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We are all familiar with the big global airlines, but there is something exciting about rooting for the success of the “underdog.”
For the past two years I’ve been watching Uganda Airlines and I’m excited about what I am seeing…
For context, I think it’s important to understand the background of Uganda Airlines.
Uganda Airlines operated nearly 24 years but ceased operations and liquidated in 2001 due to financial difficulties. Unfortunately, this left the country without a national airline.
In 2017, it was revealed that the airline would be revived as the Ugandan government had placed an order for four CRJ-900s. In addition, in mid-2018, Uganda Airlines agreed to purchase two A330-800neo aircraft.
For those not familiar with planes, CRJs are the small, dinky, regional planes that no one looks forward to flying on. That purchase is understandable and expected for an airline trying to get off the ground (no pun intended) as a new airline. But the A330neos are intended for international long-haul routes.
In other words, Uganda Airlines was planning something big however, it’s worth noting that the government had placed these orders for an airline that was not operating at that specific point in time.
Fast forward…in August 2019, Uganda Airlines launched service with the 4 CRJ’s. It was later reported the first A330neo was scheduled to be delivered in October 2020 and the second A330neo scheduled for delivery in November 2020 as the CEO says in this message…
WELL…IT’S OCTOBER 2020
Today, Uganda Airlines revealed photos of their first A330neo leaving the paint shop and it’s a beauty.
To be fair, it’s the same livery that the four CRJs have sported for the past two years but something about seeing it on the A330 makes me excited.
You may have noticed in the twitter message from the CEO that the airline is intending to launch the A330s on 3 international routes – Dubai, London (LHR), and Guangzhou – at the beginning of the year.
Airlines often declare routes before completing their due diligence so this remains to be seen.
In the video, you may have also noticed a quick glance of a business class cabin.
These are often computer generations of “how the cabin could look.” I have no insider knowledge but if Uganda Airlines’ business class looks like the computer-generated picture, I’ll be the first one to review it!
Uganda Airlines just revealed the paint job on their newest A330-800neo and plan to launch it in the new year.
I’m extremely geeked to review this airline even if the computer generated photos aren’t exactly the product I’ll be receiving.
Regardless, it’s an exciting time for aviation in Africa. I’ve written several times about my intention to visit many countries throughout Africa when the pandemic blows over (…eventually…hopefully).
With the addition of Delta Air Lines’ triangle route to South Africa, United Airlines’ seasonal flight to Johannesburg, and American Airlines’ (eventual) launch to Morocco, it’s a great time to have points and miles as tickets to Africa (and within Africa) can be extremely expensive.
What do you think about the new paint job? Does it look better on the A330 than the CRJ’s? What do you think about the expansion to several long-haul routes?