First London Gatwick-RwandAir direct flight service takes off

The UK and the Rwandan capital Kigali were this week linked by a thrice-weekly direct air route, thanks to a new RwandAir Airbus A330-200 service.

London Gatwick welcomed the touchdown of the first direct flight between Rwanda and the UK on 26 May with a spectacular water arch as the aircraft taxied to the gate at the airport’s North Terminal.

The arrival of the aircraft was attended by the UK High Commissioner of Rwanda, H.E. Yamina Karitanyi; the deputy CEO of RwandAir, Yvonne Makolo; and Stephen King, head of airline relations, Gatwick Airport.

The route is served by a new Airbus A330-200 offering travellers Business, Premium Economy and Economy Class travel. Flights depart London Gatwick on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays with a flight time of 8 hours 40 minutes and return fares starting from £368.

Passengers travelling on the new service in Business Class will be able to take advantage of fully-flat beds and overnight flights.

Makolo said: “We are very proud to launch this important direct flight between the UK and Rwanda. British travellers are among the top five nationalities to visit Rwanda and this service will allow even easier access to the many natural wonders and unique experiences available throughout our beautiful country. This new route will also improve already strong trade links between the UK and Rwanda, creating new long-lasting business opportunities.”

King said he thought the new route be a very popular service. “Rwanda is rapidly becoming a top leisure destination for those looking to experience the adventure of a lifetime in the Heart of Africa, while business passengers can use the new service to forge stronger links between our two countries.”

Gatwick now offers over 50 long haul routes across the globe.

Rwanda welcomed 1.3m visitors in 2016 and the newly-opened Kigali Convention Centre is helping to drive the transformation of Rwanda’s bustling capital into a hub for meetings, incentives conferences and exhibitions.

This major new facility coupled with other developments has helped Rwanda to be named the third best MICE destination in Africa.

Kigali International Airport offers a range of connections to other African destinations via RwandAir’s expanding route network.

Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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