Uganda’s recently re-launched national flag carrier, Uganda Airlines, has signed a one-year contract with National Aviation Services (NAS) to provide the airline with ground handling services.
The contract is a temporary measure, according to the Uganda Airlines chief executive officer (CEO), because the airline has ambitions to handle their own operations on the ground in the future.
“As we build capacity so that we can ground handle ourselves, NAS will offer the service, but our coming does not mean that we are going to force the others out,” said Ephraim Bagyenda, speaking to the Weekly Observer in Uganda.
NAS, formerly Entebbe Handling Services (ENHAS), is the largest company offering ground handling services at Entebbe International Airport, the other two being DAS Handling Limited and Fresh Handling Limited, which specialises in handling exports of cut flowers, horticultural and agricultural products.
Uganda Airlines is set to resume commercial flights for the first time in 17 years on August 28, launching its inaugural flight to Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), Nairobi.
It then plans to fly twice a day initially to Nairobi and Juba (South Sudan), as well as once a day to Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania’s commercial capital, and four times a week to Mogadishu in Somalia.
The timing of the re-launch seems to be an effort to ride the wave of passenger growth that has swept the country in recent years, with 150,000 more international passengers handled at Entebbe in 2018 than 2017, while domestic passenger traffic grew by 41.9 per cent over the same period.