RwandAir has announced that between 28 November 2018 and 14 January 2019, it will be introducing the Airbus A330-200 to support an additional 88 seats per flight. This is in response to the popular demand for the direct service from Kigali via Harare to Cape Town.
Operating every second day of the week, the increase in capacity - which includes the introduction of 20 premium economy seats - takes the total passengers per flight from 151 to 239.
Noting continuous interest from Western Cape passengers and cargo availability Thembela Dladla, Country Manager for RwandAir South Africa, commented: “In response to increased market demand, RwandAir has increased capacity to Cape Town by upgrading equipment from a Boeing 737-800 to an Airbus A330-200, effective from 28 November 2018 for the upcoming festive season only.”
Dladla added “The A330-200 consists of three cabins: Business Class with fully lie-flat seats, an excellent Premium Economy cabin, and economy class. Also available on our A330-200 is full on-board connectivity including Wi-Fi and GSM capabilities, as well as duty-free. The RwandAir fare offering continues to be competitive and ideal for those travelling as families this festive season.”
RwandAir launched the four times a week service, operated by a Bombardier CRJ-900, on 16 May 2018, making it the first airline to introduce a direct flight between the Zimbabwean capital and the Mother City.
Commenting on the success of the route, Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris, said: “This service operated by RwandAir demonstrates the benefits of a direct flight: Harare, previously the largest unserved African destination, saw a 46% growth in two-way passengers between June and July 2018, compared to a 1% growth during the same period in 2017.
“We look forward to an increase in tourism, trade and investment between Cape Town, Harare and Kigali which we believe will be facilitated through increased flight capacity for both passengers and cargo.”
“The fact that there is already such a demand on this newly launched route that it requires a seasonal expansion, highlights the potential for trade and tourism opportunities that exist across Africa.
“This also highlights the importance of a project like Air Access in ensuring that Cape Town is easily accessible, connecting people to those opportunities,” added Beverley Schäfer, Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities.
Executive Mayor, Dan Plato, concluded: “The City of Cape Town is a business-friendly and tourist-friendly destination that continues to improve its world-class service offerings.
“As more people visit our shores, so too are more job opportunities created, so I am happy to be able to welcome more direct flights to our wonderful city. I am also pleased that the people of Cape Town are able to visit more destinations directly, without having to take unnecessary detours.”
BY PAUL TENTENA