National Aviation Services (NAS) is the fastest growing aviation services provider in emerging markets. Since its initial operations in Kuwait in 2003, NAS has rapidly transformed into a leading airports services provider with a presence in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia regions. In Africa, NAS has operations in Cote D’Ivoire, Egypt, Morocco, Rwanda and Tanzania. With an expanded network, NAS now provides services to more than half of the world’s top airlines.
NAS’s service portfolio comprises of Ramp and Passenger Services, Cargo Handling, Engineering Services and Line Maintenance, Airport Technologies, Fixed Base Operations, Aviation Training and Travel Consultancy. They also offer lounge management and meet and assist services as Pearl Lounges and Pearl Assist.
The reconstruction of the Pearl Lounge at the Kigali International Airport in 2011, was the beginning of a new alliance between NAS and Rwanda. The refurbishment was aimed at providing top quality service to passengers and maintaining Rwanda’s position as an aviation hub in Africa. NAS delivered the Pearl Lounge, offering a comfortable, hospitable environment with IT connectivity for business travellers, VIPs and others.
NAS is currently constructing two new lounges at the airport, a new arrivals lounge which will include shower facilities, concierge services as well as a dedicated lounge for RwandAir’s premium passengers.
With the planned, upcoming international airport at Bugesera, Hassan El Houry, the group CEO said that NAS is keen to look into new opportunities that the airport will bring and invest in infrastructure to ensure passengers get a world class airport experience.
They would also like to provide ground handling services at the Bugesera and Kigali airports in the coming future.
From the onset of its operations in Rwanda, NAS was committed to build the capacity of Rwandans working in the aviation industry by hiring and training them. NAS staffed its operations at Kigali International Airport with local talent, hiring Rwandan nationals and training them on various roles. Herve Rugwizangoga, Manager of the Pearl Lounge in Kigali, is a Rwandan national who in the last two years with NAS has moved up the ranks to his current position. Rugwizangoga is just one of many success stories of Rwandans who have not only found employment but have also been equipped with skills to grow in their careers.
With its large operations in Kuwait, NAS decided to create an avenue of jobs for Rwandan youth and women by recruiting and hiring them for positions in Kuwait. NAS is the first Kuwaiti company to hire Rwandan nationals in Kuwait.
Rabah Bu Hamdan, Human Resources Director at NAS, said “We have 28 Rwandan nationals working for NAS. 11 of them are at NAS Kuwait since June 2015. All of them are well-educated, bilingual, and hardworking, with a strong work ethic. They were recruited locally in Rwanda for customer service and other airport related roles within the company and we find them extremely professional to work with. We are very pleased to have them on our team and look forward to welcoming more Rwandan nationals in our Kuwait and Abu Dhabi operations soon. ”
Reaffirming its commitment to develop local talent, NAS is looking to hire an additional 100 Rwandan nationals for positions in Kuwait and Abu Dhabi in coming months.
Denise Mutesi has been working with NAS in Kuwait for the past one and a half years as a customer service agent. At 31 years of age, Mutesi is confident that she made a good decision to leave Rwanda for Kuwait in 2015. Although she admits that it was not easy to adjust initially to the new environment and hot weather (temperatures in Kuwait can go as high as 50 degrees Celsius), she has now adjusted to the climate, food and culture. Mutesi is optimistic about her career, “I have received a lot of trainings on customer service and airport handling which is good for my career growth. As I improve my skills I hope that I will be able to step up to new career opportunities which could present themselves in future.”
According to Hassan El Houry, Kuwait is home to more than 2.5 million expats. “This says a lot about the work atmosphere in Kuwait. Tax free income, comfortable living conditions and a safe environment all add up to the benefits the employees enjoy. At NAS we offer all employees a professional work environment that is safe and secure, non-discriminatory, with equal opportunities, training and a broad scope for career development and growth, all within a multicultural setting.’’ he said.
NAS also has other perks and benefits depending on the nature of work which includes free accommodation, transport and other allowances.
Nasser Ngarutsie, 26, was also recruited in the same cohort as Mutesi, and works as a ramp agent at the Kuwait International Airport. “I would not hesitate to encourage my fellow Rwandans to come and work with NAS Kuwait. It is easy to adjust to work because of the many trainings that one receives prior to deployment,” he said.
NAS has also recruited youth and women in other East African countries including Kenya and Tanzania.