RwandAir, the national flag carrier of the Republic of Rwanda, has signed a firm contract with Airbus for an A330-200 and a larger A330-300, at a signature ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda.
With this order RwandAir becomes a new Airbus customer and is the first East African customer for the long-haul airliner. This agreement firms up a commitment announced earlier this year.
Aircraft deliveries will begin in the second half of 2016, enabling the country’s carrier to deploy its new flagship aircraft on medium and long-haul routes serving destinations in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
The two aircraft will feature a three class cabin layouts. The A330-200 will have 244 seats (20 business class, 21 premium and 203 economy class) and the A330-300 will have 274 seats (30 business class, 21 premium and 223 economy class). The aircraft will be equipped with Rolls Royce Trent 772B engines.
“As we look to introduce wide body aircraft for the first time into our fleet, with its proven economics, reliability and passenger comfort, we have found the A330 to perfectly support our plans to expand into Europe and Asia, to enhance our regional presence, to open up new routes and to grow our market share. We are also delighted to have these aircraft powered by Rolls-Royce, as the Trent 700 engine delivers the most efficient and reliable power, and will maximize the revenue earning potential of our new aircraft’’ said John Mirenge, Chief Executive Officer of RwandAir.
“We are extremely pleased that RwandAir has confirmed its confidence in the A330, and are happy to welcome them as a new A330 customer,” said Christopher Buckley, Executive Vice President, Africa, Europe and Asia Pacific. “Their Passengers will enjoy best-in-class passenger comfort that only Airbus offers as well as the newest state of the art in-flight entertainment system. RwandAir will be able to benefit with the A330s from the unique combination of unbeatable economics, versatility and fuel efficiency.”
To date the A330 Family, which spans 250 to 300 seats, has attracted more than 1,500 orders and around 1,200 A330s are flying worldwide with over 100 operators. Ever since the original A330-300 entered service, its hallmarks are its very efficient operating economics, innovative cabin features, while offering passengers much wider economy-class seats than any competing aircraft. Moreover, with numerous product improvements and with an operational reliability of 99.4 percent, the A330 is the most cost-efficient and capable aircraft in its class.
From Kigali as its hub in the heart of Africa, RwandAir is one of the fastest growing airlines and operates one of the youngest fleet on the African continent.
The airline which is also well reputed for an excellent on time performance, reaches out to eighteen cities in Western, Eastern and Southern Africa and the Middle East.
RwandAir recent major milestone is the passing of the IATA Operational Safety Audit which resulted in the acquisition of the IOSA certificate. The airline’s commitment to operate with the highest and international industry safety standards continues with the pursue of another certification, the IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations expected to be completed by June 2016.