Qatar Airways eyes 49% stake in RwandAir, sees Africa as revenue potential

Weeks after Qatar Airways showed interest in taking a 60% stake in Rwanda’s new Bugesera International Airport, the Gulf airline is now eyeing the East African country’s national carrier, RwandAir.

Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, said the Gulf airline found Africa to be a revenue potential, so it would be expanding its presence in Africa’s aviation business.

“We’re going to take a stake in their national carrier because we see that Africa is another region that has huge growth potential.”

Rwanda striking deal to improve its aviation: The deal will be the first in Africa when it is sealed. But it is the second investment Qatar Airways will be making in Rwanda within a space of weeks after it acquired a 60% stake in Bugesera International Airport, located in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali.

Part of the airport deal will see Qatar Airways assist in building and running the $1.3 billion facility. Also, there’s already an existing hub is at full capacity.

“It will be a very efficient hub in a very stable country in the heart of Africa,” Al Baker said during a briefing at the CAPA Qatar Aviation conference on Wednesday.

This deal will improve Rwanda’s presence in the aviation market in Africa, which is currently dominated by Ethiopian Airlines. Ethiopia is also entering into partnership with countries and establishing subsidiaries in countries like Malawi, Chad, Zambia, and Mozambique, to cement its influence in Africa’s aviation market.

Ethiopia recently announced that it was building the largest airport in Africa which would rank it above the likes of Europe’s busiest airport, London Heathrow and Dubai International.

Qater also eyeing India: Al Baker disclosed that Qatar Airways was also interested in investing in India’s biggest airline, InterGlobe Aviation Ltd. He said Qatar Airways was being delayed by the resolution of a clash between existing shareholders and also waiting for the right opportunity.

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