Qatar Airways is expanding its operations in Africa with an increase in flight frequency to Entebbe, Uganda by an additional three flights a week to meet summer demand. From 1 August to 30 September, the multi-award-winning carrier moves from a daily service to operate 11 weekly flights between Doha and Entebbe.

The increased flight frequency comes as part of Qatar Airways’ aim to improve air connectivity across Africa and forge stronger economic, business and cultural ties.

Qatar Airways Vice President – Africa, Hendrik du Preez, said: “The increased frequency now guarantees improved connectivity for passengers traveling from Uganda to the USA, Asia, Europe and North Africa. It also supports the growth of trade and tourism between Uganda and Qatar while offering convenience for point-to-point passengers to save a day’s travel due to the early arrival in Doha.”

He added: “With 18 per cent of the world’s population and making up less than two per cent of air transport activity, Africa is an untapped market with increasing travel and business opportunities. We are expanding connectivity throughout the continent by increasing the number of destinations we serve, and the frequencies we offer, and through partnerships with African airlines.”

According to Du Preez, the increase in Entebbe flights is indicative of Qatar Airways’ dedication to the Ugandan market, and is set to boost the growth of Uganda’s exports. The additional flights follow the introduction of Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in the Qatar Airways network of more than 170 global destinations. The new route connects the DRC with the Middle East, Europe and Asia like never before.

Kinshasa is served with four weekly flights that have also added capacity to Angola, with the number of flights to Luanda increasing from one to four.

Kinshasa joins a growing list of new Qatar Airways destinations in Africa since December 2020, which include Abidjan, Abuja, Accra, Harare, Kano, Luanda, Lusaka, and Port Harcourt. Flights to Alexandria and Cairo have also been resumed.

Qatar Airways currently offers 180 flights per week to various destinations across Africa. When codeshare partners are included, the number expands to over 900 weekly flights across the continent.

With 30 interline agreements – of which five are codeshares with African airlines, as well as strategic investment in Kigali’s new international airport, Qatar Airways is demonstrating its long-term commitment to Africa and the expansion of air travel and related infrastructure.

Over the past 12 months, Qatar Airways has also optimised its schedule in most African markets to improve connectivity to Europe, China and the Indian subcontinent through its award-winning hub, Hamad International Airport.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the aviation industry currently supports 7.7 million jobs in Africa and $63 billion of the continent’s GDP of which $44 billion is generated by tourism in the region.

“The upside is significant for both the aviation sector and the continent. According to IATA, Africa’s passenger traffic is forecast to nearly double by 2035 and will exceed 263 million passengers, up from 134 million carried in 2022. Qatar Airways’ rapid expansion in the continent, the partnerships it has secured, and its continued pursuit of opportunities position it well to contribute to this growth,” said Du Preez.

Skytrax’s World Airline Awards, described as ‘the Oscars of the aviation industry’, recently honoured Qatar Airways with the most coveted accolade for airlines, the ‘Airline of the Year’ award for an unprecedented eighth time.

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