Uganda Airlines Anticipates Profitability by 2027, Says Bamuturaki.

 


Uganda Airlines is projected to achieve financial independence by 2027, eliminating the need for government financial support, as stated by Jenifer Bamuturaki, the CEO of the Uganda National Airlines Company.

The Auditor General's reports for the past three consecutive financial years revealed substantial losses incurred by Uganda Airlines, totaling Shs 502 billion. These financial challenges, including losses of Shs 104 billion in FY 2020/21, Shs 164 billion in FY 2021/22, and Shs 234 billion in 2022//23, triggered scrutiny by the public accounts committee on commissions, statutory authorities, and state enterprises (Cosase) to guide the airline's strategic planning.

Bamuturaki addressed the negative portrayal of the airline in audit reports, justifying the losses by attributing them to variable and administrative costs. To mitigate losses, the company has strategically invested in managing fuel and oil costs, maintenance, rentals, and crew expenses through initiatives such as personnel training, process automation, airplane seat configuration, and route expansions.

In managing fuel costs, Bamuturaki highlighted the importance of pilot training, optimizing takeoff and landing procedures, and efficient engagement to reduce overall fuel expenses. Internally, the administration has set a timeline of at least three years to achieve financial stability, with current revenues covering 85% of direct operational expenses, including maintenance costs, crew expenses, landing fees, and navigation charges.

Bamuturaki emphasized the goal of reducing reliance on government support, noting that internal revenues are three times greater than government contributions. The aim is to independently meet operational expenses and eliminate the need for government assistance.

Abderahmane Berthé, the General Secretary of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA), lauded Uganda Airlines' performance since its revival in 2019 after an 18-year hiatus. Berthé commended the airline's future prospects, particularly its expansion of flight routes and network.

Uganda Airlines, operating with six aircraft since its 2019 revival, serves approximately 12 destinations as of 2023. These destinations include Nairobi, Dar-es-Salaam, Bujumbura, Mogadishu, Zanzibar, Mombasa, Kinshasa, Juba, Lagos, South Africa, and conducts intercontinental flights to Dubai, Mumbai, London, and Guangzhou.

Despite initial challenges, including the impact of global travel restrictions due to COVID-19, Uganda Airlines demonstrates commendable progress and strategic expansion in its renewed phase since 2019.

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