Uganda Air Cargo to Launch Passenger Charter Services

By Emojong Osere | 7 October 2009 | The domestic aviation industry has received yet another boost. Uganda Air Cargo Corporation (UACC), which is 100 per cent government owned and has been operating a C130 cargo carrier, is unveiling its first passenger charter plane on October 15, a development projected to increase competitiveness in the local charter plane sub-industry. An October 1, UACC statement said the 17 and 19 seater Y-12 China-made charter planes will fly the domestic as well as regional air routes and they now join other domestic charter planes and internationally recognised airlines in pursuit for the region's air travellers. The inauguration comes when the global aviation industry is emerging out of a slowdown that was triggered-off by the now-fading world economic downturn, which made reputable airlines make loses resulting from a sporadic decline in traveller numbers. And the competition it is expected to come with, could also act as a booster to the region's tourism industry given a recent pronouncement by Uganda Bureau of Statics that the region had registered an increase in the number of tourist arrivals. "These charters will serve all aerodromes within Uganda and Eastern and Central Africa," the statement reads in part. "These aircrafts are versatile and have the ability to land on any landscape." Among the countries the two charter planes are scheduled to ply include Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Somalia and Burundi in Eastern Africa. Others are the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chad in the Central Africa region as well as Mozambique in Southern Africa. The inaugural flight will be destined for Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya- the region's largest and busiest airport. According to the statement, the diversity in UACC, which was part of the defunct Uganda Airlines, is expected to make the charter services fit into the current competitive air industry. "UACC diversifies on that day (October 15) from not only providing air cargo services, but now with their 17 and 19 seater aircraft providing the convenience and comfort of air charter for passengers," the statement reads on. "It will involve diplomatic travel services, VIP Charters, medical evacuation, Humanitarian/relief flights and aerial surveys." Uganda Air Cargo has been in the air transport business for the 15 years initially specialising in air cargo services. Uganda's aviation industry has steadily been growing since the collapse of Uganda Airlines in 2001 and the East African Community-owned East African Airways in 1977 shortly after the downfall of the now revived EAC- although the country has not invested in any other national charter services. There are a number of privately-owned charter planes with bases in the country plying both the domestic and regional airports.
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