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RwandAir Logotype.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1 December 2002
Commenced operations 27 April 2003
Operating bases Kigali International Airport
Fleet size 8
Destinations 18
Company slogan Fly our dream to the heart of Africa
Parent company Government of Rwanda
Headquarters Kigali International Airport,
Kigali, Rwanda
Key people Girma Wake
John Mirenge
(Chief Executive Officer)[2]

RwandAir is the flag carrier airline of Rwanda.[3] It operates domestic and international services to East Africa, Central Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa and the Middle East from its main base at Kigali International Airport in Kigali.


RwandAir began operations on 1 December 2002 as the new national carrier for Rwanda under the name Rwandair Express (with passenger air transportation as the core activity), with a concession to carry out airport ground handling (ancillary activity) at Kigali International airport, Kanombe.[citation needed]

In December 2008, press reports indicated that RwandAir was planning to expand its regional route network to include Dar-es-Salaam, Addis Ababa, Mwanza, Lusaka and Kinshasa. A new domestic service to Gisenyi was also planned. New aircraft to service these new routes were reportedly being sourced.[citation needed]

In March 2009, the airline registered a new trademark "RwandAir ltd" which is its current operating name. In June 2009, the airline officially re-branded from Rwandair Express to RwandAir, because the new name implies a large, serious airline, while the "Express" in the former name implies a small regional operation.[4] In May 2010, Rene Janata became the CEO, introducing a frequent flyer program and developing the airline to become a network carrier. In October 2010, John Mirenge became the new CEO of RwandAir [5]

In July 2010 the first of RwandAir's new Boeing 737-500's arrived; the second one arrived on 20 October 2010. Both are leased from General Electric Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) and each has a two class configuration with 12 business class seats.[citation needed]

In August 2011 the airline took delivery of their first aircraft purchased directly from an airline manufacturer. All prior aircraft operated by RwandAir have been either leased or bought as a second hand. The aircraft purchased is a Boeing 737-800 with Sky Interior, also known as Boeing 737 Next Generation, and is the only one operating among African air carriers. The flight departed from Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, United States at 5:30 PM PST. It made its first stop in Keflavík International Airport in Iceland, then it headed for a second stop to Istanbul, Turkey. It finally arrived in Kigali, Rwanda, after a 20 hours flight.[6]

In October 2011 RwandAir took delivery of their second Boeing Next-Generation 737-800. During January 2012, the airline disposed of the two CRJ200 aircraft it owned, in anticipation of acquiring two CRJ-900NGs.[7][8]

In February 2013, John Mirenge announced that the airline would fly to Accra, Cape Town, Harare, Juba and Zanzibar, in 2013.[9]

In May 2015, Rwandair officially became an IATA member.[10]

Corporate affairs[edit]


Rwandair is 99% owned by the Government of Rwanda.[11]

The government hopes to privatise the airline after 2013, once it becomes profitable; the process had been abandoned in 2008, after it emerged that nobody at the time was willing to offer the amount expected from the sale.[12]

A RwandAir CRJ-200LR at Kigali International Airport in June 2010
The head office is located in the main building of Kigali International Airport

Business trends[edit]

RwandAir has been loss-making for a number of years. Detailed accounts do not appear to have been published, with only a few public announcements from senior management or the government giving details of the scale of the operation; available trends are shown below (as at year ending 31 December):

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Turnover (FRw bn) 30
Turnover (US$ m) 47.2
Net Profits/Losses after tax (FRw bn) n/a
Net Profits/Losses after tax (US$ m) n/a
Number of employees (at year end) n/a
Number of passengers (m) 0.13 0.20 0.36 0.50 0.60
Passenger load factor (%) 60
Number of aircraft (at year end) 8 8 8 8 8
Notes/sources [13] [14][15]

Head office[edit]

The airline has its head office on the top floor of the main building of Kigali International Airport.[19][20] The airline previously had its head office in Centenary House in Kigali,[21] before moving its operations to the airport in May 2010.[20] At one previous point the airline had its head office in the Telcom House.[22]


RwandAir serves the following destinations (excluding codeshare destinations) as of July 2015:[23][24]

City Country Airport
Bujumbura  Burundi Bujumbura International Airport
Douala  Cameroon Douala International Airport
Brazzaville  Republic of the Congo Maya-Maya Airport
Libreville  Gabon Libreville International Airport
Accra  Ghana Kotoka International Airport
Mumbai  India Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (Begins September 2016)
Mombasa  Kenya Moi International Airport
Nairobi  Kenya Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
Lagos  Nigeria Murtala Muhammed International Airport
Cyangugu  Rwanda Kamembe Airport
Kigali  Rwanda Kigali International Airport HUB
Johannesburg  South Africa OR Tambo International Airport
Juba  South Sudan Juba International Airport[25]
Dar es Salaam  Tanzania Julius Nyerere International Airport
Kilimanjaro  Tanzania Kilimanjaro International Airport
Entebbe  Uganda Entebbe International Airport
Dubai  United Arab Emirates Dubai International Airport
Lusaka  Zambia Kenneth Kaunda International Airport[26]

