Aviation: Despite recession, Nigeria is RwandAir best destination
Africa’s fastest growing airline, RwandAir has admitted that the Nigerian route is the highest revenue earner for the carrier.
This is coming as the carrier plans to take delivery of two A330 airplanes with one of them replacing the B737-800 it currently operates to Lagos. The carrier’s Country Manager (Nigeria), Ibiyemi Odusi, disclosed this when the airline met with its trade partners at the Southern Sun Ikoyi Hotel, Lagos.
She stated that the success recorded by the airline in Nigeria since it started operating to Lagos in 2011 would not have been possible without the input of its trade partners. She urged them to do more for the airline to make it more successful and an airline of choice for their clients.
Her words, “This meeting was convened to say a very thank you to all of you. You have made Rwandair very proud and we are also very proud of you. We urge you to assist more. This is a case of Oliver Twist; we want more.” Ogunsi stated that the carrier has placed orders for two A330 aircraft in October, stressing that Nigeria would be one of the countries to benefit from the airplanes acquisition.
Rwandair is a relatively small airline when compared with other larger carriers on the continent such as Kenya Airways, South African Airways and Ethiopian Airlines. The purchase by RwandAir is expected to increase competition for other airlines in the region including Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airline, which are also undergoing fleet expansion and modernisation.
Rwanda had last December signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Uganda and South Sudan to establish a legal framework for negotiations that would see local airlines attaining fifth freedom along Juba¬Nairobi, Nairobi¬Juba routes.
By aviation terms fifth freedom means an airline has the right to carry passengers from one country to another and from that country to a third country.
The three countries signed the MoU to create a legal framework before they could negotiate with Kenya on an airspace agreement, which would subsequently be signed by ministers in charge of infrastructure. Ogunsi stated that despite the economic recession that has hit Nigeria,the airline has done well for itself on Kigali-Lagos route, noting that the carrier had concluded plans to expand its operations to Mumbai in early December 2016 to be followed by Guangzhou early 2017. “We fly six times out of Nigeria and we are bringing this A330 because Nigeria plays a major role in our operation”, she added.