RWANDAIR SIGNS FOR TWO NEW BOMBARDIER CRJ 900
Rwanda’s national airline has, following protracted negotiations with several manufacturers of regional jet 70 – 110 seat aircraft, this morning signed a purchase deal with Canadian manufacturer Bombardier for the delivery of two CRJ 900 planes, due to be delivered already in October this year. It is understood that options for two more aircraft from Bombardier are included in the deal. This will undoubtedly be a disappointment for Brazilian manufacturers Embraer, who had left no stone unturned to get an order from RwandAir but the Bombardier team had reason to smile following months of negotiations and presentations.
The airline had earlier in the year disposed of two smaller, 50 seater all economy CRJ 200 aircraft, now thought to be too small to cater for continued growth in passengers from the wider region, connecting in Kigali on to the longer haul destinations like Lagos, Dubai and Johannesburg. The two new aircraft will be delivered in a two class configuration of 7 business class and 68 economy class seats and will allow RwandAir to more effectively compete against other regional airlines on the routes to Entebbe, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and Bujumbura, plus new routes to be announced in due course.
The order is worth over 90 million US Dollars, with the two options, if exercised as expected bringing the overall value of the deal to about 185 million US Dollars. RwandAirs CEO John Mirenge said upon signing the contract this afternoon: ‘Our two 50-seat CRJ200 aircraft have performed very well for us and have helped grow our business to the point that we require aircraft with more capacity. Based on our experience with the CRJ200 aircraft, the dual-class 75-seat CRJ900 NextGen aircraft was the logical upgrade. CRJ900 NextGen aircraft also provide exceptional reliability and have much in common with other CRJ aircraft. These aircraft will be configured to have 7 business class seats and 68 economy class seats. Other key factors that contributed to our decision to choose the CRJ900 NextGen aircraft are Bombardiers customer support offering and cooperation in further developing RwandAir’s technical capacity.’
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