Rwandair to launch first Chinese destination

22 Jun 2019 by Michael Allen
Rwandair A330

Rwanda’s flag carrier Rwandair is launching a new three times weekly service to the southern Chinese metropolis Guangzhou from its base in Kigali.

Tagged to the existing Mumbai route, the flight will be operated by the airline’s Airbus A330-330 aircraft, offering customers a choice of seats in three cabins, including lie-flat beds in business class. When the aircraft arrives in Mumbai, passengers travelling onwards to Guangzhou will remain seated in the aircraft while those passengers leaving for Mumbai disembark and those flying Mumbai-Guangzhou board, a Rwandair spokesperson confirmed.

The seating configuration for the A330-300 which will operate the route is 30 seats in business class, 21 seats in premium economy class and 223 seats in economy class. The business class product (see photos below) features full-flat beds, a personal 15.4 inch IFE screen, and two USB outlets (plus a dedicated universal inseat power outlet).

Wifi is available in all cabins. The first 15 minutes after take-off are free. Thereafter, the charge is US$10 for one hour, US$20 for two hours and US$30 for the duration of the whole flight.

Rwandair A330-300 Business Class

Business Traveller has previously reviewed the business class service on Rwandair’s A330-300 on the London-Kigali route.

Below is the flight schedule for the flight (provided by the Rwandair spokesperson):

Flight no. From To Departs Arrives Day
WB500 Kigali (KGL) Mumbai (BOM) 0:40 11:40 Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
WB500 Mumbai (BOM) Guangzhou (CAN) 12:40 21:30 Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
WB501 Guangzhou (CAN) Mumbai (BOM) 23:20 3:00 Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
WB501 Mumbai (BOM) Kigali (KGL) 4:10 7:50 Wednesday, Friday, Sunday

Asked by Business Traveller Asia-Pacific whether the airline plans to open any more China routes, the Rwandair spokesperson said:

“As part of our ambitious expansion programme RwandAir is always looking at the commercial viability of new routes and we will make an announcement when we are ready to do so.”

Rwandair A330-300 Business Class

Later this month, Rwandair will also start flying to Tel Aviv. Starting June 25, the airline will fly to Israel’s second most populous city three times per week using its Boeing 737-800 aircraft, offering 16 seats in business class and 138 seats in economy class.

The schedule for this route is as follows:

Flight no. From To Departs Arrives Day
WB502 Kigali (KGL) Tel Aviv (TLV) 0:30 7:30 Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
WB503 Tel Aviv (TLV) Kigali (KGL) 0:40 5:40 Wednesday, Friday
WB503 Tel Aviv (TLV) Kigali (KGL) 23:50 5:00 Saturday

Baggage allowance on Rwandair is up to two bags of 23 kg each in economy class, two bags of 32 kg each in premium economy class and three bags of 23 kg each in business class.

Yvonne Manzi Makolo, CEO of RwandAir, said in a press release: “The launch of these two major new services to our growing route network demonstrates our continuing commitment to expanding Rwandair to new markets overseas. New flights to Guangzhou and Tel Aviv will strengthen and deepen the growing ties between key destinations and Rwanda’s growing economy.

“We believe the new premium service we offer, on one of Africa’s most modern aircraft fleets, will facilitate an increase in the volume of trade between Africa and Guangzhou, China’s third largest city. The new route will also offer more choice for customers, help pave the way for new business opportunities and increase our cargo traffic.”

Tickets for Guangzhou and Tel Aviv flights are now available for sale through, sales offices and travel agencies.

RwandAir operates 12 aircraft with an average age of just under six years. It offers services to 29 destinations across 24 countries throughout Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, flying nearly a million passengers a year. The airline is also planning to add two new Airbus A330neo aircraft to its fleet later this summer.

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