The Rwandan government on Monday signed a joint venture agreement with Qatar Airways for the construction of a new international airport at a cost of $1.3 billion.
In a statement to New Ziana on Tuesday, the Rwandan government said the investment partnership featured three agreements to build, own, and operate the state-of-the-art facility.
“Qatar Airways has agreed to take a 60 percent stake in the project, which as a whole is valued at around $1.3 billion,” it said.
The new airport is being redesigned to accommodate 7 million passengers per year, with a second phase for 14 million passengers a year expected to start by 2032.
It is the same airport whose construction started about two years ago when Rwanda was partnering with Portuguese firm Mota Engil which had a majority shareholding of 75 per cent in the project.
To effect the new deal, Rwanda early this year had to purchase the 75 per cent shareholding of Mota Engil to hold 100 per cent before ceding 60 per cent to Qatar Airways.
“The agreements signed today mark a key milestone in the development of Rwanda’s vibrant aviation sector, in the context of the excellent bilateral relationship between Qatar and Rwanda.”
Previous plans for the airport were to have the capacity to process 1.7 million passengers in the first phase and the new capacity is expected to see it become a regional hub.
The increased capacity and new design have driven up the cost of the facility to about $1.3 billion for the two phases, up from the initial estimated $825 million.
The new airport is also expected to support expansion plans of the national carrier RwandAir in the coming years.
At the moment RwandAir serves 28 destinations and is set to open new routes to 4 more, namely the United States, Angola, Mozambique and Ethiopia. – New Ziana