ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian airlines has welcomed Qatar Airways’ competition for a top place in the growing African aviation market.
Having already bought a 60% stake in the new Kigali Airport, the Middle East airline now has its sights set on RwandAir. According to reports, Qatar is reportedly in talks to buy as much as 49% of RwandAir, the state-owned airline of Rwanda.
The plans to purchase the airline come as no big surprise. Middle Eastern carriers including Dubai Airlines have been vying for a place in the growing African aviation market.
Ethiopian airlines – a major player in Africa’s Aviation sector – welcomes the potential completion in the continent far more international flights are operated by foreign carriers than by native airlines.
“It is a new form of competition that is emerging,” said Tewolde GebreMariam in an interview he gave to The Africa Report. “And, potentially, Qatar Airways is a big competitor”.
He said, from Kenya Airways to Egyptair to South African Airways, “we have never lacked competition in Africa”.
“It comes from all sides and is changing at a rapid pace,” he continued. “We are not afraid of it. That’s the way life is.”
Ethiopian Airlines is Africa’s largest airline by revenue and profit.