RwandAir has acquired an Airbus 330-200 becoming the first country in East Africa, as it looks to expanding its wings globally.
Nicknamed Ubumwe (Unity), the aircraft with a capacity of 244 passengers has been touted as a key milestone in the rapidly growing African airline sector which has been pivotal in opening up opportunities in the continent. The new aircraft, worth about $250 million brings the airline’s total fleet to nine with additional four planes expected to be delivered by end of February next year.
In addition, a second Airbus 330-300 is due for delivery in November and, according to aviation experts, the acquisition of these two wide-body aircraft will significantly increase RwandAir’s capacity to effectively meet growing demand and provide exceptional service quality for the ever-growing Asia-China and European passenger markets.
The A330 type of aircraft has an operational reliability of 99.4 per cent and boasts efficiency for all market segments, thus making it a perfect match for RwandAir, Corrin Higgs, the Airbus interior marketing director, said. Hadi Akoum, Airbus’s executive vice-president in charge of sales for Africa, Europe and Asia Pacific, commended RwandAir’s commitment to continue taking the lead in developing the continent’s aviation industry. He also added the manufacturer will equally assist in the training of the airline’s technical engineers and pilots to ensure efficiency and safety.
The national carrier successfully renewed its certificate for the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) for another two years to remain competitive. And there is hope that with two wide body aircraft, the airline’s capacity could grow from the current 500,000 passengers annually to more than three million in the next five years.