Qatar Airways in talks to buy 49% Stake in RwandAir
Qatar Airways on Wednesday announced that it is in talks to buy a 49% controlling stake in emerging East Africa’s airliner, RwandAir. The Group also announced it’s interest in doubling its holding in LATAM Airlines Group to 20%. Qatar Airways agreed in December 2019 to take a 60% stake in a new airport in Rwanda, dubbed to be Africa’s largest Airport.
The move, if goes through would widen its reach in one of the world’s fastest growing aviation regions, and potentially help it bypass restrictions imposed on it by some Arab states which has forced the airline to fly longer routes to avoid the blocked airspace of some of its neighbors. This would mean increased competition to Ethiopian Airlines & Kenya Airways which enjoy flight hours to Doha from Nairobi, Addis Ababa & the entire continent at large.
The ban does not apply to non-Qatari airlines flying to Qatar thus RwandAir could potentially carry passengers from Africa over the blocked airspace to the state-owned airline’s Doha hub without any airspace restrictions.
Qatar Airways has also expressed interest in taking a stake in India’s IndiGo and Morocco’s Royal Air Maroc. A transaction with either airline has yet to take place.