The national carrier, RwandAir, has increased its fleet with the acquisition of the new aircraft, the Bombardier Q-400 NextGen.
With a capacity of 67 seats, the aircraft that can contain seven in the business class area and 60 economy seats was unveiled at Kigali International Airport on march 3, 2014.
The new aircraft will operate the RwandAir domestic route of Kamembe, and the regional routes such as Entebbe, Kilimanjaro and Bujumbura.
Speaking at the reception ceremony at Kigali International Airport, the Minister of Infrastructure Hon. Silas Lwakabamba commended RwandAir’s efforts in supporting the economy through trade, tourism and investment.
He also commended the Airline’s way of championing the aviation industry that has attracted other world renowned airlines that made air travels easy and affordable.
The minister promised government support to continue building the necessary platform and required energy to continuously support this young and fast growing airline.
Manufactured by the Bombardier Aerospace, a Canadian Company, the Q400 Turboprop airliner is the most recent development in the evolution of the Q400 aircraft, and the advanced successor of Bombardier’s Dash 8/Q-Series family aircraft.
The aircraft is also quiet and fuel-efficient turboprop making it environmentally friendly. It also provides an ideal balance of passenger comfort.
Operating from Kigali as its hub in the heart of Africa, RwandAir is one of the fastest growing airlines on the African continent.
Currently, RwandAir operates 7 new aircraft, 2 B737-800NG, 2 B737-700NG, two Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen and now the Q400 NextGen, which makes it the operator of one of the youngest fleets in Africa.
“After the launch of Douala, the first commercial flight will leave Kigali on 30th of March we will still add Abidjan this year and are then looking at new destinations like Luanda, Harare and Lusaka for 2015,” said CEO John Mirenge to this correspondent.
He also expressed his satisfaction about the ongoing modernization and expansion of the Kigali International Airport – the new departure lounge is more than five times the size of the previous facility – and was confident that between May and July this year the work would be completed.
RwandAir serves one domestic destination, many regional cities such as Nairobi, Entebbe, Mombasa, Bujumbura, Dar es Salaam, and Kilimanjaro.
The airline also serves Johannesburg, Dubai, Juba, Lagos, Accra, Libreville and Brazzaville.
Douala in Cameroon and Abidjan in Ivory Coast are planned for this year’s launch.