Qatar Airways eyeing 49% stake in RwandAir
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar al-Baker announced that the state-owned flag carrier of Qatar is negotiating to acquire a 49% stake in Rwanda’s state airline, RwandAir.
A stake in major African carrier would extend Qatar Airways’ reach in one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets.
Acquiring a stake in RwandAir can also potentially help Qatar Airways to bypass restrictions imposed on it by some Arab neighbor states.
Qatar Airways also agreed in December to take a 60 percent stake in a new airport in Rwanda.
Since United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia banned Qatar Airways from its airspace in 2017 amid a regional diplomatic rift, the Qatari airline has been forced to fly longer routes to avoid the blocked airspace of some of its neighbors.
The ban does not apply to non-Qatari airlines flying to Qatar. RwandAir could potentially carry passengers from Africa over the blocked airspace to the state-owned airline’s hub in Doha without any airspace restrictions.
There was no immediate comment by RwandAir.