Government has established a new company to manage the aviation industry activities as it moves to streamline and make it more vibrant and competitive.
The initiative is also aimed at cutting operational costs and ensuring smooth co-ordination of airport activities, according to the State Minister for Transport, Dr Alexis Nzahabwanimana.
The Aviation, Travel and Logistics Limited (ATL Ltd) was approved by the Cabinet two weeks ago, and will manage aviation activities including travel, logistics, ground, freight and cargo handling, and charter services.
The company which has five subsidiaries, according to government officials, will help position the country as a regional aviation hub for tourism, cargo and logistics-related activities.
The subsidiary companies include RwandAir, the National Logistic Company; Hospitality and Travel Management Limited, the Rwanda Airports Management Limited, and Akagera Aviation.
The officials said ATL Ltd will also co-ordinate and align investments in the industry with the national aviation strategic plan. The Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority will remain as the industry regulator under the new arrangement.
Speaking to The New Times last week, Nzahabwanimana said the new company will provide a platform that will create a one stop centre for aviation sector services and promote Rwanda as a regional aviation hub.
“This will not only improve sustainability of RwandAir’s financial performance and its market position as both passenger and cargo traffic volumes increase, but it will as well ensure Rwanda’s economy benefits from the growth of the local aviation industry generally,” he said.
So far, diversification of airline revenues, in this case RwandAir is essential because the airline has been heavily dependent on passenger revenues and government support, according to officials.
The new initiative will enable the national carrier that has been spending huge amounts of money on related services to cut costs.
“The Rwanda Law Reform Commission is currently studying the draft legislation, which will soon be tabled before Parliament for review and approval,” added Nzahabwanimana.
The draft law seeks to amend the current legislation establishing and governing Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority, leaving the Authority with regulatory responsibilities.
Rwanda has completed construction of major facilities, including the facelift of the Kigali International Airport, and is currently carrying out expansion works on the airport’s runway.
The country’s Kamembe Airport was recently reopened after undergoing repair and expansion works. The catering facilities at both airports have been improved.
Roles of new subsidiaries
The new company that will be dealing with ground handling operations, logistics; catering services and personnel management at all airports across the country, is expected to make a significant investment yet to be announced.
The company will as well maximise the contribution of airport aeronautical and non-aeronautical revenues.
The Minister said by investing in other related companies, RwandAir is expected to boost its position in the market as a competitive airline.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Infrastructure, RwandAir will be handling passengers, cargo, technical and ground airport handling.
Rwanda Airports Management Limited will handle the airport’s commercial activities, including airport concessions and retail businesses, as well as operations air-hub businesses, engineering and infrastructure development.
The Hospitality and Travel Management Limited subsidiary will be in charge of hotels, restaurants and bar operations; events and conferences; travel, tour, holidays car rental/hire, and stop-overs and ticketing services.
The National Logistics Company will be charged with freight handling and forwarders, ground freight, warehousing and cargo facility management, while Akagera Aviation will be in charge of training, charter services and tourism, logistics and the supply training centre.