RwandAir, the national air company of Rwanda, is to introduce direct flights from its capital Kigali to Lagos by the end of 2011.

The company made the announcement after purchasing a 154-seater Boeing 737-800 aeroplane as a result of a $60 million loan from the PTA bank, which was established in 1985 to facilitate trade and development in eastern and southern Africa.

Since a recent expansion of the fleet to seven aeroplanes, the airline company has seen a growth in passenger numbers, recording up to 20,000 a month.

The carrier started out in 2002 as RwandAir Express, with one leased aircraft and three destinations. In 2009 it was rebranded as RwandAir and currently operates 12 destinations, making it the fourth largest airline in the east African region after Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways and Tanzania