Rwanda, Brazil enter air service cooperation

Minister of Infrastructure, Claver Gatete and Brazilian ambassador to Rwanda, Fernando Estellita Lins de Salvo Coimbra, signing Bilateral Air Service Agreement on Wednesday. / Craish Bahizi

The governments of Rwanda and Brazil on Wednesday signed a bilateral air service agreement (BASA), a deal which will enhance connectivity between both countries.

It is also expected to facilitate the private sector of both countries to explore and tap into the economic potentials of the two nations.

Signed between the Minister of Infrastructure, Amb. Claver Gatete and the Brazilian ambassador to Rwanda, Fernando Estellita Lins de Salvo Coimbra, the agreement comes against the backdrop of an MoU signed between both countries in December 2017 in Sri Lanka.

This was done on the margins of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Air Service Negotiating Event.

The deal provides for exchange for aviation expertise and conducting of training between Rwanda and Brazilian’s aviation sectors.

Currently, Rwanda has 91 bilateral Air service Agreement with countries within and outside the African continent.

“There is so much we can do together with Brazil in the area of air transport. We are moving very fast because transport is one of the critical sectors for us as Rwanda,” he said.

“The signing of the BASA with Federal Republic of Brazil and opening of more routes by RwandAir will continue to provide Rwanda’s private sector with enormous opportunities in an economically vibrant and large market of more than 210 million people,” Gatete added.

On his part, the Brazilian envoy said that the deal is a “historic” moment for the relations between both countries.

He highlighted the potential of his country’s aviation sector, noting that the country is one of the largest manufacturers of aircraft and has good expertise and advanced technologies.

“We not only have technologies, but we also have a large sector of civil aviation. We currently have over 450 aircraft in regular aviation and another 770 aircraft on nonscheduled transportation flying in the country. We have more than 100 public airports, 44 of which operate international flights in addition to 3500 private aerodromes in Brazil,” said the envoy, who is resident in Kenya.

“So it’s quite a significant sector. Last year, I believe we had the passengers transported in the country reach 117 million. We are very happy that through this agreement we are now in a position to define and focus on specific areas where we can corporate.”

Coimbra hinted on the possible corporation opportunities in other areas like education, agriculture, health, in addition to civil aviation.

“We are still a developing country but we have quite a number of expertise and a very dynamic economy.

We are looking forward to getting closer to Rwanda and one of the best ways to get closer is precisely through airlines, and the flow of goods and people; bringing together our cultures, bringing together our people, bringing together ways of benefiting our people,” he said.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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