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
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
Distance travelled: 10080 miles
Status Miles Earned: 11298
Airlines: KLM, Kenya Airways, Rwandair Express (inbound trip)
2- OUTBOUND TRIP
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
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.
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.
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)
Photo © Frank-Thomas Klütsch
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.
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.
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.
Virgin fly daily to London
Economy class frequent flyers lounge
African style !!!
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)
Economy Sir? please this way...
Overview of JKIA
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.
1h flight meal service
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.
Rwanda Air Force
Sudanese's president Aircraft
European blacklisted airline "Silverback Cargo Freighters"
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.
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.
Nyiragongo's Volcano in DR Congo from Gisenyi
Boulevard de la Révolution - Kigali
thanks you for reading, the inbound trip is coming soon...