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Qatar Airways Inaugural (J): A Fifth Freedom Hop  
User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 762 posts, RR: 12
Posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 17595 times:

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السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته - Tukusanyukidde dear A.netters,







Pushed aside or voluntary isolated from the global alliances, built up by the major airlines, the Gulf carriers have extended their network even farther and seemingly with no limit.
Steadily cannibalizing the former main tourist flows, their hubs at the crossroads of many routes leading to Europe, Africa Australia and Asia, took advantage of the centre gravity's shift of the global exchanges towards the Middle East.

The Gulf Region is also within a few hours' flight of billions of people in Asia and Africa previously neglected by the airline industry.

THOSE airlines to be feared are statistically not consistently better value for money with regard to their direct competitors. However, they are famed for 1) the consistency of the faultless on board service often awarded by international prizes and 2) their aggressive marketing campaigns that leave a positive mark in the minds of the new generation of modern travellers.

Qatar Airways is an airline, in less proportion than its counterpart Emirates, that can not let anyone neutral. Indeed, it has been made clear that some of you hate it for so many justified reasons, in the opposite others who love it often choose it for any of their travels regardless the extra length of the journey.

On the 2nd of October 2012, many articles related the integration of Qatar Airways to the Oneworld alliance, meaning that the Gulf carriers may no longer be viewed with hostility by western airlines.



INTRODUCTION






Following the Turkish Airlines' wish to open Kigali, dated back from July 2011, Qatar Airways released its massive 2012 expansion plans in December 2011, including the destination of Kigali – Rwanda –, supported by the staggering growth of its fleet. In spite the promising good news, the consequences seemed to appear as clear as crystal for the local medias such as the most famous "The East African" newspaper:






" Qatar, Turkish cause waves in regional airline market "
by Isaac Khisa, Michael Wakabi



Quote:

East African airlines are set for a bruising battle for passengers as carriers go bare knuckle in a new round of competition that pits the region’s flag carriers against their gulf counterparts. 
Air Uganda and RwandAir have gone head-to-head on the Entebbe-Kigali route after the latter launched its own morning flight, effectively shredding their existing code-share partnership.

[....]

Beside the price wars, which will most likely benefit passengers, the airlines have taken the battle to flight schedules with departures from Entebbe and Kigali separated by less than two hours on certain days, on a route that is known to be thin on passengers.
But as Air Uganda and RwandAir face off, the commencement of services between Entebbe and Kigali by gulf carrier Qatar airways and Turkish airlines poses another threat of competition for passengers.

[....]

Particularly significant for  Air Uganda and Rwandair, is the fact that just like Ethiopian Air, which has introduced a second daily service on the Addis-Entebbe-Kigali route, Qatar has secured full fifth freedom rights,  which means it can cannibalise local traffic between Entebbe-Kigali route although its timings and fares may not be that attractive to majority of regular travellers.

[....]

By extension Kenya Airways, KLM and Brussels Airlines are also put on notice as they stand to lose some of the Middle and Far East bound traffic that has been going through their respective hubs.
The entry of Qatar provides an alternative to the Middle East and Far East bound passengers from Kigali while Turkish Air offers an alternative transit hub for European and North American bound traffic out of Kigali.


Nairobi; Sunday, January 15th; 2012





Keeping this article in mind shall we go for this special inaugural flight on a fifth freedom hop?






TRIP PLANNING







It has been a while without publishing a TR here, hence this opportunity seemed perfect.
My brother (present at the KLM's inaugural flight) and his friend should have joined me onto this event, but a QR on line booking system failure (?) prevented them from joining me on the same arrival day's flight.
The overall good system got opened ticket sales to Kigali, from London and Manchester only. The rest of Europe as Paris or Nice convenient for them, was oddly suggested to take flight accordingly on the 21st of March into a connection that would land the 22nd March obviously.



The other options were either:


1) To fly to London or Manchester, which represented, time-wise, not a great solution, or
2) They had to get a visa of usd 50 to grab the fifth freedom right route from Kampala, as they have never yet requested the dual citizenship.Too much hassle especially for his mate whom loves East Africa but who is far away from being an the aviation nut! Pity but not hopeless  Smile






Qatar airways started the Entebbe route the 5th of November 2011, then on the10th of February 2012, Air Uganda terminated its Code Share agreement with RwandAir that was signed on the highly lucrative Entebbe-Kigali in June 2010.




To remind you the hopes carried by this initial agreement and/or to discover the product of the local competitor read this report:


Air Uganda trip report : Linking Other Great Lakes: Air Uganda + Rwandair (by eastafspot Nov 12 2010 in Trip Reports)









Entebbe/Kampala International Airport




Located few miles away in the airport's vicinity, anyone can relax and enjoy the nice place alike fun fair called "Aero Beach" where some old birds are arranged in the pub's garden, nearby the lakeside and opposite the disused old runway. This sort of attraction forces obviously any aviation fan to stop by.



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Photo © Melting Tarmac Images


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Photo © Melting Tarmac Images
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Photo © Michael Fabry

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Traffic along the disused runway




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Couple of Antonov AN-12 BP, Air Victory Georgia, 4L-VPI & 4L-ELE




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Troubles began shortly afterwards...






Policemen decided otherwise on that day. While a selection of static display were tried to be taken, a patrol stopped by and investigated about my deepest motivations during at least 25 long minutes:

Police Officer: Are you taking pictures now?
East African Spotter: Yes, those airplanes can hardly be seen elsewhere!
PO: OK, are you a journalist?
EAS: No, but there is an inaugural flight today and some descriptions of the surrounding environment would have been nice!
PO: Maybe but there is currently a high level of security at the airport, so photos are not allowed whatsoever, you must delete them quickly!
EAS: Argh; nothing offensive or secret on this, what's wrong?
PO: you can delete them or your camera will be confiscated, and you'll have to pay a fine of Ush 100 000
EAS (erasing the last one only): that's not fair ! But OK done
PO: great, by the way can you show me the rest of your pictures?
EAS: huh really? (panicking and erasing two more)... yeah here we go
PO: but we can not see anything else? Hum strange You can go if you help us for a little Sprite!
EAS: ( camera switched off): for what? You cannot blame me for seeing anything because your injunctions have been strictly followed ! I must rush to catch the flight so let me go now!
PO: (trying to find something else, but unsuccessful). Don't even take another chance, as prohibited by law.
EAS: (relieved for not bribing) not a problem Sir bye.



Thanks god, only few of them have been saved, not the best though. After this little misfortune wasting my time, i had not choice than heading straight to the terminal building.


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FOR SALE: Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, 5X-AAV
McDonnell Douglas MD-83, Swiftair operating for United Nations, EC-JJS






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(Taken on the arrival day)




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Departure level








12h20 pm, the outside activity was intense here, some 30 policemen exited the place and forced me to forget about a front building picture. Also 2 days prior this date, a military operation seemed imminent with some UN soldiers from all around the world on the arrival hall.

