Air Djibouti is ramping up to launch commercial operations with the charter of its first aircraft, a B737-400 that will be used to inaugurate scheduled passenger flights and Hajj charter operations this week.

The airline will initially be operating a passenger service between Djibouti and London Gatwick, with additional aircraft joining the fleet in September and October.

The first passenger flight landed last week piloted by Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson. It is the first commercial flight by the airline since 2002 when it shut down operations, partially relaunching last year with a cargo service.

Dickinson’s company, Cardiff Aviation, will manage the airline, which has ambitions to serve regional destinations including Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Dubai and Jeddah. This comes as the East African destination is currently building two new airports and a train line connecting Djibouti with Addis Ababa.