DOHA, QATAR – The Group CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker has confirmed that the gulf airline is negotiating the acquisition of at least 49 percent stake in RwandAir, Rwanda’s national carrier.
Speaking on Wednesday, February 5, Al Baker told the media on the margins of the Qatar Aviation Aeropolitical and Regulatory Summit that; “It is a 49 per cent stake that we are negotiating for in RwandAir.”
Qatar Airways already has made a substantial investment in airport infrastructure through Bugesera International Airport that is being built in Bugesera District.
In December last year, in the presence of President Paul Kagame and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar and Rwanda signed three agreements that saw the two parties set up a joint venture to build, own, and operate the airport.
The first phase of the airport is expected to be completed in 2022.
“The airport is being built by our Sovereign Fund to take the capacity of 10 million passengers – single run-way airport,” the chief executive said.
Al Baker said such an investment is based on the confidence the airline has in the country.
He mentioned Rwanda’s location, political stability as well as the attractive business environment as some of the key aspects that are attracting the gulf carrier to make more investment into Rwanda.
Al Baker also highlighted that the investment in RwandAir and the airport would help them tap into the growing demand for air travel in Africa, which the region is currently unable to handle because of poor connectivity.
“We always look at opportunities in our field to do investments,” he noted.
The gulf carrier boss said they have already signed the memorandum of understanding with RwandAir with a few aspects of the negotiation remaining to complete the deal.