Home Entertainment Qatar to finalise deal for 49% stake in RwandAir in “weeks” –...

Qatar to finalise deal for 49% stake in RwandAir in “weeks” – RwandAir CEO

Qatar to finalise deal for 49% stake in RwandAir in “weeks”RwandAir CEO | By Dominick Andoh

Qatar Airways and RwandAir are set to finalise a deal that will see the Doha-based airline take up a 49 percent stake in the Kigali-based airline.

Ms. Yvonne Makolo, RwandAir’s CEO and the outgoing Chair of the IATA Board of Governors, speaking to AviationGhana on the sidelines of the just-ended 80th IATA AGM and Word Air Transport Summit held in Dubai and hosted by Emirates Airlines, said: “We just are about finalising [the agreement] in the next few weeks or months. Everybody is working towards that. Its been a long time coming, we have had a lot of delays along the way, but we are finalising it shortly.”

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While Rwanda will maintain majority shareholding of 51 percent shares, Qatar plans to use the landlocked East African country as a major hub to further deepen its foot prints on the African continent. Qatar is also investing heavily in on-ground aviation infrastructure in Rwanda to match its ambition and that of its partner airline RwandAir.

In deal signed in 2019, the Government of Rwanda and Qatar Airways signed an investment partnership for Rwanda’s new International Airport. The partnership features three agreements to build, own, and operate the state-of-the-art facility.

Qatar Airways will own a 60% stake in the $1.3billion new Kigali International Airport. The new airport is being redesigned to accommodate seven million passengers per annum, with a second phase for 14 million passengers a year expected to start by 2032.       

The deepening ties between the two parties was unsurprising, given the existing code share agreement between RwandAir and Qatar Airways, and Qatar’s to dominate a market with huge potential but currently contributes just about 2 percent of global aviation- Africa.

The International Air Transport Association project’s that Africa traffic will reach 345 million in 2043, more than doubling from 2023
Average annual growth rate is expected to be 3.7 percent, just 1 percent below the global average of 3.8 percent.

With one fifth of its 1.4 billion population under 20 years and poor intra-Africa air connectivity, Africa remain the major frontier for growth in the years ahead. RwandAir and Qatar Airways are certainly making a bold claim for a big share of the pie, once the agreement is finalised. The deal has already received the blessings of both the Qatari and Rwandan governments. Qatar to finalise deal for 49% stake in RwandAir in “weeks” – RwandAir CEO

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