Plan to sell RwandAir still on

As part of the expansion plan, the privatisation of the national carrier, RwandAir is still on course, a top official has said.
Rwandair plane (File photo)
Rwandair plane (File photo)

As part of the expansion plan, the privatisation of the national carrier, RwandAir is still on course, a top official has said.

The Chairman of the company’s board, John Mirenge, told Business Times, on Wednesday during a phone interview that the national carrier has been undergoing  major changes including the acquisition of its own fleet and recruiting more qualified staff.

Mirenge explained that the privatisation process, “isn’t blocked at all” and that the Ministry of Finance will continue assessing the continued improvement of the carrier’s efficiency.

“Right now the government is working on helping the company to operate efficiently, have a strong management and expand its operating network,” Mirenge said.

He also added that the Ministry of Finance’s mandate is to make the carrier viable to any interested investors and to make it attractive to buyers who are interested. However he added that plans to sell it are still on course. 

During the reading of the budget speech recently, Finance Minister John Rwangombwa said RwandAir is one of the six investments that government is set to support in the the financial year 2010-11.

Others include the broadening of energy access to households, the fibre optic program, construction of an International Railway line, the new airport in Bugesera, and the construction of Kigali Convention Centre.

Rwangombwa told Business Times, recently while explaining the widening of the budget deficit gap, that money to be spent would build the national carrier and that if possible by 2014 government intends to privatise part or the whole of the national carrier.  

Late last year, RwandAir, acquired two CRJ200s aircrafts after acquiring a $40 million loan from the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA).

Early this month, the carrier received one of the two 108 seater Boeing 737-500 which will be dry-leased for a renewable period of three years. The second 737B is expected to arrive in August.

The carrier’s management also says that the acquiring the first Boeing, Rwandair is trying to capture the West African market as they are waiting for the arrival of a second Boeing aircraft.

Also recently, the national carrier secured a $11.5m (Rwf6.5 billion) credit facility from the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank) that will help it to implement its five year development plan.

The loan agreement is designed to help the national carrier purchase two 737-800 planes from Boeing. The planes are expected to be delivered in August and October 2011.

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