Operating one of its acquired Boeing 737-500, the country’s national carrier, RwandAir, on Wednesday, launched its first flight to Dubai via Mombasa, making it the carrier’s 6th destination.
The new Boeing, leased from the world’s largest aircraft leasing company, General Electric Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), was configured with 12-business class and 90 economy class seats. It will be operating three weekly flights to Dubai and five to Kenya .
Speaking at the launching ceremony, RwandAir’s Chairman and CEO, John Mirenge, said that the company is excited about the national carrier’s prospect of connecting Rwanda to the busiest port of Mombasa and a major business hub in the Middle East.
He said that RwandAir is looking forward to tapping into the potential presented by connecting Kigali to these two key business and holiday destinations.
“These are two important destinations to the business community in Rwanda and the region, so its important for the carrier to be connecting these routes as we continue to grow,” Mirenge said.
With the launch, RwandAir is offering a promotion fare on both business and economy class.
A fee of $737 (Rwf427,460) would be charged for the Business class, $500 (Rwf 290,000) economy class, to Dubai, $499 (Rwf289,420) business class and $299 (Rwf173,420) for the economy class to Mombasa, all taxes inclusive.
Recently, the national carrier acquired flying rights to Lusaka, Zambia’s capital. If launched, it will be the carrier’s 7th destination.
The carrier is also slated to open other destinations to Ethiopia and DR Congo as well as the West African markets, Mirenge explained.
Mirenge also said that the proposal to privatise RwandAir is still on the table but they want to first grow as a company which has seen them acquire their own fleet, then they will privatise it when it’s a strong company.
Last week, Cabinet appointed Mirenge as CEO of the national carrier, replacing Rene Janata, who had served for five months after replacing Gerald Zirimwabagabo in May.
Currently, the national carrier is operating a fleet of two Boeing 737-500, two Bombardier CRJ crafts and a Dash 8 aircraft. Another two Boeing 737-800 aircrafts are expected in 2011.
The carrier is aggressively growing its fleet to cater for its network expansion plans that will see it fly to more regional and intercontinental destinations.