The Government of Uganda has pushed ahead with its plans to establish a new national carrier.

According to The Monitor newspaper, Minister for Works and Transport, Monica Azuba-Ntege, told a media gathering in Kampala this week that government has made an initial cash deposit of approximately UGX4.43 billion Ugandan shillings (USD1.2 million) for the purchase of six aircraft.

Of the funds, Azuba-Ntege said UGX1.5 billion (USD403,133) had been put down for four CRJ900s from Bombardier Aerospace (BBA, Montréal Trudeau) while the remainder had been paid to Airbus (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) for two A330-200s. Of the sextet of aircraft, the Bombardiers are expected to deliver first.

Insofar as managerial infrastructure is concerned, the minister said that the Uganda National Airline Company has already been registered, an interim board and management appointed, and a business plan also approved by Cabinet. The carrier is expected to start flights in November this year.

Azuba said Uganda Airlines will also operate ancillary services such as groundhandling and catering among other tasks.

"The plan is to break even in four to five years," she said.

Uganda has been without a largescale commercial carrier since Air Uganda (Entebbe) was forced out of business back in 2013. Since then, the international Uganda market has been snapped up by the likes of Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, RwandAir, Emirates, flydubai, and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines among other operators. Domestic scheduled services are carried out by each of AeroLink Uganda and Eagle Air (both of which specialize in domestic flights)

As such, President Yoweri Museveni has argued that the launch of a successor to Uganda Airlines (1976) (Entebbe) is in the national interest and therefore a national priority.