Rwandans are anxiously waiting for the arrival of a massive plane expected to touch ground at Kigali International Airport today.
The national carrier announced earlier today that the new plane had already left USA and is on its way to Rwanda , “The ferry flight of the B737-800NG took off a few minutes ago from Seattle .It is expected to land in Kigali tomorrow.”
The new plane, B737-800NG is already airborne and has to cruise over 8888 miles from Seattle , USA and arrive in Kigali at 16:00hrs (ETA).
“Delivery of this aircraft will increase the total number of RwandAir fleet to ten aircrafts and will enable the launch of new destinations in Africa and India” said a communiqué .
According to the communiqué, RwandAir ordered for two planes of Boeing 737-800NG model equipped with in-flight connectivity.
In September, Rwandair acquired the first Airbus 330-200 ‘Ubumwe’ plane. The delivery of the Airbus triggered an extensive discussion about Rwanda’s ambitious air transport plans.
The airline has set its eyes on expanding its flights across Africa, Asia and Europe and has added New York route on its new destination plan by 2017 and to ensure that this plan materializes, the airline is planning to acquire another Airbus A350 XWB wide-body plane for the Kigali-US route, according to RwandAir CEO John Mirenge.
In October, Rwandair launched commercial flights to Cotonou in Benin and Abidjan in Ivory Coast as part of its strategy to expand its footprint and enhance connectivity in West Africa.
RwandAir also plans to enter more markets soon, including Mumbai in India, Conakry in Guinea, Bamako in Mali, as well as Dakar, Senegal, Harare in Zimbabwe, Lilongwe in Malawi and Durban in South Africa by next year.
Presently, the airline operates 19 destinations, including Nairobi, Entebbe, Mombasa, Bujumbura, Lusaka, Juba, Douala, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Cotonou, Johannesburg, Dubai, Lagos, Libreville and Brazzaville.
The national carrier successfully renewed its certificate for the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) for another two years to remain competitive.
About Boeing 737-800NG
Seats between 110 and 210 passengers
Burns 3,200 Litres of jet fuel per hour
Costs between $51.5 million and $87 million, depending on model
Can cruise 1,630 ft higher at 41,000 ft