RwandAir nearing decision for firm B787 order

RWANDAIR NEARING DECISION FOR FIRM B787 ORDER

A regular source close to RwandAir has confirmed that the airline, shortly after taking delivery of two brand new CRJ900NG jets from Canadian manufacturer Bombardier, is now working on finalizing a firm order for at least one if not two B787 Dreamliner. Rwanda’s national airline appears to have signaled indication of interest to Boeing last year when they took delivery of two B787-800’s and in fact have the B787 pictures on display in their office at the International Airport in Kigali.

With more airlines taking delivery of the world’s most advanced wide body passenger aircraft, and passenger feedback overwhelmingly positive about the drastically improved inflight experience, while airline accountants are raving about the cost savings of the new bird, RwandAir is clearly looking into the future and following its strategic plan, which foresees the fleet to grow in coming years from presently 7 aircraft to 17, long haul capacity included.

Besides considering the B787 evaluations are also ongoing about a larger turboprop aircraft, with the source confirming that Bombardier’s Q400 as the likely successor to the presently used Bombardier Dash8-100.

RwandAir also holds an option for more CRJ900NG jets and can ‘convert’ the leases for their two B737-500 aircraft to more modern types when the contracts come to an end in mid 2013.

The appointment of Girma Wake, a former long time CEO at Ethiopian Airlines, to chair the board of directors of Rwanda’s national airline, has given a boost to the strategic outlook of the carrier, which enjoys the full backing of the Rwanda government and is the only airline, besides Kenya Airways, Precision Air and Ethiopian Airlines in the region which has actually bought brand new aircraft and not sources pre-owned and often ageing aircraft from the open market. Wade’s experience with turning ET into a major hub airline before his retirement as CEO hence comes in handy to turn Rwanda’s own vision to connect the Land of a Thousand Hills with the region, the continent and ultimately the world – probably via Europe and China – into reality sooner rather than later. Watch this space for breaking and regular news from Eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean region.

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