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KLM And Kenya Airways To Rwanda  
User currently offlineEastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 899 posts, RR: 20
Posted (5 years 10 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 20921 times:

Trip report N_1:

I've been a fan of Airliners and heavy reader of the trip reports for a long time and it's a real pleasure to write this first report.
For this reason, be indulgent for the quality of the pictures, and the descriptions and also because this trip in East Africa/Great Lakes regions, has been made in march 2009, which is quiet old, but all comments and questions are welcome!!!

Take a seat and relax for few minutes of African Pride

1- Background

The financial's year of my compagny finish the 31st of March, for this reason all the holidays must be taken at this period, to avoid losting them. Planning to trip in France, the new 1st of April Flying Blue Rules, had persuaded me to travel a last, but not at least, at 100% of miles for a huge bargain.
A part of my family is living in Rwanda, and as we didnot meet for 7 years, it was a great oportunity to bring them some fresh news, latest technology and find out the roots:

Summary of the trip:

Destination: “The Perpetual Spring land” or RWANDA
Fare paid: £ 670
Class: economy
Distance travelled: 10080 miles
Status Miles Earned: 11298
Airlines: KLM, Kenya Airways, Rwandair Express (inbound trip)




http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/CIMG1046.jpg Departure lounge

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/CIMG1040.jpg Some operators at EDI

Flight N°: KL1286
journey: EDI-AMS the 16/03/09
aircraft: B737-800 with registration PH-BDW Leifur Eiriksson
scheduled departure time: 16H30
Duration: 1H25
Seat: 26A
rating: ☻☻☻☺☺

Edinburgh is a medium size airport mainly used by low cost carriers, British Airways, BMI and Flyglobespan. The usually Servisair's Staff is present to handle KLM and Air France flights. It was with an obvouis pleasure i've met again Sylvia for the check-in. After the useless question “Window or Aisle”, she offered the invitation to the Servisair's lounge.
Rather in advance and instead of heading straight to relax, i decided to visit Edinburgh Departure terminal. Despite a huge refurbishment which prevent from viewing the main apron, the right aisle look interesting for a snapshot sequence. After catching up the few regional aircrafts, my throat got dry and involved a stopover at the lounge.

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/CIMG1052.jpg Lounge Entrance


This area managed by Servisair, is free acces for some frequent flyers as Skyteam Elite Plus AF/KLM, Priority Pass program, and Aer Lingus but can also be visit again £18 fee which is not a good bargain in this case. The generous choice for the drinks, enable to forget the lack of food, or the expensive and unreliable wifi. The newspapers and magazines represent a force in this lounge. After one hour spent here it was time to start the trip and to reach boarding gate. And here i was really pleased to meet again Sylvia from the Check-in who in a polite way greet me and ask for the proof of visa for Rwanda.


Except the excitement of departure for a new sub-saharian flight, the best choice of the side for take off, and the price of paid for the ticket, everything was undercontrolled, like the landing on the Runway Poldebann (18R) in EHAM, as my total flight between EDI and AMS would reach 12 during the last 18 months.




after a this KLM pre acheminent flight, i could enjoy a smoking lounge in AMS, before as european passengers it would be possible to go outside for a quick ciggy.


This lounge is rather big, well fitted and equiped moreover the tarmac's overview is well appreciated. The food is better than EDI but not a delicatessen.



Only 1 hour after my arrival, it was time to board the long haul segment.

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/CIMG1142.jpg KQ 117 (4141): Expected on time

Flight N°: KQ117
journey: AMS-NBO the the 16/03/09
Plane:B777-200ER with registration 5Y-KQT
Scheduled departure time: 20H45 local time(GMT+1)
Duration: 7H50
Seat: 40J

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Frank-Thomas Klütsch
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Sean Mowatt

This part of the trip is always my favourite, for many reasons, the main one is because by entering in the plane at Amsterdam, you can already feel the atmosphere of the Africa, which is undescriptible.
I've probably boarded less than 10 times this flight but on this 16th of march the same feeling appeared: excitement, happiness and relaxation.

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/CIMG2422.jpg Karibu !!!


In fact this time the overall experience has been reduced as the cabin crew did not serve me any alcool on board , and the the IFE was out of order. For a day flight i don't really care as it's more interesting what's happen outside but for a such long trip by night above the sea and the sahara desert you can just imagine how bad was the impression. The good news was that the flight landed with 40 mins advance at JKIA Nairobi runway 6 which give more time to spend at the airport.


The meals was ok, the seat as well, and the as usual after the meal i decided to sleep. The second reason which make me fly with KQ is the load factor, this day it did not reached 40% , a very good thing when u can not afford the flat bed in the “Premier World” cabin.

