National carrier Rwandair is to launch flights between Gatwick airport and the Rwandan capital Kigali later this month.

The three times-weekly service will start on May 26, and will be operated by a new A330-200 aircraft configured for economy, premium economy and business class, the last of which features a fully-flat seat.

The first non-stop flights between the UK and Rwanda will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, with a flight time of eight hours 40 minutes, and fares starting from £372 return.

Flight WB700 will depart Kigali at 1220, landing into London at 2000, with the return leg WB701 leaving Gatwick at 2150, and arriving into the Rwandan capital at 0730 the following day.

Commenting on the news Guy Stephenson, Gatwick airport’s CCO said:

“Rwanda is the latest long haul destination Gatwick serves and we know proudly boast more than 50 long-haul routes in total – a claim few other international airports can make.

“Only last week Gatwick became the world’s top low cost airport, a ranking helped by our growing low-cost long-haul services to North America and the Far East.”

There are currently no non-stop services between the UK and Rwanda – KLM offers flights between Amsterdam and Kigali, while both Rwandair and Brussels Airlines operate flights from Brussels to the Rwandan capital.,