December 02, 2019: Uganda Air Cargo, which operates scheduled and charter services for both passengers and cargo, has asked the country's parliament to provide $10 million (Shs37 billion) to repair one of the two C-130 aircraft, which has been grounded since 2014. It also appealed for funds to acquire a B737 classic freighter.
The Ugandan Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) revoked the Air Operator's Certificate (AOCs) of all locally-based airlines in June 2014, refusing to approve the state-owned carrier, along with Air Uganda and Transafrik Uganda, under the International Civil Aviation Organisation- (ICAO) backed safety audit.
John Otekat, chairman of the board, told the Ugandan parliament's defense and internal affairs committee that the airline suffered losses while out of action and that its Lockheed Hercules C-130 aircraft remained grounded due to cracks in its centre wing box.
Otekat also disclosed that the cost of repairing the aircraft has risen over the last five years from $2 million to $10 million, warning that it could increase further if money is not provided soon. "For now what we are requesting is the government to provide us with funds to repair the second aircraft, to give a back up to the existing ones. It is very difficult to win a contract if you have only one airplane," he said.
Meanwhile, it has just one Harbin Y12 turboprop with no back-up in the event of an emergency, resulting in a lack of confidence among customers. Otekat said, adding that the airline recently lost an $11 million contract from the United States due to lack of capacity.
Founded in 1994, Uganda Air Cargo is a government entity that is supervised by the Defense and Veteran Affairs Ministry. It has four aircraft, two C-130 from the US, and two Y-12 aircraft from China purchased in July 2008.