Rwandair in $160m deal

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RwandAir has secured a USD160 million loan facility from the Preferential Trade Area Bank (PTA) needed for the purchase of its first two wide body aircraft.

The Rwandan national carrier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus Industry (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) in March for the acquisition of two A300s – one A330-200 and one A330-300 – due for delivery during the second half of next year.

“The acquisition of the two wide body aircraft will significantly increase RwandAir’s capacity to effectively meet growing demand and provide exceptional service quality for the ever growing long distance routes to Asia-China passenger markets,” the bank said in a statement.

RwandAir currently operates a modest fleet of two B737-700s, two B737-800s, two CRJ-900s, and two Dash 8-400s on flights throughout sub-Saharan Africa as well as to the United Arab Emirates.

Maverick CEO John Mirenge told reporters in May that the first of the A330s would begin international operations during the first quarter of 2017 with flights to Dubai Int’l. Thereafter, the jets will be used to develop routes to Asia – China in particular – and Western Europe where the United Kingdom, Germany and France provide Rwanda with the bulk of its tourists.

Aside from Ethiopian Airlines (ET, Addis Ababa), Mirenge has also disclosed that his airline is in talks with two other entities interested in acquiring a stake in RwandAir.

“We have been engaging strategic investors to take an equity stake in RwandAir and the negotiations are going on,” he said. “We have engaged some three interested stakeholders within and outside the region. The process is on.”


About the author

Olive Ndaka is the Junior Editor for RwandaEye. An investor and young entrepreneur, she is a quick learner and has contributed many articles for RwandaEye in Kinyarwanda.

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