Odrek Rwabwogo has thrown weight behind his father-in-law also President, Yoweri Museveni’s dream to revive the national airlines.
According to Rwabwogo, there is no harm in having an airline but the big issue is how it will be managed.
“We need a new business model if the return of Uganda Airlines will be a success. Singapore and Emirates are doing well,” he said while appearing on NBS TV morning breeze Friday.
He said Uganda’s air travel is an $800m industry (half of it passengers, other half cargo).
More Ugandans are flying, he noted, adding that KQ, South African Airways are all not profitable.
He observed that Ethiopian is profitable because as a 70+ year old airline, they have the experience.
“Uganda is not worse than where it was in 1986. Britain was not developed by people who brought in money but by Britons who saved and invested.”
To the contrary, senior journalist, Timothy Kalyegira, believes the airline business is not easy.
He said KQ, despite its dominance, is close to collapse.
“Despite the assumption, RwandAir is not making money. If it’s not making money, why have a national airline?”
He added: “Uganda Airlines gave some of us good memories but it’s gone. Returning it will leave us bleeding more money.”
Kalyegira recalled that there was a time when main towns were lit, unlike today.
According to Museveni, Ugandans are spending US$420 million per year on travel.
He said the NRM Government has decided to start a National Airline to stop the outflow of this money and to end travel inconveniences to Ugandans.