Uganda Airlines Airbus A330 Government has revealed plans to float shares of the newly revamped national carrier, Uganda Airlines on the Uganda Stock Exchange (USE).
The listing is planned for the next three years according to Minister of Works and Transport Gen Edward Katumba Wamala.
Currently, the airline is owned wholly by the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development, and Ministry of Works and Transport.
Gen Katumba says however, that government’s plan is to release these shares to the members of the public so that the airline is operated as private entity rather than a government parastatal.
This he said was the reason government decided to buy brand new aircraft rather than leasing old ones.
“We wanted to give the company a good start so that they don’t have an excuse to not make profit,” he said.
The minister revealed however, that listing the airline on the Uganda Securities Exchange will largely depend on how fast Uganda and the world overcome the current Covid19 crisis.
“We think that after three years we should be able to float shares for Ugandans to buy in the company,” Katumba said.
“But you can’t start selling shares before the company proves its worth. We think that within three years the company should have been able to take off and then the financial documents will be good enough for us to put them out there and then we can start floating shares so that the Ugandans who are interested can have a stake in the airline.”
Uganda Airlines like most around the world was severely impacted by the global covid19, which brought the entire industry to a halt.
The airline, according to the recent Auditor General’s report, posted a loss of Shs15b in the Financial Year 2018/2019 and a Shs102b loss in the Financial Year 2019/2020.Recently the airline has also been plagued by reports of corruption which through the involvement of President Yoweri Museveni, saw its entire top Adminstration and board fired.Commenting on whether the airline will overcome its management crisis and actually break even, Minister Katumba expressed optimism“I feel like we have started well,” he said.“Are there stumbles? Yes, they might be there, but looking at how we have performed so far on most of our routes, it is very encouraging. We hope that when we start operating the long routes it will get much better.”