All in all, 6 counters were opened including 2 for some U.N. Flights to Juba the other one to El-Fasher airport in Darfur.

Greeted in a courteous manner, i've requested the seat 1F, Oyolo a smiley Ugandan agent in her thirties answered with sadness that this specific seat was already occupied, but any others would be fine.
Very friendly, she handed over the travel documents along with the lounge invitation, and before the usual "have a nice trip" she mentioned about getting a wee shower later on! Instinctively i've turned back my head to check again the weather outside, scattered clouds mostly sunny! Fingers crossed no storm or cloudburst in Kigali!

Smirking, she finally purposed to picked me up in the lounge close to the boarding time



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Check-in lanes for QR, EK and ET





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Passport checkpoint and check-in desks





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The Holy Grail  Wink .






The emigration process was a breeze, nevertheless the friendly officer remained skeptical about the combination of the airline and destination. Surely they do know the airport's timetable inside out hence he probably replied automatically " do you mean Ethiopian to Kigali?" before acknowledging the aforementioned information. Then he granted me the access, not without cracking a genuine smile and thanking me for the stay here!



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ATR42-500, Precision Air to Kilimanjaro





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The shopping mall





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Afternoon departures






Thanks to our precious young fellow A.netter Sjacob, from Uganda, you've probably toured the air side of the terminal building a few time now in his nice reports from there, some outrageous priced duty free shops, a couple of eateries around and a disappointing view of the tarmac. For the latter, the best place found was located in the multi airlines lounge called Karibuni.


Surprisingly, it has amazed me how good it was: modern feeling, spacious, natural lighting, and comfortable furnitures. Along with all the basic needs common to any lounges. It provides also




- A pool table
- An armchair fitted with massage function ( cannot remember if it was free or not)
- An ideal view on to the airport activity


During his previous trip departing from Entebbe, where he wrote a report about KLM, Alex (abrelosojos) did not stay very long thus all those features could not be seen. (Of course, i guess that it has been upgraded and/or refurbished in a meantime)

Although convenient the downside appeared on the Internet, with free use of PC during 15 minutes on a rather erratic connection... oh well not a big deal!



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Lounge entrance





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Turkish airlines A320 & Emirates A380





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Lounge's reading material





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Pool table and DSTV screens, comfy seats facing the traffic.





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External view towards the local traffic





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The beauty just about to release travellers





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Some starchy (and) junk food but so good  Smile !





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Unsure about the inflight snack service, few samosas to nibble





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Some nice waterfalls





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At the centre, the bar (not on self service) and the food offering






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Soft drinks and beers fridge






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One of five a day  Smile .





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Computers station: " Please limit your usage up to 15 minutes"





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10 long minutes to load the coolest website's page  Angry .






The attractive local check-in agent, Oyolo, warned the passenger about the imminence of the boarding in a gate nearby.

The mess invaded the second security check due to the flights chartered by the U.N. To Juba and to El-Fasher in Darfur, not visible on the FIDS, and mine vocally announced here!

Some 25 minutes prior departure, the lounge gathered three passengers all travelling to Kigali, including me!

Among the two wazungu, a patient lady relaxed on the seats provided, while the guy quite stressed or excited presumably, walking back and forth across the room, started talking with her for a short period of time first, and then came to me asking the reasons of flying this day!

When Oyolo and her also cute colleague switched on the computer before boarding, he then asked if he could peek inside the corridor, luckily they answered yes, and from this moment this guy became very interesting, of course!


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Wolfgang staring at Oyolo and her colleague preparing the embarkation





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Three passengers will travel to Rwanda





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A competitor heading off to Kigali, ET811 on climbing





The bus' ride happened with this relatively new A320-200 A7-AHF, owned by Qatar Airways since the 29rd of November 2010.


The excitement has been reversed onto disappointment, when the announcement of a delay was pronounced, without any time frame tough. The team stated that it was for cautious security reason with no further detail.



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Photo © Zsolt Nekifor


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Photo © goneless
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Photo © Andreas Mueller - Spotterteam Graz





Anyway, following a very loooooooooooong 10 minutes wait; we were herded to the narrow body docked to an air bridge!




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The lonely male pursuer Faysal welcomed us with elegance on board, then suggested the cloakroom and made me feel very comfortable. Still unhappy, i quickly discovered the reason of the online unavailability on the first row. The load factor on the business class cabin reached 50 % with exactly 6 passengers.

The German-speaking expatriate from Uganda took a seat initially on the 2F, argh, but with noooo negotiation possible he had to sit on his assignated number 2D, strange that he did not move to the 3F if he wished a window! After a further excellent talk with this Doctor, seeing him next to me was the best thing that could yet happened this day!


Surprisingly (internal rules or other reason?), QR prohibited the service of alcohol on the ground at Entebbe, so instead of sipping a conventional glass of bubbly, Asha, our main pursuer offered the signature drink's lemon mint. Absolutely gorgeous!

Then, she patrolled the cabin for distributing the noise cancelling headset, but not sure to find the appropriate moment to use it in flight, she intentionnally stopped by for 3 minutes and clearly questioned "why wasting such a long time???" before adding that the foldable PTV, containing the IFE, was already operational. She could not leave without a careful explanation of the whole IFE system...jeez  bigthumbsup  .




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The unique steward of this flight: Faysal





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Seat 1F not available






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Seat 2F not available: (t)his behaviour really got on my nerves  Silly .





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Safety card





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A classy touch, (are they real?)





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Onboard magazines





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Pillow and blanket available





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The welcoming drink: QR's signature lemon mint






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Headset for IFE ready to use







While the push back and taxiing had started, some passengers were still standing in the aisle discussing like a ride in a simply urban bus.


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Three-holers McDonnell Douglas MD-11 Freighter Avient Cargo





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Good bye Entebbe




[Edited 2012-10-03 05:31:17]


Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 762 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 17589 times:

Time came to discover the most common birds flying there


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An A330 bi-class links direct now DXB to EBB – here an A340-500, A6 – ERC






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B737 – 300, Kenya Airways, 5Y-KYN






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Bombardier CRJ200, Air Uganda, 5X-UGE (she carried me previously on the same route)






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Let410 Turbolet, Eagle Air 5X-EIV






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Antonov An-32B, Air Armenia Cargo EK 32500






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1/ Boeing B737-500, UTair operating for The United Nations, VQ-BAC
2/ Bombardier CRJ200, Voyageur Airways operating for The United Nations, C-FWWU
3/ Ilyushin Il-76TD, Aviacon Zitotrans operating for The United Nations, RA-76842
4/ Bombardier Dash 8-Q314, Voyageur Airways operating for The United Nations, C-FEZD






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In case you did not know the itinerary






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Holding at the runway threshold, Kiwafu in the background





Such as often, southerly take off from runway 17, under perfect weather conditions.



