The Uganda government has said it needs 340 million U.S. dollars to purchase six passenger aircrafts as the country pushes to revamp the national carrier before the end of this year.
Bageya Waiswa, permanent secretary ministry of works and transport, told reporters late on Wednesday that the government has already paid a commitment fee of 1.2 million dollars to the manufacturers, Bombardier and Airbus.
“We have been to Bombardier to look for short range aircrafts and also we have been to Airbus to look for two long range aircrafts,” Waiswa said, noting that the short range aircrafts will be four.
The government said in May it will purchase four Bombardier CRJ900 passenger planes from the Canadian Bombardier Aerospace and two wide-body Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
“We have made our request to the ministry of finance to start the process of securing loan financing for the aircrafts and once the arrangements are in place, we shall go ahead to negotiate the purchase agreement,” he added.
Uganda Airlines, the national carrier, has been grounded for nearly two decades after racking up debts of more than 6 million dollars.
The country’s President Yoweri Museveni has argued that it is a shame for the country not having a national airline.
There has been debate over the commercial viability of revamping Uganda Airlines in the face of stiff competition from other airlines operating in the region.