Travellers with RwandAir will now find it easier to book and pay for flights online following a deal signed with European firm, Wirecard Group, to facilitate the process. Wirecard is one of the world’s leading providers of electronic payment solutions.
John Mirenge, the RwandAir chief executive officer, said the deal is in line with the airline’s commitment to continuously improve service delivery and boost efficiency.
Mirenge said the partnership allows RwandAir passengers to book and pay for flights online using cards, including Visa, MasterCard, Diners/Discover, JCB, China, UnionPay and Maestro.
“Wirecard’s global coverage and optimum technical structure will ensure smooth online booking and ticketing experience for passengers,” he said at the deal signing event in Kigali.
He added that the initiative will also support efforts by the government in promoting a cashless economy.
Eckart Reiche, the head of sales airlines at Wirecard, said the collaboration with RwandAir confirms the firm’s commitment to Africa as well as our readiness to support the rapidly growing airline industry on the continent.
Reiche lauded RwandAir as an “innovative partner” that uses new technology and services to optimise processes, costs and profits.
“Therefore, our role as the technology provider is to support the airline with the most convenient and efficient payment solution that will help boost service delivery,” Reiche added.
The Wirecard Group supports all sales channels with credit card acceptance.
The firm is also a principal member of Visa and MasterCard and has license agreements with JCB, American Express, Discover/Diners, UnionPay and UATP.
Last year, RwandAir received East Africa’s first wide-bodied brand new Airbus A330s in a triple class configuration and Africa’s first Boeing 737-800NG equipped with in-flight connectivity on a line-fit program.
This year, the airline is expected to expand into long haul operations and increase frequencies on routes with increased demand; more routes on the continent will be launched with another Wi-Fi connected Boeing 737-800NG joining the young fleet mid-2017.
Meanwhile, RwandAir will start flights to Harare, Zimbabwe and Mumbai in India will commence on April 1 and 3, respectively.
According to an announcement by the airline, flights to Harare will be daily and tagged to the existing Lusaka (Zambia) route.
The national carrier will operate direct flights on the Mumbai route, four times a week using “our young Bombardier and Boeing Next Generation fleet that offer a state-of-the art dual class cabin”.
“We are delighted to enable new and seamless connections between more African cities and beyond the continent which creates more businesses and boosts the various countries’ social and economic development,” said Mirenge.
The two new destinations will take RwandAir’s growing network to 21.
Mirenge said the airline will enter more markets soon, including Conakry, Guinea, Bamako in Mali, as well as Dakar, Senegal, Lilongwe in Malawi and Durban, South Africa. Presently, the airline operates 19 destinations, including Nairobi, Entebbe, Mombasa, Bujumbura, Lusaka, Juba, Douala, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Cotonou, Johannesburg, Dubai, Lagos, Libreville and Brazzaville.
The IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certified airline also plans to start flights to Gatwick, London’s second-busiest airport, and to the US this year as part of its strategy to serve more global markets.