KLM Royal Dutch Airlines first flight touched down at Kigali International Airport on Sunday, marking the launch of its operations in Rwanda.
The Dutch airline will operate flights between Kigali and Amsterdam five times a week on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, with an intermediate stopover at Entebbe International Airport in Uganda.
KLM said in a statement that the decision to commence business in Rwanda was induced by the country’s rapidly growing economy and the growing passenger traffic. The launch makes Kigali KLM’s 64th intercontinental destination.
“The new Kigali-Amsterdam route offers passengers a unique and new direct service within Air-France-KLM Network,” the statement reads in part.
KLM expects that the services to Amsterdam will also be attractive to passengers transferring at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to the United States, Canada and Europe.
Through code-sharing with Kenya Airways, KLM has been offering two daily services to Kigali via Nairobi and according to KLM, this flight option will remain available to passengers in addition to the new direct route.
“The new flight, in combination with the successful code-sharing services already offered by KLM and Kenya Airways, will further France-KLM’s presence on the African continent,” the statement said.
The aircraft type will be offering seats for 243 passengers and will be represented by Kenya Airways with an integrated Air France KLM Kenya airways team.
In East Africa, KLM already operates flights to Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya.