RwandAir yesterday signed an agreement with PTA-Bank, which will facilitate the national carrier to secure a US$60m (Rwf35.7b) loan facility.
The loan deal which is the third in less than three years will help the national carrier purchase two Boeing 737-800s due for delivery this month and in October.
The loan is payable in 10 years and it brings RwandAir’s total credit from PTA Bank to US$85m (Rwf50.4b).
The signing of the loan agreement follows the approval of EXIM Bank to finance RwandAir’s purchase of two Boeing 737-800s.
RwandAir’s CEO, John Mirenge, said it was a great achievement for RwandAir and the deal is an eye-opener for both the national carrier and the PTA bank.
“We appreciate the government’s continued efforts in supporting us by this financial support to get RwandAir where everyone wants it to be,” Mirenge said.
Mirenge further noted that with the acquisition of the fleet, the airline plans to connect Rwanda to rest of Africa and beyond.
PTA Bank, President Michael Gondwe, said the loan is a result of a combination of a close working relationship established by the two institutions over time.
This is the third time for the PTA bank president to come to Kigali to partner with the national carrier. He said that it was a sign that RwandAir is growing rapidly.
“The country’s vision and the rapid growth will make Rwanda an aviation hub to the rest of the continent,” Gondwe observed.
Minister for Finance, John Rwangombwa, reassured that the government’s borrowing to support the national carrier is viable as a business venture.
“This is a business entity; based on its business plan, we expect it to make revenues that will be paying back the loan and basing on the financial option we had in the market, this is the best option,” Rwangombwa said.
PTA bank has been instrumental in RwandAir’s fleet acquisition process since the carrier announced plans to acquire its own fleet in 2009 with the purchase of two CRJ200.
The carrier is presently making pre-delivery payments for the Boeing 737-800.