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/CIMG1224.jpg the lastest KQ Boeing 737-800 5Y-KYE


When Emma, the travel agent, in Edinburgh told me about the long layover in Nairobi, i was not really concentrated at the time but, once the plane landed and discover the potentiel of JKIA. And a spotting sequence could resolve this trouble.

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/CIMG1255.jpg Virgin fly daily to London


http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/CIMG1240.jpg Economy class frequent flyers lounge

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/CIMG1251.jpg African style !!!

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/CIMG1242.jpg morning buffet

Flight N°: KQ472
journey: NBO-KGL the 17/03/09
Plane:B737-800 with registration 5Y-KYD
Scheduled departure time: 12H30 local time(GMT+3)
Duration: 1H15
Seat: 26F
rating: ☻☻☻☻☺



http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/CIMG1269.jpg Economy Sir? please this way...


http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/CIMG1309.jpg Overview of JKIA

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/CIMG1320.jpg Aerial's view of Nairobi's Wilson airport and Eastleigh's airstrip

Except the half morning long transit in Nairobi (5 hours) this part which will bring me to the final destination, was great at the beginning, because thanks to the wonderfull weather, the Nairobi's 3 airports have been pictured (JKIA, Wilson and Eastleigh), unfortunately the camera's batteries runned out just few minutes before the landing in Kigali.


http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/CIMG1323.jpg 1h flight meal service

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/CIMG1328.jpg Lake Muhazi and descent to Kigali

This brand new aircraft is really new and confortable, the on-wall tv were not used as the trip was too short, but a hot and good meal has been served. Which is not commn in Europe for this short of distance (471 miles) in economy. The aircraft landed at 12H33 at Grégroire Kayibadan airport on runway 28.

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/HPIM2227.jpg Rwanda Air Force

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/HPIM2217.jpg Sudanese's president Aircraft

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/HPIM2233.jpg European blacklisted airline "Silverback Cargo Freighters"

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/HPIM2239.jpg Ethiopian's 757 heading to ADD

A bus disembarked all the passengers to the main terminal before the immigration procedure. Some nice and rare birds could be seen on the tarmac like the Dash8 200QSR of Rwandair Express or the EU banned Silver back b707. The load factor, was as little as 40% compared to what my brother used to experience to this route.


http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/HPIM2249.jpg Arrival's Hall


http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/HPIM2241.jpg A new route for WB: 25 min flight only


At the arrival, the immigration has been quickly passed, despite my french nationality, and then the Skyteam Priority Tagged luggage arrived, among the first, within 10 min which is the great performance in Africa.

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/CIMG1412.jpg Nyiragongo's Volcano in DR Congo from Gisenyi

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/CIMG1381.jpg Boulevard de la Révolution - Kigali

thanks you for reading, the inbound trip is coming soon...

Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineReifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1537 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (5 years 10 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 20711 times:

Very interesting report. I am surprised they don't use KLM branded boarding passes, even if Servisair does the check in. They do not see Servisair-boarding passes often in Kenya I think  Smile

Looking forward to the next part (will there be one?).

User currently offlineJFKMan From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 602 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (5 years 10 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 20435 times:

Great TR! I highly enjoyed it.

How much do those little bottles of wine cost on KLM?

Africa is somewhere I would be interested in going....I guess it just depends on the part.



(aka JFKMan)

User currently offlineLukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1179 posts, RR: 32
Reply 3, posted (5 years 10 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 20052 times:

Many thanks for this insiteful TR.

Two very different places; Scotland and Africa. It was great to see how aviation can link them in only a matter of hours.It is a journey I plan to make for my final summer after Uni. Further south though...
Edinburgh was looking the same old - I paid that £18 for the lounge last time my Ryanair flight was delayed 3 hours... isn't much there, a few snacks but I did manage to sneak some cans of Guiness out which is always good. They're quite pleasant there...

Agains thanks for this TR. I noticed it says your also a 'waiter' in Edinburgh. We have both been cast the same misfortune!

Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlineFly2YYZ From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 1067 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (5 years 10 months 23 hours ago) and read 19726 times:

Wow c'est tres bien ce trip report!

I can't wait to read your inbound trip!

