Rwanda Air flight suspension

May 16th, 2008, 08:22 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 9
Rwanda Air flight suspension

We are travelling to Rwanda tomorrow. We were scheduled to fly from Kigali to Jo'Burg next Wednesday on Rwanda Air. I was just told yesterday that the flights have been suspended and now have to fly back to Nairobi, incur an 8hour layover, then fly SAA to Jo'Burg.

It is also costing us $300 per person more.

I can't seem to get a straight answer from the tour operator or Rwanda Air.

Can anyone shed any light as to what is going on?
NYAussie is offline  
May 16th, 2008, 08:57 AM
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was there a reason to book rwanda air????????????
May 16th, 2008, 10:31 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440

I hope everything works out for you. I would guess your reason to book Rwanda Air was to get to Rwanda. That does not seem unreasonable to me if that carrier's schedules worked out well and there were not warnings at the time of booking that the airline would fold.

Who is your tour operator?
atravelynn is offline  
May 16th, 2008, 11:29 AM
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@ atravelynn

you would really consider it a must to travel on rwanda air from kigali to joburg??????????

in my opinion the best to ruin a trip is to book one of these real "african" airlines....

okay "shi. happens" and might also occure with "well positioned" airlines. but the danger that you get either stranded or worst with such an airline is pretty high.

there is no point in booking a no frills or "local" airline when a well reputed airline like SAA flies the same routes....

May 16th, 2008, 12:53 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,619
Man, this is getting tiresome! SAA doesn't fly the same routes! They don't go directly to Rwanda; you have to fly through NBO or EBB on SAA. Why do that when you could fly directly to JNB?

On April 28, Kenya Airways suspended their code-sharing arrangement with Rwandair and were rerouting their passengers on other flights. Maybe this is what happened to NYAussie. This change may have changed Rwandair's flight operations, as a result. The codesharing arrangement was apparently dropped because Rwandair was not IOSA certified, and that was compromising Kenya Airways' plans.
ShayTay is offline  
May 16th, 2008, 01:08 PM
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@ shaytay
"Man, this is getting tiresome! SAA doesn't fly the same routes! They don't go directly to Rwanda; you have to fly through NBO or EBB on SAA. Why do that when you could fly directly to JNB? "

- thanks for information
- a forum is meant to exchange information. so it shouldn't be "tiresome" at all to do exactly that! ;-)
- in order to save money could be a reason......
people might even fly rwanda air for that reason! it's not that weird.
e.g. a 20000US$ safari but booking with mango or kulala asks for trouble considering the costpressure due to high cerosine costs.
- soften a tone matches here ideally ;-)

May 16th, 2008, 01:16 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 343
Pippa, i must admit i sometimes get tired of your posts since you have posted without thinking. Wrong information for me is worse than no information at all...And yes it can happen to everyone...
Alejandra is offline  
May 16th, 2008, 05:00 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Somebody posts they have a major itinerary problem that may upset their trip. Replies can be sympathetic, helpful, or condescending--adding insult to injury. I think if you cannot be helpful, you can at least be sympathetic or you can post nothing.

So what are the "real African airlines" that are unacceptable? Air Kenya? Precision Air? Air Botswana? Is SAA Airlink not African enough for you?

Let us know what happens and how this affects your travels.
atravelynn is offline  
Jun 13th, 2008, 05:27 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 9
HI guys,

Not sure if anyone is still looking at this thread given how much time has passed. I am not very good on these things (sorry!)

I will try to be brief:

For those of you unfamilair with travelling in Africa (I have been countless times), flights are NOT like the US. Different countries have different "standards" (hence why some carriers can go toone country, but not another) and carriers do not fly daily. People should NOT be judgemental on other people's choice of ailines in Africa - there usually are NO choices. Rwanda Air was not (and still is not) on the European "banned" airline list so there was no reason in 2007to not choose them.
- When I booked my Rwanda/South Africa trip last year; Rwanda Air was the ONLY airline to fly from Kigali to Jo'Burg.
- Kenya Air flies from NBO to KGL
-That's about it for airlines flying to Rwanda.
- I used R'NXplorer to arrange the flights- trusting them to make the best choices.
- At the time there was no reason not to fly Rwanda Air. 6hour trip vs something like 18 if you went via NBO or EBB.
- As it turned out, Rwanda Air changed their KGL-NBO flight we were on and didn't inform us; so after the first route cancellation, we missed this new flight and were stuck in Rwanda for an additional day, with of course,no compensation. Wished Ihad purchased travel insurance now!
- We missed nearly 2 days of our safari in South Africa
-Rwanda Air put us up in literally "the Hotel Rwanda" (Mille Collines)
-Do NOT stay at this hotel. It's a dump. Used glasses in rooms still with drinks and cigarette butts in them; dirty bathrooms. No fans or A/C.Spent the night looking for bullet holes in the peeling wallpaper.....
-Hotel Serena is wonderful.Highly recommend
-Rwanda is the cleanest country I have ever been in. They don't allow plastic bags in the country. There is not a single piece of litter.
-We felt very safe.No problems.
-The gorillas are simply breathtaking.
-Gorillas Nest is very basic - far from luxurious.
-It is worth travelling to Rwanda to see the gorillas.
-South Africa was great.Stayed at Exeter and Ngala. 5stars.
-Rwanda Air will be out of business before end of year - they aren't even flying their own planes and are subcontracting out to other much smaller carriers.

NYAussie is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 02:30 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 15
Hi NYAussie
Sorry to hear you had some hassle in getting to Rwanda. We're hoping to plan a trip there for January 2010, but I'm a bit confused about how to get there. Could you please give me some advice on this? I understand we fly to Kigali, then minibus to Ruhengeri (we'll stay in Ruhengeri). If we've already arranged our permits, where do we meet the rangers? I'd heard it's necessary to hire a car from Ruhengeri to the park entrance? Or do we go with a guide directly from Ruhengeri?
I'd really appreciate your advice.
And it was great to read that you enjoyed the gorillas so much. We've got a long wait until January 2010!

Many thanks
(New Zealand)
WellingtonTravellers is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 06:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,846
I posted these links under another thread but it might help answer some of your questions.

Author: Patty
Date: 06/10/2008, 03:18 pm

Here's a past thread that touches on DIY gorilla treks
Look for the post by sunny_days.

Lucia78's trip report with self booked gorilla trek
Patty is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 10:45 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 788
NYAussie, thanks for coming back and letting us know how it went. I'm heading to Rwanda in October, so I was very interested to know how things worked out for you. Thanks again, and glad you had a great experience with the gorillas!
MyDogKyle is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 10:39 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 15
Patty, thanks so much for going to this trouble, you're fabulous! It's a great help
Cheers, Chrissie
WellingtonTravellers is offline  
Jun 20th, 2008, 04:20 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Glad you still had a great trip and enjoyed the gorillas.

The agent you booked with didn't tell you about the change either?
atravelynn is offline  

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