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RwandAir is the national carrier of 
Rwanda, based at Kigali International Airport. Formerly known as RwandAir Express, the carrier operates services to Central, Eastern and Southern Africa, with interline services to Europe, the Middle East and China. Capa Aviation.

John Mirenge
Chief Executive Officer, RwandAir

John has been CEO since 2010 following a stint of more than one year as the company’s non-executive chairman. Since that time, he has overseen the tremendous expansion and growth that makes RwandAir the fastest growing airline on the African continent. From a 100,000 passengers-a-year company to the current more than 600,000 passengers-a-year with a mixed fleet of 9 new aircraft serving 18 continental destinations and Dubai. Under his leadership, RwandAir is destined to greater strides projecting to serve more than 24 destinations and carry more than 1,500,000 passengers with a mixed fleet of 15 aircraft in the next 5 years.   
 
Prior to joining RwandAir, John was the Executive Chairman of Crystal Ventures Ltd a private holding company which has investments in Telecoms, Agro-processing, Property developments and Road construction among others. Prior to joining Crystal ventures, he headed Electrogaz, which he transformed from an inefficient, loss making public monopoly to an efficient and well managed entity. Prior to joining Electogaz, John was the Chief Operating Officer of MTN Rwanda which is the biggest private Communication Company in Rwanda. While at MTN Rwanda, he was responsible for developing the company's growth strategy, driving key components of its business operations and launching new products. He drove the growth of subscriber numbers and the business profitability. Prior to his promotion to COO, he had been the Corporate and Legal secretary where he also managed International/Interconnect business. He joined MTN Rwanda from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning where he was the senior legal advisor to the Minister. He previously chaired the MTN Rwanda Board of Directors and served on a number of other Boards in both public and private enterprises including ESKOM South Africa, the largest power utility in Africa. John holds an LL.B and a Post graduate Diploma in legal practice and has attended numerous training/coaching in business management. He is a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network

 

by Wolfgang Thome

NETWORK WITH AFRICA

 

In just 7 weeks time Aviation Africa 2017 will host up to 500 registered attendees including over 40 Airlines, African Civil Aviation Authorities, business aviation operators, African government officials and VIP business aviation buyers from across the continent.
Aviation Africa is set to be the biggest B2B aviation conference and exhibition that East Africa has ever seen with an exhibition hall hosting 50 companies including the sponsors listed below.
Don’t miss this event, which offers a fantastic platform to look at the opportunities to do business with Africa. Register today and join these names and many more who have already registered.

Rwanda changes key aviation legislation

RWANDA CIVIL AVIATION TO CONCENTRATE ON BEING A REGULATOR ONLY

07th January 2017

Rwanda’s parliament earlier in the week passed new legislation, which will see key changes in the way the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority operates. In the past did RCAA not only regulate the industry but also operate airports, something the new legal regime will see change over the coming months.

Airport operations will be vested in the Aviation, Travel and Logistics company, under which also national airline RwandAir falls, together with Akagera Aviation and other related ventures.

The changes bring Rwanda in line with best global practice on how regulation and business interests must be separated, something which has happened in Kenya before, also in Tanzania where in both cases airport authorities were created but notably not in Uganda, where the local regulators hang on for dear life to their cash rich airport management situation.

It is understood that the RCAA will now progressively hand over assets to the new bodies, which will manage for instance the airports in Kigali and Kamembe but then restrict itself to regulating those enterprises rather than being further involved in management.

In a related development has RwandAir flown a record number of passengers in 2016 and the arrival of the airline’s 12th aircraft, a Boeing B737-800NG before the middle of the year will further boost operations. While no dates have been officially announced as yet for flights to London and Mumbai, is this a work in progress vis a vis landing rights and putting the infrastructure into place, so watch this space for coming updates.

Nigeria: Rwandair Finds Biggest Market in Nigeria

Rwandan flag carrier, RwandAir, has attested to the strength of the Nigerian air travel market, declaring it as a major traffic zone for airlines in the African region.The airline said economic challenges notwithstanding, the market remains committed to the air travel sector.

RwandAir Country Manager, Ibiyemi Odusi, said the last financial year was a good outing for the airline on the Nigerian route, as its revenue outflows and passenger traffic were the highest in terms of growth in the RwandAir network.

Odunsi said it is for this reason that RwandAir holds dearly its Nigerian operations, adding that the airline would continue to invest in Nigeria with new products that will endear its patronage.

She said Nigerian passengers have demonstrated patronage and commitment to the airline and that it was time to give back with more quality services and competitive fares.It would be recalled that with the exit of the likes of United and Iberia Airlines, and spike in ticket fares on other foreign airlines, the likes of RwandAir, offering cheaper fares on international route are enjoying more patronage.

Meeting its trade and corporate partners in Lagos recently, the airline said plans had been concluded plans to take delivery of a brand new Airbus 330 to be deployed on Nigerian route with business, premium and economy cabins.The aircraft, Odusi said will be deployed on the Lagos-Dubai route next month, after which it will service the Lagos-Mumbai route in December.

She hinted that the airline will in the first quarter of next year take delivery of another brand new Airbus aircraft for planned operations into Guangzhou in China for Nigerian passengers.

She said the meeting with trade and corporate partners in Lagos provided an avenue for the airline to plan further for the present financial year 2016/17 while thanking its esteemed customers and trade partners for the success the Nigeria market achieved.

Odusi spoke of plans by the airline to add new routes soon, as it is looking forward to strategic partnerships within and outside the continent to develop its hub in Kigali into other global destinations.She said the airline's frequent flyer programme (Dream Miles) is in place, which would enable passengers earn mileage on every trip.

