EDITORIAL: Promoting regional and local air travel should be on the agenda as well

The aviation industry has over the years grown steadily, gaining momentum with the extensive face-lift of Kigali International Airport; both in terms of capacity and modern architectural designs.

The aviation industry has over the years grown steadily, gaining momentum with the extensive face-lift of Kigali International Airport; both in terms of capacity and modern architectural designs.

The overhaul and improved services have started paying off as new players in the form of international airlines now operate in the country. RwandAir, the national carrier, has also spread its wings far and beyond to serve different cities within the region and across Africa. These transformations have earned Kigali International Airport recognition including the latest ranking conducted by a renowned Canadian Aviation website, www.sleepinginairports.net, which placed the airport in fifth place based on overall airport experience as determined by voters in 2015 Airport Survey.

Last year, Skytrax another renowned consultancy in the UK ranked Kigali International Airport the seventh in Africa on the basis of the provision of quality service.

Early this week, the government moved a notch higher in streamlining the industry by creating one single body to oversee the sector:  Aviation, Travel and Logistics Limited (ATL Ltd).

It is hoped that the new structure will bring more innovation to the sector and open new avenues for the airline industry to grow both in terms of domestic and international flights.

However, with the continuous growth of the tourism industry, air charter services, is a new area that will need to be promoted.

In the next couple of years, when the proposed Bugesera International Airport finally opens it runways, ATL will have its hands full, it is only logical that it begins setting the pieces in place early.

With economic forecasts for the region on the brighter side, regional and domestic air travel will be the next big thing. It will therefore be up to, ATL to make it happen.

 

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