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