Rwanda: Why EgpytAir is Planning to Increase Direct Flights to Kigali

10 November 2022

Egypt's national carrier, EgyptAir has announced plans to increase its regular weekly flights between Kigali and Cairo, owing to the airline's increased demand in the recent past.

The development will see the airline flying three times, up from the two-time service initiated on April 27, 2019.

Mohamed Elkady, the Airline's country manager, confirmed to The New Times in an exclusive interview, citing that the move also reflects the importance his country attaches to closer economic ties with Rwanda and the rest of African countries.

"We have been operating in Rwanda since 2019, the traffic is good in Kigali, and we are looking to tap into this," Elkady said, during the interview, adding, "That is why we are adding the third flight every week effective December 12."

With Rwanda lifting all Covid-19 restrictions, he said, there is optimism that the fourth flight may also be added on the schedule before the end of next year."

According to Elkady, Kigali's air traffic has stabilised since the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2022) came to an end.

"It has been getting better for the past three years now, we can say that traffic has stabilised, especially after CHOGM," he said.

"The load factor of the aircraft is increasing. Really, from June to September, there was no plane without full capacity."

For Rwanda, Elkady pointed out, CHOGM22 added visibility, more people are coming to explore business in the country, and more people are coming for touristic adventures.

"I can say that even from the perspective of Egypt, where we have like three exhibitions in Rwanda every year, the number of participants has more than doubled. We have seen an increased flow of people coming to Kigali."

The airline, he said, offers special promotional fares, especially to frequent flier members.

Vibrant local market

Elkady also commended the efforts of the Rwanda Airports Company (RAC) in handling business at the Kigali International Airport.

"The current airport can accommodate a big capacity of flights. Sometimes it can accommodate seven flights at once, I see it during big events" he asserted.

Equally important, he highlighted, is the simplified process for investors to operate in the country.

"It is enough for me that, If I am going to apply for overflying, an extra flight coming to Kigali, I don't have to leave my office. I can apply for everything online.

"Which is not anywhere in any country in Africa. Any schedule you want to add, you can do it on the portal. This portal for Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority does not exist anywhere else in Africa."

He added, "You don't need to leave your office, you don't need to deal with a lot of people, you just need to apply on the portal and you will receive feedback on the same day. This is something very commendable."

Elkady also said both EgyptAir and RwandAir "enjoy friendly working relations."

"The team is doing perfect. Well organised, they have a very talented and experienced crew. I think they are digging Africa very well, they have selective points to fly, which makes a good network in Africa."

EgyptAir's network reaches about 70 direct destinations around the world, including 20 in Africa, and more than 40 others with code share flights.

The airline was founded in 1932 and it is Africa's oldest.

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