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Rwanda Signs Air Service Agreement with Israel

by Jean de la Croix Tabaro
2:46 pm


Ambassador Joseph Rutabana(Left) and Israeli Min. of Transportation, Hon. Yisrael Katz

Rwandans and regional pilgrimages who dream to visit Jerusalem, the capital city of Israel with rich history of Jesus and His ancestors may soon enjoy RwandAir direct flights.

Rwanda and the State of Israel have signed Air Service Agreement which will soon see the national carrier – RwandAir operate direct flights to Ben Gurion International Airport.

On Monday, Joseph Rutabana, Rwandan Ambassador to the State of Israel twitted; “Honoured to have signed the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) with the Israeli Min. of Transportation, Hon. Yisrael Katz. Important step for Rwandair to operate direct flights to Ben Gurion Intl A/port.”

Ben Gurion Airport, commonly known as Natbag, is the main international airport of Israel and the busiest airport in the country, located on the northern outskirts of the city of Lod, which is about 45 km northwest of Jerusalem and 20 km to the southeast of Tel Aviv.

Rwanda’s Plan to launch direct flights to the Middle East country is not new. In February 2018, the national carrier launched consultancy activities to study and enter the Israeli market.

According to an invitation to tender available on carrier’s website, the company “wishes to invite qualifying bidders to be RwandAir GSA in Israel.”

GSA stands for General Sales Agent – a sales representative for an airline in a specific country or region. The company handles the establishment of operations in the airline business in a given market. In October 2018, Raphael Morav – Israel Ambassador to Rwanda, Ethiopia and Burundi met Yvonne Makolo – chief Executive officer of RwandAir to discuss possibility to have the carrier fly to Tel Aviv this year.

“It’s always a pleasure and privilege to meet with Yvonne Makolo – CEO of RwandAir for discussion on opening next year a regular service to Tel Aviv, Israel,” Morav tweeted after the meeting.

These progress are part of the carrier’s bigger plan to increase destinations which would translate into income. Currently, RwandAir flies to 26 destinations. On December 27, 2018, it announced that it will start to operate five weekly direct flights from Kigali to Addis Ababa in April. Other new routes expected this year are: Guangzhou, Tel Aviv, Bamako and Conakry. RwandAir also plans to enter the American market with flights to New York.