When RwandAir launched their three times a week flights from Kigali to Juba, many South Sudanese, according to a source in Juba, felt it was a welcome addition to their airline scene but nothing really special as few thought that flying to Kigali was too high on their list of places to go to for trading, leave alone for personal visits.
When however the launch fares were announced, the Juba based travel agencies and corporate frequent flyers sat up and took notice as few had anticipated just how hard RwandAir would hit the market with special fares in order to generate traffic from and to Juba.
RwandAir’s Head of Corporate Communications Robert Nsinga availed this correspondent the details of the special offers, which allow travelers from Juba, while connecting via Kigali, to fly to South and West Africa for 399 US Dollars, return airfare and all taxes included, while a range of East African destinations is on sale for just 199 US Dollars, again return and all taxes included.
A leading travel agent, understandably not wishing to be named in view of the impact the comments might have vis-a-vis her relationship with other airlines, said: “If my clients can fly to Nairobi via Kigali for 199 Bucks, of course they are keen to get such fares and save a lot of money which they can spend otherwise. If my passengers can fly to Johannesburg or Lagos for 399 Bucks, I can sell those fares like hot cakes. If a traveler is ready to fly to Entebbe via Kigali and accept the added sector and connection time and pay a fraction of the normal ticket they are charged by another airline, they might just do that and for 199 Dollars return they save huge. That is money in their pockets.
“I know Kigali, it is a convenient connection of short ways and when their new additions they are building are finished why not use that airport for transit. Nairobi is still a bit of a mess and the choices via Entebbe are just too limited to where they are flying. The RwandAir network is growing. I miss the Dubai specials though. Our people here would surely love to fly on such special fares to Dubai but we will be asking RwandAir for their fares tomorrow. I hear even when the connection is not immediate they are offering a night in Kigali for those flying to West Africa? Now if that is really part of the deal, RwandAir should be able to soon fly not just three times a week but quickly go daily.”
What a blitz and thunder entrance this will be for RwandAir when their maiden flight launches later today to bring Africa to South Sudan and take South Sudan to Africa.