Deprecated: The each() function is deprecated. This message will be suppressed on further calls in /home/lgepekkvw2pf/public_html/wp-content/plugins/js_composer/include/classes/core/class-vc-mapper.php on line 111
Uganda Airlines ‘exiting’ deal with Dubai firm over airport fuel fiasco –

Uganda Airlines ‘exiting’ deal with Dubai firm over airport fuel fiasco

Read Time:4 Minute, 9 Second

The East African

Uganda Airlines is considering cancelling the contract with its fuel supplier, Dubai-based MixJet Flight Support, after two incidents in which the carrier’s flights were delayed at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam due to late delivery of fuel.

The airline weathered a public relations storm on July 12, after a passenger on flight UR321 from Dar es Salaam to Entebbe shared online that the flight had been delayed because it had not paid for fuel.

The flight’s departure was delayed by one hour, 45 minutes, allegedly because Total, which is subcontracted to fuel the Ugandan carrier on behalf of MixJet, scrambled to find fuel, following the exhaustion of its own suppliers at the airport.

The claim went viral and generated heated debate, with many assuming that the aircraft had run out of fuel while airborne. However, the airline refuted these reports, saying that before departure, “it is standard practise to ensure that the aircraft has enough fuel for its intended destination and enough fuel reserves to an alternative airport if the need arises due to bad weather or any other unforeseen circumstances that could prevent a landing.”

Bageya Waiswa, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works and Transport, downplayed the crisis, saying it had been blown out of proportion. The airline was on solid footing, he said and is preparing to launch long-haul services once the Covid-related travel restrictions are lifted.

The fuelling saga has led to a four-way faceoff between Uganda Airlines, its supplier MixJet, and subcontractors that operate the fuel farms at all of Tanzania’s gateways. According to sources at the airline, this was the second time the carrier, which pays for its fuel in advance, was being subjected to such embarrassment. The airline’s services from Dar were first delayed on May 13, again due to late delivery of fuel.

While MixJet is blaming Total and the airline for the delays, Uganda Airlines is angered that the supplier has not been proactive in resolving such incidents whenever they have happened.

Uganda Airlines signed a contract for global fuelling with MixJet, which then subcontracts other suppliers on the ground to deliver the service on its behalf. Total is the subcontractor that is supposed to fuel the carrier at Entebbe and Dar es Salaam airports. The contract requires Uganda Airlines to pay for all its fuel stock a month in advance. The airline says it paid for supplies for July on June 26.

The EastAfrican has learnt that the events leading to the hold-up started when Total, which acts on behalf of MixJet but is also dependent on another company that operates the hydrants and fuel storage facilities at Dar, Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro airports, ran out of reserves.

“As our agent, MixJet should be able to notify us well in advance of such disruptions,” said Uganda Airlines adding, “During such incidents, Total, the Mixjet subcontracted service provider in Dar, becomes non-responsive and is not reachable on phone leaving the ground teams stranded and having to liaise with Mixjet, based in the Middle East, on email which further prolongs the delays.”

MixJet was not available for comment.

Uganda Airlines is uncomfortable with a clause in the contract that requires it to make advance payments for fuel, because it exposes it to possible financial loss, in the event of default by MixJet. The airline said advance payments need to be backed up by a bank guarantee to mitigate the risk of any loss accrued.

The airline has now sought authority from its shareholders to exit the contract with MixJet and engage directly with suppliers to secure what they say are better and more favourable payment terms for fuel.

“Notice is given for termination of contract with Mixjet and a new competitive and transparent procurement process is initiated to cater for the services currently provided for in the MixJet contract,” the airline said.

The fuel dispute comes against a backdrop of reduced services as the airline grapples with the downturn in business imposed by Covid-19 restrictions with daily flights to Dar es Salaam, Nairobi and Juba reduced to one. Planned flights to London, Dubai, India and China have also been put on hold either because countries are banning travellers from Uganda and vice-versa.

The airline has also been operating without a board following its suspension together with senior managers in late April. More managers, including the commercial director, procurement manager, two pilots and a human resource officer were also sent on a three-month suspension in mid-May.

According to Mr Bageya, who issued the suspension letters, there was discontent and a dispute with the way the airline was being managed.

“The appointing authority decided that they should be sent on suspension for three months so that an audit of the airline could be conducted. We hope that at the end of the three months, some of them will be able to come back,” he said.

0 %
0 %
0 %
0 %
0 %
0 %

Average Rating

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star

5 thoughts on “Uganda Airlines ‘exiting’ deal with Dubai firm over airport fuel fiasco

  1. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this site.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very difficult to get that “perfect balance” between usability and appearance.
    I must say you’ve done a very good job with this. Also, the blog loads extremely quick
    for me on Firefox. Exceptional Blog!

  2. Hey! Quick question that’s completely off topic.
    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My site looks
    weird when viewing from my iphone 4. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to resolve this
    issue. If you have any recommendations, please share. Many thanks!

    my page …

  3. Hi, I do believe this is an excellent web site.
    I stumbledupon it 😉 I will come back once again since I
    bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change,
    may you be rich and continue to guide others.

    Feel free to surf to my blog post Viag Rx

  4. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what
    all is needed to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?

    I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% positive. Any tips or advice
    would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    Review my blog post – Gorges Cream Review

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *