In a move that will build skills in the local aviation industry , the national courier has hired six local engineers that will work with the airliner, a few months after the airline acquired its first own aircrafts, the CRJ -200 series.
The new aircraft is one of the two purchased by the national carrier after it received $40 million loan from the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA).
The engineers, who have different expertise, will work along with engineers from Europe’s largest airline “Deutsche Lufthansa”, a German flag carrier airline that supplied the CRJ-200 series.
“Lufthansa team will give them industrial training and once they have worked with them, we will evaluate them and personalize the training,” Captain Kathy Birkhofer, the Director of Training at RwandAir told Business Times in an interview.
After identifying the specific training needs for each, the engineers attend the training by Lufthansa in Germany.
According to Birkhofer, the engineers will receive “gold standard” training by Lufthansa which will also meet the costs of the training.
Birkhofer said the training deal which is worth$300,000 was negotiated with Lufthansa as part the whole deal when purchasing new aircrafts.
“Lufthansa is considered the “gold standard” for engineering training because they are the best in the world. We want to achieve a very high standard. In order to achieve high standard your training has to be the best of the best -that is why we are choosing Lufthansa,” the Captain explained.
Birkhofer also mentioned that training will continue as the airline intends to expand its fleet considerably over the next five years.
“As we buy new airplanes obviously we will continue to hire and develop people. Once we have gotten them to a certain level, they can also help develop new groups coming in.” she said.
With the acquisition of new aircrafts, Rwandair will increase the number of destinations to include Tanzania, where it will be flying to Dar el Salam and Arusha, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where it will begin with flights to Goma and later Lubumbashi and eventually Kinshasa.
It also targets flying to Dubai in the Middle East.