RwandAir passengers can now fly to the United States after the airline received a nod by Washington that allows direct flights as well as to operate through a code-share agreement.
This is a significant step as the Rwanda national carrier awaits approval from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for direct flights between Kigali and America.
The foreign air carrier permit issued by the US Department of Transportation allows it to "schedule and charter foreign air transportation of persons, property, and mail from points behind Rwanda via Rwanda and intermediate points to a point or points in the United States and beyond."
It also allows RwandAir to "operate through a code-share and/or wet-lease arrangement with a duly authorised and properly supervised US or foreign air carrier," as it is yet restricted from "physically operating the flight to and from the United States."
The permit became effective on May 29, 2018.
For direct flights, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is expected to conduct an audit in September before Washington can give a green light.
The FAA’s audit is a mandatory procedure for airlines seeking a permit to operate direct flights to the US.
The airline applied for the permit in March 2017.
*CORRECTION: Story updated to make correction of earlier article titled "RwandAir gets nod for direct US flights".