On a continent where an underdeveloped transportation infrastructure has long hindered economic growth, a virtual constellation of airports in Central East Africa might well warrant some reason for optimism. A 600-mile-long “Equator Cluster” of airports around Lake Victoria, in Entebbe, Uganda; Nairobi, Kenya; Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro, Tanzania; and Kigali, Rwanda, all support the growth of aviation traffic in the East African region.
Some 54 countries in Africa hold stakes in airlines and airports, but all must increasingly consider the invasion of their skies by international players, led by the likes of Middle East heavyweights Emirates and Qatar Airways.
In late October Bombardier delivered the first of two 75-seat CRJ900s ordered by RwandAir of Kigali, Rwanda. The airline signed the firm order and took options on another two airplanes in March.
Bombardier handed over the ceremonial keys to RwandAir’s dual-class CRJ900 during an event at the manufacturer’s CRJ assembly plant in Mirabel, Québec. Government officials and company executives present for the ceremony included H.E. Edda Mukabagwiza, Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Canada; John Mirenge, CEO of RwandAir; and Mike Arcamone, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.