Air transport is more than a century old. It started off as an adventurous activity of a few pioneers, and later turned into an organised commercial activity oriented towards the physical transport of people and goods.
Gradually, national airlines emerged to operate in the protected and non competitive area of individual nations, and finally the borders were open for airlines to fly across the nations.
Since then, the use of commercial aviation has grown more than seventy-fold. This growth is unmatched by any other major form of transport and is essential to economic progress as well as the luxury it accords.
These demands for air services have often increased the influence of air transport on the global economy, making possible the rapid movement of millions of people and billions of dollars’ worth of goods to markets around the world.
The industry plays a decisive role in the work and leisure of millions of people. It promotes an improved quality of life and helps to improve living standards.
The aviation industry has a substantial economic impact, both through its own activities and as an enabler of other industries. Its contribution includes direct, indirect and induced impacts on the lives of the people through different ways.
Economists point out that Africa has grown in emphasis as the world’s next major destination for both business and tourism, thereby offering opportunities to create regional and international travel hubs there.
First and foremost, air transport improves quality of life by broadening people’s cultural experiences. It provides a wide choice of holiday destinations around the world and an affordable means to visit distant friends and relatives. Air transport contributes to sustainable development.
By facilitating tourism, air transport also helps generate economic growth and alleviate poverty – providing employment opportunities, increasing revenues from taxes and fostering the conservation of protected areas.
The sector remains one of the world’s most important industries. Its development and technical and service achievements make it one of the greatest contributors to the advancement of modern society.
It acts as a spur to innovation by encouraging effective networking and collaboration between people in different parts of the globe. Air transport facilitates world trade and helps countries participate in the global market by increasing access to main markets and allowing globalisation of production.
Air transport also encourages countries to specialise in activities in which they have a comparative advantage and to trade with countries producing other goods and services.
RwandAir’s new Airbus A330-200 aircraft, the first in the East African region, places the country strategically for enormous benefits. Indeed, as it has been observed, it heralds a new dawn for not only RwandAir, but the country in general.
In an increasingly globalised world, nearly all governments recognise the importance of having their flags flying high on as many routes as possible. As the world becomes more interconnected, the Government of Rwanda, among the many strides it makes, recognises the aviation sector as one of the many priorities of national development. It is a step in the right direction!
By investing in the airline, it will encourage greater spending on research and development– for example, increasing the size of potential markets allows the fixed costs of innovation to be spread over larger sales.
No doubt the new carrier has created more demand for new skills and knowledge for its operators, from the pilots to the entire cabin crew.
As we match on to higher levels of development achievements – in education, national security, banking, infrastructure and other fundamental sectors – the expansion of the country’s airline is a catalyst that will certainly bring the desired ripple effect.
Connecting Rwanda to its region and to the rest of the world will not only bring these economic gains, but also presents a chance for Rwandans to access other opportunities that would have otherwise gone untapped.
In addition to this, RwandAir remains a symbol of our national pride and it is comparable to the national flag and anthem, a feeling that we all posses. It is commendable when our aviation sector grows each day and this trend should continue.
Having a reliable national carrier is not only worth celebrating by those who frequently fly, but to all of us. Our national carrier, RwandAir, will go a long way in stimulating trade, boosting tourism and, why not, contributing to asserting our agaciro and sovereignty.
The contribution of RwandAir is part of government efforts to offer essential services to its citizens. Congratulations to RwandAir!Follow https://twitter.com/@kimanuka