2012 represented the year of the Boeing 787 Dream)liner, so me too i wanted to log it especially in Africa. The only options with Ethiopian from/to DXB or JNB resulted on choosing the latter mainly for schedule reasons.
Thus, I've initially booked a JNB-ADD-EBB-KGL in business class, but begin of November, Airlineroute.net released a grim news sent by Ethiopian. It was devastating.
Just in case, an email was sent for confirmation and for eventually modifying the dates if it could suit otherwise, unfortunately i had planned to spent the new year's day in Kigali.
A refund was processed in no time and i booked a Rwandair ticket in economy to Dar Es Salaam (for pricing reason as you know) EUR 5 more expensive than ET but avoiding a long layover in ADD or an insane night flight.
In Africa for few weeks, there was enough time to experience new airlines especially one recently launched. Here is the routing:
1) Johannesburg – Kigali; Rwandair – Economy
2) Mwanza – Dar Es Salaam; FastJet – Economy
3) Dar Es Salaam – Kigoma; Air Tanzania – Economy
For those of you not accustomed with the region, GCmap provides a great sum up:
Friday the 28th of December,
Johannesburg – Kigali
Distance: 1666 miles
Boeing 737-800 9XR-WG
ETD/ETA: 8h30 – 12h30
ATD/ATA: 8h36 – 12h14
Following a lay over around the airport, back to O.R. Tambo at 6h40.
We are far beyond from the usual African standards: so clean, so shiny, so bright...
Lining up at check – in desks at the terminal B 2h prior the departure, where only one counter has been opened.
"it's gonna take ages" whines the Ugandan passenger before me and he was right.
After 35 minutes and many people jumping off the queue, Rwandair decided finally to open a second counter, 10 min then-after another one, basically at the end of the queue.
Check in was a breeze with the bag tagged up to Kigali instead of Dar, and with the short amount of time left, i've rushed to the observation deck landside pretty quiet and the sun was dazzling through the panes.
Oliver Reginald Tambo
Time to go to the immigration at 7h40, 5 little minutes before the boarding process. Just behind me a french couple with her daughter on the SA74 flight, (after a quick peek on their BP) was complaining about one of the officer, who, noticing that the queue increased ["took his time"and] set up properly the lanes to regulate correctly the flow of traffic.
As the officer left his desk, the couple implied this lazy guy was going on his break. Moreover few travellers of my flight asked to be ushered out, worried to miss the flight whom boarding was about to start, made the lady moaning even more by saying they to wake up earlier! Strange attitude.
More birds on the way to the gate
I've never believed that JNB was so vast, it took a further 15 minutes to reach the correct gate A22.
Which airline goes to Kolwezi?
At 8h little bus' ride among the latecomers enabled to step inside the aircraft. There were just two pax in business whilst in economy only a handful of seats remained vacant. (price is nearly the same as Ethiopian but the direct route avoids a long layover and a night flight through ADD)
Photo © Stefan Sonnenberg
Photo © Erik Grinsvall - Dxbspotters
Photo © Jacobus Saayman
Delivered the 26/10/2011
Safety demo in french and english
One screen stayed down
Push back and take off on time
Fully loaded to Lagos
Take off video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-5yWBU_3os
A commercial about the country of the thousand hills and then Airshow got activated
Seat TIMCO B1011 very confortable with modern colours
Not in use
Inzozi = dreams
A nice place to go?
One hour after the departure the crew distributed a tray loaded with a hot breakfast meal ( no hot/cold towel beforehand)
In a win-win deal, i swapped my muffin against a mango yogurt and a fruit salad.
The omelet, filled with cheese, was delicious, the fruit salad quiet disappointing because the fruits, tough, were not riped and tasteless.
I drunk coffee, and for the sake of checking the bar menu, the flight attendant only offered white or red wine ( in another way it was 10h am)
My funny neighbour did not eat much and left most of the breakfast, alleging for dietetic reasons.
However this Nigerian lady pulled out a packet of "full fat" crisps from her hand luggage, once trays were removed.
She explained also that Rwandair was her third choice as South African and Arik, operated at full capacities over the festive season. Actually, during the check-in and immigration, i remembered seeing many passports with the mention "ECOWAS", meaning that more and more travellers transit through the new hub. There were at least 5 wazungu too.
The rest of the flight was event-free
Looks like a LH A388
Not too much to see
First african airline with the Sky Interior
Lighting does not reach J
Half way through
At the top, the Sud Kivu Province in D.R. Of Congo
Bujumbura Airport - Burundi
Delta of the Ruzizi river (border of D.R.C. - Burundi)
Approach and landing runway 28
Video of landing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TqWI1iomgg
A British team in the cockpit
Lacking of diversity at KGL
Immigration process easily done with the new system APCS (automated passenger clearance system)
Collection of the luggage in no time as well!