RwandAir rises – in the skies and on the ground too

NEW RWANDAIR PREMIUM AIRPORT LOUNGE IN THE MAKING

 01st October 2016

As RwandAir enters the big league of African aviation with the delivery of the airline’s first A330-200 and soon to be followed by the delivery of an A330-300, are changes on the ground at the carrier’s hub airport Kigali also on the drawing board.

Premium passengers until now were accommodated by their airline at the Pearl Lounge, including passengers of the national airline.

This will change in coming weeks as the construction of a branded RwandAir lounge is underway, due to accommodate up to 100 passengers at a go and featuring state of the art comfort and amenities.

With presently over 700.000 RwandAir passengers passing through Kigali, a figure set to rise to over a million after the arrival of two long haul wide body A330’s and two additional Boeing B737-800NG’s, going by the words of CEO Mr. John Mirenge.
In a related development was it also confirmed yesterday that this correspondent’s speculation that the new Airbus A330 could be deployed to Lagos too, proved correct.
Initially up to three flights a week will be operated in due course between Kigali and Lagos, offering passengers seamless connections to the onward service to Dubai.
The UAE’s most vibrant city is a huge magnet for travelers from Africa and wide body comfort – the RwandAir A330 offers Business Class, a separate Premium Economy section and the conventional Economy Class – is thought to be the key to capture a greater market share vis a vis Gulf carriers and other African airlines serving Dubai.
RwandAir also confirmed that three flights a week between Kigali and Dubai will continue to route via Mombasa – with traffic rights on all sectors – to give Kenyans living at the coast the option of a nonstop flight to Dubai and back.

More route development news from RwandAir will feature here in due course.


Posted 14 January 2014 10:05

African carrier RwandAir is to further expand its network within the continent with the launch of a new direct service to Douala, Cameroon from its Kigali International Airport base.  The airline, the flag carrier of Rwanda, will introduce the four times weekly service on March 30, 2014 and will further support its growth in the Central and West African markets.

Douala will be the airline’s 16th destination since it rebranded in 2009 and will be its fifth link into West Africa complementing its existing services to Accra, Libreville, Brazzaville, Lagos.  As well as supporting point-to-point demand the flight will also provide additional feed into Kigali International Airport for the carrier’s existing flights to the Middle East and expected future services into Europe and Asia.

RwandAir will utilise a Bombardier CRJ900NG on the route, seating seven passengers in Business Class and 68 in Economy.  The Canadian-built regional jet is already deployed on the carrier’s daily services to Brazzaville, Bujumbura, Dar es Salaam, Entebbe and Nairobi, Entebbe.  The operation of regional aircraft is key to supporting the carrier’s hub strategy and can provide a sustainable option in many markets that cannot support the larger traditional mainline jets.

The carrier’s fleet now consists of four Boeing 737 series aircraft, one Bombardier Dash 8-200 series and two CRJ-900NG regional jets, which arrived in November of 2012.  The next arrival will be a Dash 8-Q400 that will introduce business class to its sole domestic route to Kamembe, from next month: RwandAir will become the 12th operator of the Q400NG in Africa.

The ongoing fleet expansion will also support future network growth and RwandAir confirms that a new link to Abidjan in the Ivory Coast is planned for 2014, while a number of other regional African destinations are under consideration including the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and Lusaka in Zambia.

 

WEST AFRICAN GATEWAY

RwandAir – where dream has turned into reality

BY DR. WOLFGANG H. THOME, ETN UGANDA | MAR 03, 2013

(eTN) - While in Rwanda last week, news emerged from the corridors of RwandAir, that Accra, Ghana, will become the airline’s 15th destination by the latest in June of this year, adding yet another West African gateway to Lagos, Libreville, and Brazzaville. The move shows that the expansion drive of Rwanda’s national airline is continuing unabated, buoyed no doubt by the government’s commitment to throw its full support behind it, budgetary constraints notwithstanding.

RwandAir’s CEO John Mirenge is also on record that during the remainder of the year additional destinations will be launched, among them Juba, Zanzibar, and either Lusaka or Harare or perhaps even both combined. In the latest edition of INZOZI, RwandAir’s in-flight magazine, he says: “We are the fastest-growing airline in Africa. It is both challenging and exciting. The challenge is that we are joining long serving giants in the market. The exciting part is that we are doing so really fast. We are happy to begin 2013 with bilateral agreements signed with Kenya Airways to join our efforts in a number of areas of our operations on short and long-term basis.”

The ambitious growth plans will be further aided when in April this year the airline’s two B737-500 will be returned to the lessors GECAS at the end of the lease agreement and be substituted against two more recently built B737-700ERs, acquired from Germany’s TUIfly.

The change will not only add a few more much needed seats but primarily extends the operational range as the two older Boeings faced limitations on the longer routes for instance to Dubai, Johannesburg or Lagos while the much younger B737-700s can fly these routes with full passenger and cargo load.

Further expansion of destinations and frequencies is envisaged for 2014 when very likely the two options for another two Bombardier CRJ900NextGen will be turned into firm orders, ahead of the delivery of two B787’s due by 2015 and 2016.

President Paul Kagame himself reiterated his government’s commitment to RwandAir when he answered a question by this correspondent last Wednesday at his monthly “meet the media” session. He outlined that Rwanda would in due course seek a strategic investor in RwandAir to spread the financial exposure wider through a public private partnership and then allow freed funds to be used for other, equally important infrastructure projects like the new Bugesera airport and the railway link from Kigali to Tanzania’s Isaka.

With this level of support from the highest office in the land, it is no wonder that RwandAir’s top management oozes confidence and can honestly say that the dreams of the past have now been turned into the reality of the present, also ably expressed in the upcoming change of the tagline from ‘Fly our Dream to the Heart of Africa’ to soon read “From the Heart of Africa.”