KIGALI. Forty-five minutes past noon tomorrow will be a significant day in RwandAir’s history. That will be the time an Airbus A330-300 will take off for the first direct commercial flight to Gatwick International Airport London’s second busiest airport marking a historical milestone for RwandAir.
The Rwanda national career and East Africa’s fastest growing airline has been making inroads sky-wise, acquiring more fleets and also carving more destinations. The London route, to be serviced three times a week, is the 22nd by the airline.
For its first European destination, RwandAir is taking to the sky its brand new 274-seater Airbus A330 aircraft that boasts of in-flight connectivity.
This direct flight to the Europe’s financial capital is expected to provide competition to other regional airlines KQ and Ethiopian Airlines. This, experts say, would be good news for travelers in the face of recent rising fares, particularly by Kenya’s KQ.
For the Rwandan government, the foray into the London destination will enhance businesses as traders will reap the benefits. Kigali is also looking to boost its tourism revenue by luring tourists from the UK who might be attracted to the bonus that comes with a direct flight to Rwanda.
But for the region, it is a new dawn for cost-effective as well as convenience in travelling experiences with guaranteed options across the runways.
Meanwhile, RwandAir is dreaming bigger in its quest to make the sky the limit. The airline, that launched its direct flights India’s financial capital Mumbai, last month, is looking to starting direct flights to New York, US, and to Guangzhou in China later this year.
The airline also plans to fly to Conakry in Guinea, Bamako in Mali, as well as Dakar, Senegal, Lilongwe in Malawi and Durban in South Africa.
Last year, the airline acquired its first A330-200 and A330-300 Airbus planes, boosting its fleet to 11 aircraft. Another Boeing aircraft is expected for delivery in coming weeks.