Following the rather unceremonious departure of the airline’s start up CEO a few months into the airline’s operations start, its second CEO also departed from Air Uganda under similarly clouded circumstances only a year into his tenure.
Peter de Wal, a Dutch national, came on board to do better than his hapless Italian predecessor, but he, too, has been replaced by none other than Hugh Fraser as interim CEO, a former Kenya Airways (KQ) commercial director.
Hugh left KQ at the end of his contract, when the board of the Kenyan flag carrier embarked on some major restructuring, before then joining the AKFED head office in Paris in an unspecified oversight role for their African airline operations.
Peter de Wal was apparently summoned to Paris a few days prior to his sudden departure from U7, and consternation has now set in among senior staff who are busy speculating what misfortune has befallen their former boss and who might meet the same fate next.
The airline had, since its inception, a mixed bag of fortunes, making a success of traffic to and from Juba, largely in the absence of another jet operator on the route from Entebbe, but are stuck with a single evening flight to Nairobi and four flights per week to Dar es Salaam, which results in a low usage of their two MD 87 aircraft.
Twice a week, Air Uganda’s aircraft is also flying under a code share/wet lease from Juba to Khartoum on behalf of Marsland Aviation, an airline which operates inside the Sudan and is registered there.
Peter de Wal was unavailable for comment by the time of going to press although efforts continue to have him offer his side of the controversy.