Rwandan carrier RwandAir could start flying to the United States of America by 2019, officials have revealed.
According to the airline’s chief executive, John Mirenge, the national flag carrier targets to enter the US market with a route to New York “if all goes according to plan”.
Africa’s youngest and fast-growing airline recently announced it would start flights to Gatwick, London’s second-busiest airport, next year.
This is part of the airline’s strategy to penetrate overseas markets and open Kigali to the rest of the world.
Mr Mirenge further said the airline would acquire another Airbus A350 XWB wide-body plane for the Kigali-US route. The A350 XWB is Airbus’ all-new family of wide-body aircraft that is shaping the future of medium-to-long haul airline operations.
The CEO said RwandAir plans to enter more markets soon, including Mumbai in India, Conakry in Guinea, Bamako in Mali, as well as Dakar, Senegal, Harare in Zimbabwe, Lilongwe in Malawi and Durban in South Africa.
Last month, the airline launched commercial flights to Cotonou in Benin and Abidjan in Ivory Coast as part of its strategy to expand its footprint and enhance connectivity in West Africa.
Presently, the airline operates 19 destinations, including Nairobi, Entebbe, Mombasa, Bujumbura, Lusaka, Juba, Douala, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Cotonou, Johannesburg, Dubai, Lagos, Libreville and Brazzaville.
RwandAir is IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certified.
The globally-recognised and accepted evaluation certification confirms that the airline’s operational management and control systems meet international civil aviation safety and other standards.
Experts say RwandAir’s ambitious expansion strategy could help position it as a major aviation player in the next five years.