Kigali (and Rwanda) takes building ‘islands of excellence’ seriously. Infrastructure is a top priority and the Kigali airport, while small, could serve passengers anywhere in the world. In fact many US airports are far worse at serving passengers than this snazzy little airport.
The service also includes a lounge – the Pearl Lounge is Kigali Airport’s Business Class Lounge. This lounge is used by all Premium traffic departing Kigali. A number of airlines have added Kigali recently including Qatar Airways, flyDubai, Brussels, KLM and Turkish Airlines. Since there weren’t a lot of flights that morning I shared the lounge with just 2 other passengers. I was allowed access as a Skyteam Elite member. The lounge attendant was a bit confused and took a full 10 minutes to verify my eligibility. Yes time runs differently in Rwanda!
The lounge comes in dark colors and and very modern and tasteful furniture. There is a self service bar for drinks and some snacks (think basic carbs).
There is also an espresso maker and the lounge attendant will try his/ her best at being a barista for you. The WiFi is coming in at 4 Mbit and seemed really fast at the time of my visit – this may change if the lounge ever gets crowded.
It’s little things but a lounge like this makes travel a bit easier in a region where travel can be rough (though i Rwanda it isn’t usually).