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RwandAir set to benefit from new Rwanda-Mali bilateral air services deal

RwandAir set to benefit from new Rwanda-Mali bilateral air services deal

The stage has been set for RwandAir to further spread its wings into West Africa, after Rwanda’s State Minister for Transport, Dr. Alexis Nzahabwanimana, signed a new air services deal with his Malian counterpart. the Minister of Equipment, Transport and Infrastructure, Mrs. Seynabou Diop Traoré.

Both countries embraced an open skies policy under the new deal which will allow RwandAir to carry passengers and cargo from Kigali to Bamako and beyond, with full uplift rights out of the Malian capital.

RwandAir already serves several destinations in West Africa, among them Brazzaville, Libreville, Douala, Lagos, Accra, and Abidjan, with Conakry next on the launch list.

Rwanda is one of the few countries in Africa which has fully underwritten the Yamoussoukro Declaration, which prescribes open skies among African nations, but few have so far implemented this grand vision to connect Africa by air in a way other continents have provided such services to their people.

Even in East Africa, national regulators and ministry departments have put up hurdles and obstacles, with notably Kenya giving Rwanda a hard time when the airline sought flights to Nairobi out of Entebbe under fifth freedom rights. Tanzania is also known to have restricted access for other East African airlines with very limited entry options, thus dealing a heavy blow to tourist flights seeking to bring clients in the most cost-effective and time-saving way into the country’s national parks.

RwandAir, as a result of the country’s own stand on open skies, however, enjoys growing fifth freedom rights with such countries like Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and now in West Africa as well, benefitting travelers with shorter flying times and cheaper tickets.

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