Qatar Airways is set to acquire stakes in two African airlines, marking a significant expansion into the continent.

The airline will secure a 49% share in Rwanda’s national carrier, RwandAir, after years of negotiations. Additionally, Qatar Airways is finalizing an equity investment in a yet-to-be-named Southern African airline, as confirmed by CEO Badr Mohammed Al Meer during the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha.

In a related development, Qatar Airways committed $1.3 billion in December 2019 to construct the Bugesera International Airport near Kigali, Rwanda, with completion expected by 2026. The airport aims to handle over 14 million passengers by 2032, bolstering Rwanda’s aviation infrastructure.

Qatar Airways, wholly owned by the Qatari government, currently operates flights to 31 destinations across Africa. The acquisition of RwandAir is seen as a strategic move to enhance regional connectivity and compete with major carriers like Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways.

RwandAir CEO Yvonne Makolo praised the joint venture, emphasizing its role in transforming RwandAir into a regional powerhouse and improving intra-African connectivity. “This partnership positions us as a significant hub in the heart of Africa,” said Makolo.

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