Sources say that, embarrassed by the prospect of idle aircraft parked at the Entebbe International Airport, the interim board wanted to defer delivery to a later date — since they are being blamed for occasioning the delays in the project.
The move was opposed by the management team, which was concerned about the high demurrage costs if the aircraft were to be kept at the manufacturer’s facilities.
The delays are being blamed on the interim board — which is made up mostly of by civil servants — missing targets such as recruitment and training of pilots, and installing key position holders.
Although September 2018 was the deadline for concluding recruitment, the 10-man board is being accused of laxity after interviewing only four candidates in a day.
While the management team wanted the board to only interview for the top positions, they have insisted on interviewing for all cadres of workers.
Although the interviews for all positions were completed, delays have been occasioned by the need to have pilots validated and security clearances obtained.
Validation was done in Nairobi, but security vetting has not been completed for pilots and other key positions.
The delays are proving to be frustrating and, now, sources say a highly billed candidate who had been headhunted from the US for a technical position has instead been poached by the CAA.
A concerned Bombardier, which has had to seek new training slots at facilities in the USA and France for the Uganda Airlines pilots, has in recent weeks also put pressure on the implementation team, calling for weekly meetings to track the progress on the aircraft delivery matrix.
Efforts to reach interim board chair Captain Gad Gasatura were unsuccessful.