RwandAir Expands West Africa, US, China Operations

by Kim Boateng Posted on August 24th, 2017

Kigali, Rwanda. RwandAir, the national carrier of Rwanda will add 3 weekly flights to 3 West African cities namely Conakry in Guinea, Bamako, Mali and Senegalese capital Dakar September 30, according to Chance Ndagano, the acting chief executive officer of RwandAir. The new routes will be connected via the airline’s new hub in Cotonou, Benin. The airline already serves three other destinations via Cotonuo, including Libreville in Gabon, Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo, and Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

“The new Cotonou hub will be synchronised with the existing operations from Kigali allowing seamless connections to the rest of the RwandAir destinations on the African continent and beyond,” said Ndagano

The governments of Benin and Rwanda signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a joint airline based in Cotonou. Under the deal, RwandAir launched the new hub on August 1 after the country was granted seventh freedom rights by Benin, allowing the airline to operate an international air service from Cotonou to a third country.

Meanwhile, RwandAir is also scheduled to launch flights to New York and new Asian destinations, including Guangzhou in China. The airline recently acquired its first A330 series (A330-200 and A330-300 Airbus) aircraft to boost its fleet and long haul capacity.

Photo: Rwandair plane on tarmac

RwandAir has been on an expansion drive and has already entered the European market with flights to London (Gatwick) and Brussels that started in May and July, respectively. The new routes will extend RwandAir’s network to 26 destinations across three continents. The airline also started flights to Mumbai and Harare this year as part of a strategy to expand its wings across the globe.

“These latest additions are further proof of our commitment to improve connectivity on the African continent, and the will to create new opportunities for economic exchange, trade and tourism between countries with the aim of fostering economic development,” Ndagano noted.

The IATA Operational Safety Audit certified airline carried more than 650,000 passengers last year and projects to transport over three million in the next five years.

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