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Entebbe airport's overview





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The Lake Victoria...






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.... Source of the White Nile river





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Crossing the Equator






Rapidly switched off, the seat belt sign released the crew who sprung into action, the first news stated that sending/receiving mms and sms was made possible thanks to the OnAir system. Despite owning and trying a British sim card and a MTN one, none of them proved the convenience of the feature. Faysal, half kidding and slightly ashamed, said that the limits of the technology in this continent could cause few disturbances throughout the network. Because nothing is free in this world, i could partially show my satisfaction to have saved some $$$ thanks to this failure!


The 30 minutes, the flying time between my number 1 (Entebbe) and number 4 most favorite's East African airport, allowed a quick visit in the Qatari property, especially in the economy section.

At the opposite of the J section, here the load factor sharply collapsed to a meager 3.03 % with 4 passengers, settled in the front section. If you remember one of them boarded at Entebbe. A so envious situation regarding they were taken care of by a wonderful bunch of QR girls! One pax for one hostess! Lucky them

In order to imitate some famous A.netters, like Suryo   , i had wished a memorable photo in the middle of these angels, but sadly the turbulences prevented from historically showing off among them. The seat belt signs, switched on, obliged to return the seat. So pity!



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Asha taking the drinks order






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Economy section






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Not so popular today!






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"The QR girls"






Talking and drinking bring hunger, hence at this moment Asha could not be more welcomed by suggesting a chinaware plate of cold canapés, consisting of a selection of tomato & buffalo mozzarella, marinated chicken with thyme, along with a roast beef with onion jam caramelized. Reading my mind, the french vintage champagne " Laurent Perrier " has helped to wash down everything. Needless to say that I was floating on Cloud Nine!    .



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A french vintage of course!





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The very tasty cold snack





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The food and drink service






Now being quiet stuffed let's explore in depth the comfort of this 'Bus, certainly known by most of you already.




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A double windowed seat






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LEDs reading lamp






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a generous legroom (seat pitch 45.0")







How to remain connected!





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Seat's control panel





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The recline (taken upon arrival)





No video lasted 12 minutes, so listening music represented the best bet with enjoying the airshow too displayed on the wall mounted screen at row one.



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The Oryx magazine and IFE guide







The remote control






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Countless entertainments, more than needed






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A grim news: half way through  .





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Enjoying (half) of a great comedy






The captain announced the beginning of the decent towards Kigali International Airport, with a touchdown expected within the next 15 minutes. The VIP passenger at the first row did not really bother about the safety announcement and disappeared in the galley upfront.


Shortly after, Salam ordered Faysal to collect the passports of a selection of client including mine. Once grounded and parked at destination, she aimed our enjoyment of the full arrival ceremony without being slow down by useless matters in the meantime.
Basically she has organised seamlessly the immigration process by sending a ground staff dealing with the officials at the airport avoiding us spreading out.





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VIP(1): The Big Boss






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VIP(2): Senior Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications




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The Land of the thousand hills





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Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 762 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 17544 times:

Rather late, due to lot of movements compared to a boring flight, once the cabin was ready for the very short final, the landing occurred on runway 28 as usual.






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The short final runway 28 at Kigali


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Lightly weighted, a powerful breaking enabled the new elegant bird dressed with an Oryx to directly catch the unique taxiway of this growing platform. Misled by the cloudy weather, the traditional fire brigade splashed a dramatic water canon salute on to the Airbus A320-200, registered A7 – AHF, of the first ever QR536 flight, discovering the Qatar Airways' 113th international destination.







.
LANDING VIDEO OF INAUGURAL QR536 (including water canon salute)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JR1rPTQ29k






.
http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/FlightReport/CIMG6616.jpg

The traditional water canon salute






http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/FlightReport/CIMG6619.jpg

a bunch of journalists in action






http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/Qatar%20Inaugural/DSCF8121_final.jpg
.




http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/Qatar%20Inaugural/DSCF8106.jpg

Refreshed by this shower, and too soon arrived







http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/Qatar%20Inaugural/tarmac.jpg

1/ Gulfstream G-III, Phoenix Air Group, N163PA
2/ B737-800, Ethiopian Airlines, ET-AMZ
3/ B737-800, Rwandair, 9XR-WF






Parked at a heavy stance, the busy boss and his team was freed from the plane on the nice red carpet specially organised for (t)his trip.



http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/Qatar%20Inaugural/DSCF8129.jpg

The artistic welcoming committee





http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/FlightReport/DSCF8127.jpg

The worker at the top has probably the best position!




.
http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/Qatar%20Inaugural/DSCF8124.jpg

.


http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/FlightReport/DSCF8125.jpg

So, you guys are ready?





http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/Qatar%20Inaugural/DSCF8123.jpg

What about you inside?






http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/FlightReport/DSCF8126.jpg

And finally the drummers? Yes?






.
10...9...8...7...6... (door opening and A.A.B. stepping down the stairs) 5...4...3..2...1
.






http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/FlightReport/DSCF8131.jpg

Akbar Al baker welcomed by Albert Nsengiyumva and his team





http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/FlightReport/DSCF8133.jpg



Followed immediately by Wolfgang, "my seatmate", but instead of leaving this cosy cabin straight away, the journalists admitted on board, and so amazed to discover a class far beyond the average of the airlines that serving KGL on a narrow body, kept me amused for a while.




While the captain was preparing the next flight plan, the trainee pilot (?) honoured me a picture with the probably best cabin flight attendant ever met on board any airlines. With a deep regret my ticket could not bring me back to EBB or even a bit farther.




http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/FlightReport/DSCF8135.jpg

A trainee pilot (?) and Asha our main pursuer





The official march should have been kept close, to ease the exit but going back home today took a little longer as you would expect on this memorable day; then i realised that walking through the terminal and passport control was clearly impossible. A Qatar Airways agent and an official high ranked general knew the last missing personn and opened exceptionally the doors usually reserved for authorized staff only...

According to the flight ( on an A330 or CRJ) you could spend up to 45 minutes before breathing the humidity of the African's Swiss country!

Well today, after 2 or 3 minutes, i was glad to attend the memorable ceremony land side, ok admittedly without passport nor luggages left unattended inside the building though... but who cares?    .


http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/Qatar%20Inaugural/DSCF8137.jpg

Disembarkation of economy class: a passenger from EBB, and three from DOH or beyond






http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/FlightReport/DSCF8140.jpg

She cuts a dash in Oryx livery: Airbus A320-200 A7-AHF at Kigali aiport





http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/Qatar%20Inaugural/CIMG6620.jpg

Seems like a full new crew operates the inbound leg


.




http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/FlightReport/CIMG6673.jpg

An exit hyper fast – tracked: exceptional and legal immigration procedures through this gate!    .







THE OFFICIAL RECEPTION


.




The most recent camera ran down after the landing that's why the quality offered afterwards has been downgraded.


