(eTN) – After selecting 11 companies, out of the 33 which had filed their expression of interest documents with the Rwandan authorities last year, those still in the running will be able to enter the next round of the elaborate bidding process later this week, when relevant documents are expected to be available to them.
By late March or early April, final submissions will be due for Rwanda’s planned new airport, allowing the government to study in-depth the various proposals before making a final decision as to whom to award the contract to.
The project is to be undertaken in a BOT format, which includes the construction, subsequent operation, and eventual ownership transfer to the Rwandan government.
Once the selection process has been concluded, the winning company is then expected to commence construction on site within a year, with the opening of the new airport then a further three years down the line.
The new facility will be of great importance to national airline RwandAir, which by the time Bugesera is open very likely will already operate intercontinental flights, with two B787 Dreamliners due to join their fleet by 2015-16, while additional short- and medium-haul jets and turboprop aircrafts are also due to be in operation by then. In this regard, an announcement is expected very soon, which regional aircraft type RwandAir will order to replace their two CRJ 200 models, which were sold last week to a West African startup company in Equatorial Guinea, according to findings made by this correspondent.
In the running for a 90–110 seat regional aircraft are Bombardier, keen to sell their CRJ900 series, while Embraer has also put a foot in the door following a demonstration flight for the RwandAir management last week, including senior captains, all of whom were impressed with the handling of the showcased E190.
Aviation is of crucial importance to the landlocked country, as it depends on airlines to bring tourists and business visitors to the country and transact air cargo shipments for both imports and exports of, in particular perishable goods to the consumer markets in Europe, where Rwandan produce, often certified as organic, has gained a stronghold.