RwandAir has partnered with Qatar Airways Cargo to launch a new African cargo hub in Kigali, which will be a vital tool for the development of Kigali into a regional cargo powerhouse and will help boost exports and imports across Africa and key overseas markets. In the last five years, cargo carried by RwandAir increased by nearly 26%, making the initiative a crucial move.
Qatar Aviation Services (QAS) provided consultancy support to RwandAir Cargo to help improve its cargo handling performance.
Yvonne Makolo, CEO of RwandAir said the brand-new Kigali Cargo Hub will open up new cargo opportunities across Africa and key markets across the world. She added that both Qatar and Rwanda have long-enjoyed bilateral trade agreements, with both Qatar Airways and Qatar Investment Authority investing in the construction of the new Kigali Airport and RwandAir.
The new cargo hub is supported by the entry into service of its first dedicated freighter aircraft – a Boeing 737-800 – and enabled the launch of new freighter services to the airline’s key destinations across Africa and the Middle East. This includes Johannesburg, Lagos, Lusaka, Brazzaville, Harare, Maputo, Entebbe, Nairobi, and Sharjah in the UAE.
The recent arrival of RwandAir’s third wide-body aircraft – an Airbus A330-200 – and the launch of direct flights to Paris in June, will ensure Rwanda has greater cargo connectivity not just regionally, but internationally, across Europe, the Middle East, China, and beyond. Under the partnership with Qatar Airways, a Qatar Airways Boeing 777X will fly twice a week from Doha to Kigali with a scheduled onward service to Entebbe, Nairobi, and Liège then back to Doha via either Oslo/Lyon.
Since 13 March, Qatar Airways Cargo has created intra-Africa services between Kigali and Lagos (three times per week), Kigali and Johannesburg (three times a week), and a weekly service from Istanbul via Doha to Kigali, all operated by a single wet-leased A310-200 freighter.
This is Qatar Airways Cargo’s first cargo hub outside Qatar, in collaboration with RwandAir and they hope to add more African destinations to the joint airline network at a later stage.
READ; RwandAir Begins Non-Stop Direct Flights to London