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RwandAir Logotype.png
Founded 1 December 2002
Commenced operations 27 April 2003
Operating bases Kigali International Airport
Fleet size 7
Destinations 16
Company slogan Fly our dream to the heart of Africa
Headquarters Kigali International Airport,
Kigali, Rwanda
Key people Girma Wake
John Mirenge
(Chief Executive Officer)[2]

RwandAir is the flag carrier airline of Rwanda. 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.[3] 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 [4]

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.[5]

In October 2011 RwandAir placed an option for two Boeing 787s for delivery in 2015 or 2016[citation needed]. In the same month they also 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.[6][7]

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

Corporate affairs[edit]


Rwandair is 99% owned by the Government of Rwanda.[8]

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. [9]

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
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
Passenger load factor (%) n/a
Number of aircraft (at year end) 8 8
Notes/sources [10] [11][12]

Head office[edit]

The airline has its head office on the top floor of the main building of Kigali International Airport.[14][15] The airline previously had its head office in Centenary House in Kigali,[16] before moving its operations to the airport in May 2010.[15] At one previous point the airline had its head office in the Telcom House.[17]


RwandAir serves the following destinations (excluding codeshare destinations) as of June 2013:[18][19]

City Country Airport
Accra  Ghana Kotoka International Airport
Bujumbura  Burundi Bujumbura International Airport
Douala  Cameroon Douala International Airport
Brazzaville  Republic of the Congo Maya-Maya Airport
Juba  South Sudan Juba International Airport[20]
Libreville  Gabon Libreville International Airport
Lagos  Nigeria Murtala Muhammed International Airport
Mombasa  Kenya Moi International Airport
Nairobi  Kenya Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
Cyangugu  Rwanda Kamembe Airport
Kigali  Rwanda Kigali International Airport HUB
Johannesburg  South Africa OR Tambo International Airport
Dar es Salaam  Tanzania Julius Nyerere International Airport
Mwanza  Tanzania Mwanza Airport
Kilimanjaro  Tanzania Kilimanjaro International Airport
Entebbe  Uganda Entebbe International Airport
Dubai  United Arab Emirates Dubai International Airport
Lusaka  Zambia Kenneth Kaunda International Airport[21]
Harare  Zimbabwe Harare International Airport[21]

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.[23] In September 2009, RwandAir signed a code share agreement with Ethiopian Airlines.[24] In May 2010 the airline announced a new codeshare with Air Uganda.[25] That codeshare arrangement was terminated in March 2012 and then reinstated in October 2013.[26]


A RwandAir Boeing 737-500

As of January 2015, RwandAir operates the following aircraft:[27]

RwandAir fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
Boeing 737-700[28] 2 TBA 120
Boeing 737-800 2 1 16 138 154 Delivery on end of 2015
Boeing 787–8[citation needed] 0 2 TBA Delivery on 2017/18
Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen 2 6 69 75
Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 [29] 1 1 7 60 67
Airbus A330 2 TBA A330-200 and A330-300 series[30]
Total 7 6


  1. ^ List of Members of Board pf Directors
  2. ^ John Mirenge Appointed New CEO, Replacing Rene Janata
  3. ^ Rwanda's National Airline Rebrands
  4. ^ Mirenge New CEO of RwandaAir
  5. ^ Airline Reporter - RwandAir and Boeing Company 737-800 purchase
  6. ^ Rwandair Disposes of Two CRJ200 Aircraft
  7. ^ Rwandair Sells Two CRJ200 Aircraft
  8. ^
  9. ^ RwandAir to be sold after becoming profitable
  10. ^ "RwandAir could be privatised in 2015 as Umubano deal drags on". Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "RwandAir expands fleet as competition hots up". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  12. ^ "RwandAir May Offer Shares After Returning to Profit in Two Years". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  13. ^ "RwandAir targets $350m sales by 2018". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "All RwandAir Offices & Branches." RwandAir. Retrieved on 24 May 2011. "Kigali Head Office Kigali International Airport Main Building (top floor)"
  15. ^ a b "Announcement on RwandAir Head Office shift from Centenary House to new airport office." RwandAir. Retrieved on 16 June 2010.
  16. ^ Flight International 12–18 April 2005
  17. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 30 March - 5 April 2004. 61. "Telcom House, Boulevard delumuganda, Kigli, Kacyiru"
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^ "Rwandair flight schedule". Rwandair. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  20. ^ Service To Juba Effective 21 September 2013
  21. ^ a b Khisa, Isaac (7 February 2015). "Rwandair Now To Fly To South Africa". The EastAfrican (Nairobi). Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  22. ^ Rwandair and Proflight Zambia to codeshare
  23. ^
  24. ^ "RwandAir signs codeshare with Ethiopian Airlines - 10 September 2009
  25. ^ "RwandAir and Air Uganda code share to give seamless travel advantages to clients". RwandAir. Retrieved 16 June 2010. 
  26. ^ Air Uganda Terminates Codeshare With Rwwandair
  27. ^ Rwandair Fleet Retrieved 10 July 2014
  28. ^ Rwandair Takes Deliverly of First Boeing 737-700 NextGeneration Aircraft
  29. ^ "RwandAir makes a firm order of a Q400 from Bombardier". RwandAir. RwandAir. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  30. ^ "RwandAir selects the A330 for fleet growth and modernisation" (Press release). Airbus. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-24. 

External links[edit]