ber 2018 was the dead­line for con­clud­ing re­cruit­ment, the 10-man board is be­ing ac­cused of lax­ity after in­ter­view­ing only four can­di­dates in a day. While the man­age­ment team wanted the board to only in­ter­view for the top po­si­tions, they have in­sisted on in­ter­view­ing for all cadres of work­ers.

Al­though the in­ter­views for all po­si­tions were com­pleted, de­lays have been oc­ca­sioned by the need to have pilots val­i­dated and se­cu­rity clear­ances ob­tained. Val­i­da­tion was done in Nairobi, but se­cu­rity vet­ting has not been com­pleted for pilots and other key po­si­tions.

The de­lays are prov­ing to be frus­trat­ing and, now, sources say a highly billed can­di­date who had been head­hunted from the US for

Key mile­stone

Sep­a­rately, the im­ple­men­ta­tion team achieved a key mile­stone when the MOU signed with Air­bus for two A330-800neos last June was con­verted into a firm com­mit­ment at the end of De­cem­ber.

“The MOU was due to ex­pire on De­cem­ber 23 and we were told that if we did not make a com­mit­ment by that date, we would lose an $800,000 de­posit and there would also be cost es­ca­la­tion,” said a source fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter.

De­liv­ery slots would also have been missed. The govern­ment is un­der­stood to have made top-up pay­ments to­wards the pur­chase last month, but we could not es­tab­lish the amount.

Air­bus re­leased its 2018 sales and pro­duc­tion fig­ures on Jan­uary 9, but the Uganda Air­lines or­der is not re­flected. Air­bus de­clined to com­ment on the pur­chase, only say­ing, “We are mak­ing good progress to­wards con­clud­ing that trans­ac­tion.”

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