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Ugandans decry high Kenya Airways' fares

03 November 2014, 12:25 Godfrey Olukya

Kampala - A cross-section of Ugandans have appealed to President Yoweri Museveni to re-establish the national airline because Kenya Airways is overcharging them.

There has been growing demand from aviation experts, tour operators and other stakeholders for government to revive the defunct Uganda Airlines.

Uganda Airlines stopped opearting in early 1990's due to mismanagement. Since then, Ugandans travelling overseas depend on foreign airlines.

One of the reasons why many Ugandans want a national airline is because Kenya Airways is allegedly overcharging them for trips from Entebbe Airport to Kenya.

''Kenya Airways is overcharging us for trips to Nairobi. They charge us over 200 US dollars which is too much. If we had our own airline, the flight would cost around 100 US dollars.'' said Samson Mbagu, a leader of traders in eastern Uganda.

He said that on several occasions, they have requested the government to re-introduce Uganda Airlines and they are doing it again now.

Locally renowned Flight Captain who is also a Member of Parliament, Mike Mukula has made a direct appeal to President Museveni to fast track the re-establishment of the national airliner warning that failure to do so will leave the country with losses.

Mukula said that aviation is critical in the building of a fast growing economy and the country’s GDP, noting that it was high time the government got committed in the re-introduction of Uganda Airlines.

He said, ''The national airline will provide employment for Ugandans, help in exporting horticulture and agricultural produce and also develop the country’s tourism sector.''

Mukula was speaking during the first graduation ceremony of the Uganda Aviation School at Protea Hotel where 34 students graduated with a Diploma in Cabin Crew.

''It is funny that our country does not have its own airline. It is shameful. Something should be done,'' said veteran politician, Goerge Okello.

One of the visitors at the graduation ceremony wondered where the graduands will get jobs since Uganda has no national airline.

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