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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 12
Destinations 21
Company slogan Fly the dream of Africa
Parent company Government of Rwanda
Headquarters Kigali, Rwanda
Key people

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



A former Rwandair Express Boeing 737-500
A former RwandAir Bombardier CRJ200LR

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.[4] 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).[5]


The airline began to expand regionally and by 2009 the network to included Dar-es-Salaam, Nairobi, and domestic destinations such as Gisenyi.

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.[6] 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 [7]


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 hour flight.[8]

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.[9][10]

In February 2013, John Mirenge announced that the airline would fly to Accra, Cape Town, Harare, Juba and Zanzibar, in 2013.[11]

In May 2015, Rwandair officially became an IATA member.[12]

2015 to date[edit]

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.[13]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Head office[edit]

The head office is located in the main building of Kigali International Airport

The airline has its head office on the top floor of the main building of Kigali International Airport.[13][14] The airline previously had its head office in Centenary House in Kigali,[15] before moving its operations to the airport in May 2010.[14] At one previous point the airline had its head office in the Telcom House.[16]


Rwandair is 99% owned by the Government of Rwanda.[17] 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.[18]

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 81.4[19] 100.7[19]
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[20] 25.2[21] 22.0[22] 27.0[23] 29.1[24] 33.6[25]
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
Notes/sources [26] [26] [26][27]
[26][30] [26] [31][32]


RwandAir serves the following destinations (including codeshare destinations) as of August 2017:[33][34]

City Country Airport Notes
Brussels  Belgium Brussels Airport [35]
Cotonou  Benin Cadjehoun 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
Abidjan  Ivory Coast Port Bouet Airport
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
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
London  United Kingdom Gatwick International Airport
Lusaka  Zambia Kenneth Kaunda International Airport
Harare  Zimbabwe Harare International Airport

Codeshare agreements[edit]

RwandAir codeshares with the following airlines:[36]


A RwandAir Boeing 737-500

The RwandAir fleet comprises the following aircraft as of August 2017:[37][38]

RwandAir fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
C Y+ Y Total
Airbus A330-200 1 20 21 203 244
Airbus A330-300 1 30 21 223 274
Boeing 737-700[39] 2 12 108 120
Boeing 737-800 4 16 138 154
Bombardier CRJ900ER 2 6 69 75
Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 [40] 2 7 60 67
Total 12


  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. ^ "Alliance spreads into Central Africa". 
  5. ^ Peterson Tumwebaze (November 11, 2016). "RwandAir gets safety certification for its ground operations". The New Times. 
  6. ^ "Rwanda's National Airline Rebrands". Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  7. ^ The New Times. "The New Times - Rwanda". Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  8. ^ " - We are AvGeeks Blogging on Aviation, Travel and Airlines.". Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  9. ^ "Next round of the elaborate bidding process 11 companies expected to tender for Bugesera Airport ...". Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "Rwandair Sells Two CRJ200 Aircraft". Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  11. ^ Business Reporter (13 February 2013). "RwandAir eyes Harare route". NewsDay Quoting Bloomberg News. Harare. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  12. ^ Bateta, Agnes (24 January 2016). "Global umbrella gives RwandAir kudos". East African Business Week. Kampala. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  13. ^ "All RwandAir Offices & Branches." RwandAir. Retrieved on 24 May 2011. "Kigali Head Office Kigali International Airport Main Building (top floor)"
  14. ^ a b "Announcement on RwandAir Head Office shift from Centenary House to new airport office." RwandAir. Retrieved on 16 June 2010.
  15. ^ Flight International 12–18 April 2005
  16. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 30 March - 5 April 2004. 61. "Telcom House, Boulevard delumuganda, Kigli, Kacyiru"
  17. ^ Saul Butera (12 February 2013). "RwandAir May Offer Shares After Returning to Profit in Two Years". Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  18. ^ Administrator. "RwandAir to be sold after becoming profitable – Finance Minister". Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  19. ^ a b
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ a b c d e "RwandAir could be privatised in 2015 as Umubano deal drags on". Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  27. ^ "RwandAir expands fleet as competition hots up". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  28. ^ Butera, Saul (12 February 2013). "RwandAir May Offer Shares After Returning to Profit in Two Years". Bloomberg. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  29. ^ "RwandAir targets $350m sales by 2018". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  30. ^ "Annual Report 2014". African Airlines Association. 2014. 
  31. ^ Sanchez, Dana (27 January 2016). "RwandAir Rising, Adding Aircraft, Flights To Europe, Asia". Retrieved 28 January 2016. 
  32. ^ Butera, Saul (27 January 2016). "RwandAir to Add Europe Destination, Four Aircraft This Year". Bloomberg Business News. Retrieved 28 January 2016. 
  33. ^ "RwandAir Flight Schedules". Rwadair. RwandAir. Retrieved 5 July 2015. 
  34. ^ "Rwandair flight schedule". Rwandair. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  35. ^
  36. ^ "Profile on RwandAir". CAPA. Centre for Aviation. Archived from the original on 2016-11-11. Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  37. ^ Ksafari. "RwandAir". Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  38. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2017 (Part Two)". Airliner World (November 2017): 30. 
  39. ^ "RwandAir Express acquires new Boeing 737-700". Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  40. ^ "Bombardier Delivers Dual-Class Q400 NextGen Airliner to RwandAir". Bombardier Aerospace. Bombardier Aerospace. Retrieved 17 December 2015. 

External links[edit]

Media related to RwandAir at Wikimedia Commons