RwandAir Launches Flight from Kigali to Cape Town

Event Africa Contributor 22/05/2018 International News

Cape Town Air Access (a partnership between Wesgro, the Western Cape Government, the City of Cape Town, Airports Company South Africa, South African Tourism, and Cape Town Tourism) officially welcomes the touchdown of RwandAir’s direct flight from Kigali via Harare to Cape Town.

RwandAir is the first airline to introduce a direct flight between the Zimbabwean capital and the Mother City. The new route will be operational four times a week all year round – with the aircraft departing from Kigali collecting passengers in Harare to touch down in Cape Town.

Flight time to Harare is scheduled to take around 3 hours with the trip to Kigali expected to take around six and a half hours (including the 45 minute stop-over in Harare). Boasting full connectivity for the duration of the flight via “On Air”, passengers can select from two different levels of comfort, Business or Economy class.

The addition of the new route will amount to a total of eight new African destinations added to the Cape Town network since the establishment of Cape Town Air Access in 2015.

Connecting the Cape, via Kigali, to Western Africa, the new route firmly establishes Cape Town as the gateway to the rest of Africa, with the continent being the biggest source market for Western Cape goods – valued at over R45 billion.

Harare is to date the largest unserved city in Africa for Cape Town with just under 40,000 passengers recorded through Cape Town International Airport in 2017. Passenger growth revealed a 15% increase per year between Cape Town and Zimbabwe, with a significant 39% growth recorded between Victoria Falls and the Mother City last year.

Rwanda is also a growing destination for tourism and business for Cape Town and the Western Cape with the capital opening an impressive Conference Centre in 2016.

Research conducted by Wesgro’s IQ unit revealed that the top five Western Cape exports to Rwanda in 2016 included: Refined petroleum at R13.7; wine at R11m, recording a 100% growth; insecticides at R6.6m, engine parts, R3.8m and undenatured ethyl alcohol amounting to R1.8m.

Between January 2003 and December 2016 a total of 8 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects were recorded from South Africa to Rwanda. These projects represent a total capital investment of USD257.1m with a total of 506 jobs created. Further to this, between January 2003 and June 2017, a total of 3 FDI projects were recorded from Rwanda, representing a total capital investment of USD37.3m facilitating 46 jobs.

“We welcome the introduction of the direct route from Kigali via Harare to Cape Town, not only does this facilitate improved business and tourism between the two Capitals, but further positions the Cape as a gateway to Africa,” commented Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris.

“There are also numerous possibilities for business and tourism in Zimbabwe. The total number of passengers recorded between Cape Town and Zimbabwe last year amounted to around 75 000, and we look forward to seeing this number grow through the facilitation of a new direct route,” added Harris.

The Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde added: “Our goal with Project Khulisa is to grow the number of jobs in the tourism industry and this route opens up new opportunities for business and the tourism sector. Rwanda is one of the fastest growing economies on the continent and Zimbabwe holds a lot of potential for development and we hope that by opening up access between Cape Town, Kigali and Harare, it will be easier to explore these possibilities.”