Source: The East African.
Rwanda national carrier Monday launched direct flights between Kigali and Paris as demand for booking picks up ahead of summer.
RwandAir will be using its newly delivered Airbus A330-300 aircraft on the route, flying three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
The carrier joins Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines with direct flights to France. Earlier this month, Air France launched direct flights from Paris to Dar es Salaam, ending a 28-year hiatus.
The airline seeks to tap the huge Rwandan diaspora living in France as well as Belgium.
“Passengers traveling from Rwanda will now be able to reach Paris in 8 hours and 30 minutes,” RwandAir said in a tweet on Monday.
The carrier has been expanding its operations over the last two years.
The latest Airbus acquisition makes it a total of 13 aircraft serving 28 destinations across East, Central, West, and Southern Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.
Its capacity is expected to double later year when it concludes negotiations with Qatar Airways on the acquisition of a 49 percent stake in the Rwandan airline. The planned investment is valued at least $28 million, according to financial statements submitted to the US Department of Transportation in 2021.
On October 5, 2021, RwandAir and Qatar Airways announced they had signed a comprehensive codeshare agreement that gives the Rwandan carrier access to Qatar’s more than 65 destinations across Africa and the rest of the world.
As part of the deal, RwandAir launched non-stop flights between its Kigali hub and Doha in December.
Last year, the airline launched direct flights between Heathrow Airport in London and Kigali and increased the frequency to four times a week from the indirect thrice-weekly operation, which it had been operating via Brussels for the past five years.
ABOUT AUTHOR: By BERNA NAMATA, The East African.