Qatar Airways eyes Kigali


The news that first broke out during the Dubai Air Show, regarding Qatar Airways eyeing three more East African destinations, has been confirmed.

In response to a question during his press conference, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker confirmed that the flights to Mombasa and the ‘Spice Island’ of Zanzibar will be launched in early 2012.

The most intriguing news though is the plan to fly to Kigali that should route via Entebbe, and with traffic rights between the two cities. It is understood that Qatar Air would seek to launch such flights ahead of Turkish Airlines’ April launch of the Istanbul- Kigali.

While in Kigali over the coming days an effort will be made to ascertain RwandAir’s stand on such plans but it is understood that the Ugandan Civil Aviation authority is not fundamentally opposed to granting Qatar Airways such traffic rights.

Whichever way this pans out, it is a positive sign to see a 5-star airline like Qatar Airways aiming to penetrate the East African market comprehensively, offering options for both inbound and outbound travelers from as far as Zanzibar, Mombasa and Kigali, besides their current destinations Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and Entebbe.