Kigali, Rwanda to Entebbe, Uganda is only 234 miles as the crow flies. It is served by a number of of local and international airlines . However few of them have traffic rights for the sector. Only RwandAir and flyDubai have them. Both do not show up on ITA and Kayak and I was discovering their direct service too late.
However Kenya Airways flies Kigali via Bujumbura, Burundi and on to Nairobi as a connection. This gave me a chance t see a bit of Burundi from up above at least.
Kigali is the hub of RwandAir which has big ambitions for becoming a world class airline. The incumbents Ethiopian and Kenyan Airlines in Africa have decided to make every fare from Kigali super low in response. I actually paid just under $100 for the 3 legs all together – call it a mileage run 🙂
At Kigali Airport I used the Pearl Lounge (the only Executive Lounge) which was great especially considering ‘African standards’.
Kenya Airways uses those new, snazzy Embraer aircraft on the route. They are smaller but still come in a 2-2 configuration in Economy, have ample leg space, new leather seats and even an IFE. I flew a similar plane from Zanzibar into Nairobi last year.
The inbound plane was a bit late but the short 20 minutes flight time to Burundi made sure we would get rid of our delay quickly. The short fight time also ensured that there would be no in flight service.
We dropped off a few passengers and had about 80 people walking towards us on the taxi way. Bujumbura airport had no other planes at the time and seemed pretty deserted otherwise.
We took off on-time and the flight to Nairobi was just about 80 minutes.
Once landed Kenya Airways prepares two buses – one for transit passengers and one for arriving passengers. I somehow missed that message and went all the way through immigration 🙁
However Nairobi is fairly compact and I just went through the deserted terminal for my flight to Entebbe. There were two security check points that both seemed very bored.
Just below the new Kenya Airways Pride Lounge at Nairobi Airport would be my gate for the flight to Entebbe, Uganda. I thought the lounge was very stylish and a good place to spend a few hours and catch up on email and drink coffee.
The final leg of this journey would once again be run by an Embraer plane – another 90 minutes of flying. Entebbe airport had some sort of VIP shutdown and we circled the city for 20 minutes before being allowed to land.
For all legs Kenya Airways flight attendants would come through with a snack and drinks cart. The food looked just ok – edible but something you’d rather avoid. alcoholic drinks were available though.
In conclusion Kenya Airways does a good job on these short haul legs. New equipment, clean planes, friendly flight attendants and attention to punctuality make Kenya Airways a great choice within Eastern Africa.