Kigali, 25 July 2011

The Turkish Airlines CEO, Temel Kotil today announced that effective April next year, Turkish Airlines will commence direct flights to Rwanda. Mr. Kotil made the announcement after meeting President Kagame today at Urugwiro Village.

Speaking to the press after the meeting, the Turkish Airlines CEO said: “We know that as a country that is in the heart of Africa, Rwanda will soon be an important and flourishing continental hub and we don’t want to lose this opportunity to be part of this. We are one of the best airlines in the world and we want to establish ourselves in Africa and have dedicated 10 modern aircrafts for this”.

The Minister of Infrastructure, Albert Nsengiyunva said: “Turkish Airlines’ entry into the Rwanda market will add a lot of value especially in developing our own airline, Rwandair which is still a young airline. No airline in the world, even the leading ones in the world reached where they are now through cooperating with other airlines. We are actually lucky that Turkish airlines are willing to be our ‘big brother’ and mentor us as we also grow to become a leading airline which is our aspiration.”

The CEO of Rwandair, John Milenge said: “We are entering a code sharing deal, where either airline can sell the other, but most importantly, as a big airline, we have been discussing opportunities of cooperation. They are a developed airline and can assist in capacity building, maintenance and training of pilots.”