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Crews to pay less on travel

Crews to pay less on travel

Rally crews and their motocross counterparts will get a 15% discount on air tickets when they travel with Uganda Airlines for competitions.

The partnership between the national carrier and the Federation of Motorsport Clubs of Uganda (FMU) was unveiled on Saturday in a mutually beneficial partnership.

Ugandan competitors will pay less while Uganda Airlines get to advertise their brand on team gear that they will use.

Jennifer Bamuturaki, the acting chief executive officer of Uganda Airlines, said their aim is to use the sport’s numbers to take their name to communities where the airline cannot reach.

“They will take our name to the community so as to change the perception that flying is for the rich. When they fly internationally, the riders take our branding material and this will promote tourism,” Bamuturaki said.

“The minister of education and sports wrote a directive that Uganda airlines should carry all sports events sponsored by the government,” she added.

On his part, FMU president Dipu Ruparelia thinks that for the airline to survive, it needs support from all Ugandans instead of giving money to foreign airlines.

“We have huge numbers when we are going for events. Our people are from different walks of life. We have doctors, mechanics, and when going to Zambia, instead of driving there, Uganda Airlines can lift the car there,” he said.

Dipu attempted to decipher the misconception that motorsport is for the rich. “Most of Ugandan rally drivers are poor mechanics from the Kisekka Market but they are in the sport because it is big business,” he said.

FMU intends to take rally events to Arua, Karamoja, Gulu and Buvuma Islands.

Robert Jims Ntambi, the assistant commissioner in charge of air transport regulation, noted that besides being a business entity, Uganda Airlines is an enabler for import and export business.

The national football team, Uganda Cranes, and their basketball counterparts, Silverbacks, have always used the national carrier to events where the company currently flies.

It was revamped in August, 2019 and currently flies to west and southern Africa. Licenses to travel to China, Dubai and London have also been obtained.