Tuesday, 23 April 2013

RwandAir to acquire new NextGen turboprop airliner


Last week, the national flag carrier acquired a new Boeing 737-700 Next Generation (NG) aircraft.
RwandAir has announced a purchase agreement for one Q400 NextGen turboprop airliner worth $33 million with Bombardier Aerospace, a Canadian aircraft company.

The plane, which will operate within the local and regional market, will arrive in December. 

According to John Mirenge, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, the new plane, which will replace the existing Bombardier Dash-8 200, is in response to growing demand, especially in the region.

 “As demand for domestic and regional travel in Africa accelerates, our 67-seat, dual-class Q400 NextGenaircraft will ensure RwandAir is well positioned to offer increased capacity on popular routes that are being opened and serviced with our 37-seat Bombardier Dash 8-200 aircraft,”  Mirenge said.

He added that the Q400 NextGenturboprop is the right aircraft to develop domestic and regional market and to firmly support RwandAir on the path towards growth and increased profitability.

Another new Boeing 737-700 NG is expected next week. Last year, the company also purchased a new Canadian Regional Jet (CRJ900) that flies to regional destinations, while last week, the national flag carrier acquired a new Boeing 737-700 Next Generation (NG) aircraft from Germany.

“As one of our newest and fast-growing customers, RwandAir is serving Africa’s expanding domestic and international markets and we are delighted that the carrier has yet again chosen Bombardier aircraft to further develop its network of short- and medium-haul destinations,” Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, said in a statement sent to The New Times.

Rwanda’s aviation industry has experienced rapid growth with more airlines adding Kigali to their destinations. The most recent entrants include, South African Airways, Qatar Air and the Turkish Airlines.

Others operating in the country include SN-Brussels, KLM, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways and Air Uganda.

With plans to harmonise regional air traffic control under Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (CASSOA), the aviation authorities in East African Community, the new planes will provide a comprehensive stand to compete on the regional market, officials say.

According to Article 92 of the EAC Treaty states that partner states shall undertake to make air transport services safe, efficient and profitable and adopt common policies for the development of civil transport in the region.

It further says that member countries have to harmonise civil aviation rules and regulations and coordinate measures and cooperate in the maintenance of high security.


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