RwandAir will launch the first non-stop flight from the UK to Rwanda.
The route will operate from May 26, three times a week, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from London Gatwick to the Rwandan capital Kigali on a new Airbus A330-200.
Travellers will have the choice of Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabins. The flight time is 8 hours 40 minutes with return fares starting from GBP372.
Passengers travelling on the service in Business Class will be able to take advantage of fully-flat beds.
The launch of this direct service is the result of British travellers being among the top five nationalities that visit Rwanda, which welcomed 1.3 million visitors last year.
Visitor numbers are also rising due to the newly opened Kigali Convention Centre, which is driving the transformation of Kigali into a hub for Meetings, Incentive Conferences and Exhibitions. Rwanda has been named the third best MICE destination in Africa.
The chief tourism officer at the Rwanda Development Board, Ms. Belise Kariza, said: “Rwanda has seen a transformation in recent years and is now becoming one of the most sought-after destinations for premium travellers. With the new non-stop RwandAir flights to Kigali, and the opening of several premium lodges, Rwanda will be making a big impact as a must-visit country.”
Guy Stephenson, Gatwick Airport chief commercial officer, said: “This new service makes the adventure of a life time in the heart of Africa a real possibility for more people than ever before, be they spotting gorillas in the wild, game animals on safari or visiting the beautiful tea plantations.
“Rwanda is the latest long haul destination Gatwick serves and we now proudly boast more than 50 long haul routes in total – a claim few other international airports can make. Only last week Gatwick became the world’s top low cost airport, a ranking helped by our growing low cost long haul services to North America and the Far East.”
This year, One&Only will launch a new lodge in Nyungwe while Wilderness Safaris is due to open Bisate Lodge near Volcanoes National Park. Tour operators, such as Red Savannah, Expert Africa and Wild Frontiers, are also offering bespoke holidays and tours in the country.