Uganda Airlines’ new A330-800neo comes out of the painting. PICTURE: Airbus
Airbus and Uganda Airlines, the country’s national carrier in Northeast Africa, released a few more images of the painting on the first of the two new A330-800neo ordered by the African company. The photo shows the aircraft leaving the Airbus paint shop in Toulouse, France. An earlier picture was taken under the lens of a local observer in September this year, but showed that the jet was still unpainted.
On the rear of the Airbus, the painting highlights the country’s official identity next to the coat of arms with the crowned crane, the bird symbol of Uganda, the colored ribbons in black, yellow and red. The proposal stipulates that the manufacturer will deliver the aircraft to the operator by December, two months later than originally planned.
According to Uganda’s independent newspaper, Uganda Airlines plans to build a medium and long-haul network with high-tech aircraft and more efficient and economical operations with the two A330-800s ordered from Airbus.
Great news! Our new @Airbus A330-800 is out of the paint shop. Get ready to join our fleet.
Let the countdown begin … pic.twitter.com/rauWSzy01W
– Uganda Airlines (@UG_A Airlines) October 16, 2020
In an interview with the newspaper, the company’s incumbent CEO Cornwell Muleya said he plans to launch international flights next year. “Our goal is to get the aircraft at least until December so that we can start operations at the beginning of the new year,” said the managing director. “Our main goal is to have three international connections, namely Dubai, London and also in the Chinese market in Guangzhou,” he added.
Uganda Airlines currently has four Bombardier CRJ 900s that have operated eight regional routes since August 2019. The aircraft were ordered in 2018 together with the two A330-800neo, which are in the final stages of manufacture.
The Airbus A330neo is a new twin-engine turbofan wide-body aircraft developed by Airbus to replace the Airbus A330. The A330neo Family, launched in July 2014, consists of two versions: A330-800 and A330-900.
With only eleven units sold to secondary companies, one for Air Greenland, two for Uganda Airlines and eight for Kuwait’s national carrier, the A330-800neo was struggling to get going. Due to the delay in certification, Airbus was unable to meet its original schedule for the delivery of the first unit in April and is now planning new dates for the fourth quarter.