The Oneworld alliance has been looking to expand over the past few years, recently bringing in full member Alaska Airlines and Oneworld Connect partner Fiji Airways. Oneworld is the smallest alliance of the big 3 groups (the others being SkyTeam and Star Alliance), so the collective has been looking to find additional members to join up. It looks like the latest member is in the works with RwandAir based in Rwanda in Africa.
A Potential Future for RwandAir in the Oneworld Alliance
RwandAir joining Oneworld seems to be the brainchild of Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker. He notes that the 2 airlines currently have several internal partnerships, and bringing the airline up to Oneworld standards would allow those partnerships to benefit both Qatar Airways, RwandAir, and other Oneworld airlines.
Al Baker describes RwandAir joining Oneworld in a statement: “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.”
Al Baker wants to coordinate building a training facility in RwandAir where cabin and flight deck crew can be trained and ground staff and engineers can practice their trade.
No Official Announcement … Yet
For now, the announcement is not official. RwandAir needs to be brought up to the high standards of Oneworld, and member airlines will need to vote on the airline joining. In addition, the airline will need to figure out if it is joining as a full member or a Oneworld Connect partner, like Fiji Airways.
Where RwandAir Flies and Its Aircraft
RwandAir flies to these destinations:
|Belgium||Brussels (BRU)||Qatar||Doha (DOH)|
|Benin||Cotonou (COO)||Republic of the Congo|
Bugesera (under construction)
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||Kinshasa (FIH)||Rwanda||Kigali (KGL)|
|Ethiopia||Addis Ababa (ADD)||Senegal||Dakar (DSS)|
|Gabon||Libreville (LBV)||South Africa|
|Ghana||Accra (ACC)||South Africa|
|Guinea||Conakry (CKY)||South Sudan||Juba (JUB)|
|Israel||Tel Aviv (TLV)||Tanzania|
|Ivory Coast||Abidjan (ABJ)||Uganda||Entebbe EBB|
|Kenya||Mombasa (MBA)||United Arab Emirates||Dubai (DXB)|
|Kenya||Nairobi (NBO)||United Kingdom||London (LHR)|
|Mali||Bamako (BKO)||Zambia||Lusaka (LUN)|
|Nigeria||Abuja (ABV)||Zimbabwe||Harare (HRE)|
RwandAir has a very limited international route map, operating mostly to major African cities and some European destinations.
RwandAir has these aircraft in service:
|De Havilland Dash 8-400||2||67|
As you can see, RwandAir offers a very limited fleet, and likely will need to utilize more aircraft to join Oneworld and be a meaningful partner. Because RwandAir has so few aircraft, many of the frequencies the airline flies are only just a few times per week.
While RwandAir will be of limited use to many Oneworld customers, having an additional airline to connect to various destinations throughout Africa is important for an airline alliance with such a small footprint there. There are no guarantees RwandAir will be accepted into the alliance, or when it will join, but it’s great to see a potential expansion on the horizon.
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