In what could mark a significant shift in Uganda’s aviation sector, reports suggest that the Ugandan government is in discussions with Boeing for the procurement of four aircraft for Uganda Airlines (UR), fueling speculation of a strategic turn from Airbus.

Sources “familiar with the development” revealed to 256 Business News, based in Kampala, that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has purportedly approved the acquisition of two freighters – a B737-800(F) and a B777 – in addition to two B787 passenger aircraft. However, specific details regarding the aircraft selection remain undisclosed.

Despite outreach, neither the president’s office, Uganda Airlines, nor Boeing have issued official comments on the matter.

Reports say that details from the April 22 meeting are pending official release. On the same date, President Museveni took to social media to announce a visit by a Boeing delegation led by META (Middle East, Türkiye, and Africa) president Kujit Ghata-Aura at State House in Entebbe.

“We have plans to increase the Uganda Airlines fleet for both cargo and passenger aircraft,” remarked President Museveni on social media. “On fleet maintenance, I welcome the idea of having some light maintenance here initially. Where applicable, we hope to utilize existing capacity for maintenance service in brotherly countries like Ethiopia until our fleet grows to allow us to have it done fully in Uganda,” he added, refraining from confirming a final decision.

Concurrently, Airbus is proposing a solution for Uganda Airlines’ fleet requirements, aligning with its current Airbus fleet, leveraging shared commonality and expertise.

Presently, Uganda Airlines operates two A330-800N widebodies and leases an A320-200 from Global Aviation Operations (GE) on a six-month contract ending October 2024. The airline’s regional fleet consists of three CRJ900LRs.

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The potential introduction of four Boeing aircraft would entail operational complexities and increased costs for Uganda Airlines, spanning maintenance, spare parts, fleet efficiency, operational flexibility, and crew training.

Boeing, currently addressing production slowdowns for B737s due to quality control issues and a backlog of B787 deliveries following a two-year suspension over manufacturing defects, has yet to deliver any B777 aircraft in the current year, according to its first-quarter 2024 financial results.

As discussions progress, the aviation industry awaits further developments that could shape the competitive landscape in the region.

The post Ugandan Government Explores Aircraft Purchase Deal with Boeing Amid Speculations appeared first on Watchdog Uganda.

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