Visionary move by Rwanda and Qatar.
For a long time location has been Kenyas biggest competitive edge since Kenya was considered almost the centre of Africa. 4 hours flight to any corner of Africa so KQ was well placed to exploit it.
Ethiopia is also in good location but closed economy , military rule and communism policies held them back. While Ethiopia Airlines is older at 73 years even older than BA 43 or Lufthansa 63 they never grew over the years. Until 15 years ago ET fleet was fewer than KQ and passengers numbers were less than half.
Today they handle double our numbers and they are now set to topple Joburg from the top spot thanks to all the mess SAA is going through.
Now coming back to Rwanda.
Kigali is now even more centred right in the heart of Africa.
They have a goverment and President that drive enablers . PK is obsessed with excellence and hates mediocrity. His execution commitment is second to none. Corrupt people have no space let alone to create drama.
The airport at Bugesera is a huge project. PK is inspired by LKY. That airport project has been on paper for close to 15 years and funding was a huge challenge.
Now Qatar ended up being marooned by neighbours who closed their airspace, Middle East geopolitics at work and they had to think out of the box literally hence they are getting a solution in another continent ( in another box ) . It’s clear they are going to bed with Rwanda to go round that nonsense of sanctions . Simply put they are replicating another Doha but in Africa and they can fly to any country in the world with ease as RwandaAir. It is a win win . Rwanda and Qatar two small countries in terms of size are coming together and I salute both leadership.
On the other hand Qatar has just found a great launch pad into the African continent. Due to lack of good roads air travel is still the only option but it is not developed . Imagine for once when they enter DRC Congo and Nigeria big time with RwandaAir backed by a reliable hub similar to Changi or Doha.
All West Africans will opt for Kigali , it’s closer and they consider them truly an African country. Kigali is one country that lifted Visa for all Africans. You may not believe that but I have met many West Africans who considered KQ more African than Ethiopia and it is one reason many still use KQ despite the bad treatment they get at our hub.
Kigali will go places.
Security is key for any hub and thanks to the Somalia mess we are considered not so safe.
In a nutshell everyone will feel the heat including Ethiopian and all the reason why KQ must get it’s ducks in a row.
All the reason why we must fix our summer airport JKIA . It was lied to us that we have an all weather airport.
For a long time we have been the tallest dwarf but soon one of the dwarfs is going to grow and get really tall just like Singapore and become a true giant.
On branding they just signed a deal with PSG football club to target the French market . They already have Arsenal for the English market . They are looking for a good team in the Bundesliga and La Liga . Don’t be surprised if they signed up Bayern and Real Madrid then next stop is American Football and NBA and then Canada Hockey league. Why America and Canada ? These are the guys who can afford to pay the $1500 gorilla tracking fees. Rwanda is taking business segmentation to another level. They are not targeting any Tom, Dick or Harry.
Rwanda is not rich to afford such signings but they are sacrificing for a better bigger tommorow.
Now you know and as always I choose to remain an optimist .