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Vule Airways, formerly known as Vule Airways Limited, is a low-cost privately owned airline based in Uganda.
Vule Airways is expected to fly 6 domestic airports within Uganda, Tunisia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, South Sudan and United Kingdom.
The airline was founded in March 2017 and is due to commence flight operations from November 2017.
|Dar es Salaam||Tanzania|
29th August 2017
Vule Airways Set to Take Off At Entebbe International Airport November 2017
Vule Airways is set to fly out of Entebbe International Airport starting November 2017 subject to regulatory approval from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Robert Mwesigwa, the co-founder and managing director of the three-month old carrier, said the announcement of schedules and fares will be coming soon.
"We plan to fly to the East African Community Partner States' major airports, Southern Africa, London, Moscow, Dubai, Mumbai, Guangzhou, and Tel Aviv," he told The Independent in an interview.
He said the carrier, which is currently negotiating codeshare agreements with major carriers, will start its operation with six aircrafts flying passengers to more than 20 destinations across Africa, Europe and Asia.
Mwesigwa, who remained guarded on the initial financial investment, said local investors own 55% of the shares and the rest held by foreign investors.
Incorporated in the United Kingdom in May 2017 and also registered in Uganda, Vule Airways is run by two directors - Mwesigwa and Fred Keays, a British national - and a company secretary.
Margaret Anne Wampamba, the company's director for marketing said their plan to set up a carrier in Uganda using Entebbe as its hub is to fill the vacuum in the country's air transport industry created with the collapse of the national carrier which offered domestic and international passenger as well as cargo services.
"Uganda is among the top five countries in the world when you come to tourism, according to CNN," Wampamba said, "And therefore there is that market to capture and grow."
She said the carrier also plans to tap into the growing cargo segment especially for exports, arguing that it is cheaper for exporters to use the home carrier that flies directly to their markets than depending on foreign carriers that go through their respective hubs.
Vule comes at the time Kenya Airway's low-cost subsidiary, Jambojet, which posted a US$1.26 million profit in its second year of operation underlining increased use of domestic air travel last year, has set a December target for unveiling international operations on 11 new routes subject to regulatory approvals following acquisition of a new aircraft from a Moscow-based leasing company as part of its expansion.
Jambojet has applied to fly to Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, and Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Blantyre and Lilongwe in Malawi as well as to Uganda, Ethiopia, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The low-cost carrier leased a 78-seater Bombardier Q400 from Ilyushin Finance Co (IFC) to serve its domestic customers and the upcoming routes, with a second aircraft scheduled for delivery in November.
Currently, Jambojet flies to six routes in Kenya; from Nairobi to Mombasa, Eldoret, Kisumu, Lamu, Malindi and Ukunda.
Meanwhile, the first entrant in the low-cost flight business in the region, Fastjet, recorded a net loss of US$48 million for the year ended December 2016, more than doubling the $21.9 million loss recorded the previous year. The Tanzania-based, London-listed low-cost carrier with pan-African ambitions, has air operator's certificates in two countries--Tanzania and Zimbabwe--which are seen to be facing tough economic conditions and increased competition, as the two airlines themselves battle to right-size to the market.
In December last year, the carrier suspended its flights to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, Kenya and Entebbe in Uganda barely a year after launching the routes.
The low-cost carrier also stopped flights from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe citing low passenger numbers as well as inefficient utilization of the carriers existing fleets.
The carrier was said to be only one in the region using the Airbus on domestic routes as its competitors Kenya Airways, Precision Air, Air Tanzania and RwandAir use the Embraer 190, Bombadier, ATR and Dash 8 series respectively.
Vule's aggressive model
Vule Airways officials say they have their own aggressive model and projects to make minimal loses of US$378,000 in 2017/18, US$413,000 in 2018/19 and US$ 652,000 in 2019/20. The company would break-even in 2020/21 with a profit of US$ 810,000, US$1.611million in 2021/22 and US$2.079million in the 2022/23.
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