Uganda Airlines is aiming to bolster its crew numbers by doubling its current capacity in order to tackle flight delays and expand into new routes. David Kaweesa, the Director of Flight Operations at Uganda Airlines, emphasized the airline’s need to increase its crew to meet targeted flights and route plans.
Currently, Uganda Airlines operates with 13 pairs of first officers and 13 pairs of captains, which falls short of the required capacity to expand regional flights and introduce new routes. To meet their flight and revenue targets, the airline aims to boost crew numbers to at least 24 pairs of captains and 24 pairs of first officers.
In efforts to comply with regulatory requirements and ensure crew members’ well-being, Uganda Airlines has reduced flight frequencies on certain routes such as Nairobi and Juba. Jennifer Bamuturaki, the CEO of Uganda Airlines, highlighted the importance of adhering to regulations and maintaining crew rest periods to prevent overworking.
Flight delays and cancellations have been attributed to the airline’s struggle to maintain safe operating margins due to crew shortages. Despite recruiting efforts, securing sufficient crew members has proven challenging, with only four successful applicants out of 67 for first captain positions.
The shortage in crew numbers has led to delays in Uganda Airlines’ expansion plans, including launches into new routes like London, Guangzhou, Jeddah Riyad, Abuja, and Lusaka. However, the airline remains optimistic about securing funding in the upcoming financial year to support operations and enhance competitiveness.