RwandAir has signed a firm order for two Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen regional jets and has taken options on two more.
Based in Kigali in Rwanda, RwandAir will become the first Bombardier CRJ900 operator in Eastern Africa.
Bombardier Aerospace values Rwandair’s firm order at approximately US$89 million, based on the list price of the CRJ900 NextGen. The list-price value of the contract would increase to US$185 million should the carrier excise both options.
“Our two 50-seat CRJ200 aircraft have performed very well for us and have helped grow our business to the point that we require aircraft with more capacity,” says John Mirenge, chief executive officer of RwandAir.
“Based on our experience with the CRJ200 aircraft, the dual-class, 75-seat CRJ900 NextGen aircraft was the logical upgrade,” continues Mirenge. “CRJ900 NextGen aircraft also provide exceptional reliability and have much in common with other CRJ aircraft. These aircraft will be configured with seven business class seats and 68 economy class seats.”
Adds Mirenge: “Other key factors that contributed to our decision to choose the CRJ900 NextGen aircraft are Bombardier’s customer support offering and cooperation.”
“In the CRJ900 NextGen regional jet, RwandAir will have an aircraft with the best economics in its class,” remarks Mike Arcamone, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “The aircraft is the ideal size to allow the airline to connect its regional markets that have become too large for smaller aircraft, but too small for RwandAir’s larger jets to serve efficiently.”
Operating from Kigali as its hub, RwandAir’s fleet includes two Boeing 737-800s, two 737-500s and one McDonnell Douglas MD-82, as well as two Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets and a Bombardier Dash 8-200 turboprop.
The carrier serves most East African Community capital cities with daily flights and it flies from Kigali to Johannesburg, Brazzaville, Libreville and Dubai.
There are currently more than 200 Bombardier regional jet and turboprop aircraft in service or on firm order with approximately 50 operators in the Middle East and Africa.
Bombardier’s Commercial Aircraft Market Forecast for the period 2011-2030 projects that the fleet of Bombardier commercial aircraft in the Middle East and Africa will continue to grow, and that the region will take delivery of almost 1,000 aircraft in the 20-to-149-seat market segments during the forecast period.
Including the order from RwandAir, the Canadian manufacturer has recorded firm orders for 1,717 Bombardier CRJ-series aircraft (including 268 CRJ900s and CRJ900 NextGens), with 1,661 CRJ-series jets delivered as of December 31, 2011.
RwandAir is the national carrier of the Republic of Rwanda. The airline serves all East African Community capital cities with direct flights, as well as Kilimanjaro and Mombasa; it flies to Johannesburg in South Africa, Dubai in the Middle East, Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo and Libreville in Gabon.
The carrier operates daily flights to the two key domestic tourist destinations of Gisenyi and Kamembe.
RwandAir has codeshare agreements with Brussels Airlines on the Kigali-Brussels route, Ethiopian Airlines on the Kigali-Addis Ababa route and Tanzania’s Precision Air Services, as well as interline agreements with other carriers in the region and globally.