RwandAir will be the operating carrier, while South African Airways will market the route. Rwandair flies seven times per week between the two cities. Under the new agreement, RwandAir will provide feeding and de-feeding flights between its network and that of SAA’s from its hub at O.R. Tambo International Airport (ORTIA). In turn SAA customers will be able to travel between Johannesburg and Kigali with the convenience of travelling on a single-ticket should they connect from another destination outside Johannesburg.
Kendy Phohleli, SAA general manager Commercial (acting), explained that RwandAir and SAA have made great strides in developing the Rwandan aviation sector.
He said: “Through the codeshare agreement with Rwandair, SAA’s valued clientele will gain new travel choices to the Rwanda market via RwandAir’s increased presence in the market providing for seamless travel and status recognition through the respective frequent flyer programmes.”
John Mirenge, CEO of RwandAir, also stressed the airline’s commitment to develop Kigali as a hub.
He said: “O.R. Tambo International Airport is a well known hub for most African and world travellers. But to date we do not have many optimal hubs within the region that support the network of multiple airlines,” he said.
“This codeshare agreement helps us develop Kigali as a new hub, furthermore connecting it with other existing hubs like ORTIA and allowing the two airlines to join their respective networks.”