JOHN Mirenge, the Chairman of Rwandair, has revealed that the purchase of two next generation 737-800 aircrafts expected to be delivered next year, will slash the leasing burden by 50 percent.
“Once the delivery is done we will largely stop leasing planes,” said Mirenge.
The delivery of the medium range aircrafts is expected next year in the months of August and October.
The purchase deal between Boeing and Rwandair was signed on 14th December last year.
Mirenge said that the anticipated 14-seaters which go about six hours will enable Rwandair to expand its routes to Dubai, Kinshasa and Johannesburg.
In March this year, Rwandair signed a loan agreement of $11.5m with Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank) to facilitate the acquirement of the new planes.
Currently on lease are two Boeing 737-500 which were acquired this year from the world’s largest aircraft leaser General Electric Capital Aviation Services (GECAS).
But Rwandair owns two CRJs which the airline company purchased after successfully acquiring a loan of $40m (Rwf22.7 bn) from PTA-Bank last year.
A press release from the Embassy of Rwanda in the US, mentioned that last week on Thursday, the Boeing Company held celebrations in appreciation for the good commercial relationship achieved between them and the government of Rwanda.
The Rwandan Ambassador, James Kimonyo, praised the relationship between Boeing and Rwandan government.
He added that the purchase of the two planes meant increased national development.
“He praised the Boeing Company for facilitating this strategic partnership which has just made a substantial step in such a positive direction. He further expressed how the addition of these aircrafts to the RwandAir fleet will increase business and tourism for the region,” reads the press release.
Kimonyo also thanked the American government for their support. The Boeing company in addition to preparing the Rwandair personnel for the new arrival of the planes, also pledged capacity building for the Civil Aviation Authority on safety and oversight concerns in coordination with American department of Transportation.