• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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RwandAir increases flight frequency to Nigeria

RwandAir, the national carrier of Rwanda, has said it will be increasing flight frequencies from five to seven weekly flights from Lagos to Kigali, Rwanda.

This is as the airline plans to expand operations in Africa and beyond through codeshare and other partnerships in a bid to connect the continent with the rest of the world.

This was disclosed by Owie Best, the chief commercial officer of the carrier, during a press conference on the milestones achieved by the carrier in the past two decades of operations while announcing the return of the airline’s daily flights to Lagos from Kigali, Rwanda.

RwandAir currently operates five times a week but plans to increase to seven. Best stated that RwandAir, the national flag of Rwanda, wants to improve connectivity from Africa and the rest of the world.

Best said, “What we are doing is to ensure that we have traffic and connectivity in Africa. We realised it is easier for you to fly to Europe than for you to fly from one African country to another. For you to fly from one African country to another, most times you have to fly out of the continent.

“What we are trying to do is to improve this intra-connectivity. That is why we started thinking about how we should identify these issues. We are so keen on improving Africa with airline partners. This is very strategic for us.

“If we cannot fly to a destination, there has to be a partner that is already there so we connect with that partner and can provide the connectivity. The driving force behind all of these actions is the need to advance intra-Africa connectivity. We need to be able to do so.”

Best said that there is no need for people who want to go from Nigeria to Morocco or any part of Africa to leave the continent and come back again, adding that this is completely unacceptable and that is why RwandAir wants to change the narrative.

“We know we cannot go everywhere, it’s not possible to operate everywhere but we can do it through healthy partnerships. We cannot stand alone so we need to be able to operate with other partners, identify these partners, talk to these partners and have a strong integration even in Nigeria,” he added.

He said that RwandAir is very strategic in its network expansion by holding discussions with one or two Nigerian carriers for passenger distribution to the domestic market from anywhere in the world.

He however stated that the carrier cannot continue to expand if they do not add enough aircraft to the 14 it already has in its fleet, adding that the carrier is expanding its network every day with collaboration with many carriers that have strong networks as well.

“We are progressively expanding in the fleet and we want to be able to double it in the next five years. We don’t want to bring all the aircraft and dump them in one place; every year we keep bringing new aircraft and five years from now, we have doubled the aircraft and we have a lot of routes that we have earmarked for these aeroplanes.”

“Today, we operate five times to Lagos and we want to do it every day of the week. As of last year, we were operating five or six times to London but today we are doing it daily. Any of the flights you take in Nigeria today you can connect to London. It’s only an hour and thirty minutes you have to stay to be connected. It’s not that you are dropped and you’d have to wait for a long time before you continue your journey. As soon as you get there you are connected. We have a very healthy, robust transit desk”.

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