The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Kigali Airport a Nightmare - Rwandair

Kigali airport is too congested and needs urgent upgrade to cope with the increasing numbers, according to the chief executive of Rwanda's national carrier John Mirenga.

"The issues is becoming a nightmare each and every day as passenger numbers increase," said the Rwandair boss.

He was speaking when hosting journalists at the airport during a joint promotion trip with Serena Hotels and Brussel Airline.

Last year, the airline's passenger number doubled to 400,000 from the previous year and the prospect this year is 600,000. However Mirenga said the airlines revenue has not gone up as commensurate to number of passengers.

"When passengers double you would expect the revenues to double but that's not the case. Our revenues have gone up but not on the same rate," he said explaining that they are in a competitive business and have had to lower their fares to retain customers since they are a young airline.

"Our biggest destination is Nairobi and we need to give customers value for their money if we expect to remain in business," he said.

He aid the airport, expected to expand in one year should meet international standards since Rwandair ts expanding its destinations.

"We plan to connect Kigali and Mombasa starting next month and plans are underway to expand our wings to Juba and Lusaka," said Mirenga.

He said the airline's growth has been largely funded by the government but they are also getting funding from private sources. "Our government has been supportive but we are also being funded by banks and airline financing companies," he said.

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