RwandAir will Monday night launch flights to the Chinese commercial hub of Guangzhou, making it the national carrier’s 28th destination.
The route, which is set to be RwandAir’s third on the Asian continent after Dubai and Mumbai, will effectively become the airline’s longest, a total of 16 hours.
The flights to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport will be operated three times a week by Airbus A330 via Mumbai, according to RwandAir officials.
The New Times established that, the inaugural flight had been fully booked by mid-morning Monday.
The flight is scheduled to depart from Kigali International Airport at 00:40, airline officials said.
Yvone Makolo, the RwandAir chief executive, was expected to be on-board the maiden commercial flight to Guangzhou.
Guangzhou is a major source of a variety of imports to Rwanda and the new route – the first between the Chinese city and Kigali – is expected to boost trade and ease travel between the two cities.
It comes at a time Rwanda and China have stepped up trade and tourism ties, partly facilitated by the Alibaba Group.
Also known as Ram City, Guangzhou is the capital city of Guangdong province and is regarded as China’s transport, industrial and commercial hub.
Figures show that Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport was China's third-busiest and world's 13th-busiest airport by passenger traffic in 2017, handling 65,806,977 passengers that year alone.
Tonight’s launch of RwandAir’s flights to Guangzhou comes after the launch of the airline’s Kinshasa route in April, and just days ahead of the inaugural commercial flight to Tel Aviv in Israel, due June 25.