1977 saw the collapse of the former East African Community and subsequent dissolution of the East African Airways, amid deteriorating relations between the three countries that ran the airline and the failure of Uganda and Tanzania to pay outstanding debts for its operations.
Eventually, Kenya and Uganda had established their own national airlines just before the corporation fell apart, with Uganda Airlines forming in 1976 following economic embargo imposed on the government in 1975/6. Kenya Airways came in 1977 and Tanzania followed in April 1977 with the formation of Air Tanzania.
The Uganda Airlines was 100 percent owned by Government of Uganda, with an initial share capital of US$ 70 Million, and an aircraft fleet made up of 15 vessels with operation routes in Africa, Europe and Middle East.
Politics played its part, like it has always done. As a result of the 1979 (Liberation War), great damage was registered on the Airline’s assets which included looting and destruction of aircraft, aircraft spare parts and office and ground handling equipment. During the war, one B707 was damaged at Entebbe Airport and another was flown to Libya, while one Kingair was stolen and most of the light aircraft looted and damaged beyond repair.
The failure to attract a strategic partner subsequently led to the liquidation of Uganda Airline Holdings Limited in 2001, which resulted in the sale of the Airline’s remaining assets to settle the Corporation’s debts and other liabilities. This effectively left Uganda without a national carrier.
Uganda Airlines relaunched operations in August 2019 and now flies from Entebbe to Juba, Bujumbura, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Mogadishu, Nairobi and Mombasa.By the end of 2021, Uganda Airline will serve 20 destinations.