|Founded||1 December 2002|
|Commenced operations||27 April 2003|
|Operating bases||Kigali International Airport|
|Company slogan||Fly the dream of Africa|
|Parent company||Government of Rwanda|
RwandAir Limited is the flag carrier airline of Rwanda. It operates domestic and international services to East Africa, Central Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa, Europe and the Middle East from its main base at Kigali International Airport in Kigali.
After the 1994 genocide the government took several attempts to revive the former national carrier Air Rwanda that ceased operations during the genocide. Various private companies showed interest in partnering with the government and Uganda based SA alliance air ran the company from 1997 to 2000. After the company ceased operations to ensure continued operations of the airline the government took over and re branded the airline. 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). In 2016, RwandAir received International Air Transport Association’s Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO).
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. 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 
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.
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 hour flight.
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.
In February 2013, John Mirenge announced that the airline would fly to Accra, Cape Town, Harare, Juba and Zanzibar, in 2013.
2015 to date
In 2017 the Government of Benin granted RwandAir seventh freedom rights to operate direct flights from Benin. Rwandair plans to base two Boeing 737 aircraft at Cotonou in Benin.
The airline has its head office on the top floor of the main building of Kigali International Airport. The airline previously had its head office in Centenary House in Kigali, before moving its operations to the airport in May 2010. At one previous point the airline had its head office in the Telcom House.
Rwandair is 99% owned by the Government of Rwanda. The government hoped 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.
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):
|Turnover (FRw bn)||30|
|Turnover (US$ m)||47.2||81.4||100.7|
|Net Profits/Losses after tax (FRw bn)||loss||loss||loss||loss||loss||loss|
|Net Profits/Losses after tax (US$ m)||loss||loss||loss||loss||loss||loss|
|Subsidies received (FRw bn)||10.8||25.2||22.0||27.0||29.1||33.6|
|Number of employees (at year end)||749||n/a|
|Number of passengers (m)||0.13||0.20||0.36||0.41||0.50||0.60|
|Passenger load factor (%)||60|
|Number of aircraft (at year end)||8||8||8||8||8|
|Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 ||2||—||7||–||60||67|
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Media related to RwandAir at Wikimedia Commons