The recent acquisition of two CRJ200 planes by RwandAir will help the airline to upgrade its business through efficient service delivery, management has said.
John Mirenge, RwandAir’s acting CEO said that with the acquisition of new aircrafts, overall customer perception and confidence about the airline’s product will improve.
“In the long-term, this will translate into continuous patronage of our services, hence continued business,” Mirenge said.
Mirenge who is also the airline’s Chairman added that their owned fleet will improve operational efficiencies in terms of fleet scheduling, control over maintenance and related operating costs.
In the past the national carrier has relied on wet leased planes, a move largely criticised for putting the leasee under the under the control of the lesser.
“Our fleet acquisition strategy is pegged on our network expansion plans of serving regional short haul destinations (1-2hr radius) hence the acquisition of the CRJ200s,” Mirenge said.
RwandAir is also in the process of acquiring one Boeing 737 through a dry lease with a technical stop that can cover up to 8hr radius flights.
“As we expand into the mid to long haul destinations, we would be looking at equipment that could fly direct to America, Europe and Asia,” he added.
RwandAir operates a fleet of three planes with no business class. The business class service is expected to be deployed in the Boeing 737-500 on the Kigali – Johannesburg route mid May this year.
Mirenge also said RwandAir will purchase two 737-800 planes from Boeing to be delivered in 2011.
“These aircraft will have state of the art interiors fitted with new generation technology for unique customer comfort and experience,” he said.
Mirenge says the airline is engaged in International Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) to check the airline’s safety standards.