Shs 42m a month for Uganda Airlines pilots

Each of the 12 pilots to operate the soon to be revived Uganda Airlines aircraft will earn a basic pay of Shs 42 million a month. This will be in addition to allowances the pilots will be entitled to for every hour in flight.

This came to light as the Minister for Works and Transport, Monica Ntege Azuba, led a team of officials from her ministry and Uganda Airlines to the Budget committee of Parliament to defend their Shs 280 billion supplementary budget request for the revival of the national airline.

The government ordered for four Bombardier CRJ 900 jets for the airline’s regional destinations and two A330-800neo from Airbus for the long haul routes.

Two of the Bombardier CRJ 900 jets are expected to arrive in the country later this month while the Airbus jets are expected at the end of 2020.

The State Minister for Transport, Aggrey Bagiire told the committee that the airline had recruited 12 pilots and the same number of co-pilots, all Ugandans, who have been working with reputable airlines.

The co-pilots will get a monthly pay of Shs 38 million plus flight time allowances.

Bagiire said that since the pilots are Ugandans, they agreed to come and offer a service to their nation.

Since the airline is not expected to make any profits within the first year or two, Usuk MP Peter Ogwang demanded to know how government intends to facilitate its staff. Ogwang also demanded that the curriculum vitae (CV) of the pilots be availed to the committee.

“We are very transparent in this project, there is no reason why shouldn’t give you their CVs. The technical team here will tell you that no one has approached them fronting someone for a job,” Azuba said, adding that they however needed time to compile the CVs and present it to the committee.

Bagiire told the committee that while cabinet resolved that Uganda Airlines do own ground handling, they are in the interim period going to contract one of the two handling service providers at Entebbe – National Aviation Services (NAS) handling and DAS handling to do ground handling for Uganda Airlines until a time when the carrier has attained enough capacity and resources to self-handle.

Asked about the airline’s business plan, Cornwell Muleya, the technical advisor for the Uganda Airlines project told the committee that the focus is on the regional routes because they are seen as the core of the business, capable of bringing about 6 million passengers a year  of whom, one million will be Ugandans.