Rwanda’s air traffic will rise to 300 flights per week from 200 last year, Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority (RCAA), the sector regulator said, citing a rebound in economic activity that has attracted more airlines.
Last year Rwanda’s aviation industry attracted interest from international players including Turkish Airways and Emirates Airlines while the national carrier stepped up efforts to increase its foothold in Africa.
“We have been registering strong growth in flight traffic volumes since the beginning of last year, which is a result of a rebound in economic activities, increase in more airlines and new RwandAir’s routes,” RCAA’s Director General, Richard Masozera told Business Times.
Masozera also said that two more airlines, South African Airways and Qatar Airways, are expected start direct flights to Kigali in the first quarter of the year.
Turkish Airlines will open in second quarter, he said.
Currently, Kigali International Airport (KIA) handles nine airlines, a combination of passenger airlines and cargo.
“With the increase in airline traffic, we project an increase in passenger numbers from 400,000, by the end of last year, to 420,000 from scheduled flights by end of 2012,” Masozera said.
RCAA is upgrading KIA to handle the rising traffic.
“We have invested US$17 million in expanding and upgrading the airport standards to handle the flight/passenger volumes. The project will be completed in 15 months time,” he added.
Recently, Qatar Airways received a nod from RCAA to start flights to KIA. The airline will be conducting daily flights from Doha to Kigali via Entebbe.