RwandAir saw an increase in its cargo traffic of 38 percent while passenger traffic in Dubai was up about 17 percent in the first 7 months of 2019, according to Al Rais Travel which represents the airline in Dubai.
Mohammed Al Rais, the deputy managing director of Al Rais Group in an interview with Sunday Times, said that the year 2018 saw a total of 42,000 passengers travel from Dubai to Kigali using Rwandair. Of these, 20,000 travelled in the period between January to July 2018.
By July this year, the number of passengers had increased to 240,000 passengers, and cargo from 200 to 280 tonnes, according to New Times.
Al Rais also said that more people in Dubai are also learning about Rwanda and want to visit.
“We can notice the growth and business opportunities as well. People are leaning more about Rwanda mostly for trade and business, gradually they are also coming for tourism,” he said.
RwandAir’s direct flights from Kigali to Dubai have gained more clientele and as a result, the airline decided to operate the route using a larger Airbus A330, instead of the Boeing 737 that was formerly used.
Flights between Kigali and Dubai operate four times a week.
RwandAir has in recent years been opening new routes as it seeks to reach previously un-served and underserved markets.
In April this year, the airline launched flights to DR Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, and in June it launched flights to the Chinese commercial hub of Guangzhou, and the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.
It currently has about 29 destinations altogether, and two routes in the Middle East: Dubai and Tel Aviv – Israel.
Meanwhile, relations between the UAE and Rwanda are strengthening, and business communities from both countries anticipate a “hub to hub” connection where Rwanda serves as a gateway hub for Dubai to the African markets.