History of the Rwandan Aviation

In ths category, you will find archives about the Rwandan Aviation. 


 First of all a big thanks to PgKivu who granted to us the authorisation to upload these rare pictures, of the Kamembe Airport.


 Air Rwanda B707 at Kigali (Rwanda)




Kigali Airport in 1970s :



Here is a rare picture of the Kigali Airport formely Grégoire Kayinbada.  The buidling under the control tower is a former passenger terminal, now use as a VIP Terminal, since the opening of a new terminal in 1980s. On the left, this building was destroyed. Paraboles were built here. On the right it’s probably the former cargo terminal, and you can see a VIP platform.


During this period airlines served Rwanda, was Air Zaire, East African Airways (became Air Tanzania, Kenya Airways and Uganda Airlines), Air France, Sabena (became Brussels Airlines), Transafricair (Rwanda), Société de Transport Aérien du Rwanda (became Air Rwanda), Société de Transport Public Aérien and Société de Transport Aérien du Burundi (became Air Burundi)


Mid 1970s


RwandAir B737-500 :


This year RwandAir celebrates its 10th anniversary.


 This picture was taken in mid April 2003, prior its delivery to RwandAir. The first flight of RwandAir was between Kigali and Johannesburg. At this time the airline operated one flight a week each Sunday, while South African Airways operated also one flight a week each Wednesday.


The B737-500 was leased from Danish Maersk Air, which is later became Sterling, until 2008 when the airline ceased flights. The B737 was built in 1997 and delivered the same year to Maersk Air. RwandAir leased this aircraft from 8 April 2003 to 01 June 2004.  As of 27 April 2013, this aircraft is now flying in Russia for SAT Airlines based at Sakhalin


Panapress Article on 28 April 2003 : 


(From Panafrican News Agency (PANA) Daily Newswire)

Kigali, Rwanda (PANA) – New Rwandan air transport company Rwandair Express made its maiden international flight to Johannesburg, South Africa Sunday afternoon, official sources confirmed Monday.

Rwandair Express, which was launched on 11 April, has only one plane, a 102-seater Boeing 737-500 to operate weekly flights to Nairobi (Kenya), Entebbe (Uganda), Bujumbura (Burundi), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) and soon Dubai (United Arab Emirates), according to the airline’s director Ben Karenzi.

The State is the main shareholder at Rwandair Express (77 percent), with the remainder shared out between Rwandan and foreign businessmen.

The airline replaces Alliance Express that filed for bankruptcy last March.



Note Alliance Express ceased flights in December 2002, RwandAir was created some days after.




Nairobi Wilson (Kenya) :


A rare picture!!!!!. This Piper PA 31 310 Navajo belongs to Société de Transport Aerien du Rwanda (STAR). It was the first Rwandan airline. STAR was created in 1962, it ceased flights in 1979. It’s seems that in 1975, the airline became Air Rwanda (1975-1994). But there are different sources.

26 April 1973.

Kamembe (Rwanda) :


Kamembe Airport, during a busy day !!!! An impressive line up of De Havilland Dove DH 104, Dakotas and DC-3s operated by various Belgium airlines. Today, the Airport is not very busy. RwandAir operates two flights a day.

Link to the picture : HERE


Kamembe (Rwanda) :


The first terminal and control tower of the Kamembe Airport. This terminal  "upgraded" in 2002, but hardly damaged in 2008, by an earthquake. It  destroyed in 2010. A new terminal opened in 2012 (HERE).

Link to the picture : HERE