Credit goes to President Idi Amin Dada for the Creation of Uganda’s first and only national flag carrier, the Uganda Airlines Corporation.
He rescued ‘The Flying Crane’ out of the wreckage of the East African Airways, and the Crane proudly traversed the international skies and landed at the world’s airports to the admiration and envy of many. All this was for the purpose of ensuring availability of air transport for Ugandans, visitors and air cargo at affordable charges. Amin saw to it that Uganda Airlines started to the Middle East and Nairobi. Uganda Airlines flew to Nairobi, Rome, Frankfurt, London, Dubai (in Obote II), Bombay, Internally, it had flights to Gulu, Arua, and Kasese.
Today, Uganda Airlines is no more, having plummeted from the skies in May 2001 and leaving Uganda shamefully unpresented in the air transport sector and granting the government –owned Kenya Airways (KA), Rwanda Airways, Air Tanzania virtual ownership of our skies to say nothing about regional dominance. KA runs five flights to Uganda per day on a route reckoned to be one of the most expensive but profitable in the world. A known fact is, of the 150 airlines worldwide 70 have majority government ownership, 20 have minority government share holdings.
In the European Union, Five major EU carriers presently have government holdings ranging from 90-100 per cent. It’s not true that governments cannot properly run ventures like Airlines. Kenya has Thailand, Singapore, Rwanda and South Africa.
Under Amin, Uganda had 65 air force planes. These included L-29 trainers, Twin Otters, MIG-17 and MiG-21( My Late Brother In Law was one of the pilots, a brillliant Guy. Whenever he arrived in Gulu in his MIG 21, he would announce this by flying over our house at a very low altitude, and that was ear drum busting LOUD!!!, Then arrive to our house in a CHOPPER and give us a RIDE of our llives in the Chopper!!!. My first expirience in a Helicopter! ) fighter bombers. Uganda Air Cargo (the cargo unit of Uganda Airlines) 2 Hercules C-130 transport aircraft. Police Air Wing, a full squadron (12) of helicopters. Uganda Airlines, six Fokker Friendship F-27 propeller planes for domestic flights to Nairobi. Two Boeing 707 jetliners. Presidential jet, a G-2 Gulfstream.
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