Qatar Airways' Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker received a colourful welcome at Kigali by traditional Rwandan dancers at the airport's special ceremony attended by over 150 guests, including Rwanda’s Honourable Minister of Infrastructure, Albert Nsengiyumva, other government ministers, local dignitaries, business leaders, airport officials and media.

Quote:

With a strong focus on operating to under-served markets worldwide, Kigali is one destination which clearly fitted the bill for Qatar Airways, said Al Baker during an arrival speech at the city’s international airport.




The Honourable Minister of Infrastructure, Albert Nsengiyumva, in his welcome address, said the arrival of a young and dynamic airline from the Middle East was a great boost for the aviation sector in Rwanda.

Quote:

“The coming of Qatar Airways signals mutual development which will have a positive impact on the economic growth of both Rwanda and Qatar,” he said, adding that the CEO’s leadership of the award-winning airline was highly commendable.”







Rwanda is fast emerging as a growing economic centre, forming strong trade links with Europe and the Far East, thanks largely to its rich mineral resources. The country’s economy is largely based on agriculture but has thriving mineral and tourism industries.
Home to the mountain gorilla, Rwanda attracts tourists from around the world fascinated by the country’s wildlife and natural beauty.


http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/FlightReport/CIMG6622.jpg

Rarely seen around: time to go to the "majlis",






http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/FlightReport/ImageQR536.jpg

Opening speech by Rica Rwigamba, Head of tourism department at Rwanda Development Board (RDB)







Sadly, the Qatar Airways' CEO did not wear a dishdash


.



http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/Qatar%20Inaugural/ceremonie.jpg

1/ Albert Nsengiyumva, Rwanda’s Honourable Minister of Infrastructure
2/ Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker
3 & 4/ The gifts exchange


.



http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/FlightReport/CIMG6635.jpg

The very first two QR's rwandan hostesses






http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/FlightReport/CIMG6643.jpg

Albert Nsengiyumva, Akbar Al Baker and Alexis Nzahabwanimana ( Minister of Transport)






http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/Qatar%20Inaugural/CIMG6646.jpg

The Correspondent for Eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean islands, eTurboNews Inc.







.
http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/Qatar%20Inaugural/CIMG6651.jpg

.




A press media released from their website:


Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 15 years of operation, currently operating a modern fleet of 110 aircraft to 118 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.
Since the beginning of 2012, Qatar Airways has launched flights to Baku (Azerbaijan); Tbilisi (Georgia); Kigali (Rwanda); Zagreb (Croatia), Erbil (Iraq), Baghdad, Perth (Australia) and Kilimanjaro (Tanzania).
Over the next few months, Qatar Airways will launch services to a diverse portfolio of new routes, including Yangon, Myanmar (October 3); Maputo, Mozambique (October 31); and Chicago, USA (10 April 2013)





Because of the champagne and the speech, i felt tiddly so there was no chance the airport authorities would kept my belongings further long; so I had to make my way to the terminal for the first time of the day to collect the luggages. A friendly agent handed me over a temporary access to the belts.





No doubt whatsoever, it was today!






http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/Qatar%20Inaugural/CIMG6678.jpg

Going airside to pick up the belongings






http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/FlightReport/CIMG6684.jpg

QR536 missing: the screen often fails to display on time the newcomer






Then it sounded obvious and much better to enjoy free food than cooking later in the evening.  
Time came to grab a bottom less glass of bubbly and snack few tender beef "brochettes" (kebabs) surely not those you can find in Nyamirambo or Remera made with goat!




http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/Qatar%20Inaugural/CIMG6693.jpg

The Rwandan & EAC flags ( Moderators could you change it please?   )






http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/FlightReport/CIMG6665.jpg

Something's awkward in this picture...






http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/Qatar%20Inaugural/CIMG6663.jpg

Funny greetings contrasting with the (unappropriate) advert behind    .






http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/FlightReport/CIMG6627.jpg

Again, champagne will do for now   .






http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/FlightReport/CIMG6649.jpg

Delicious catering supplied by the Serena Hotel






http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/Qatar%20Inaugural/CIMG6653.jpg

Time to go home





http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/FlightReport/CIMG6656.jpg

A rwandan hostess handing out QR's silver branded bags






http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/FlightReport/DSCF0003.jpg

.



http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/FlightReport/DSCF0012.jpg

.



http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/FlightReport/DSCF0006.jpg

.


http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab52/kigalilongwe/FlightReport/CIMG6657.jpg

Happy ending: you are now left in good company   .

















.
CONCLUSION




(Unofficial but said) by Akbar Al Baker during in his official speech:

Quote:

... There are many great airlines operating at Kigali such as KLM, Rwandair etc meaning the competition is profitable for the passengers. With the arrival of Qatar Airways the community will now have a choice between the services of taxi alike OR the comfort and pleasure of a limousine!





Four carriers on the Entebbe – Kigali route can lift up passengers. Many might think the 5 star stuff is simply a marketing ploy but QR on that day was number one with evidence even if those previous reports happened in economy!

In general, says Europe – Africa route, and as a passenger opinion, the arrival of this Gulf "super-connector" is a blessing. It has meant much more choice and lower ticket prices for long-haul travel when the dominant airline alliances have been trying to raise prices by strangling competition.

After Kigali, Qatar Airways inaugurated Kilimanjaro airport, having the best presence in the East African market, and planned initially to open Mombasa in August but has postponed it for 2013!





This Trip report has been composed with the grateful help of Prof. Dr. Wolgang H. Thome, Correnspond of Eastern Africa and Indian Ocean; Eturbonews inc. Who also took part in that flight.







Many thanks for reading, corrections and comments are valuable!



East African Spotter (Léonard)






Other related watching materials:


Qatar Airways Inaugural to Zagreb (RvXKAZ): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-LWGHZABaI
QR536 landing from outside (RWANDAEVENTS): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQEaO4rP89s




Previous trip reports:


A Journey In Deutsch-OstAfrika & Zanzibar (by eastafspot Dec 8 2011 in Trip Reports)
Mombasa Beckons (J): New Rwandair VS Kenya Airways (by eastafspot May 12 2011 in Trip Reports)
From Malawi To Scotland With Kenya Airways And BMI (by eastafspot Dec 7 2010 in Trip Reports)
The Blue Bird Amid Gorillas: KLM Inaugural KGL-AMS (by eastafspot Nov 27 2010 in Trip Reports)
Linking Other Great Lakes: Air Uganda + Rwandair (by eastafspot Nov 12 2010 in Trip Reports)
The Ride In Africa: Kenya Airways Business Class (by eastafspot Apr 28 2010 in Trip Reports)
BMI Regional To Lyon Via Man In ERJ145 (by eastafspot Apr 18 2010 in Trip Reports)
Just Plane Smart... (by eastafspot Apr 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
Rwandair And Skyteam Airlines To Scotland (by Eastafspot Dec 10 2009 in Trip Reports)
KLM And Kenya Airways To Rwanda (by Eastafspot Dec 7 2009 in Trip Reports)



Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3218 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 16980 times:

Very nice report Leonard, thanks. Good that KGL has another good carrier to add to it's books.

