The Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Airlines, Jennifer Bamuturaki, has said she believes that the national carrier can start making profits between five and seven years even as the airline looks to expand its route and cargo operations.
According to chimpreports.com, Ms Bamuturaki who spoke on the sidelines of the Aviation Africa Summit in Kigali on Monday, September 12, said they will achieve this by launching new routes and carrying more cargo.
“We are changing our strategy. We are looking at launching routes that can increase our profitability. We are looking at being profitable in about 5 to 7 years as projected on our business plan. If we can achieve it earlier, the better,” she said.
“We are behind schedule due to the pandemic. We spent over a year without flying. So we are trying to pick up,” Ms Ms Bamuturaki added.
This comes after Parliament’s Committee on State Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) heard last month that Uganda Airlines has racked up a loss of Shs498b since being revived in 2019.
Mr Paul Turacayisenga, the airline’s director finance, told Cosase lawmakers that last financial year (2021/2022), the national carrier posted more than twice the losses registered in its first financial year (2019/2020) since its revival. The revelation came not as a shock but, perhaps, as a troubling inevitability.
The Cosase lawmakers heard that Uganda’s flag carrier made a record annual operating loss of Shs232b last financial year (2021/2022). Before that, the Auditor General’s report captured a Shs164b loss for the financial year 2020/2021. Referencing another report from the Auditor General’s office, Mr Joel Ssenyonyi—the Cosase chairperson—put the loss posted in Financial Year 2019/2020 at Shs102b.
At the Kigali summit, Bamuturaki touched on partnerships and their importance in driving the career forward in the aviation market. She mentioned the interlines that airline is working on.
“We also have the opportunity for cargo. The airline is looking forward to grabbing the opportunity of the growing cargo sector, in order to increase her profits in 5-7 years,” she said.
President P. Kagame, who was the guest honour at the summit, among other things spoke of the need to address skills shortage in Africa aviation sector and prioritization of data and digital tech improvement.