QATAR AIRWAYS’ AL BAKER CALLS FOR GREATER LIBERALISATION OF AIR TRANSPORT IN AFRICA
(Posted 27th February 2019)
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Mr. Akbar Al Baker, highlighted the need for a global repositioning of Africa’s aviation industry as well as the changing political approach to aviation in the region at the Aviation Africa Summit & Exhibition, taking place from 27-28 February in Kigali, Rwanda.
Speaking to an audience that included the President of the Republic of Rwanda Paul Kagame, as well as senior government ministers, aviation industry executives and guests of honour, Mr. Al Baker addressed the need for liberalisation of aviation regulations in Africa to bring improved connectivity to travellers, as well as significant benefits in trade, tourism and employment. Mr. Al Baker noted that although Africa makes up 16 per cent of the world’s population, it only captures approximately 3.1 per cent of the world’s air travellers.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Now is the time to reconsider how Africa’s aviation market is positioned in order to maximise its full potential. Governments should leave behind protectionist approaches to regulating aviation and embrace liberalisation, because when such policies are adopted, countries benefit from improved connectivity and a positive impact on trade, tourism and employment. Qatar Airways’ vision is about freedom, collaboration and long-term sustainable investments in African infrastructure, human capital, and capacity-building. We strongly believe in Africa’s aviation potential, and we are ready to offer a solid and long-term partnership.”
The two-day Aviation Africa Summit & Exhibition brings together senior airline executives, Civil Aviation Authority members and key aviation leaders to discuss the challenges facing the aviation industry in Africa and the future development plans for the market.
Qatar Airways operates a Boeing B787 Dreamliner to Kigali, which features 22 Business Class seats and 232 seats in Economy Class. The airline operates a daily flight between Doha and Kigali via Entebbe, with the return flight from Kigali to Doha operating non-stop.
In December 2018, Qatar Airways became the only Gulf airline to provide direct flights to Mombasa, Kenya, the airline’s second gateway into the country. The launch of this new service was part of the airline’s continued expansion plans in Africa, and a demonstration of its ongoing commitment to the region. Qatar Airways now serves 21 destinations in 15 African countries and in addition, Qatar Airways Cargo provides freighter services to seven countries.
Qatar Airways is one of the world’s fastest-growing airlines, with a modern fleet of more than 230 aircraft flying to business and leisure destinations across six continents. As part of its continued expansion plans, Qatar Airways plans a host of exciting new destinations throughout 2019, including Malta, as well as many more.
Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Business Class’ by the 2018 World Airline Awards, managed by international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Business Class Seat’, ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’ and ‘World’s Best First Class Airline Lounge’.