Quoting eastafspot (Thread starter):
Pool table and DSTV screens, comfy seats facing the traffic.

looks better than the DAR lounge

Quoting eastafspot (Thread starter):
At the opposite of the J section, here the load factor sharply collapsed to a meager 3.03 % with 4 passengers, settled in the front section. If you remember one of them boarded at Entebbe. A so envious situation regarding they were taken care of by a wonderful bunch of QR girls! One pax for one hostess! Lucky them

Wow, that's a low load! Still, i'm sure there have been emptier flights!

Quoting eastafspot (Thread starter):
Talking and drinking bring hunger, hence at this moment Asha could not be more welcomed by suggesting a chinaware plate of cold canapés, consisting of a selection of tomato & buffalo mozzarella, marinated chicken with thyme, along with a roast beef with onion jam caramelized. Reading my mind, the french vintage champagne " Laurent Perrier " has helped to wash down everything. Needless to say that I was floating on Cloud Nine! .

Yum. much better catering than ET on the same route

Quoting eastafspot (Thread starter):
VIP(1): The Big Boss

Oooh, you flew with the person that annoys Toulouse and Seattle most in the world!

Quoting eastafspot (Thread starter):
QR536 missing: the screen often fails to display on time the newcomer

Same as SA in BJM.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LHR-VIE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR,STN-SNN-STN,LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2452 posts, RR: 53
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 16506 times:

السلام عليك Léonard,

First of all, I applaud you for calling the staff members by name. From Agent Oyolo to Purser Asha! Kudos for giving them the recognition!   


Quoting eastafspot (Thread starter):
"Aero Beach" where some old birds are arranged in the pub's garden, nearby the lakeside and opposite the disused old runway.

Is it accessible for public?

Quoting eastafspot (Thread starter):
Policemen decided otherwise on that day. While a selection of static display were tried to be taken, a patrol stopped by and investigated about my deepest motivations during at least 25 long minutes:

Why oh why do they have to make our life so miserable?  


Quoting eastafspot (Thread starter):
comfy seats facing the traffic.

Best seats ever in town!

Quoting eastafspot (Thread starter):
The German-speaking expatriate from Uganda took a seat initially on the 2F, argh, but with noooo negotiation possible he had to sit on his assignated number 2D, strange that he did not move to the 3F if he wished a window! After a further excellent talk with this Doctor, seeing him next to me was the best thing that could yet happened this day!

In the beginning, I thought “How dare he?” but at the end, I can only say, “How sweet!”

Quoting eastafspot (Thread starter):
Seat 2F not available: (t)his behaviour really got on my nerves  

I can imagine how you must have felt! 


Quoting eastafspot (Thread starter):
Asha, our main pursuer offered the signature drink's lemon mint.

If you fly QR Business, Lemon mint is definitely a must!

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 1):
1/ Boeing B737-500, UTair operating for The United Nations, VQ-BAC
2/ Bombardier CRJ200, Voyageur Airways operating for The United Nations, C-FWWU
3/ Ilyushin Il-76TD, Aviacon Zitotrans operating for The United Nations, RA-76842
4/ Bombardier Dash 8-Q314, Voyageur Airways operating for The United Nations, C-FEZD

Thanks for the extensive information.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 1):
In order to imitate some famous A.netters, like Suryo   

Aww, how sweet of you!   


Quoting eastafspot (Reply 1):
"The QR girls"
Quoting eastafspot (Reply 2):
the trainee pilot (?) honoured me a picture with the probably best cabin flight attendant ever met on board any airlines

Gorgeous photos! Congratulation!   


Quoting eastafspot (Reply 1):
Not so popular today!

Not yet! Just wait and see. Before you know, QR will have its A330 deployed.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 1):
VIP(1): The Big Boss

Did you get any chance to talk with him?

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 2):
The traditional water canon salute

The thrill of an inaugural flight! Have you read this as well? It is another covering of QR’s inaugural flight, made by my best friend.  


Quoting eastafspot (Reply 2):
Over the next few months, Qatar Airways will launch services to a diverse portfolio of new routes, including Yangon, Myanmar (October 3); Maputo, Mozambique (October 31); and Chicago, USA (10 April 2013)

Yet no Amsterdam!   


Quoting eastafspot (Reply 2):
Delicious catering supplied by the Serena Hotel

Oh dear, so yummy!


شكرًا Thank you for sharing. I love fifth freedom flights!

Best wishes,
Suryo  



Friends forever
User currently onlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6545 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 16277 times:

Hi Leonard !

Thanks for a great report with great pictures !

Very nice for you to be a part of an inaugural flight and even better when it's on QR!

Flight looks really nice and so does the gift.

Looking forward again to your next report !

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 762 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 16060 times:

Hi Gabriel

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 3):
Very nice report Leonard

Thank you for your comment, glad to read that you've enjoyed it

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 3):
Good that KGL has another good carrier to add to it's books

2012 has been the best year so far with 3 airlines arriving: South African ( that you've brilliantly reported), QR and Turkish airlines... Some rumours say that EK might be the next one... that would be just awesome

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 3):
i'm sure there have been emptier flights!

On the return leg the J was empty, and Y was filled with 40 pax including a football team. In a recent SA Linhas Aereas">TR, QR carried 20 pax on the route ZRH-STR.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 3):
much better catering than ET on the same route

Though, I still wonder if this is the standard of catering on a regular basis or just for the Inaugural flight along with the Big Boss onboard.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 3):
Oooh, you flew with the person that annoys Toulouse and Seattle most in the world!

LOL, only him and his counterparts can massively invest billions nowadays  
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 3):
Same as SA in BJM.

Not surprised at all LOL, FIDS are relatively new (2011 for BJM) and new airlines don't land that often, they need to recruit a full time computer engineer.





Hello Suryo

Quoting akhmad (Reply 4):
Thank you for sharing

You are very welcome, i'm truly delighted that you've stopped by  .

Quoting akhmad (Reply 4):
I applaud you for calling the staff members by name

It is so difficult, but i really like this on your TRs honestly all the honours are for you   

Quoting akhmad (Reply 4):
Is it accessible for public?

Yup anyone can go for swimming, a drink or spotting or both!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 4):
Why oh why do they have to make our life so miserable?

They are often money-hungry or not-that-often simply thirsty  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 4):
If you fly QR Business, Lemon mint is definitely a must!

Well, champagne tastes much better IMHO   , but no choice was given at this time

Quoting akhmad (Reply 4):
Thanks for the extensive information.

You are welcome! actually, it is surprising to see a disparate fleet with many heterogeneous registrations

Quoting akhmad (Reply 4):
Aww, how sweet of you!  

