RwandAir announced that it will resume flights to Africa with flights to Cotonou, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Lusaka, Libreville and Kilimanjaro as it gradually picks pace to shake off the challenges endured during the coronavirus pandemic.
Currently, Dubai is RwandAir’s only destination outside Africa but the airline has plans to resume flights to Tel Aviv, London and Guangzhou.
Kigali International Airport also receives flights departing for Brussels, Johannesburg, Dakar and to Addis Ababa, with connections to the United States via Ethiopian Airlines.
Since rebranding in 2009, the airline has not turned profitable despite consuming over US$2B in public funds and loans.
Although it has expressed confidence that an increase in economic activity and tourism will spur it to profitability.
As other regional airlines begin to resume flights and many on the same route, RwandAir will have to brace itself for competition.
Measures have been put in place for those travelling to Rwanda such that on arrival people must be tested again and be quarantined within hotels, at their own cost, until their test results are delivered.
Passengers will be greeted with new features that are enforced both at Kigali International Airport and on flights to minimize the risk of Covid-19 infection.
The airline has put in place social distancing signs marked on the terminal path to help passengers maintain social distancing.
The aircraft is also going to be deep-cleaned before the passengers are allowed to board, while the crew members wear personal protective equipment. With the resumption of flights, RwandAir now hopes to make for lost ground after suffering financially when all flights were suspended since mid-March to curb the spread of Covid-19.
South Sudan was the first country in the region to reopen its airports in May after the country eased coronavirus lockdown restrictions while Kenya Airways (KQ) resumed domestic and international flights in July. Tanzania’s commercial airlines resumed flights to and From Dar es Salaam in June.
Airlines in the East African Community risk insolvency and bankruptcy due to prolonged lack of business during the coronavirus pandemic according to the African Airlines Association (AFRAA).
Original article on The Exchange