Codeshare agreements[edit]

RwandAir has the following codeshare agreements at November 2013:

In April 2009, it was announced that RwandAir will code share with Brussels Airlines. All the flights operated by Brussels Airlines between Brussels and Kigali will carry both a SN and a WB flight number. The commercial deal between Brussels Airlines and RwandAir enables the Rwandan airline to sell 10 seats in economy class as a marketing carrier.[28] In September 2009, RwandAir signed a code share agreement with Ethiopian Airlines.[29] In May 2010 the airline announced a new codeshare with Air Uganda.[30] That codeshare arrangement was terminated in March 2012 and then reinstated in October 2013.[31]


A RwandAir Boeing 737-500

As of January 2015, RwandAir operates the following aircraft:[32]

RwandAir fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
Airbus A330-200 0 1 21 223 244 Deliveries begin in Q2 2016, to be equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines.[33]
Airbus A330-300 0 1 21 253 274 Deliveries begin in Q2 2016, to be equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines.[34]
Boeing 737-700[35] 2 TBA 120
Boeing 737-800 2 1 16 138 154 Delivery on end of 2015
Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen 2 6 69 75
Bombardier Dash 8-Q400NextGen [36] 2 7 60 67
Total 8 3


  1. ^ "Tourism sector expected to have bigger input in airline’s growth plans Long-time aviator and ...". Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "Home". Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "RwandAir plans further regional expansion in 2015 and launch of long-haul services in 2017". CAPA Centre for Aviation. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  4. ^ Rwanda's National Airline Rebrands
  5. ^ The New Times. "The New Times - Rwanda". Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  6. ^ " - We are AvGeeks Blogging on Aviation, Travel and Airlines.". Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  7. ^ "Next round of the elaborate bidding process 11 companies expected to tender for Bugesera Airport ...". Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  8. ^ "Rwandair Sells Two CRJ200 Aircraft". Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  9. ^ Business Reporter (13 February 2013). "RwandAir eyes Harare route". NewsDay Quoting Bloomberg News. Harare. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  10. ^ Bateta, Agnes (24 January 2016). "Global umbrella gives RwandAir kudos". East African Business Week. Kampala. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  11. ^ Saul Butera (12 February 2013). "RwandAir May Offer Shares After Returning to Profit in Two Years". Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  12. ^ Administrator. "RwandAir to be sold after becoming profitable – Finance Minister". Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  13. ^ "RwandAir could be privatised in 2015 as Umubano deal drags on". Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  14. ^ "RwandAir expands fleet as competition hots up". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  15. ^ Butera, Saul (12 February 2013). "RwandAir May Offer Shares After Returning to Profit in Two Years". Bloomberg. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  16. ^ "RwandAir targets $350m sales by 2018". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  17. ^ Sanchez, Dana (27 January 2016). "RwandAir Rising, Adding Aircraft, Flights To Europe, Asia". Retrieved 28 January 2016. 
  18. ^ Butera, Saul (27 January 2016). "RwandAir to Add Europe Destination, Four Aircraft This Year". Bloomberg Business News. Retrieved 28 January 2016. 
  19. ^ "All RwandAir Offices & Branches." RwandAir. Retrieved on 24 May 2011. "Kigali Head Office Kigali International Airport Main Building (top floor)"
  20. ^ a b "Announcement on RwandAir Head Office shift from Centenary House to new airport office." RwandAir. Retrieved on 16 June 2010.
  21. ^ Flight International 12–18 April 2005
  22. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 30 March - 5 April 2004. 61. "Telcom House, Boulevard delumuganda, Kigli, Kacyiru"
  23. ^ "RwandAir Flight Schedules". Rwadair. RwandAir. Retrieved 5 July 2015. 
  24. ^ "Rwandair flight schedule". Rwandair. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  25. ^ "RwandAir to commence flights to Juba". Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  26. ^ Khisa, Isaac (7 February 2015). "Rwandair Now To Fly To South Africa". The EastAfrican (Nairobi). Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  27. ^ Aviation Tribune. "Rwandair and Proflight Zambia to codeshare". Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  28. ^ "Corporate website". Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  29. ^ "RwandAir signs codeshare with Ethiopian Airlines - 10 September 2009
  30. ^ "RwandAir and Air Uganda code share to give seamless travel advantages to clients". RwandAir. Retrieved 16 June 2010. 
  31. ^ "Air Uganda and RwandAir Air Uganda terminates codeshare agreement with RwandAir -". Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ "RwandAir Express acquires new Boeing 737-700". Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  36. ^ "Bombardier Delivers Dual-Class Q400 NextGen Airliner to RwandAir". Bombardier Aerospace. Bombardier Aerospace. Retrieved 17 December 2015. 

External links[edit]