QATAR AIRWAYS COUNTS DOWN TO KIGALI FLIGHTS
It is now a week to go until Qatar Airways, the worlds 5 star airline, will commence operations to Kigali. The airline is extending their daily flights between Doha and Entebbe to the Rwandan capital and the aircraft used will be an Airbus A 320 operates in a two class configuration of business and economy.
The airline has full traffic rights between Entebbe and Kigali, granted by the two respective Civil Aviation Authorities in Uganda and Rwanda, although it is understood that these flights are not codeshared with RwandAir.
This makes Qatar Airways the first of the big league carriers in the Gulf to fly directly into Rwanda, outflanking Emirates and other potential aspirants. While RwandAir flies 6 times a week with a B737-800 to Dubai, three times in fact via Mombasa and three times nonstop, Emirates has at this time not made a move to claim reciprocity. However, with a new airport being planned at Bugesera outside Kigali, and Rwanda being one of the political and economic star performers in Eastern Africa with access to the huge markets of Eastern Congo, it will only be a matter of time until that omission is being addressed.
Meanwhile are all systems go for the inaugural party on the 21st of March at the Kanombe International Airport in Kigali, a multimedia presentation and press conference at the Kigali Serena Hotel and related visits by members of the Qatari delegation on board, who will use their commercial presence to also seek closer political ties with Rwanda.
Meanwhile was it also confirmed that as part of their expansion programme with destinations in Africa, Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania, located between the towns of Arusha and Moshi, will become a Qatar Airways destination later this year, the second after Dar es Salaam to where Qatar Airways now flies double daily. This follows an announcement made at the inaugural flight celebrations in Kampala in November last year, that Mombasa and Zanzibar would be added in 2012 too, at which time Qatar Airways will cover all key commercial airports in the region apart from Bujumbura. Watch this space.