On March 20th, 2020, the government of Rwanda resorted to implementing a complete lockdown on air travel to curb the spread of the virus since it was shown that most infected patients had a recent travel history. Only cargo and emergency flights were allowed to keep operating.
RwandAir confirmed it will resume cargo carriage to facilitate trade and import of necessary goods including drugs.
Yvonne Makolo, RwandAir Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer said that passenger aircrafts will not be used for cargo transportation but rather freight haulers and "RwandAir is streamlining its operations to facilitate air freight during the pandemic."
Air freight schedules will be announced by the end of this week. In a period where most airlines across the world are facing bankruptcy, cargo transportation is a solution that might help RwandAir stay afloat and at the same time ease international trade during the pandemic.
Other export goods such as tea, coffee, and flowers which make a large percentage of Rwanda’s earnings will also be transported.