RwandAir (WB, Kigali) has taken delivery of its first dedicated freighter - a 15.6-year-old converted B737-800(SF), the airline announced.

9XR-WW (msn 35131) was ferried from Reykjavik Keflavik in Iceland via Athens in Greece on November 23 and arrived in Kigali on November 24, according to the Flightradar24 ADS-B data. Already painted in RwandAir cargo livery, it underwent test flights in Kelowna, Canada, before being delivered to the central African country.

RwandAir, in a statement, said the freighter would allow it to further expand its growing cargo operation under the RwandAir Cargo brand.

Based in Kigali, the freighter will be deployed to key destinations in Africa and the Middle East, including Johannesburg O.R. Tambo (South Africa), Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta (Kenya), and the United Arab Emirates, the airline said.

“The delivery of our dedicated cargo aircraft is a huge milestone in RwandAir’s fleet expansion plans. Cargo is of ever-increasing importance for the aviation industry, and as a landlocked country, we recognise the importance and value of good cargo connections. We want to ensure that Africa is seamlessly connected to the world, driving economic growth and valuable trade deals,” commented RwandAir Chief Executive Officer Yvonne Makolo.

RwandAir currently operates across East-, Central-, West-, and Southern Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia, with 13 aircraft. In addition to the freighter, this includes one A330-200, one A330-300, two B737-700s, four B737-800s, two CRJ900ERs, and two DHC-8-Q400s, according to ch-aviation fleets data.