Rwanda’s national carrier RwandAir has again expanded its fleet of aircraft by acquiring a Boeing 737-800 Next Generation.
A statement issued by the airline said the brand-new aircraft, christened “Muhabura,” departed Seattle in the United States and arrived at Kigali International Airport at 4 p.m. Sunday.
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According to the New Times, this latest arrival brings RwandAir’s fleet to 12 aircrafts.
The Boeing 737 aircraft comes with in-flight wifi connectivity, low-fuel consumption, and top-class ergonomics that promises high returns for operators in the airline industry.
Aviation experts say the aircraft versatility, low operation, and maintenance costs makes it ideal for a national carrier.
Officials at RwandAir say the new aircraft will be deployed to serve new routes across Africa, including flights to Conakry (Guinea Bissau), Bamako (Mali), and Dakar (Senegal), among others.
In a related development, RwandAir also announced that it is scheduled to begin direct flights to London; the airline said in a statement that its Airbus A330, which it acquired late last year, would operate three flights per week to London’s Gatwick Airport.
Already the airline has signed a deal with European firm Wirecard Group, allowing passengers to book and pay for flights online.
The Kigali to London flight is the first European route to be serviced by RwandAir. Later this year, the airline said it is also scheduled to begin direct flights to Guangzhou, China.
Officials say RwandAir ferried more than 650,000 passengers last year, and projections say it is on course to transport more than 3 million passengers in the next five years.
Over the years, RwandAir has been steadily increasing its profile as a first-choice airline for travelers within its home country and the East African sub-region.
With a GDP growth rate hovering at around 8 percent per annum over the last 10 years, today, Rwanda boasts one of East Africa’s fastest-growing economies.
Data released by the International Monetary Fund reveals that most of the growth was driven by activities in the construction, services, agriculture, and manufacturing sectors.