Qatar Airways has said it will buy 49 percent of the national airline of Rwanda, giving it a major foothold in African aviation. This comes shortly after the Gulf state bought a stake in Rwanda’s main airport.

rwandairn rwanda airline
Photo: Suraj Viswanathan, Twitter.

The purchase into RwandAir was reported by Bloomberg and other news sources today. The deal comes after Qatar Airways, based out of Doha and in competition with Emirates and Etihad, said in December that it would acquire a 60 percent stake in Rwanda’s new $1.3 billion Bugesera International Airport, outside Kigali.

RwandAir flies to 26 cities in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe, according to its website.

According to the Financial Times, Qatar Airways has acquired holdings in Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific and Italy’s Meridiana, and owns stakes in IAG, which owns British Airways, as well as Chile-based Latam Airlines. More recently, it bought a stake in China Southern Airlines.