Hoping to ease the transportation of agriculture exports and offset its trade deficit, the nation of Rwanda has introduced a weekly direct cargo flight to Europe. The new cargo service will be operated by UK-based Magma Aviation, which specialises in air freights globally, the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) said in a tweet.
“We are glad to announce that we launched new B747 wide-body freighter operations with @MagmaCargo. The new aviation weekly services will facilitate agri-exports direct route (from Kigali International Airport to Liege Airport in Belgium),” the NAEB said in a tweet. According to the NAEB, the cargo plane will operate every Friday, carrying 25 tons.
Emmanuel Harelimana, the Chief Finance Officer of Garden Fresh, a local company that exports fresh vegetables like green beans, sugar snaps and broccoli, believes the new cargo service will bring consistency: “Previously, we have had issues of not having enough air space on RwandAir. Our products would sometimes be offloaded and occasionally get notified that they won’t be lifted. This is a problem,” he said. “If you sign a contract with a buyer out there to deliver products three times a week, if you don’t deliver, they will be disappointed. It will distract your market and the reputation of the country. The new service will bring consistency.”
Rwandan exporters also grapple with the high cost of transport and Harelimana doesn’t believe the new service will necessarily be cheaper.