RwandAir, the young airline in the heart of Africa, is planning to operate its own flights between Kigali and Brussels from mid-July on, a RwandAir spokesmen confirmed to Belgian press agency Belga today.
The flights between Kigali and Brussels are currently operated by Brussels Airlines in codeshare with RwandAir. But RwandAir intends to use its own metal to perform two flights per week.
Last weekend at the “Rwanda Day“, an event held in Ghent (Belgium), Louise Mushikiwabo, the Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs serving as Government spokesperson, announced that Brussels “Zaventem” Airport would get the first flights to Europe after London Gatwick (started on 26 May). And “in less than one month“, she added.
Under the bilateral agreement, RwandAir is allowed to start flying between Kigali and Brussels Airport, but Brussels Airlines told Belga that it has “mixed feelings” with the opening of the new flights. Currently the five weekly flights operated by Brussels Airlines are codeshared with RwandAir, which also has a codeshare with Turkish Airlines flights to Istanbul.
The Belgian Civil Aviation Authority (Bestuur der luchtvaart/Directorat Général de l’Aviation Civile) couldn’t confirm that RwandAir was “ready” to start flying to Brussels next month.
However, former RwandAir CEO John Mirenge doesn’t mention this news. In an article published today in Jeune Afrique, Mirenge (who was fired as RwandAir CEO in April) is not talking about operating own flights between Kigali and Brussels, but he does mention the existing codeshare with Brussels Airlines. (http://www.jeuneafrique.com/mag/445918/economie/aerien-compagnie-aerienne-rwandair-veut-aller-plus-vite/).
RwandaAir, which was founded as RwandAir Express on 1 December 2002, has a fleet of 12 aircraft, mostly jets: two Airbus A330 (one -200 and one -300, of the same type as those operated by Brussels Airlines), two Boeing 737-700NG, four Boeing 737-800NG, two Bombardier CRJ900 and two Bombardier Q400 turboprop.
Featured image copyright Hansueli Krapf