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Wednesday, 17 April, 2002, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK
Ugandan airline prepares for take-off
AfricaOne plane
AfricaOne will initially fly DC-10s
A new passenger airline will be launched in Uganda at the end of April to compete directly with Kenya Airways, one of Africa's most profitable airlines.

African travel is growing and growing rapidly and experience has shown once you open a route people start travelling that route

Captain Joe Roy
Chairman, Africa One
The new airline, AfricaOne, will be based in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, and use Entebbe International Airport as its hub.

"We are going to launch the airline from Entebbe airport on 29 April (and) in Lagos on 1 May with our inaugural flight to London the next day," the airline's chairman, Captain Joe Roy, told Reuters.

"We will be in direct competition with Kenya Airways on our routes but we hope to be competitive by eventually providing more destinations, connections and better service," said Mr Roy, a pilot with defunct East African Airways in the 1960s and 1970s.

Pan-African travel

The airline will use DC-9s for African routes and DC10s to make bi-weekly trips from Entebbe to Lagos and then on to Dubai.

Other planned destinations include London (Gatwick), Banjul in Gambia, Freetown in Sierra Leone, Johannesburg and Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam.

"African travel is growing and growing rapidly and experience has shown once you open a route people start travelling that route," he said.

Kenya Airways has more than doubled the number of its flights to Uganda in the last five years.

Share listing

African Joint Air Services (AJAS), which formerly operated as Alliance Air and now trades as AfricaOne, is affiliated to Britain's DAS Aircargo, the largest cargo handler between Europe and Africa.

AJAS was taken over by Ugandan and Tanzanian businessmen who bought the two governments' shares in 2001 and tookover the debts incurred by Alliance Air.

Mr Roy said AfricaOne would employ some former Uganda and Alliance airlines staff.

The airline also plans to list its shares on regional bourses within three years, he said.

Joe Roy, AfricaOne chairman
"The basic idea is to get everybody in Africa as part-owners of this airline"
See also:

07 Feb 02 | Africa
Air Afrique finally goes bust
04 Jan 02 | Business
Nigeria Airways halves workforce
20 Dec 01 | UK Politics
Modernising Africa's skies
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