From next Friday (14 July) RwandAir will be operating direct flights between the Rwandan capital, Kigali, and Brussels. After the stop in Brussels, the plane will continue on to London Gatwick, from where it will fly back to Kigali direct. However passengers will not embark at Brussels Airport.
APG Air Agencies, RwandAir’s general sales agent for Belgium and Luxemburg issued a statement that passengers will not embark the RwandAir flight to Kigali. As the flight makes a stop in London Gatwick -where strict rules apply to customs and security- passengers need to exit the aircraft in London with all their belongings for an additional security check carried out by the British authorities. Apparently a procedure that is too time-consuming. *
The scheduled flights are currently maintained hence without passengers from Brussels to Kigali, RwandAir tries to reassure its customers and announced that it is negotiating with the authorities in the United Kingdom to find a solution.
A very interesting forum topic about this news item: http://www.luchtzak.be/forums/viewtopic.php?p=353459#p353459
* luchtzak.be is not convinced that the time-consuming procedure is the only reason passengers will not embark:
On the official British government website GOV.UK we checked if you require a UK visa if you are a Rwandan citizen, transiting through the United Kingdom and not passing through UK border control. The result was:
You’ll need a visa to pass through the UK in transit (unless you’re exempt)
You should apply for a Direct Airside Transit visa if you arrive in the UK on a flight and leave again without passing through immigration control.
A Direct Airside Transit visa (DATV) will cost £34 (€38,40) per passenger. If you have 100 Rwandan citizens on board, the flight will have an additional cost of £3.400 (€3.840).