TOP CAA BOSS TELLS OFF UGANDA AIRLINES CHIEFS; YOU ARE DOOMED TO FAIL
By Mulengera Reporters
Eng Mackenzie Ogweng, a retired aviation worker and Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) Board member, has prophesied doom for the national career Uganda Airlines saying all indicators show the team currently running the show is ill-prepared for the task at hand. “The fact that they are not here and can miss such an important meeting is indicative they can’t get the business basics right. They are just cycling around and I’m afraid to say they are going to fail,” Ogweng said on realizing there wasn’t a single representative from the Uganda Airlines.
This was today Wednesday at Mestil Hotel in Nsambya where hundreds of aviation stakeholders converged for the breakfast meeting Prof David Kakuba-led UCAA organized as part of the events to mark the annual aviation week (1-7th December).
UCAA governing Board chairman Eng Mike Ndawula Kaweesi, who also represented Works & Transport Minister Eng Monica Azuba Ntege, explained that the breakfast meeting is always used as a platform to update stakeholders about the aviation industry’s collective accomplishments and failures for the ending year.
Mackenzie spoke during the plenary discussion and was coming in to supplement on what UCAA Director General Prof David Kakuba had said in response to Eagle Air MD Capt Tony Rubombora who had complained about UCAA’s failure to provide hangers for aircrafts engine repairs to enable operators run their engines.
Eng Ogweng also sought to make a comment on Uganda Airlines’ chances to succeed, a subject former Ethiopian Airlines Uganda boss Abebe Angessa had elaborately discussed during his key note address. But before making what he said was a very important submission, Eng Ogweng asked those representing Uganda Airlines to stand up for recognition so that he is sure he isn’t speaking in vain. “They aren’t here and the only person who was in has moved out and left,” someone told him from the audience. Eng Ogweng implied he wasn’t then surprised the Airline project wasn’t making much progress despite the levers in place for them to ride on to succeed. “They need to invest in medium range aircrafts to be able to do five-hour traffic like from here to Accra, Lagos and DRC Kinshasa. The two aircrafts being expected early next year are for long haul doing 9-10 hours and the two that are coming are too big and can’t fly to Johannesburg. There is a planning and decision-making problem which is why most of the time their aircrafts are just sitting down at Entebbe and people will soon call it a white elephant and you all know how cynical our people are about these things,” said Eng Ogweng as the rest of the aviation sector leaders held their breath with some subsequently protesting to him that he spoke the right things but in a wrong forum especially that the media were present.
Speaking immediately after him, Eng Kaweesi said Eng Ogweng deserved being listened to because of his vast experience as an aviation engineer who had the privilege to serve under the old Uganda Airlines. UCAA DG Kakuba too had no kind words for Uganda Airlines leadership and publicly registered his concerns while blasting them for not taking such an annual aviation sector gathering very seriously. “They should have been here to hear these things otherwise Eng Ogweng’s words of wisdom have been sowed on the rock,” Kakuba said.
Kakuba admitted Uganda Airlines’ failure to have a high level delegation at the breakfast meeting was anomalous and regrettable and promised to take initiative and reach out to the top leadership there “so that they get to understand that we are in this as partners and they shouldn’t shun gatherings of this nature where people are sharing experiences that they require to succeed as a nascent entity.”
Abebe Angessa, who Vianney Luggya who was the day’s MC praised for growing Ethiopian Airlines Uganda’s market share from 32 to 42% in such a short time, also weighed in corroborating Eng Ogweng’s point that having your aircrafts lying idle at Entebbe much of the time is indicative business isn’t going to be good. “Utilization of the aircraft should be flying for at least 14 hours a day out of the 24 hours. Aircrafts are meant to fly and not to be on the ground because if they are just resting then it’s a loss, a cost and equaling wastage,” the Ethiopian aviation industry veteran pundit submitted. He urged the leadership at Uganda Airlines to make sure employees know and buy into all the company business plans and how all that can be aligned to Uganda Vision 2040 if the national career’s short, medium- and long-term objectives and plans are to be realized. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0200900416 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).