·       Inaugural flight marks the first ever direct connection between London and Kigali

·       Milestone marks the launch of thrice-weekly service between the two capital cities

·       RwandAir Airbus A330-200 greeted with ceremonial water arch

London Gatwick welcomed the touchdown of the first direct flight between Rwanda and the UK on Friday 26th 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 just 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 convenient overnight flights.

Yvonne Makolo, Deputy CEO of RwandAir, 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.”

Stephen King, Head of Airline Relations, Gatwick Airport, said: “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. We now offer well over 50 long haul routes across the globe – a claim few other international airports can make.”

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.

Thanks to the new route, nature lovers can access Rwanda’s diverse ecosystems in its three national parks more easily than ever before. Volcanoes National Park, along the Congolese border, is famed for its mountain gorillas but also home to the endangered golden monkey. In the east of the country, the Akagera National Park is home to all of Africa’s most famed game animals with the new black rhino arrivals in addition to elephant, African buffalo, leopard and lion.

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.

RwandAir flights from London Gatwick to Kigali start at £368 in Economy and £1,420 in Business including all taxes and surcharges.

For more flight information and to book, please visit or call +44 (0)1293 874922

For more information on Rwanda, please visit

For further information or images, please contact:

Paul Charles, Philip Allport, Gordon Smith, Katie Moine, Charlotte Launder or Freddie Mills at The PC Agency

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