Tuesday, August 14, 2012

► SOUTH SUDAN: RwandAir rumoured to start Juba in November as Lagos goes daily from October.

Rwanda's national carrier Rwandair (WB) is rumoured to be considering flights to the South Sudanese capital of Juba after it receives its two Bombardier CRJ900s sometime in October or November of this year according to the usually reliable Wolfganghthome blog.
"From sources in Juba it is understood that the South Sudan capital may well be on the drawing board, either nonstop or via Entebbe, while a number of destinations South of Rwanda are said to be under intense scrutiny vis a vis viability, as is an added West African destination, either stand alone or in combination with the airlines flights to Lagos."

Rwandair's Route Network
Rwandair's Route Network
The African Aviation Tribune has already reported on another much anticipated Rwandair route: that of Lusaka, Zambia and Cape Town, South Africa, which too, should come into effect after the arrival of the new jets, thereby freeing up their Boeing 737-800s for longer, more fetching routes.

As always, we'll keep you updated on the latest developments.

Meanwhile, the Rwandan High Commissioner to Nigeria, Joseph Habineza, recently announced plans for the airline to start a daily Kigali - Lagos, Nigeria service effective October 2012, in addition to a cargo service. Rwandair currently serves Lagos from its Kigali hub three times weekly.
"Habineza at a forum with stakeholders in Lagos said, “We can easily go to Europe or America but traveling within Africa is pretty difficult. But we want to break this barrier. In October, we will start daily flight from Lagos to Kigali. From Kigali they can connect East and Southern Africa, Dubai and other parts of the world.” While adding that the cargo business would soon start, he said the routes expansion became necessary owing to increased traffic to Rwanda from Nigeria."

As Mr Habineza mentioned, Rwandair has indeed focussed its energies on expanding its African network over expanding into Europe and the US - certainly a very prudent move to take given Europe's stagnant economies - which, despite its false allure and prestige, has often been the bane of many African carriers and start ups.