Joining the airline’s aggressively expanding route map, Kigali is the third destination launched by the carrier so far this year and latest to the African continent. In February, the airline began services to both Azerbaijan and Georgia.
Operating via Entebbe, Kigali becomes Qatar Airways’ 17th route in Africa, joining its ever-growing global network that currently spans 112 destinations. Further expansion is planned across East Africa during 2012 with new services to Mombasa, Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “We are pleased to be reinforcing our presence in Africa with the addition of scheduled flights to Rwanda, allowing us to further expand our business on the African continent.”
Rwanda is fast emerging as a growing economic centre, forming strong trade links with Europe and Asia Pacific, thanks largely to its rich mineral resources.
For passengers travelling on Qatar Airways, they will have convenient access from the airline’s expansive route network to Rwanda, via the airline’s strategically positioned Doha hub.
Key feeder markets include India, Australia, China, the United States and United Kingdom.
Added Al Baker: "There is clearly demand and huge potential to and from Rwanda, one of many underserved markets across Africa. As a network global carrier we are able to fulfill the needs of the travelling public from such markets and for those wanting to travel there from destinations we serve around the world.”
The exposure of Rwanda to the world through the airline’s global network will enable the country to attract more tourists, with several attractions focusing on wildlife and natural scenic beauty.
Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 106 aircraft to key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.
During 2012, Qatar Airways launches 14 new routes from Doha, namely Baku, Tbilisi, Kigali, Perth, Zagreb, Gassim, Helsinki, Belgrade, Erbil, Baghdad, Yangon, Mombasa, Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro.
Qatar Airways has orders worth over US$ 50 billion for more than 250 aircraft, including Boeing 787s, 777s, Airbus A350s, A380s, A320 Family of aircraft and Bombardier corporate jets. The rapid expansion of Qatar Airways prompted the State of Qatar to embark on one of its biggest projects – the construction of a brand new international airport in Doha, which is scheduled to open in 2012.
Skytrax is the only global independent passenger survey monitoring airline standards and is considered the ultimate benchmark for excellence in the airline industry. In addition to winning Skytrax’s prestigious Airline of the Year 2011, Qatar Airways was named Best Airline in the Middle East for the sixth year in a row, and its Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport was named Best First Class Airline Lounge.