Akagera Aviation Limited and Nexus Holding Group Limited signed a Joint Venture Agreement to establish the first Aviation Academy in Rwanda.
Nexus Group shall hold 60% of the shares and Akagera Aviation Ltd shall hold 40%.
The new Aviation Academy will offer first class training in all the key areas of expertise in aviation including: Flight Training, Aircraft Maintenance, Cabin Crew, Aircraft Dispatchers, Ground Services and others.
The Academy is planned to be fully operational in six months, but will capitalize from the current Akagera Aviation Flight School for fixed-wing aircrafts.
In the next 5 years, the Academy is expected to acquire a fleet of 34 aircrafts and 10 Simulators and is planning to train about 370 pilots, 376 Aircraft Maintenance Engineers, 285 Aircraft Dispatchers, 500 students in Ground Services and 500 Cabin Crew.
Speaking at the Ceremony Mr. Abdullah M. Al-Sayed, Chairman of Nexus Holding Group Ltd said that he chose to invest in Rwanda, “because Rwanda is strategically located hence enabling us to tap into the region and entire African Market. We are committed to offer quality standard services in order to actively participate in the growth of the aviation in Rwanda and in Africa in general.”
Patrick Nkulikiyimfura, the Managing Director of Akagera Aviation Ltd said the the partnership is aligned with Rwanda’s vision and strategy of developing a sustainable aviation sector as a key driver for socio-economic development.
“Our mandate as part of the ATL Group of companies is to rapidly reduce the skills gap in the industry and put the country on a highly visible map in aviation development. We truly believe that an informed perspective and synergy among aviation stakeholders are more relevant in order to succeed in emerging future roles and create economies of scale”, Nkulikiyimfura added.
The ceremony was graced by infrastructure Minister, Claver Gatete.
He said that the investment fully aligns with the National Transport Policy which focuses on establishment of an Aviation Centre of Excellence to develop skills needed to support the growth of the aviation sector in Rwanda.
“This Academy will not only ensure sustainable growth of the aviation, but will also be in the centre of the effort to offer valuable employment opportunities to Rwandan. We very much recommend to the Joint Venture partners to establish and keep high level standards in order to provide the required human resource capacity to the aviation industry,” he said.
NEXUS is the exclusively licensed company in Saudi Arabia for independent Flight Operations Services with its headquarters based in Jeddah, and additional locations worldwide.
RwandAir CEO, Yvonne Makolo, who attended the event, said that the venture will relax the burden mounted on the airline as a result of high costs associated with hiring foreign pilots and engineers.
“It is very significant because it will provide us with trained pilots,” she said, adding that, “As RwandAir expands, as we expand our routes, as we expand our fleet, we will need additional pilots.”
One of the airline’s high costs include hiring expatriates. This venture will help in the expansion effort and profitability. “Also, young Rwandans will get the opportunity to train as pilots and that means will also have adequate capacity.”