|Founded||1 December 2002|
|Commenced operations||27 April 2003|
|Operating bases||Kigali International Airport|
|Company slogan||Fly our dream to the heart of Africa|
|Headquarters||Kigali International Airport,
|Key people||Girma Wake
(Chief Executive Officer)
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.
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.
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 hours flight.
In October 2011 RwandAir placed an option for two Boeing 787s for delivery in 2015 or 2016. 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.
In February 2013, John Mirenge announced that the airline will fly to Accra, Cape Town, Harare, Juba and Zanzibar, in 2013.
Rwandair is 99% owned by the Government of Rwanda.
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.
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|
|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|
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 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. In September 2009, RwandAir signed a code share agreement with Ethiopian Airlines. In May 2010 the airline announced a new codeshare with Air Uganda. That codeshare arrangement was terminated in March 2012 and then reinstated in October 2013.
As of January 2015, RwandAir operates the following aircraft:
|Boeing 737-800||2||1||16||138||154||Delivery on end of 2015|
|Boeing 787–8||0||2||TBA||Delivery on 2017/18|
|Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen||2||—||6||69||75|
|Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 ||2||7||60||67|
|Airbus A330||0||2||TBA||A330-200 and A330-300 series|
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- Rwandair Fleet Retrieved 10 July 2014
- "RwandAir Express acquires new Boeing 737-700". Retrieved 24 April 2015.
- "RwandAir makes a firm order of a Q400 from Bombardier". RwandAir. RwandAir. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- "RwandAir selects the A330 for fleet growth and modernisation" (Press release). Airbus. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-24.
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