By Daniel Sabiiti
Rwanda national airliner Rwandair ambitious expansion plan may stretch its wings further to New York if all goes as planned by the year 2017, officials have revealed.
The airline has steadily developed on its expansion plan on the Africa continent and this September it purchased the first-ever $250 million Airbus 330-200, named Ubumwe (Unity), in the East African region to seal its determination to reach its wings further.
“If all goes according to plan”.Rwandair Chief Executive Officer (CEO), John Mirenge
To ensure that this plan materializes, the airline is planning to acquire another Airbus A350 XWB wide-body plane for the Kigali-US route, according to Mirenge.
The A350 XWB is Airbus’ all-new family of wide-body aircraft that is shaping the future of medium-to-long haul airline operations
The plans to fly to the New York, USA, come at a time when Rwandair is also planning to soon add Harare (Zimbabwe), Mumbai (India), and Guangzhou in China on its list of destinations before expanding to Western Europe.
In October, Rwandair launched commercial flights to Cotonou in Benin and Abidjan in Ivory Coast as part of its strategy to expand its footprint and enhance connectivity in West Africa.
RwandAir also plans to enter more markets soon, including Mumbai in India, Conakry in Guinea, Bamako in Mali, as well as Dakar, Senegal, Harare in Zimbabwe, Lilongwe in Malawi and Durban in South Africa by next year.
Presently, the airline operates 19 destinations, including Nairobi, Entebbe, Mombasa, Bujumbura, Lusaka, Juba, Douala, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Cotonou, Johannesburg, Dubai, Lagos, Libreville and Brazzaville.
The national carrier successfully renewed its certificate for the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) for another two years to remain competitive.