RwandAir is set to expand its reach across the African continent after it was given fifth freedom rights by Nigerian aviation authorities.
The bilateral airspace pact gives RwandAir permission to fly another route into Nigeria to Abuja, and also operate the Abuja-Yaoundé route without any restrictions.
A statement from the Nigeria Federal Ministry of Transportation disclosed that the national carrier can now fly into Abuja, and also pick Yaoundé-bound travelers without restrictions.
“…to convey the Honorable Minister of State (aviation) approval for RwandAir to operate additional entry point into Abuja and the right to exercise 5th freedom traffic right between Abuja and Yaoundé in Cameroon,” read the letter signed by the Director of Air transport Management, Eng Hassan Musa, on behalf of Nigeria’s State Minister for Aviation.
RwandAir already plies the Lagos routes. The Abuja route would be opened in January 2018.
The development is a big driver for RwandAir’s mission to expand its footprint on the continent, said airlines officials.
Rwanda recently finalized the negotiation and signing of the bilateral air service agreement with Cape Verde, which opened up more market opportunities for RwandAir and Rwanda’s private sector.
The national carrier is also holding plans to launch flights to New York and other Asian locales next year. On the African continent, the airline plans to fly to Conakry in Guinea, Bamako in Mali as well as Dakar, Senegal. Other planned destinations are Lilongwe in Malawi and Durban in South Africa.
Last year, the airline acquired its first A330 series (A330-200 and A330-300 Airbus aircraft) to improve its fleet and capacity to compete on the global market.