Carrier withdraws the two CRJ-200s from fleet with immediate effect
(TRAVPR.COM) RWANDA - January 19th, 2012 - Kigali: RwandAir has formally announced its plans to replace the two 50 Seater CRJ200s with brand new regional jets. This announcement comes after the airline reached an agreement with a buyer for the two aircraft it purchased in 2009 at the start of its fleet acquisition process.
In a statement to the press RwandAir CEO John Mirenge confirmed that the airline has had plans to sell the CRJs and replace them with brand new larger capacity regional jets. “The two 50 seater CRJs were our first purchased aircraft from Lufthansa Cityline and they have served us very well especially in the three hour radius of Kigali flights. We have however seen the regional market grow and we feel this market and the demand it presents will be better served by an aircraft with between 70 – 110 seating capacity,” he said.
Mr Mirenge further added that the airline is actively engaging suppliers of regional jet aircraft for at least two jets to be delivered by mid 2012. “Having found a ready buyer, it was imperative that we immediately strike the deal and remove the equipment from our fleet. Effectively, we have also made adjustments on our schedule to proportionately accommodate our operations to match the equipment we are left with until the new regional jets are delivered”, he added.
All flights will now be operated on Boeing aircraft except destinations served by the Dash8-100 until the delivery of the regional jets. Flights to Lagos, Dubai, Johannesburg, Libreville and Brazzaville will operate without any changes in frequencies, however flights to Nairobi will now be operated twice a day instead of three while Kilimanjaro and Dar es Salaam will now be served with four frequencies a week as opposed to five. Entebbe meanwhile has received a major boost with up to 19 frequencies a week. The airline has also effected a fifth freedom operation between Bujumbura and Nairobi.
RwandAir’s fleet is now made up of two Next Generation Boeing 737- 800, two Boeing 737- 500, and a Dash8-100. The national carrier expects to replace the CRJ-200s with brand new aircraft by June 2012.