RwandAir will start flights to Cotonou in Benin and Abidjan in Ivory Coast effective September 2 and October 8, respectively. The national carrier will conduct three weekly flights each on B737-700-800NG aircraft.
The flights to Cotonou will be tagged to the existing Kigali - Douala and Libreville routes, while the flights to Abidjan will be tagged with Accra, Jean Paul Nyirubutama, the RwandAir chief operating officer and deputy chief executive officer, said in a statement yesterday.
The airline will fly into Cotonou and Abidjan thrice a week, on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, while the return flights will be on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
“With the addition of these two destinations, RwandAir continues to fulfill its mission of connecting Rwanda with West Africa to build sustainable ties among sister African cities, which will foster trade and tourism between the two countries,” said Nyirubutama in the statement.
Cotonou and Abidjan will take the airline’s growing network to 19 destinations. Currently, the airline flies to more than 17 destinations, including Nairobi, Entebbe, Mombasa, Bujumbura, Lusaka, Juba, Douala, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Johannesburg, Dubai, Lagos, Libreville and Brazzaville, among others.
The national carrier is awaiting delivery of two new A330-200 and A330-300 Airbus wide body aircraft in September and November, respectively.
Aviation players say the acquisition of the two aircraft will significantly enhance RwandAir’s capacity to meet the growing demand, especially as the national carrier prepares to open routes to Asia and European markets.
The airline renewed its IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certification for another two years to remain competitive. IOSA certification is an internationally recognised and accepted evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline.