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Despite cloudy skies, RwandAir is flying to great height




In a long interview for the East African Newspaper, John Mirenge, the RwandAir’s CEO  talks about the projects of the airline. Here is a summary


Why to buy A330s ?


In March 2015, RwandAir signed a MOU for two A330s. The first one will arrive in 2016, the second one in 2017. John Mirenge has told, that on some routes, there is a capacity issue. On the Dubai route, the airline uses a B737, but the demand both for passengers and cargo is too high. The aircraft is too small, to meet the demand.


Furthermore, trade between Rwanda (and Africa) and many Asians countries, including India and China, have increased. RwandAir need long haul aircraft to serve those markets. In a second time, RwandAir will serve Europe.


Business Strategy, purchase of planes :


Currently, RwandAir operates a fleet of 7 aircraft. 5 aircraft were bought directly from the manufacturers and two are leased. John Mirenge told, that the 2nd Dash Q400 will be acquired through a leasing deal (for a period of 12 years).


About the A330, they will be brand new, but they will be also acquired trough a leasing deal (many airlines negotiate with the supplier and manufacturer to get a good price).


RwandAir Financial Health, Partnership :


The airline still posting losses, but the future is bright has said Mirenge. In deed, RwandAir has heavily invested, to buy new aircraft, to hire staff and to improve its brand. The airline is still a start up.


The load factor was  30%, in 2009, before the restructuration . Now, the load factor is 60%.The strategy seems to pay off. RwandAir has a strong support from financial institutions and the government.


“It is true we have been posting losses year after year but there is a good story in terms of the future perspective. One can see that our budget that we set for 10 years in on track”.


“Our industry is very capital-intensive. There are financial institutions that understand the kind of business we are doing — they look at how we have been growing”.


About the partnership with Ethiopian :


We have been engaging strategic investors to take an equity stake in RwandAir and the negotiations are going on. We have engaged some three interested stakeholders within and outside the region. The process is on.


Long Haul  & short haul Destinations :


The airline serves 18 destinations. By 2018, the airlins hopes to serve 25


With the arrival, of the A330, RwandAir will be able to serve new markets in Asia and in Europe. In Europe, the airline plans to serve London, Germany (Frankfurt ?) and France (Paris). Europe is the second market for Rwanda, after Africa. RwandAir will both provide point to point traffic between Rwanda and Europe, but also connecting flights, between Africa and Europe.


The United Stats is not in project, due to low capacity of the airline, in term of fleet.


In Africa, Harare seems to be the next destinations. RwandAir plans also to serve Abidjan, Luanda and Cotonou


2015 prospects and risks :


We hope the increase in oil prices does not go beyond where it is — this will give us a relief. We want to continue growing in terms of passenger numbers and destinations. We want to prepare for the delivery of wide body aircraft.


In 2016, we will be introducing wide bodies on our network and cargo. We are also preparing for the next International Air Transport Association (IATA) operational safety audit (IOSA)


However, several crisis in Africa impact in our trafic. The airline saw a significant drop, on its Johannesburg service, due to xenophobic attacks in South Africa.


About the Burundi, the airline suspended its service last week. Some flights to Bujumbura were almost empty.




Berna Namata SOURCE : http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/Rwanda/News/Despite-cloudy-skies–RwandAir-is-flying-to-great-height/-/1433218/2726132/-/item/2/-/sljnnnz/-/index.html



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