South African Airways aims to expand its services to Kigali, Rwanda, from October this year aviation authorities confirmed the move.
Media reports say that the airline intends to commence flights from Johannesburg to Kigali Rwanda via Bujumbura, three times a week in October this year.
The South African flag carrier had opted to call off its operations along the Kigali route a few years ago and had left flights to RwandAir through a code sharing arrangement, which enables the national carrier to presently operate a four times a week schedule between Rwanda and South Africa.
Michael Otieno, Rwandair’s head of Marketing and Corporate Communications, said the agreement stands until both companies agree on how they would operate on the same route.
“It is premature to talk about what will happen to the code share agreement”, Otieno said, adding that “the first thing for SAA would be to acquire the approval from Civil Aviation Authority, put their flights on schedule, and to my knowledge, that has not been done.”
The return of SAA to Rwanda has been attributed to growing demand by tourists and business travellers in both directions, and the inclusion of Bujumbura in the flight schedule also gives Burundi greater access by air.
During the first semester of the year, Rwanda hosted 405,801 visitors, a 27 percent increase compared to the same period last year.