Don't mention it

Quoting akhmad (Reply 4):
Before you know, QR will have its A330 deployed.

  , i can't wait for that day!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 4):
Did you get any chance to talk with him?

yes i asked him a free ticket back to Europe and he answered "please visit QR.com",   

Quoting akhmad (Reply 4):
The thrill of an inaugural flight!

Priceless indeed!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 4):
Have you read this as well?

the link of Gavin's SA Linhas Aereas">TR can be found here, meaning that i've watched his fantastic videos  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 4):
Yet no Amsterdam!

How many Gulf carriers go there? Emirates for sure but what else?



Hello Lars

Quoting The777Man (Reply 5):
Thanks for a great report with great pictures !

thank you for those kind words, much appreciated

Quoting The777Man (Reply 5):
Flight looks really nice and so does the gift.

the flight was great because it was empty, lol, the Alarm clock is beautiful and very useful i do agree

Quoting The777Man (Reply 5):
Looking forward again to your next report !

It is coming soon  



Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5088 posts, RR: 55
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 15440 times:

Wow. Thanks for this unique inaugural flight. Always fascinating to see QR's route's and how it does - so many of them loose so much money. Great product though and in my experience, the Indian service directors are usually the best - having been with QR also for a very long time.

Ashante sana!

Saludos,
A.

PS: This might be the first TR featuring an airline CEO on A.Net? BTW, Mr. Al Baker looks exhausted and tired. He has lost weight!



Live, and let live.
User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1091 posts, RR: 31
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 14970 times:

Hello Leo,


Thanks alot for this excellent and well presented report.

It was fascinating to see the inner workings of an Inaugral flight. I suspect that in time they might be able to fill this plane a bit more.

The meal and service looked excellent, and I have to say the Entebbe lounge was better than I expected.

Good on you for not being intimidated by the dragon that is Al-Baker.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 7):
This might be the first TR featuring an airline CEO on A.Net? BTW, Mr. Al Baker looks exhausted and tired. He has lost weight!

I would agree, he looks fairly hellish. This is a man I would not like to be on the wrong side of, but; I expect with airport delays, aircraft delays etc. he has a bit to loose weight over at the moment.


Rgds

Luke



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 762 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 14887 times:

Karibu bwana Alex!

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 7):
Thanks for this unique inaugural flight

Cheers man, this was the best

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 7):
so many of them loose so much money

But QR still keeps his expansion plan, hopefully this route won't be axed in a near future

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 7):
This might be the first TR featuring an airline CEO on A.Net?

Really? i'm glad to learn this lol. For the inaugural flight to Kilimanjaro QR sent the "only" Chief Commercial Officer  


Hey Luke

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 8):
Thanks alot for this excellent and well presented report.

You're welcome dude! always a pleasure!  
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 8):
The meal and service looked excellent

They were indeed, a class beyond any of the competitors. i wish to experience their consistency on a regular service though.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 8):
This is a man I would not like to be on the wrong side of, but; I expect with airport delays, aircraft delays etc. he has a bit to loose weight over at the moment.

Very true, the huge pressure on his shoulders may not be always easy to be dealt with all those issues happening in the same time!

[Edited 2012-10-04 03:47:36]


Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2452 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 14335 times:

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 6):
but i really like this on your TRs honestly all the honours are for you   

You are too kind.   


Quoting eastafspot (Reply 6):
the link of Gavin's SA Linhas Aereas">TR can be found here, meaning that i've watched his fantastic videos  

My bad! I overlooked the link.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 6):
How many Gulf carriers go there? Emirates for sure but what else?

Nothing else, only Emirates. At least, A380 is deployed nowadays.



Friends forever
User currently offlinesjacob From Uganda, joined Apr 2009, 44 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 13781 times:

Wow, Leonard, wonderful TR, You had to have the best service with such an empty flight. By the way, does QR fly to KGL daily? I know they fly to EBB daily, though am not sure about KGL.
I have been shocked to see the "waterfall" at EBB. I have never seen it since i have not traveled in J before. Recently, I read in the papers that EK wants to construct its own Lounge at EBB.
QR rwandese crew look SUPER, hope you got atleast one of their numbers :P.

About the policemen, I am not surprised, they are practically "BEGGARS". And guess what, I have taken so many photos before even in their presence and no one has ever told me that isnt allowed. I cant believe that, I think their motive was money initially.

Otherwise, It is a lovely report from you. We, the few East African travelers are so tempted by the so many carriers to travel even more. I am sure KQ / KL is on alert, they will have to cut their prices, this competition may drive them out of business.

Loking forward to more reports man.


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6747 posts, RR: 77
Reply 12, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 13727 times:

Hi Léonard,

what an outstanding report, well done! I really enjoyed all these nice pictures and your detailed description of the events on that special day.

Quoting eastafspot (Thread starter):
On the 2nd of October 2012, many articles related the integration of Qatar Airways to the Oneworld alliance, meaning that the Gulf carriers may no longer be viewed with hostility by western airlines.

Well, I guess they are still regarded as enemies...

Quoting eastafspot (Thread starter):
Policemen decided otherwise on that day. While a selection of static display were tried to be taken, a patrol stopped by and investigated about my deepest motivations during at least 25 long minutes:

Police Officer: Are you taking pictures now?
East African Spotter: Yes, those airplanes can hardly be seen elsewhere!
PO: OK, are you a journalist?
EAS: No, but there is an inaugural flight today and some descriptions of the surrounding environment would have been nice!
PO: Maybe but there is currently a high level of security at the airport, so photos are not allowed whatsoever, you must delete them quickly!
EAS: Argh; nothing offensive or secret on this, what's wrong?
PO: you can delete them or your camera will be confiscated, and you'll have to pay a fine of Ush 100 000
EAS (erasing the last one only): that's not fair ! But OK done
PO: great, by the way can you show me the rest of your pictures?
EAS: huh really? (panicking and erasing two more)... yeah here we go
PO: but we can not see anything else? Hum strange You can go if you help us for a little Sprite!
EAS: ( camera switched off): for what? You cannot blame me for seeing anything because your injunctions have been strictly followed ! I must rush to catch the flight so let me go now!
PO: (trying to find something else, but unsuccessful). Don't even take another chance, as prohibited by law.
EAS: (relieved for not bribing) not a problem Sir bye.

Not a great start...but luckily you could leave without further trouble.

Quoting eastafspot (Thread starter):
Greeted in a courteous manner, i've requested the seat 1F, Oyolo a smiley Ugandan agent in her thirties answered with sadness that this specific seat was already occupied, but any others would be fine.

Occupied by the CEO - but I remember reading somewhere that he prefers to sit in 1A...so who knows.

Quoting eastafspot (Thread starter):
A classy touch, (are they real?)

You could have touched them to find it out!

Quoting eastafspot (Thread starter):
The very tasty cold snack

That looks very tasty.

