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RwandAir Being Considered for Membership in the Oneworld Alliance

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James Larounis
James Larounis's image

James Larounis

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James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in...

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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.

RwandAir and Qatar Airways
RwandAir may be joining the Oneworld alliance thanks to a push from Qatar Airways. Image Credit: RwandAir

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:

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Country

City

Country

City

Belgium

Brussels (BRU)

Qatar

Doha (DOH)

Benin

Cotonou (COO)

Republic of the Congo

Brazzaville (BZV)

Burundi

Bujumbura (BJM)

Rwanda

Bugesera (under construction)

Cameroon

Douala (DLA)

Rwanda

Cyangugu (KME)

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Kinshasa (FIH)

Rwanda

Kigali (KGL)

Ethiopia

Addis Ababa (ADD)

Senegal

Dakar (DSS)

Gabon

Libreville (LBV)

South Africa

Cape Town (CPT)

Ghana

Accra (ACC)

South Africa

Johannesburg (JNB)

Guinea

Conakry (CKY)

South Sudan

Juba (JUB)

India

Mumbai (BOM)

Tanzania

Dar es Salaam (DAR)

Israel

Tel Aviv (TLV)

Tanzania

Kilimanjaro (JRO)

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)

Nigeria

Lagos (LOS)

 

 

RwandAir has a very limited international route map, operating mostly to major African cities and some European destinations.

RwandAir has these aircraft in service:

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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.

Final Thoughts

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.

James Larounis's image

About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.

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