Rwanda is heavily reliant on road transport, while water and air are marginally used. Air Transport in Rwanda plays the dual role of enhancing economic integration in regional and global markets and of promoting tourism. Aviation infrastructures comprise of one international airport – Kigali International Airport (KGL), which is served by five international airlines as well as national carrier – RwandAir. Other airlines that service Rwanda include Air Burundi, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines as well as Air Uganda and South African Airways. With little competition and a small market, the cost of air transport is higher than international average. Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority is the body in control of aviation movements and regulations in the country.
Airports in Rwanda
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18 total articles
Cameroon’s overall aviation market has grown by 46% in the year to Sep-2013, driven by an influx of Western African carriers competing on regional routes and national carrier Camair-Co adding 77% to its domestic capacity.
The bulk of the growth has come from Western and Central African carriers including Karinou Airlines from the Central African Republic and Rwandair, while Turkish Airlines has provided the country with its third European link.
Camair-Co continues to hold a monopoly, but profitability remains elusive and the Cameroon Government in Sep-2013 replaced CEO Matthijs Boertien after just nine months in the job, naming a former finance minister as chairman to lead a turnaround and to find an investor willing to take a 51% stake in the carrier.
Uganda’s Government will soon consider a plan to relaunch Uganda Airlines as the national carrier to take on the dominance of foreign airlines and take advantage of a growing economy, boosted by a budding oil industry and tourism.
In addition the Government has unveiled plans to invest USD400 million on airport expansion and developments, the bulk of which will be spent on ageing and capacity constrained Entebbe International Airport (EIA), but will also improve several domestic airports to foster the establishment of a domestic network.
A new flag carrier will have to contend with Air Uganda which has growth aspirations of its own while the redevelopment of EIA will better position Uganda to compete with much larger regional hubs in Kenya and Tanzania.
fastjet’s contorted strategies to develop a planned pan-South African LCC network continue to twist and turn, with the Tanzania-based carrier changing tack once again, this time shelving plans to launch domestic operations in South Africa in favour of commencing international services from Dar es Salaam. The London-listed carrier has been granted bilateral rights by Tanzania to operate international routes to South Africa, Zambia and Rwanda.
fastjet had intended to launch twice daily domestic services on South Africa’s busiest domestic route between Johannesburg and Cape Town in early Jul-2013 as part of a joint venture with South African investment company FastJet Holdings (previously Blockbuster) and charter carrier Federal Air, which was to have operated the route with a wet-leased 737-300.
In addition the carrier has entered into an MoU with Nigeria’s Red 1 Airways to expand the brand to West Africa, apparently under a new model in which local partners take a majority stake in the venture using the fastjet brand. Red 1 reportedly consists of a group of Nigerian investors interested in launching a new carrier in Western Africa.
RwandAir will focus on route and fleet expansion in 2013, launching direct services to Accra, Douala and Juba coinciding with the delivery of new Boeing 737-700 aircraft and the introduction of a revised schedule at its congested Kigali hub.
RwandAir has reportedly recorded strong growth in recent years, including a 67% increase in passenger numbers in 2012 and increasing revenue by 60% compared to 2011 without increasing capacity.
The state-owned carrier’s CEO John Mirenga said in Jan-2013 that he was "hopeful" the airline will be profitable by 2015, at which time Rwanda's Government may consider selling down part of its holding in the carrier to private investors with a view to a possible stock exchange listing by 2020.
Mr Mirenga expects the airline will handle about 600,000 passengers in 2013, a 50% increase on 2012. The carrier does not expect to increase revenue by the same margin due to the pressure on fares.
The airline said in Nov-2012 it plans to expand its fleet from seven to 17 aircraft over the next five years and commence services to Europe and China in 2015.
Kenya Airways is expanding its influence in the African market by aligning itself with smaller carriers as it seeks to build its home base of Nairobi as a continental hub. This includes promoting greater cross-border cooperation and fostering economic development among nations which jealously guard their independence, despite the clear evidence that this has been a fundamental cause of their problems.
Africa’s fourth largest carrier and the continent's only member of the SkyTeam alliance is focusing on airlines in southern Africa, having already brought Air Mozambique, Air Botswana, Air Malawi and TAAG Angola Airlines into the fold.
On 20-Dec-2012 Kenya Airways and RwandAir announced plans to form a strategic partnership and build stronger relations including improved synergies in scheduling, reservation systems and a combined FFP. The partnership will also strengthen the airlines' cargo, maintenance and flight training operations.
Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airways looks to strengthen its Addis Ababa hub, as the Gulf carriers - now partnering with some global alliance airlines - expand their global networks across Africa.
Alongside the launch last week of non-stop service to Beijing, South African Airways (SAA) has been working on improving its connections in Africa, and has recently launched service to three Central African destinations: Pointe Noire in the Republic of the Congo, Kigali in Rwanda and Bujumbura in Burundi. This follows expansion last year into Ndola, Zambia.