Quoting eastafspot (Thread starter):
The VIP passenger at the first row did not really bother about the safety announcement and disappeared in the galley upfront.

Well, he's the boss!

Quoting eastafspot (Thread starter):
Sadly, the Qatar Airways' CEO did not wear a dishdash

I don't think he wears that very often outside the Arab World. I'm positively surprised that he doesn't wear a tie. That's what I have always liked about Niki Lauda.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 7):
PS: This might be the first TR featuring an airline CEO on A.Net?

Can you remember this report, Alex? The CEO was even flying the plane!

Cirrus D38, Adria CRJ & Captain Niki Lauda On Duty (by PlaneHunter Jul 27 2010 in Trip Reports)


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 762 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 13234 times:

Thank all of you guys for the replies   .


Dear Suryo,

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
My bad! I overlooked the link.

Don't worry, it is a quiet longish report, he received a replied on his YouTube page, because at the time his TR came up my subscription on A.net had expired  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
Nothing else, only Emirates.

The Dutch market is well locked and "GC proof" apparently...

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
At least, A380 is deployed nowadays

IIRC, you've missed the opportunity in Paris, hence that's a unique chance for you to board an A380, right?


Ki katti Jacob, Oli otya?
Hope that one day we will meet up in Uganda

Quoting sjacob (Reply 11):
Wow, Leonard, wonderful TR
Quoting sjacob (Reply 11):
It is a lovely report from you

Webale Nyo mukwano!   .

Quoting sjacob (Reply 11):
By the way, does QR fly to KGL daily?

Not the first few weeks or month but thereafter yes, before TK extended also his EBB route to KGL, Turkish did not have any good fares to Germany?

Quoting sjacob (Reply 11):
I have been shocked to see the "waterfall" at EBB

Something incredibly useless you say? and thus totally indispensable   . however in order to save money the water flow is meager.

Quoting sjacob (Reply 11):
About the policemen, I am not surprised, they are practically "BEGGARS". And guess what, I have taken so many photos before even in their presence and no one has ever told me that isnt allowed. I cant believe that, I think their motive was money initially.

Thank you so much for confirming that Entebbe is a "photo-report" friendly airport... bummer

Quoting sjacob (Reply 11):
the few East African travelers are so tempted by the so many carriers to travel even more

Unfortunately after few month of operation only, GulfAir has withdrawn its Aircraft from the game at EBB recently,they seemed attractive! but still a lot more choice than before, true

Quoting sjacob (Reply 11):
I am sure KQ / KL is on alert, they will have to cut their prices, this competition may drive them out of business

Indeed, now a "huge" problem arises: how to top up the Flying Blue accounts (AF/KL/KQ) ? to do so, my family or me have to pay in extra on average between usd 200 or usd 300 per ticket to collect those points   .


Hi PlaneHunter

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
what an outstanding report, well done!

Your kind words are much appreciated

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
Well, I guess they are still regarded as enemies...

Ok, but all alliances show their interests in at least one of them...strange!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
.but luckily you could leave without further trouble.

It's often delicate to get rid of them with politness...without few dollars less...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
but I remember reading somewhere that he prefers to sit in 1A...so who knows.

And??? he probably knew also that the best side for the outside views on that sector were on the right seats F   .

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
You could have touched them to find it out!

Correct, i only thought about it when writing the report

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
Well, he's the boss!

One can often see, read, hear, that the only Master On Board is the Chief Captain    .

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
I don't think he wears that very often outside the Arab World.

Thank you very much for this info

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
I'm positively surprised that he doesn't wear a tie.

   So do I

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 7):
PS: This might be the first TR featuring an airline CEO on A.Net?

Can you remember this report, Alex? The CEO was even flying the plane!


It was so surprising indeed! BTW great report and nice postcard  

[Edited 2012-10-05 14:07:19]

[Edited 2012-10-05 14:09:48]


Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 14, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 12566 times:

Hello EastAfSpot

Interesting review, thanks for sharing it with us. Sorry to hear about the police intervention in EBB
Neverthless, thanks for the pics!
QR looks not to be bad at all, the Bus class actually looks pretty comfy
Nice to see the KGL celebration as well

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2452 posts, RR: 53
Reply 15, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 12247 times:

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 13):
The Dutch market is well locked and "GC proof" apparently...

No! I do hope not!

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 13):
IIRC, you've missed the opportunity in Paris, hence that's a unique chance for you to board an A380, right?

Absolutely!



Friends forever
User currently offlinefasty From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 36 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 12069 times:

Muraho Léonard, amakuru ?

Thank you so much for this wonderful Qatari parenthèse between two of the most beautiful east african cities cities.
I read it in one go and felt like I was travelling with you, very well written !

It is surprising to see so much capacity on the KGL-EBB route. Is the demand really so high ? I mean I thought it wasn't that difficult to travel by car/bus between the two cities.

Quoting eastafspot (Thread starter):
Policemen decided otherwise on that day.

Ha, when I saw the picture and the policeman staring at the camera I knew something funny would follow.
But I'm impressed how relaxed you dealt with them and you manage to leave without even a sprite  
I think I would not have had your patience ...

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 15):
he best place found was located in the multi airlines lounge called Karibuni.

Wow that lounge looks indeed surprisingly nice compared to the usual standard in African airports.
It looks way better than the main lounges at ADD or NBO

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 15):
The food and drink service

Mmmh completely mouth-watering. Sure you wouldn't get such a quality on the previous ET flight.
But TK has excellent service as well ...

Your coverage of the inauguration ceremony is just excellent !
It's nice you were invited to it. Were all the pax invited or only those in J (not that it would make such a diffrence given the load factor in Y anyway)
Earlier this year when I took the ZC inaugural to JNB there was no such ceremony (or at least I was not invited to). I was a bit disappointed by this 
Quoting eastafspot (Reply 3):
Happy ending: you are now left in good company .

Those rwandan dancers are just gorgeous. I can nearly hear the slow and regular rythm of the drums when I see them. Aaah Rwanda.

Again murakoze for this super-entertaining trip Léo, and hope to see more from you as soon as possible.

Muramuke

Thomas


User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 11086 times:

Hello Léonard,

Very nice report! It seems like Qatar treated you well on the inaugural flight, and that celebration afterwards looks really nice as well. Really cool to see AAB too.
I found it very interesting to read this report, as I'll be flying QR myself for the first time this Monday. I'm really looking forward to it.

Martin


User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 762 posts, RR: 12
Reply 18, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 10670 times:

Hello Marc, Suryo, Thomas and Martin  
Quoting MSS658 (Reply 14):
Interesting review, thanks for sharing it with us.

You are very welcome Marc,

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 14):
Sorry to hear about the police intervention in EBB

Those guys were opportunists that's it   .

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 14):
QR looks not to be bad at all, the Bus class actually looks pretty comfy

55 minutes flight yeah it ok  , ET does not have IFE on short flight, and local competitors don't have J at all, have you ever been tempted by a Gulf Carrier?

