The governments of Benin and Rwanda have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will lead to the establishment of a joint-venture airline based out the West African state's capital, Cotonou.

In a statement, RwandAir (WB, Kigali) said the yet-to-be-named airline would operate passenger and cargo flights to Abuja, Brazzaville, Douala, Libreville, Bamako, Dakar Yoff-Léopold Sédar Senghor Int'l, and Conakry. No further details concerning timelines or fleeting plans were disclosed.

As part of the deal, the Beninoise government has granted RwandAir 7th freedom traffic rights to establish a base in Cotonou using two B737s. Operations are expected to commence at some point in the future.

At present, Benin does not have any active large scale commercial carriers following the demise of Westair Bénin (WH, Cotonou) in 2015. As such, its push to establish its own airline by partnering an established continental carrier mirrors that of Togo which has partnered Ethiopian Airlines (ET, Addis Ababa) in setting up the successful regional specialist, ASKY Airlines (KP, Lomé).

Other prominent West African states that are pushing for their own airlines and hubs include Ghana with Accra (and a nascent national carrier still on the drawing board), the Ivory Coast with Abidjan (using Air Côte d'Ivoire), Nigeria with its own government-sponsored national carrier project, and Senegal with Dakar Blaise Diagne International Airport (to be served through nascent start-up Air Sénégal).