RwandAir the national carrier of the Republic of Rwanda, has been granted the seventh freedom rights by the Government of Benin in West Africa, the airline has announced.
The seventh freedom rights allow an airline to base its operations outside its home base and operate between its seventh freedom base and a third country without returning to its country.
RwandAir plans to position two Boeing 737s aircraft to Cotonou and begin operations in the near future from its new second hub.
Furthermore, the Governments of Benin and Rwanda have signed a MOU to establish a Joint Venture airline owned by the two countries and based in Cotonou, Benin.
“The launch of this hub, will take air travel on our continent to the next level as RwandAir will be able to reach more countries in West and Central Africa with improved connections and more frequencies” said Yvonne Manzi Makolo, the Deputy CEO in Charge of Corporate Affairs of RwandAir.
The joint-venture airline plans to commence its initial operations providing air transportation for passengers and goods between and to Abidjan, Brazzaville, Douala, Libreville, Bamako, Dakar and Conakry.
RwandAir will continue its operations from Kigali to Cotonou and provide seamless access to East and Southern Africa, the Middle East and Asia to the joint airline.
With a fleet of 12 aircraft including two wide-body Airbus A330s, the airline currently flies to 23 destinations across East, Central, West and Southern Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
This year, RwandAir started flights to Mumbai, Harare, London (Gatwick) and Brussels. Later this year, the airline will launch flight to Guangzhou and in 2018, it plans to launch flight New York, USA.