The partnership will leverage Qatar Airways’ global network, increase access to African destinations, and integrate respective loyalty programmes’ benefits.
Qatar Airways has officially inked an interline agreement with RwandAir, deepening their partnership. The move will allow travellers on both carriers to access over 160 destinations across the networks from their hubs. The agreement comes just weeks after the pair linked their miles schemes to allow passengers to earn on all flights.
In a statement this week, Qatar Airways announced the new interline agreement with RwandAir. The move will allow passengers to book flights across both airlines’ networks as though they were flying the same airline, flying via their hubs in Doha and Kigali.
In total, the agreement extends to an astounding 160 cities globally, giving passengers lots of choices now. This is in addition to Qatar and RwandAir’s decision to offer frequent flyer reciprocity, allowing passengers to earn and use their miles on any airline.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker has always been optimistic about the RwandAir purchase and strategy. He reiterated the same view in a statement this week, saying,
“This partnership cements our commitment to giving travellers the widest choice of destinations while providing a seamless, high-quality travel experience, which is the goal of both Qatar Airways and RwandAir. Africa is a hugely important market for us and this latest partnership will help support the recovery of international air travel and offer unrivalled connectivity to and from several new African destinations.”
Qatar Airways Acquisition
In February 2020, Qatar Airways acquired a 49% stake in RwandAir, giving it a huge advantage in the African market. This market was quickly growing more prominent for the bustling international airline, with new routes popping up even during the pandemic.
With the new interline agreement, Qatar Airways will be able to use Kigali as a partner hub for destinations across the continent. Meanwhile, RwandAir will get to offer its passengers connections across the globe, including lucrative European routes, all with a stop in Doha.
Qatar Airways will continue flying a five-times weekly service to Kigali (via Entebbe) in the future, opting for the Boeing 787-8 on this route. However, when demand increases, we could see nonstop flights and higher frequencies. A RwandAir service to Doha cannot be ruled out either, given the new potential for traffic.
Hundreds of Destinations
Qatar Airways is currently in the middle of a busy summer season, with hundreds of destinations back on the map. The carrier is currently seeing over 300 daily aircraft movements and carrying up to 90,000 passengers every day. This comes as the industry makes a strong recovery on the back of quick vaccine rollouts in several countries.
Qatar Airways was recently named Airline of the Year 2021 by Airline Ratings, also clinching Best Middle East Airline, Best Catering, and Best Business Class awards and became the first global airline in the world to achieve the prestigious 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by international air transport rating organization, Skytrax. For full details of all the safety measures that have been implemented on board and in HIA, please visit qatarairways.com/safety.
For now, expect to see Qatar and RwandAir work more closely in the coming months and years. If predictions hold, Qatar Airways has a lot of gain from the new partnership, and RwandAir will be on track to become a major African player soon.