RwandAir joins the aviation elite after passing IOSA audit


(Posted 11th December 2014)

Yesterday afternoon saw the successful conclusion of a two year process of preparing for and then undergoing IATA’s Operational Safety Audit, when Mr. Raphael Kuuchi, IATA’s Vice President for Africa formally handed over the certificate to RwandAir’s CEO Mr. John Mirenge.

The Bourbon Coffee Shop in the newly expanded Kigali International Airport provided the setting for the event, during which RwandAir was named as the first of 10 airlines selected in 2012 to participate in the IOSA certification process to actually complete the audit, which involved meeting over 1.000 operational safety criteria.

There was justified pride in John Mirenge’s speech as he thanked first and foremost the government of Rwanda for their unwavering support in accomplishing the task for attaining a global certification which allowed RwandAir to join the aviation elite in not only Africa but the aviation world at large.

Already mentioned by IATA’s Raphael Kuuchi in his congratulatory address and later on confirmed by RwandAir’s John Mirenge, has the airline now set their sights on attaining the equally important certification for safe ground handling operations and work towards ISAGO will commence early in the new year.

RwandAir and IATA both also confirmed that the renewal audit in two years’ time will already be carried out under the new enhanced IOSA version, aptly named e-IOSA.

RwandAir’s new status now permits the airline to pursue and conclude a number of pending code-share and other partnership agreements with international airlines, for which membership in the IOSA ‘club’ of certified airlines is quintessential to put pen to paper.

(No better reason to pop a champagne cork nor to cut a cake … a beaming John Mirenge does it both)

RwandAir has in recent years become one of Africa’s fastest growing young airlines, and owned fully by the government of Rwanda become a strategic tool to connect the landlocked country to the rest of not only the region but to West Africa, South Africa and the Gulf, the latter served with daily flights to Dubai. Overall does the airline presently serve 15 destinations out of their Kigali hub.

More recently was the airline also granted fifth freedom rights by the Uganda CAA to fly from Entebbe to Juba, South Sudan’s capital while presently operationalizing similar route rights from Entebbe to Nairobi which is awaiting regulatory approval from the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority.

Operating a fleet of now 7 aircraft, all newly acquired, comprising of two B737-800NG – which includes the first ever SkyInterior version delivered to an African airline – two B737-700NG’s, two Bombardier CRJ900NextGen and one Bombardier Q400NextGen, will RwandAir next year add a second Bombardier Q400NextGen and in either late 2015 or early 2016 another Boeing B737-800, to allow for further route expansion and more flights to high demand destinations across Africa.

For added details about RwandAir click on and YouTube snapshots about my travels to Kigali and the ceremony are available via

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