Information was received this morning that Uganda’s quasi national airline Air Uganda is presently hosting an international audit team, which is in country to assess the state of preparations of U7 towards final certification under IATAs operational safety audits.
IOSA is arguably the gold standard for airlines as far as safety is concerned and international cooperation with other airlines, including code share arrangements, are now often made contingent of IOSA certification by the global aviation giants, before letting their passengers fly with third party airlines beyond their own hubs and destinations. This is a global development but particularly pertinent in Africa, where aviation has an unenviable safety record in countries like Congo Dr and the Republic of the Sudan, affecting the standing and reputation of aviation in general, justified or not.
Details ascertained from a regular source in Entebbe also confirmed that the audit team has been on site since Monday this week, and is due to finalise their reviews and interviews by Friday end of business. The result of the audit will then be communicated to IATAs relevant department which will in turn formally advise applicant Air Uganda of any measures required to be addressed and the time frames given, before a final audit will then establish when, rather than if IOSA certification can be granted to U7. This is expected to be achieved by sometime in 2012 according to other usually well informed sources close to the airline.
This development is a major step by Air Uganda to enter the big league, and while not by the size of their fleet at least by the level of quality matching that of already certified and re-certified other airlines flying in the East African region.