RwandAir takes delivery of its first dedicated cargo aircraft

RwandAir cargo-1

RwandAir has taken delivery of its first dedicated cargo aircraft, a Boeing 737-800 SF, which is painted in RwandAir’s first cargo livery.

RwandAir last week received its first dedicated cargo jet, a Boeing 737-800SF converted freighter. The plane is being leased from Merx Aviation, which hired Miami-based Aeronautical Engineers Inc. to do the modification at a partner facility in Kelowna, British Columbia, according to AEI and aircraft tracking site

RwandAir said it will operate the plane, which will be based at its Kigali hub, to key destinations in Africa and the Middle East, including Johannesburg; Nairobi, Kenya; and the United Arab Emirates. Until now, the airline has exclusively carried freight in the lower hold of passenger aircraft.

“Cargo is of ever-increasing importance for the aviation industry, and as a landlocked country, we recognise the importance and value of good cargo connections,” said CEO Yvonne Makolo in a statement. “We want to ensure that Africa is seamlessly connected to the world, driving economic growth and valuable trade deals.”

RwandAir’s freighter is relatively young for a conversion. The sweet spot for most 737-800 conversions is between 17 and 22 years. But the availability of reasonably priced aircraft for a second stint in cargo is increasing as airlines transition to the Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A321neo families, which offer significantly better fuel efficiency and lower operating costs.

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