Usually, I'm taking right to the escalator down to the immigration posts but for the first time in my life – lol – I turned left to the transfer desk where an employee checked the passport and the onward ticket ! Surprised to see my Rwandan travel document, she asked me a few questions to be sure my trip to NBO happened that day !
Airside, one can go to the Bourbon Coffee eatery at the left hand side (apron on your back) serving decent snacks and tasty hot meals, for a cheap bill (in USD/RWF currencies) if you are coming from western countries and moderate for any other SSA countries. The problem is that apart from the South Korea brand charging station and the not 4G unlimited free wifi no other activity are available but the 2 old school style duty free shops (=no magazine/electronics/movies to buy) for an airport ranked 2nd best in Africa (or 7th according to ST btw) which aims to welcome/transfer travellers from all around the world soon !
But what could sadden you the most is certainly the spotter unfriendliness of KGL, and you know it probably!!
The luckiest ones with a good angle, at best, can glimpse passengers disembarking at the Bourbon Coffe shop. Otherwise, like many other travellers, you just have to settle for the engines sound. Even in Bujumbura, Lilongwe or Lusaka, the apron view from terminal is far greater ! A 2h break from flying, I tried to buy airtime card, apparently only available at the lounge reception desk. Local MTN & Airtel airtime cards cost a fortune airside, jeez some RWF 7000 or 3000 for the same RWF 5000 or 2000 card landside.
Good news that stay at the windowless third party Pearl Lounge got reduced for 2:20 as the DXB-KGL landed late. Unfortunately it prefers to advertise for the local helicopter company « Akagera Aviation », instead of letting the natural light brightening the vast room up despite offering an encouraging product with a nicely featured kid zone, some South Korea brand Tablets free to use, a good selection of regional newspapers, a free soft/beer (from Bralirwa) bar + some basic salads and cold food items that one eventually has to ask a waiter to be reheated.
If everything goes by the book, by June (certainly due to the new flight to LGW the 26th of May) RwandAir will provide its own lounge to its premium guests and won't use anymore the Pearl Lounge – With a trip already planned to East Africa I'm looking forward to see how high they will rise the bar…
FIDS at the Pearl Lounge
The paying bar (although with one free glass of BIB white/red wine) at the Pearl Lounge
Limited cold food buffet
During my stay there was at best a dozen of passengers ! Like some airports in Scandinavia, you must plan ahead to leave early to get to the (second) security control, without any priority lane for premium guests !
Again no priority call for boarding at Kigali, which was not a big deal though, as we were bussed to the aircraft even if 300 meters separated us from gate.
9XR – WG, for the 2nd flight with her (delivered brand new to RwandAir in Oct. 2011)
I've flown this 738 at least once, on a KGL-DXB back in 2014, which means a comfortable recliner seat for this short leg to NBO! No PTV but the overhead screens showed the route map – can't complain !
J cabin welcomed 10 pax/16 and once everyone was onboard, the male purser handed over a hot towel and a welcome drink (bubbly, juice and water). Hard to recall this even on a 2h European flight whatsoever !
A generous pitch and good recline for 1:30 flight time, funny that the carpet differs from their 737 ships (even brand new).
Why on earth this yappy mutt is strolling here ???
(Black) African people, let alone Rwandan families, rarely own pets…
At the cruising altitude, the crew started the speedy but attentive service, with a drink (full bar) along with nuts. But why we did not get these nuts before the dinner on the KGL-DXB sector instead of the sweet honeycomb crunch??? ( report to follow asap). Then the Rwandan senior crew member offered a choice of 2 hot meals – chicken or beef. I opted for the latter which tasted a way too salty for my liking yuuck – and God knows I love salty meals :-( ;however the bread roll was warm. Since end of August 2014, there is a new catering unit at this small airport. Airline Services & Logistics PLC, a Nigerian company, was granted a 15 year exclusive concession in Rwanda, which allows RwandAir to serve hot and decent meals on the medium-long haul routes (i.e.: ACC, COO, LUN, HRE, LOS, ABJ, DXB and JNB).
Awaiting for a more substantial stuff…
Along with my farovite refreshment :-)
Back from the loo, crew confirmed that S.A. sparkling wine is no more, welcome to a quality product ! Good job RwandAir :-)
The seat mate chose the chicken breast, which looked visually much more appetizing than this one.
This beef stew with fried sweet potatoes was honestly inedible and overly « Maggi® – ed ». No way to finish it !!!
The cake was nice and due to the duration of the flight, it was obviously impossible to get an Amarula or a hot drink – nevermind !
Pudding pleased my palate although it clearly was out of the fridge for a while.
Approaching JKIA from the south.
9XR – WG at Nairobi JKIA
We landed on time and the aircraft was parked at the regional/domestic terminal at the eastern side of the airport, where a noisy immigration officer asked me too many questions before, probably being fustrated by my honest and « boring » answers, stamped my passport the pole pole way… lol he was in a such happy mood !
No bonus but a first in KQ's ST livery for the flight to KIS, the B737 will be very difficult to get
E190 Kenya Airways 5Y – FFB ready for boarding
Short final at Kisumu Airport – Kenya, with 5Y – FFB
A quiet platform
E190 Kenya Airways 5Y – FFB at Kisumu Airport (KIS), Kenya
Kigali - KGL
Nairobi - NBO
WB: Excellent to get a real J in 2-2 cabin, crew smiled performed the duty professionnally, only the route map the route duration is too short for anything else, hot meal lacked of caring !
Pearl Lounge: I'm too tired of this place, just above the standards, and cannot wait for the new RwandAir lounge to open end of May 2017.
Kigali: Can we dream to get a 2nd security check before the gate lounge and WB's (+ eventually Pearl Lounge) future lounge also?? It would be perfect :)
Nairobi: The regional terminal is a rather simple affair, less crowded and friendlier talks with staff.
Thanks for reading
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