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 14):
Nice to see the KGL celebration as well

The scheduled time helped a lot as happening during the day compared to KLM inaugural, and a "failed" one with TK in May

Quoting akhmad (Reply 15):
No! I do hope not!

Does any carrier plan to come soon? my bet goes for Qatar or Oman to follow the EK steps...BTW where is your next winter destination?



Mwiriwe cher Thomas,

Quoting fasty (Reply 16):
Muraho Léonard, amakuru ?

Amakuru ni meza! bite se?

Quoting fasty (Reply 16):
Thank you so much for this wonderful Qatari parenthèse between two of the most beautiful east african cities.
Quoting fasty (Reply 16):
very well written !
Quoting fasty (Reply 16):
Again murakoze for this super-entertaining trip Léo

Murakoze cyane nshuti wanjye   .

Quoting fasty (Reply 16):
It is surprising to see so much capacity on the KGL-EBB route. Is the demand really so high ? I mean I thought it wasn't that difficult to travel by car/bus between the two cities.

The demand is low guaranteed, the fares are outrageously high . The dilemma can be summarized between, say all in all, 2h by plane or 8h30 by bus...   .

Quoting fasty (Reply 16):
But I'm impressed how relaxed you dealt with them and you manage to leave without even a sprite

Oh well, for sure you had lived toughest situation in FBM,  . so you know!

Quoting fasty (Reply 16):
It looks way better than the main lounges at ADD or NBO

NBO lounges have been refurbished according to one of the report of Sjacob, and for ADD, i've visited the T1 (?) and apart from the size it was okay... report should follow soon too!

Quoting fasty (Reply 16):
But TK has excellent service as well ...

Ahhh! you've discovered it already ...    ; the lounge at IST is amazing, the food onboard somewhat very tasty, the comfort of the 738 certainly the downside for 6H15 ... at a lower level than a premium eco on their B777.    .

Quoting fasty (Reply 16):
Were all the pax invited or only those in J (not that it would make such a difference given the load factor in Y anyway)

It happened in the public gardens outside the airport, so accessible freely to anyone even outside, so did a relative   , but the procedures have rescued me on enjoying the most of it at the opposite to the Y pax!

Quoting fasty (Reply 16):
I was a bit disappointed by this 

fair enough and it was surprising too, even at FBM they could have improved the passenger's experience. JNB authorities at least welcomed you with a water canon salute. BTW i've read somewhere that photography is OFFICIALLY NOT PROHIBITED in the airports since 2010 by a governement notice. were you fully aware about that?

Quoting fasty (Reply 16):
and hope to see more from you as soon as possible.

It's on its way, but more conventional

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 17):
Very nice report!

Thank you so much Martin, glad to read your nice comment

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 17):
It seems like Qatar treated you well on the inaugural flight, and that celebration afterwards looks really nice as well.

True could not expect more, apart maybe from a cockpit landing 
Quoting deltamartin (Reply 17):
Really cool to see AAB too.

He was the "special guest star", because some destinations got an Executive officer

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 17):
I'll be flying QR myself for the first time this Monday.

Really? sounds really nice to where? Asia or elsewhere




Thank you folks for you replies so encouraging



Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2452 posts, RR: 53
Reply 19, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 10403 times:

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 18):
Does any carrier plan to come soon?

I have no idea. But after the recent announcement of multilateral codeshare cooperations between AF-KL and AB-EY, I do hope to see EY coming to AMS soon.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 18):
my bet goes for Qatar or Oman to follow the EK steps

That would be awesome! QR or WY!   


Quoting eastafspot (Reply 18):
BTW where is your next winter destination?

Yet undisclosed destination outside Europe.   



Friends forever
User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 762 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 9511 times:

Quoting akhmad (Reply 19):
Yet undisclosed destination outside Europe.

are you back already from it? but ok i patiently wait  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 19):
I do hope to see EY coming to AMS soon.

yup me too, though a bigger step as QR, as joining Styteam would be better!



Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2452 posts, RR: 53
Reply 21, posted (1 year 10 months 6 hours ago) and read 8917 times:

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 20):
are you back already from it?

Our departure will be due in two weeks. That's all I can tell you for now.   
Quoting eastafspot (Reply 20):
though a bigger step as QR, as joining Styteam would be better!

In that case, QR then! Please!   



Friends forever
User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 762 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 7960 times:

Quoting akhmad (Reply 21):
Our departure will be due in two weeks. That's all I can tell you for now.  

it looks like the big day approaches, do you plan any TR at your return?



Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2452 posts, RR: 53
Reply 23, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7931 times:

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 22):
it looks like the big day approaches,

I am all excited!   


Quoting eastafspot (Reply 22):
do you plan any TR at your return?

Well, of course!



Friends forever
User currently offlinesjacob From Uganda, joined Apr 2009, 44 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 7714 times:

Have ypu seen this article? I feel sorry for KQ...I cant believe they have cut daily flights to LHR and Zanzibar, I thought these could be their key routes...

http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/Nation...334/1612962/-/5bdm6cz/-/index.html


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26904 posts, RR: 58
Reply 25, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 7715 times:

Hi great report and lovely experience to be part of . Congratulations on taking this flight and all the great photos you got . Always nice to be part of an inaugural like this where such an effort is made.

Shame the officials at the start gave you hassle but ended ok in the end.

Regards

Philip  


User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 762 posts, RR: 12
Reply 26, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 7716 times:

Suryo,

Quoting akhmad (Reply 23):
I am all excited!   

Have fun then!  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 23):
Well, of course!

A great surprise will show up here, no doubt for that!



Jacob

Quoting sjacob (Reply 24):
Have ypu seen this article?

Terrible news indeed, no wonder about those disastrous financial results

The second semester, KQ started it with a strike from the pilots that left passengers stranded. Apparently there is a shortage of pilots in this airline, forcing them to be voluntarily available to work for certain hours during off time.(which is known as "goodwill", but within legal limits approved by the KCAA)

Quoting sjacob (Reply 24):
I cant believe they have cut daily flights to LHR

For the moment only week end flights (morning time out of LHR) seem affected!




Hello Phillip,

What a pleasure to read your feedback  .

Quoting OA260 (Reply 25):
Hi great report and lovely experience to be part of
Quoting OA260 (Reply 25):
Congratulations on taking this flight and all the great photos you got .

Many thanks, your kind words mean a lot

Quoting OA260 (Reply 25):
Always nice to be part of an inaugural like this where such an effort is made.

Totally true, a month later in May Turkish launched flights to KGL as well and guess what, nothing happened at all, not even a microphone announcement! According to your reports they are a good airline though! so why such different treatment?

Quoting OA260 (Reply 25):
Shame the officials at the start gave you hassle but ended ok in the end.


Because of this it was merely impossible to show you the Aéro Beach Entebbe...Next time for sure   .

Thank you for taking time to reply, all the best!



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