User currently offlineEastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 899 posts, RR: 20
Reply 5, posted (5 years 10 months 15 hours ago) and read 18948 times:

Quoting Reifel (Reply 1):
I am surprised they don't use KLM branded boarding passes

even with Air France flights from EDI, Servisair prints out the BP

Quoting JFKMan (Reply 2):
How much do those little bottles of wine cost on KLM?

i don't know for how long but soft and alcoholics drinks, and snacks are free on all klm flight, but the flight between NBO and KGL took 1h15 and a full meals has been served, compare to 1h30 flight and ridiculous TUC offered by KLM

Quoting Lukeyboy95 (Reply 3):
Edinburgh was looking the same old

the brand new departure terminal will open soon

Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlinePs76 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (5 years 10 months 14 hours ago) and read 18829 times:


Just to say many thanks for the report etc. Was definitely quite a different and interesting route and the fact that you got served a full meal in economy on a 1.15hr flight to Rwanda definitely was cool. Wish Europe would still do that(!)

Many thanks,


User currently offlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1978 posts, RR: 40
Reply 7, posted (5 years 10 months 14 hours ago) and read 18779 times:

Hi there and first of all, welcome to airliners.net! Second of all, great report! The Kigali airport looks really nice, as do the seats on the Kenian 777. I hope you liked AMS. Small remark on the PH-BDW, she's actually a 737-400.

Thanks for sharing,


Nothing's worse then flying the same registration twice, except flying it 4 times..
User currently offlineMHTripple7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1123 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (5 years 10 months 13 hours ago) and read 18666 times:

I love reading TRs about Africa, and especially African airlines. It's a shame that you didn't have a good experience on the KQ 777. It looks like their IFE still has the old KQ branding which is interesting.

Quoting Eastafspot (Thread starter):
In fact this time the overall experience has been reduced as the cabin crew did not serve me any alcool on board

Did they give you a reason for this? Very strange!

Thanks for this great TR!

User currently offlineEastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 899 posts, RR: 20
Reply 9, posted (5 years 10 months 11 hours ago) and read 18422 times:

thanks everybody for all the comments!!!

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 7):
Small remark on the PH-BDW, she's actually a 737-400.

Yes you are right, i've also noticed after the report, thanks for your careful reading

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 8):
It looks like their IFE still has the old

at the time of the trip the old IFE system was used. From the 6th of october 2009, KQ has started the installation of a full and Digital Total Entertainment System (dTES) but will be only operational on B767/B777 fleet begin 2010.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 8):
Did they give you a reason for this? Very strange

yes as i was carrying smalls liquors sample bottles

Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlineETforLIFE From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 33 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 10 months 10 hours ago) and read 18309 times:

Quoting Eastafspot (Thread starter):

Since when is ET flying 767s to Nairobi?!

User currently offlineDirectorguy From Egypt, joined Jul 2008, 1840 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (5 years 10 months 7 hours ago) and read 17943 times:

Awesome TR to a place rarely documented. I read this with great interesting, and look forward to future installments.

User currently offlineZonks From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 166 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 10 months 5 hours ago) and read 17819 times:

Great to see a TR on a part of the world that's rarely reported on. I especially appreciate the pictures.

Have to also comment that I found the SN advertisement at KGL to be a bit amusing. The thought of backtracking all the way to BRU to fly to China is ridiculous.

User currently offline9W748Capt From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 771 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (5 years 10 months 1 hour ago) and read 17594 times:

An outstanding first report! Thank you for sharing. Love seeing TRs from not-so-common destinations such as Rwanda. Just curious - what was the entree served on the flight to KGL? Chicken and rice or something? Looks delicious! Also, really cool to see tarmac shots and the departures board at NBO - definitely something you don't see everyday on here.

Looking forward to the return installment!

User currently offlineAirTran737 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3734 posts, RR: 11
Reply 14, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 17518 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice trip report. I was in KGL at the same time, in fact I was the Loadmaster on the World Airways MD-11 that you have a picture of. It was routed JFK-LPA-KGL and was filled with 145,000 lbs of vaccinations

Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
User currently offlineHenkybaby From Netherlands, joined May 2008, 593 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 17251 times:

Quoting AirTran737 (Reply 14):
I was the Loadmaster on the World Airways MD-11 that you have a picture of

How extraordinary is that!

Nice report on an interesting destination. Would love to read some more about your stay in Rwanda in your return TR.

Wherever you go, there you are!
User currently offlineThegreatRDU From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2326 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 17063 times:

This is nice the African TRs are my favorite very solid job!!

Our Returning Champion
User currently offlineEastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 899 posts, RR: 20
Reply 17, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 16501 times:

Quoting ETforLIFE (Reply 10):
Since when is ET flying 767s to Nairobi?

even nowadays ET still use those over 200 seat aircraft on this route, like sometime Kenya Airways to JNB or LUN

Quoting Zonks (Reply 12):
The thought of backtracking all the way to BRU to fly to China is ridiculous.

i guess SN to compete with Ethiopian on Beijing route!!!

Quoting AirTran737 (Reply 14):
was filled with 145,000 lbs of vaccinations

happy to learn this!!!

Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
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