By Dr Wolfgang H Thome
Published February 1, 2013
Effective February 1, 2013 RwandAir are scheduled to re-launch their Mombasa stop for three of their seven weekly flights between Kigali and Dubai. The airline is using their B737-800NG for this service, which gives travellers from Mombasa once more nonstop access to Dubai, without having to travel through Nairobi or other waypoints.
In addition, the flights will once more open up the Kenya coast for leisure travellers from not just Rwanda but from across the growing RwandAir network, giving coast tourism a much needed boost. This will at the same time provide importers and exporters from the central part of Eastern Africa access to the port in Mombasa with a nonstop flight from Kigali, into which connecting flights from the other destinations like Bujumbura or the gateways from eastern Congo to the RwandAir network from Gisenyi and Cyangugu feed.
RwandAir expects to capture a significant traffic share for the route to Dubai from Mombasa and other coastal towns, and their sales team from Nairobi, assisted by the station staff in Mombasa, has been out on a marketing blitz in recent weeks to prepare for the re-launch of this successful way-stop to Dubai.
RwandAir has full traffic rights on all sectors of this routing, being able to uplift passengers and loose cargo between Mombasa and Dubai and vice versa. The airline flies also to Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi three times a day from Kigali, bringing the number of flights between the two countries to 24 per week now. RwandAir currently operates a fleet of 7 owned and leased aircraft including two B737-800NG, two CRJ900NG, two B737-500, and one Bombardier Dash 8-100 but is expected to replace the B737 -500s with two B737-700NG aircraft by the middle of this year.
Meanwhile, Tanzania’s Precision Air has confirmed that the airline has on January 30, 2013 resumed operations to Kigoma, a town located on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. The airline is using an ATR 42 for the service, which now operates five times a week, originating in Dar es Salaam and routing via Mwanza every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Flying time from Mwanza, a city located on the shores of Lake Victoria, to Kigoma, the main municipality on Lake Tanganyika, is approximately 70 minutes.
The new scheduled service is considered to be of crucial importance to the business community in Kigoma; it is also expected to help in opening up Lake Tanganyika for tourists in a part of western Tanzania which sees only a fraction of the overall tourists visiting the country’s traditional heavy weight national parks and attractions.
Precision Air is Tanzania’s premier airline, offering the widest domestic network and a growing number of destinations in the region and beyond on the African continent. The airline currently has 14 aircraft on their fleet and an additional order of ATR42-600 and ATR72-600 state-of-the-art turboprop aircraft pending with the French aircraft manufacturer. Besides the ATR fleet, Precision Air operates three B737-300 jets for flights to Nairobi, Lubumbashi, Lusaka, Johannesburg, and the key domestic route between Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Mwanza.