ATC News by Wolfgang H. Thome
In what appears to be a highly significant gesture in East African aviation, RwandAir showcased their first Airbus A330-200 at Entebbe Airport to travel agents, corporate clients and the media, enroute to a great homecoming of the aircraft in Kigali on Wednesday.
This move might yet prove to be a masterstroke by the RwandAir management as the airline continues to court the Ugandan market which it presently serves with scheduled services between Kigali and Entebbe but notably also flights under fifth freedom rights between Entebbe and Juba and between Entebbe and Nairobi.
Many Ugandans, unconvinced that hundreds of millions of US Dollars should be spent on another airline start up when those funds can be put to better use, have adopted RwandAir as their quasi national airline.
Increasingly they fly via Kigali, Rwanda to a growing number of West African and Southern African destinations but also into the wider region and beyond to Dubai.
In fact RwandAir officials made it clear during the media briefing in Toulouse that the airline had the option to add further fifth freedom right destinations out of Entebbe and it is now anyone’s guess which additional routes RwandAir might plan to serve via Uganda’s international gateway.
There is intense speculation already that, should RwandAir settle for London as their primary European destination, a scheduled flight could be routed via Entebbe both ways to provide nonstop services to the UK.