Uganda Airlines one of two Airbus A330-800neo is almost ready for delivery. Airbus released images of the freshly painted aircraft this week registered 5X-NIL.
Uganda resumed flights at the beginning of October with Uganda Airlines resuming flights to select destinations across the East African belt. Currently the Ugandan national carrier operated a fleet of 4 Mitsubishi CRJ900 jets.
The addition of the A330-800NEO comes at a time the industry is facing uncertainty amid the covid19 pandemic. Currently the airline operates regional routes and is planning to extend its network to the Southern part of Africa.
“Our plans for the African network expansion will continue and we plan to launch scheduled operations to Johannesburg, Kinshasa, Harare and Lusaka in the coming months,” reads a recent statement from the airline.
Where to for the A330-800NEO?
Uganda Airlines Cornwell Muleya speaking on the NTV Weekend Edition in Uganda revealed London, Dubai and Guangzhou as the routes the aircraft is likely to be deployed.
“It’s going to be used on the long-term intercontinental routes. We have three principal flights that we are going to go to which are London, Dubai and Guangzhou.” Muleya added, “In between we will be looking at routes to Mumbai, West and Southern Africa to complete the interconnections.”
Derek Nseko Managing Director of i-Fly Global welcomed the delivery of the A330-800neo. “The A330 NEO is scheduled to be delivered in December and will be the new flagship of Uganda Airlines. A wide body aircraft to serve the airline’s long-haul plans.”
As a start-up Nseko expects Uganda Airlines to fight off the effects of the covid19 and proceeds with plans for network expansion. He added, “However the A330 joins the fleet at a tricky time for global aviation. Travel has slumped as a result of the global pandemic and the profile of its recovery is still uncertain.”
More on the A330-800NEO
Uganda Airlines is one a few of airlines that have ordered the -800neo variant. As compared to the -900neo the -800neo has only attracted a handful of orders. In June 2019, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer, Christian Scherer speaking to Aviation Analyst in Toulouse said he was “still confident” the manufacturer will secure “many, many more orders” for the A330-800.
To date Airbus has only manages to sell 14 units of the Airbus A330-800neo. Both the -800 and -900neo have striking similarities. The Uganda Airlines A330-800neo passenger capacity will maximum 260 passengers in a tri-class configuration with a range of 8,150 nautical miles.
Uganda Airlines released a statement on the update of the aircraft, “over the next few weeks, a number of systems and processes will be conducted in readiness for the delivery.”
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