RWANDAIR SET TO BENEFIT FROM NEW RWANDA – MALI BILATERAL AIR SERVICES DEAL
(Posted 14th February 2017)
The stage has been set for RwandAir to further spread their wings into West Africa, after Rwanda’s State Minister for Transport, Dr. Alexis Nzahabwanimana, signed a new air services deal with his Malian counterpart. the Minister of Equipment, Transport and Infrastructure Mrs. Seynabou Diop Traoré.
Both countries embraced an open skies policy under the new deal which will allow RwandAir to carry passengers and cargo from Kigali to Bamako but notably also beyond, with full uplift rights out of the Malian capital.
RwandAir already serves several destinations in West Africa, among them Brazzaville, Libreville, Douala, Lagos, Accra and Abidjan, with Conakry next on the launch list.
Rwanda is one of the few countries in Africa which has fully underwritten the Yamoussoukro Declaration, which prescribes open skies among African nations, but few have so far implemented this grand vision to connect Africa by air in a way other continents have provided such services to their people.
Even in East Africa have national regulators and ministry departments put up hurdles and obstacles, with notably Kenya giving Rwanda a hard time when the airline sought flights to Nairobi out of Entebbe under fifth freedom rights. Tanzania too is known to restrict access for other East African airlines with very limited entry options, thus dealing a heavy blow to tourist flights seeking to bring clients in the most cost effective and time saving way into the country’s national parks.
RwandAir, as a result of the country’s own stand on open skies, however enjoys growing fifth freedom rights with such countries like Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and now in West Africa too, benefitting travelers with shorter flying times and cheaper tickets.