Qatar Airways Negotiates for 49% Stake in RwandAir

Rwanda plans to resume commercial flights from August

RwandAir is the national carrier of the Republic of Rwanda

Qatar Airways is in talks to acquire a 49% stake in RwandAir according to its chief executive Akbar Al Baker at the CAPA Qatar Aviation conference on Wednesday.

Qatar Airways already has made a substantial investment in airport infrastructure through Bugesera International Airport.

“It is a 49% stake and the Bugesera International Airport is being built by our Sovereign Fund to have a capacity of 10 million passengers, a single runway airport,” he said.

“It will be a very efficient hub in a very stable country in the heart of Africa,” Al Baker said.

According to the Business Daily, Qatar Airways will take a 60 percent stake in the  $1.3 billion Kigali airport and it is set to rival Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) as the main regional aviation hub.

“The attraction of Kigali is its location, the stability of its country and the very favorable business environment that exists in that country,” he added.

He also indicated that “In Africa, there is a big demand for air travel which today Africa is very poorly connected.”

He said they will take time in the negotiations. “We are very tough negotiators. we will take our time to negotiate.”

Rwanda is ranked 38 in the World Bank’s ease of doing business in Sub-Saharan Africa report second in Africa.

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Speaking at an aviation event in Doha, Akbar Al Baker said in 2019, they added 28 new destinations to its routes and “We shall be increasing our destinations aggressively in 2020,” he said with 11 new destinations earmarked into the Asian market, West Africa, Angola, and France in Europe among others.

In October 2019, the East African reported that Rwanda was in the process of selling shares in RwandAir to Qatar Airways with Aviation experts saying the move could enable it to solidify its presence in the African market.