On the sidelines of the ongoing 5th AFRAA Aviation Stakeholders Convention, it was confirmed that RwandAir, co-host of the event taking place right now at the Kigali Serena Hotel & Conference Centre, will take on an even bigger role next year. After a successful Annual General Assembly in Brazzaville last November, Air Zimbabwe will this year host the AFRAA annual meeting, also holding the rotating presidency of the organization.
The selection of Rwanda and RwandAir comes as no surprise for informed observers as the airline has in recent years become one of the fastest growing carriers in Africa, set to increase their 8 aircraft fleet to 12 over the space of the next 12 months.
By mid 2016 will another new Boeing B737-800NG join the fleet, making it overall three of this aircraft type – RwandAir also operates 2 Boeing B737-700NG’s – before in September and December respectively two Airbus A330’s will arrive. This will for the first time give RwandAir the capability of long haul flights and the airline has confirmed that the first intercontinental destination will be Mumbai in India with a flight routing via Dar es Salaam.
In related news was it also confirmed that RwandAir has completed the renewal of their IOSA certification, short for IATA’s Operational Safety Audit while the ISAGO audit process, short for IATA’s Safety Audit for Ground Operations, has entered its crucial phase. Here as with IOSA, is the airline expected to pass the inspection by its peers and attain this global safety label.
Meanwhile is the #ASC2016 entering its final day with master classes being conducted, among other subjects, Drone operations. Mr. Bruno Boucher of Lufthansa Consulting will in the morning provide crucially important updates on the advance of regulatory provisions to operated unmanned aerial vehicles in a safe environment and one of today’s panelists, Mr. Sanjeev Gadhia, CEO of Kenya’s Astral Aviation, has already gone on record that his company will use UAV’s when cleared by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority to delivery urgent cargos to remote places in Kenya where no suitable airstrips exist.
AFRAA has been the main lobbyist and advocate for African governments to embrace new technologies but also to open up the airspace for African airlines, reduce their cost and tax burden and implement the various aviation declarations, for Yamoussoukro to the more recent African Union initiatives.