Nigerian President Jonathan Goodluck is expected in Kigali for a two day official state visit, aimed to discuss a more intense political cooperation as well as stronger trade and investments links between the two countries.
The visit is also considered by regular observers as a precursor to RwandAir starting service between Kigali and Lagos, just as soon as the second B737-800 is delivered to the carrier. RwandAir is already flying between Kigali and Brazzaville / Libreville and Lagos is seen as a natural extension of the airline’s reach into West Africa. It is understood that the appointed General Sales Agent in Nigeria is currently promoting the air link between the two countries, even though the launch dates have not been officially announced as yet. There is significant interest within Nigerian business circles to invest in Rwanda which is seen as a model country for the entire continent and whose banking, insurance, manufacturing and other sectors offer plenty of opportunities to attract large scale investments.
Upon delivery of the second brand new B737-800 RwandAir will own and operate a total of 7 aircraft – one Bombardier Dash 8 turboprop, two Bombardier CRJ200, two B737-500 leased from GECAS and two B737-800NG it owns outright. This makes RwandAir the fourth largest airline in the wider East African region after Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways and Precision Air.
BY DR. WOLFGANG H. THOME, ETN UGANDA