RwandAir’s new Boeing 737-800NB aircraft, yesterday, landed at Kanombe International Airport amidst pomp and glamour.
There was excitement as the new US $ 40m plane touched down at the airport at around 3 PM local time.
The purchase makes Rwandair the first African airline to own and operate the Boeing Sky Interior series.
Speaking at the well-attended event, RwandAir CEO, John Mirenge, said that for the first time in its brief history the company has bought directly from the manufacturer aircraft to add to its fleet.
“Prior to the delivery of this Boeing, our fleet has been drawn from a combination of wet and dry leases and the purchase of second hand crafts,” he adds
“Today is a proud day for RwandAir as well as the country as we are the first all over Africa to own and operate such an aircraft with this great new interior.”
Mirenge emphasized that with the purchase of the new airplane, RwandAir plans to fly to more intercontinental hubs than the current Dubai, among them, India.
“We are going to immediately deploy our first Boeing 737-800 to ease the capacity constraints we are experiencing on the Dubai route ,” he noted.
The new Boeing Sky Interior introduces new cove lighting and curving architecture that creates a distinctive entryway.
Passengers will enjoy a more open cabin and a soft blue-sky overhead simulated by light-emitting diode (LED) lighting.
He mentioned that the aircraft carries 154 passengers which would attract more people to fly with it compared to other planes that carry fewer passengers.
Albert Nsengiyumva, the Minister of Infrastructure, commended RwandAir and its partners for the purchase of the new aircraft.
“For us, a well developed air transport system is directly linked with attracting both foreign and domestic investment in our country,” he said.
Nsengiyumva stated that RwandAir’s turnaround and growth could not have come at a better time than now when the entire continent is making mega-investments in infrastructural developments.
He pledged to continue supporting RwandAir as it expands its business worldwide.
According to Rob Faye, Director of Boeing Commercial Airplanes who accompanied the aircraft, he was very pleased to deliver the plane at the time agreed by RwandAir and his company.
“I have seen a lot of Boeing 737-800 aircrafts from various airlines around the world, but this new RwandAir is the most beautiful airplane I have seen,” he asserted.
The national carrier is expected to take delivery of a second Boeing 737-800 planes in the third week of October.