Uganda Airlines has become the first African carrier to sign up to Airbus’ Flight Hour Services (FHS), under which the manufacturer will be responsible for engineering support and spare parts availability for the A330neo fleet.
The flag carrier and Airbus signed the Agreement against the backdrop of Dubai Airshow that opened on November 14, to a colourful air display and a 255 aircraft order by Indigo Partners for various Airbus models. Uganda Airlines chief executive Jenifer Musiime signed for Uganda Airlines while Mikhail Houri, Airbus president for Africa and Middle East, signed for the manufacturer.
Uganda Airlines signature was followed on Wednesday, by Air Tanzania which entered a similar agreement covering its four-strong fleet of A220’s.
Airbus says the airlines will benefit “from comprehensive material services including on-site-stock, access to Airbus’ spares pools and components engineering and repair services around the world. Airbus will guarantee spare parts availability, generating value through increased fleet availability and operating maintenance costs savings.”
Ephraim Bagenda, the Director for Engineering and Maintenance at Uganda Airlines, says the arrangement removes the need for the airline to invest critical financial resources in stocking up spare parts or time sourcing for those that might not be on site. That will reduce the time aircraft will spend on the ground for maintenance and repairs, increasing revenue service.
Besides being the first African customers for Airbus’ FHS on two new aircraft types, the A220 and the A330,the two selections also increase the global Airbus fleet covered by FHS which has increased by more than 25pc over the past two years to more than 1,100 aircraft.
Airbus’ FHS helps to secure fleet entry into service through an easy maintenance set-up and access to an established industrial set-up, while maximising the aircraft availability through component reliability. For A220 customers FHS offers a large stock availability, both for on-site stock management and parts pooling, and a dedicated operational supply chain already supporting the type’s growing customer base.