Rwanda’s national carrier, RwandAir, officially opened a sales office in Nairobi, Kenya. According to the carrier’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Gerald Zirimwabagabo, governments in the region have to lower and match their aviation taxes to encourage air travel.
The CEO was speaking at the official opening of the office.
Zirimwabagabo also said that successful airline operations cannot exist without the active and deliberate involvement of governments.
“These authorities need to lower and harmonize various taxes levied on air travel, I am convinced this will stimulate the much needed air travel for our people,” he added.
Zirimwabagabo added that before opening the sales office, the airline, which operates two daily flights between Nairobi and Kigali, depended on general sales agent agreements it had signed with local travel agents.
At the opening ceremony, was Kenya’s Transport Minister, Chirau Ali Mwakwere, who said that that the Nairobi sales office will give travellers faster connection.
He added that Kenya and Rwanda had signed a bilateral air service agreement in 1978, allowing national carriers to fly into each other’s airspace and in 2008, the agreement was enhanced to more frequencies for both national carriers, he said.
Zirimwabagabo said Nairobi remains a key transit point into and out of the Great Lakes region and as such, air transport operators within the East African Community (EAC) must find ways of enhancing both passenger and cargo air transport.