SN Brussels reverses decision to resume Rwanda service

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SN Brussels Airlines reversed its decision to resume service between Brussels and Kigali in Rwanda on 4 March because it is still in discussions with Rwandan authorities regarding the three-day grounding of one of its aircraft in Kigali last month.

The carrier on 3 March said it would resume its twice-weekly Rwanda service the next day, following a “constructive meeting” with the Rwandan civil aviation authority on 2 March.

But an SN Brussels spokesman today says flights have not yet resumed because the airline “hasn’t ended discussions with Rwanda”. He adds that the carrier is offering customers an alternative service to Kigali via Nairobi in Kenya using an unnamed airline.

“We are still negotiating and we hope to have a solution to this one of these days,” says the spokesman. He declines to provide any further details.

The airline suspended its Brussels-Kigali service following an incident on 21 February in which Rwandan authorities prevented an SN Brussels Airbus A330-300 from departing, and requested documents detailing the aircraft’s complete maintenance history.

Rwanda released the aircraft three days later following direct intervention from Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, who accused the African nation of impounding the aircraft in reaction to Belgium’s decision to bar Rwandan carrier Silverback Cargo freighters from its airspace.