Rwandair is set to acquire another brand new dual-class Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprop plane. The airline bought the first Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft in February last year.
John Mirenge, the RwandAir chief executive officer, has revealed that the national carrier has already signed a lease agreement with Palma Holding Limited, a Canadian-based firm that will provide the aircraft.
When it is delivered in June, RwandAir’s fleet will grow to eight NextGen aircraft.
“This will strengthen our capacity and efficiency to serve the growing network across the continent and the Middle East,” he added.
Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft is bigger, fast and fuel-efficient, and provides for passenger comfort, Mirenge noted on Wednesday.
“The first dual-class, 67-seat Q400 NextGen aircraft is performing well, and has fully met our expectations…It’s doing well in our demanding environment.
“We have ordered for another Q400 NextGen aircraft because we have been impressed by its flexibility to support our fleet strategy through increased capacity and efficiency that support our commercial strategy,” Mirenge explained.
Moulay Omar Alaoui, the president Palma Holding, the leasing company, said the firm was delighted to support RwandAir on its path toward further growth and increased capacity and profitability.
“The dual-class configured Q400 NextGen aircraft presents many exciting business development opportunities for the African region,” Alaoui said.
Palma is going to buy the airplane under joint venture with Ibdar Bank BSC and lease it to RwandAir, he added.
“It is also worth noting that with these purchase and lease agreements, together with Palma, we continue to expand the use of Islamic financing in the African aviation sector,” said Basel Al-Haq-Issa, the Ibdar Bank BSC chief.
RwandAir currently operates other two dual-class Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen jets.
The national carrier plies 16 destinations in Africa and the Middle East. It plans to expand its operations to destinations in Europe and Asia in medium-term.
RwandAir was late last year ranked one of the safest airlines globally after passing its IATA operational safety audit.