London Gatwick has welcomed the touchdown of the first direct flight between Rwanda and the UK with a spectacular water arch as the RwandAir 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, Yamina Karitanyi; deputy chief executive 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 eight hours and 40 minutes.
Return fares start from £368.
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.”
Rwanda welcomed 1.3 million visitors in 2016 attracted by the incredible scenery, opportunities to visit mountain gorillas and big game safari.
The recent arrival of black rhino in the country means that Rwanda is now offering one of the most comprehensive safari experiences anywhere on the African continent.
Back in the city, the newly-opened Kigali Convention Centre is driving the transformation of Rwanda’s bustling capital into a hub for meetings, incentives conferences and exhibitions.
This major new facility coupled with a host of other developments has helped Rwanda in being named the third best MICE destination in Africa.
For passengers with onward travel plans, Kigali International Airport offers a wide range of connections via RwandAir’s ever-expanding route network providing easy and convenient access to a wide range of other African destinations.
King added: “I am delighted to welcome RwandAir to Gatwick and look forward to what I am sure will 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.
“This exciting new route demonstrates just how far Gatwick’s long haul network has grown in recent years.”
World Travel Awards
The flight debuts ahead of the World Travel Awards Africa Gala Ceremony, scheduled to take place in Kigali on October 10th.