24 May 2018

Rwanda, Angola Open Aviation Space in New Deal

The governments of Rwanda and Angola has signed Bilateral Air Service Agreement under which the national carrier, RwandAir, and Angola's national airline Taag got seven frequencies a week on either side.

The agreement was signed between the State Minister in charge of Transport, Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye, and Angola's Minister of Transport, Augusto da Silva Tomas.

The signing took place in Kigali on May 23.

Uwihanganye noted that the fifth freedom aviation agreements will allow Rwanda access to all the airports in Angola, one of the biggest economies in Africa.

"This is an opportunity for all of us to benefit from trade, mining and tourism in both countries. Angola has an advanced mining sector which we want develop here as well" he said.

He called upon the private sector to use the opportunity to export agricultural produce to Angola.

"Angola needs a lot of agricultural products. Our private sector should exploit this chance," he noted.

Angola's Minister Augusto da Silva said that his country intends to benefit from Rwanda's strategic geographical location in Africa.

"Rwanda is located in the centre of Africa and in East Africa. Angola will benefit from the direct flights into Central and East Africa through Rwanda" he noted.

Augusto da Silva said that it has been taking over sixteen hours to get to Kigali yet, a direct flight between Rwanda and Angola can take just two hours.

"From Luanda to Kigali, one had to travel to South Africa and wait for a flight to Rwanda, all taking over sixteen hours. We're eager to see flights begin where we'll be able to travel in two hours" he added.

"You cannot talk of economic integration without transport. My country acknowledges that, for African countries to integrate, we need to open our transport infrastructures" he said.

RwandAir Chief Executive Officer Yvonne Manzi Makolo said that they do not have a definite date to start flying to the Southern African country but stressed the importance of flights between two capitals.

"The agreements have opened us to a market study but we're very sure that Angola will connect us to Angola and the neighbours as we prepare for penetration into Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries," she noted.

A week ago, an Angola interior ministry delegation was in the country and had several memoranda signed between the two countries in security among other sectors.

Rwanda has signed more than 60 BASAs with several countries as part of government's efforts to connect people to other worlds.

Prior to the Angola deal, Rwanda sealed aviation service agreements with Ghana and Togo this week.

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