RwandAir, NAS sign deal to establish new airport lounges

Pearl Lounge inside Kigali International Airport. Courtesy

The national carrier, RwandAir on Tuesday signed an agreement with National Aviation Services (NAS), a fast-growing aviation services provider in emerging markets.

NAS is a Kuwait, ground handling company which has presence in over 30 airports in emerging markets across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

The deal will see the construction and development of two new lounges at Kigali International Airport.

The joint venture, incorporated NAS RwandAir Limited, will be the exclusive lounge management company at Kigali International Airport (KIA).

“The Joint Venture, NAS-RwandAir is tasked with the construction and development of two new lounges at KIA, the RwandAir Dream Lounge dedicated to the airline’s premium passengers and an arrivals lounge,” a joint statement released yesterday reads.

The new company will also take over the management of the existing NAS Pearl Lounge in the departures area which caters for other airline passengers as well.

Chief Executive of RwandAir Yvonne Manzi Makolo said that the move is part an upgrade of the airlines business class service across its value chain.

“The NAS -RwandAir joint venture is part of many initiatives RwandAir is putting in place to upgrade its business class service across its value chain, from dedicated areas at its town offices to fast track and quality services at airports, upgraded amenities and full-flat bed seats in our wide-bodied aircraft.” said Yvonne Manzi Makolo, CEO of RwandAir.

“Business class passengers are extremely important to us and we have chosen to partner with NAS due to their track record in delivering results to premier customers,” Makolo added.

The different lounges at KIA will offer arriving and departing passengers an opportunity to relax, refresh and enjoy a meal before heading out of the airport or onwards to other destinations.

For those wishing to catch up on work, the lounges are also fully equipped with Wi-Fi and business services.

NAS-RwandAir Limited will also extend meet-and-assist services to passengers at the airport, allowing for smoother passage through check-in and immigration processes.

Hassan El Houry, Chief Executive of NAS said that by signing with RwandAir, they were seeking to improve relevance in the continent’s aviation industry.

“By partnering with RwandAir, one of Africa’s fastest growing airline, we have reaffirmed our commitment to the aviation sector in Rwanda. Rwanda, as a country has demonstrated remarkable development and is an important geography for NAS in Africa. As we grow our footprint in the region, we continue to drive efforts to bring high quality international services into the country and further contribute to its growth,” he said.

NAS handles seven of the world’s top 10 airlines and manages more than 31 airport lounges.

The NAS portfolio of services includes ramp and passenger services, engineering and line maintenance, airport technologies, fixed base management, aviation training, travel solutions, lounge management packages.

RwandaAir is scheduled to launch flight to China and the US in addition to the existing Africa, Asian and European routes.


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