In bid to expand its network, Rwanda’s national carrier Rwandair on Wednesday signed a leasing agreement with the world’s largest aircraft leaser General Electric Capital Aviation Services (GECAS).
The deal will see the national carrier receive two Boeing 737-500s in May and July this year. This will be an addition to an already existing fleet of two CRJ-200 aircrafts.
The initial agreement was signed by Vice President GECAS Ryan Barrett and Chairman and Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Rwandair, John Mirenge.
The agreement paves way for a long term engagement between the two organizations in the areas of aircraft leasing, maintenance, training and human capacity development.
Speaking after the signing, Mirenge underlined the need for the national carrier to have a strong passenger revenue driven network with the right aircraft to serve the airline’s expansion plans.
He added that the two Boeing 737-500 are expected to be deployed on routes with heavy passenger and cargo demand like Johannesburg while also serving intended Rwandair destinations like Kinshasa.
“GECAS has a keen interest in making this partnership work and in the near future we will see our organization involved in a number of projects at national level in Rwanda”, Barrett said.
GECAS is a fully owned subsidiary of General Electric which is the world’s renowned jet engines manufacturer.
GECAS is a leading global player in commercial aircraft leasing and financing, with over 1,800 owned and managed aircraft, 23 offices, and more than 245 customers in over 75 countries.
Its long-term commitment to the aviation industry extends to the development of necessary infrastructure to foster and ensure continued growth and extends further to jet engine financing and aircraft parts solutions.
Late last month, the carrier also secured a $11.5m (Rwf6.5 billion) credit facility from Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank) that will help it to implement its five year development plan.
The loan agreement was designed to help the national carrier to purchase two 737-800 planes from Boeing.
Rwandair’s management says that the two planes will be delivered in August and October 2011.