RwandAir Scoops Two Awards in Latest Global Airline Rankings

By Edwin Ashimwe

RwandAir, the national carrier has been ranked as Africa’s second-best airline for this year’s world’s best airlines report by SkyTrax, an international air transport rating organisation, informally known as the ‘Oscars’ of the aviation industry.

The awards depend on votes by travellers via a customer survey, which this time gathered the performance and quality of more than 350 global airlines.

According to SkyTrax, the latest findings come during an era that has been catastrophic for the world’s airline industry, as passenger demand plummeted and countries across the world were affected by lockdowns and severe travel restrictions.

RwandAir also repeated its earlier feat by winning the world’s second most improved airline.

“This is a key award that reflects an airline’s quality improvement across the entire awards programme, evaluating an airline’s change in the global rating, and their performance improvements in different award categories,” the agency said in a statement.

SkyTrax also crowned Qatar Airways as the world’s best airline followed by Singapore Airline and ANA AII Nippon as second and third best respectively.

The Doha-based airline also received awards for the World’s Best Business Class, the World’s Best Business Class Seat and the Best Airline in the Middle East, among others.

Akbar Al-Baker Qatar Airways CEO attributed the win to the airlines’ performance during the most challenging and uncertain times.

“I want to thank our valued passengers for their loyalty,” he said in a statement, “We never abandoned our loyal customers when they needed us the most, we continued flying to get people home and implemented stringent biosafety measures to provide strong reassurance for travellers, all while continuing to innovate to ensure we remain the airline of choice for millions of passengers across the globe.”

The accolade comes at a time RwandAir and Qatar Airways seek to deepen what they described as ‘strategic partnership’, particularly following the signing of an earlier ‘interline agreement’.

Under the agreement, travellers have access to more than 160 destinations in the combined networks from the carriers’ respective Kigali and Doha hubs.

Qatar Airways has also announced plans to take a 49 percent stake in the national carrier, with officials saying that the pandemic had slowed progress.

The plan was attributed to “the location, the stability of the country, and the very favourable business environment that exists in that country”.

Prior to Covid disruptions, RwandAir serviced 25 destinations across 21 countries throughout Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

The long-haul destinations include Guangzhou in China, London in the UK, Brussels in Belgium, New Delhi in India and Tel Aviv in Israel.

On September 29, the national carrier made its maiden flight to Lubumbashi, to add to its growing number of destinations.

Source: The New Times

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