There’s a report out today that says the “revamped” airline is about to acquire CRJ900s. Monica Azuba Ntege, the Ugandan minister for Works spoke to a local media outlet. “We have made some deposits on the aircraft and we are negotiating export finance for them with Canadian financiers. We expect that source to fund 70-80 percent of the value of that acquisition while we fund the remainder from other sources,” she said.
Then she went on to drop something that has caught our attention. The Minister said that $1.2m has so far been paid in commitment fees to Bombardier and Airbus. She also said $400,000 had been deposited on each of the Airbuses while $100,000 apiece had been paid for each of the CRJs. Apparently, there are active negotiations with German, French and British banks to advance export credit for a pair of Airbus A330-800 series that will form the core of the long-distance fleet.
It is interesting to see the Ugandans are looking to the EU for export financing. Rwanda Air turned to local banks to finance its A330s.
And the A330-800 item? Nothing of this appears anywhere in the Airbus O&D numbers as its way too soon. We don’t see the -800 working better for them than the -900. Asia and the EU are likely to be the first focus markets. The -900 can handle that and has better freight capacity. Perhaps the minister was a bit too vocal about the Airbus side of the revamped airline’s plans.