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RwandAir to Resume Flights to Southern Africa


RwandAir to Resume Flights to Southern Africa

Photo: RwandAir

Rwandan airline RwandAir will resume flights to the Southern African region today.

Flights were initially banned between Rwanda and Southern Africa on November 28 to prevent the Omicron variant of COVID-19 from spreading into Rwanda. However, despite efforts to curb the variant’s arrival, the Rwandan Ministry of Health noted a surge in the number of positive cases, marking 169 Omicron cases as of December 19.

Rwanda is now requiring a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in the country, in addition to a three-day mandatory quarantine upon entry. Resuming flights between the regions indicates an attempt by Kigali to protect its economic and political relationship with the Southern African nations, despite the imminent risks of COVID-19.

The recent expansion of RwandAir illustrates Rwanda’s bid to become an influential hub in Central Africa. The airline has received notable government investment and applied for US landing rights to gain access to Western markets. Resuming flights to Southern Africa amidst a surge of the Omicron variant paints RwandAir as an instrumental tool in advancing Rwanda’s expansion goals. Expect further laxing of travel restrictions as Kigali aims to prevent another economic recession spurred by the pandemic.

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