RwandAir clientele in Dubai up by 17%

A Rwandair plane on the runway at Kigali International Airport recently. / Sam Ngendahimana

RwandAir, the national carrier experienced an increase in its passenger traffic in Dubai by about 17 percent, and cargo by 38 percent in the first 7 months of 2019, according to Al Rais Travel that represents the airline in Dubai.

Mohammed Al Rais, the Deputy Managing Director of Al Rais Group said this during a trade mission visit in Rwanda last week. He brought along a delegation of over 17 senior executives from about eight sectors of the Middle East country (UAE).

In an interview with Sunday Times, Al Rais said that the year 2018 saw a total of 42000 passengers travel from Dubai to Kigali using RwandAir. Of these, 20000 travelled in the period between January to July 2018.

By July this year, the number of passengers had increased to 240000 passengers,  and cargo from 200 to 280 tonnes.

Al Rais also said that more people in Dubai are also learning about Rwanda and want to visit.

“We can notice the growth and business opportunities as well. People are leaning more about Rwanda mostly for trade and business, gradually they are also coming for tourism,” he said.

RwandAir’s direct flights from Kigali to Dubai have gained more clientele and, as a result, the airline decided to operate the route using a larger Airbus A330 on two weekly flights, while the remaining  flights are serviced by Boeing 737. 

Flights between Kigali and Dubai operate seven times a week.

RwandAir has in recent years been opening new routes as it seeks to reach previously un-served and underserved markets.

In April this year, the airline launched flights to DR Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, and in June it launched flights to the Chinese commercial hub of Guangzhou, and the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.

It currently has about 29 destinations altogether, and two routes in the Middle East: Dubai and Tel Aviv – Israel.

Meanwhile, relations between the United Arab Emirates (Dubai in particular) are gaining more impetus, and business communities from both countries reckon a “hub to hub” connection where Rwanda is looked at as a window for the UAE to reach the Great Lakes region markets; and the UAE can serve as a window for Rwandan businesses to reach the rest of the world.

Dubai, the most important city of the UAE, has emerged as a global hub for financial services, logistics, hospitality and trade and is steadily growing in other sectors including healthcare, technology and clean energy that make it ideal for business.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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