Uganda’s Vule Airways To Hit Skies In November
By John Nanyumba
Vule airways, a Ugandan airline company has joined the air transport family, however, exclusively-balancing between class and affordability. The baby airline that is scheduled to make its maiden flight in November this year was unveiled to the press and the stakeholders during a meeting that was held at the Kampala Serena Hotel on Tuesday.
The chairman and managing director, Robert Mwesigwa Nviiri said that the company was established in March this year, following a long period of failure by Ugandan business acumen to establish a vibrant airline that could serve as the flag carrier, and also failure by key regional aviation stakeholders to buy in on the idea to reestablish an East African regional airline that would have made use of economies of scale to boost the air transport in East African Community.
“Vule Airways’ main objective is to provide air transport services, both passenger and cargo, at affordable prices for travelling public within and outside the E.African region. The airline plans to achieve this through business negotiations and Code Share Agreements with the international airlines serving Uganda and the region at large,” Nviiri said, adding that their objective is to fill up the vacuum in the Ugandan air transport sector created by lack of a national airline that offers both domestic and international passenger and cargo services.
Nviiri further noted that the air company is to be operated as a budget airline to build the domestic, regional and the international routes covering all the continents of the world. “With the new rising trend of travelling abroad by air for seminars, holidays, studies and business ventures, there is an overall recorded annual average increase of 1% of passengers regionally, thus making a 5% increase throughout the 5-year period,” Nviiri said. Most interestingly, Nviiri noted that in the initial years of its operation will be re-investing 70% of its earning whilst 30% will be paid out to the shareholders in form of dividends.
Amazingly still, the airline, for the first time in so many years, will have direct flights to London and Tunis. They will be too flying to; Harare-Johannesburg, Gaborone- Johannesburg, cape town, Singapore among many other parts of Africa and the whole world. Locally, the airline will fly to Soroti, Mbarara, Kihihi, Moroto, Kalangala among others.
The company comes into service with a team of experienced Ugandans headed by Nviiri, Justice (Rtd) Lameck Nsubuga Mukasa (company secretary), Dr. Fixon Akanya Okonye (director finance and administration), Dr. Jones Yosiya Kyazze (director public relations), Princess Margaret Anne Mazzi Wampamba (director marketing) and Perpetua.K Biraaro (director internal audit) among others.
Vule Airways Justification
“The projected statement of financial performance indicates that in the first three years of operation, the new airline will make minimal loses USD (378,000) in 2017/18, USD (413,000) in 2018/19 and USD (652,000) in 2019/20 but eventually become profitable in the remaining three years of the plan implementation,” Nviiri says, adding: “Profit of USD 810,000 will be realized in 2020/21, USD 1,611,000 in 2021/22 and USD 2,079,000 2022/23. The projected statement of financial position and statement of cash flows further indicate that the company will be solvent in the short and long term.”
He further noted that, “Vule Airways is working around the clock to have its maiden flight in early November 2017. The Directors are committed to the success of Vule Airways and have further offered consultancy services where need arises in order to save on expenditure during the early stages of operationalizing the airline.” He too added that although they are private, they are looking forward to support from the government of Uganda.
Why the name VULE?
The marketing director, Mazzi said that there is a well-known indigenous tree in Uganda commonly locally known as Muvule or mahogany in English, whose timber is famous for its strength and beauty. Mazzi says they opted for VULE AIRWAYS – deriving from Muvule tree because they wanted an airline that is locally based, strong and beautiful like the Muvule tree.