RwandAir to begin direct flights to Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa is a strategic city not only for the region but also for the continent. (File)

RwandAir, the national carrier has announced that it will commence direct flights to Addis Ababa, in April next year.

According to a statement from RwandAir, the national carrier will operate five weekly direct flights from Kigali to Addis Ababa with a CRJ-900NG aircraft.

Addis Ababa, which is the capital of Ethiopia, is a strategic city not only for the region but also for the continent.

It hosts the headquarters of the African Union, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and other regional offices for a number of international organisations.

With flights to Addis Ababa, officials say RwandAir will be offering seamless connections through its hub in Kigali between Addis Ababa and other African cities in its network.

They also believe the addition of Addis Ababa to their destinations is key to RwandAir’s growth in Africa and also a bridge for strengthening the bilateral relationships and improving trade and tourism between the two countries.

“As an expanding young airline, it is imperative for us to fly to Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport as it is one of the important hubs in Africa. By starting direct flights to Addis Ababa we expect to offer better connections to East, West and Southern Africa,” Yvonne Manzi Makolo, the airline's Chief Executive said in a statement.

The airline’s decision to operate flights between Kigali and Addis Ababa comes following already operational flights by Ethiopian Airlines, which is arguably the top established airline in the region.

Meanwhile, with the addition of Addis Ababa, RwandAir will reach out to 27 destinations in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

The airline currently flies to 26 destinations across East, Central, West and Southern Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia.

Last year, RwandAir started flights from Kigali to Mumbai, Harare, London (Gatwick) and Brussels as well as Dakar from its second hub in Cotonou.

It also introduced flights to Abidjan, Libreville and Brazzaville from its Cotonou hub. Earlier this year, the airline started flights to Abuja in Nigeria and Cape Town.

Next year, Guangzhou, Tel Aviv, Bamako and Conakry will also be added to the airline’s expanding network with plans to enter the American market edging closer.