June 13, 2018—RwandAir has gone into a joint venture with the Kuwait-based National Aviation Services (NAS) to run the exclusive lounge facilities at Kigali International Airport KIA) as a commercial entity called NASRwandAir Limited. However no financial details about the venture were revealed.
“The NASRwandAir JV is part of many initiatives RwandAir is putting in place to upgrade its business class service across its value chain, from dedicated areas at its town offices to fast track and quality services at airports, upgraded amenities and full-flat bed seats in our wide-bodied aircraft,” Yvonne Manzi Makolo, RwandAir CEO said on Tuesday.
NAS is considered one of the fastest growing aviation services provider in the emerging markets. NASRwandAir is planning construction and development of two new lounges at KIA, the RwandAir Dream Lounge dedicated to the airline’s premium passengers and an arrivals lounge. The JV will also take over management of the existing NAS Pearl Lounge in the departures area which caters to other airline passengers as well.
Hassan El Houry, the Group CEO of NAS said, “By partnering with RwandAir, one of Africa’s fastest growing airline, we have reaffirmed our commitment to the aviation sector in Rwanda. Rwanda, as a country has demonstrated remarkable development and is an important geography for NAS in Africa. As we grow our footprint in the region, we continue to drive efforts to bring high quality international services into the country and further contribute to its growth.”
Established in 2003, NAS quickly transformed from a Kuwait based ground handling company into an emerging markets leader in the industry. NAS is present in over 30 airports across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, handling seven of the world’s top 10 airlines and managing more than 31 airport lounges. NAS currently has some 8000 employees.
Makolo said, “Business class passengers are extremely important to us and we have chosen to partner with NAS due to their track record in delivering results to premier customers.”
The different lounges at KIA offer arriving and departing passengers an opportunity to relax, refresh and enjoy a meal before heading out of the airport or onwards to other destinations. For those wishing to catch up on work, the lounges are also fully equipped with wifi and business services. NASRwandAir will also extend meet and assist services to passengers at the airport allowing for smoother passage through check-in and immigration processes.
Last year, RwandAir started flights from Kigali to Mumbai, Harare, London (Gatwick) and Brussels as well as Dakar from its new hub in Cotonou. RwandAir also introduced flights to Abidjan, Libreville and Brazzaville from its Cotonou hub. In April, 2018 RwandAir started flights to Abuja in Nigeria and Cape Town in South Africa joined our network effective 16th May, 2018. By the end of this year, RwandAir will spread its wings to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. Next year, Guangzhou, Tel Aviv, Bamako and Conakry will also be added to our expanding network. RwandAir also plans to enter the American market with flights to New York, in the United States, the same year.