Rwanda’s national carrier RwandAir is set to join The Oneworld Alliance, a major network bringing together different commercial airlines around the world.
According to officials, the move will significantly strengthen the carrier’s performance both on the African continent and beyond.
Established in February 1999, the alliance, which as of 2020 operating a fleet of 3,296 aircraft and serving about 1,000 airports in 170 countries worldwide, is one of the biggest network in the world.
It means that a member airline of the alliance is able to access all these destinations on a single itinerary.
With its partnership with Qatar Airways, a core member of the alliance, RwandAir stands a chance to join Oneworld, and the former has pledged to provide guidance and necessary support to fully integrate.
“We will do everything within our ability to bring them to the standard to be ready to join as a full member or an associate member,” said Akbar Al Baker, the CEO of Qatar Airways while speaking at the Aviation Summit that took place in Kigali this week.
Al Baker is also the current chairperson of Oneworld Alliance.
Al Baker added that; “We saw this potential in the place that is right in the centre of Africa, and the relationship they have with the state of Qatar, I found that this is the right place. This is about confidence and relationship, economic interest for both countries with each and this is what we are going to do.”
He said that among the plans the two airlines have through their partnership is to build a training institution to train cabin crew, ground staff, equipment operators, engineers and also train pilots in Rwanda.
“We have a training school in Qatar with advanced facilities and that will be expanded here to make it a centre of excellence for aviation in Africa,” he added
Rwandair CEO, Yvonne Makolo said that the airline is already working with Qatar airways and works are underway to upgrade the airline to the standards of Qatar Airways which is a five-star airline.
“Joining Oneworld will help us gradually improve our products and services and what we are offering to our passengers,” she said.
Makolo added that setting up a training institution for aviation will be very beneficial since they will not have to fly their staff to different countries for training.
Oneworld member airlines work together to deliver consistently a superior, seamless travel experience, with special privileges and rewards for frequent flyers, including earning and redeeming miles and points across the entire alliance network
For now, the national carrier operates in more than 28 countries in Africa, Europe and Asia.
Source: The New Times