RwandAir’s second Q400 will be leased rather than owned


(Posted 19th March 2015)

RwandAir has announced the acquisition, via a long term lease, of a second Bombardier Q400NextGen aircraft, after signing an agreement with lessor Palma Holdings.

This state of the art turboprop aircraft has all the hallmarks of a small jet but operates much more cost efficiently and is only marginally slower on short and medium distance routes.

RwandAir’s Q400’s are configured in a two class cabin layout of 7 business class seats in a 2×1 setting and 60 seats in economy class in a 2×2 setting.

RwandAir CEO John Mirenge commented on the deal when he said: ‘Our first dual-class, 67-seat Q400 NextGen aircraft has been performing extremely well and has fully met our expectations. The Q400 NextGen has been proven to be capable to perform in our demanding environment and flexible in supporting our fleet strategy through its increased capacity while efficiently contributing to our commercial strategy’.

In turn did Moulay Omar Alaoui, the President Palma Holding Ltd respond: ‘We are delighted to support RwandAir on its path towards further growth and increased profitability. Under our joint venture with Ibdar Bank (Bahrain) we became the first lessor worldwide for the aircraft’s dual-class configuration, we see many exciting business development opportunities for the African region; the aircraft is highly desired by airlines which can be seen with the re-orders making it an attractive asset from a lessor point of view’.

The new aircraft, when delivered in a few weeks’ time – the plane is now on the assembly line at the Bombardier manufacturing plant – will boost the RwandAir fleet to 8 aircraft, four Boeing B737NG’s, two each -700 and -800 versions and four Bombardier’s, with two each CRJ900NextGen and Q400NextGen, making it the arguably youngest fleet in Africa. The airline now serves destinations across Eastern Africa and the continent but also flies daily to Dubai, three times a week via Mombasa under fifth freedom rights.

Next on the horizon is the launch of three flights per week to Lusaka / Zambia on the 29th of March in conjunction with the daily service from Kigali to Johannesburg. For added information about the airline visit

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