$2 Billion Rwanda’s Bugesera Airport Operations Commencement Set at 2028

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The new international airport of Rwanda that is located in Bugesera district is expected to  officially start operations later as Bugesera Airport Operations Commencement has been set at 2028, as revealed by the RwandAir CEO, Yvonne Manzi Makolo at the Qatar Economic Forum in that was held in Doha, on May 15th.

Construction works of the massive airport project were previously scheduled to be finished in 2026. With an approximated $2 billion worth of investment, the airport’s developers reveal that the facility could potentially help Africa’s aviation industry take off.

Capacity of the Bugesera Airport Project

This new airport facility will boast a 130,000-square-meter main terminal building that will have the capacity of accommodating eight million passengers a year and the figure is expected to increase to over 14 million passengers in the following decades, according to its developers.

The new airport located approximately 40 kilometers away from Kigali city will also see a dedicated cargo terminal, capable of accommodating up to 150,000 tons of cargo every year.

“Construction works are already ongoing. We are almost finalizing the horizontal works and move to the vertical. We’re looking between the year 2027 and 2028 in terms of the airport being operational,” stated Makolo. Kigali will be an alternative regional aviation hub when this airport project is complete.

She pointed out that the aim is to have Kigali as an alternative regional hub, in addition to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“Addis Ababa is currently a huge hub but Kigali will be an alternative regional hub, more so  given the geographical location of Rwanda as it is located right in the heart of African region, which gives us access to all points of the region,” she added.

RwandAir Chief Executive Officer Yvonne Manzi Makolo speaks during the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha, on Wednesday, May 15. Makolo revealed that Rwanda’s new airport in Bugesera District is expected to start operating in 2028. Courtesy

Developers of the Project

The airport project in Bugesera is being constructed in partnership with Qatar Airways which owns 60 per cent of this airport and is also expected to acquire 49 percent of total shares in the national carrier.

Qatar Airways CEO Badr Mohammed Al Meer said the Qatar-owned carrier has a model of covering the African continent with a massive network across several countries, and intends to announce a partnership in Southern Africa, other than Rwanda.

“The final piece of this equation is southern Africa,” he stated.

“We are currently at the final stage of an equity investment in an airline in the southern part of the African region. This airline will assist us greatly complement the operation of Kigali as a key aviation hub in the region.”

Current State of Affairs Affecting Bugesera Airport Operations Commencement

While acknowledging the impact of delays manufacturing supply has made on this Bugesera airport project, Al Meer stated that they are usually in constant communication with the suppliers and contractors on the ground to finalise the infrastructure packages regarding the project.

The contract for the main works will be awarded within two months following the completion of tender process, he added.

Aviation Travel and Logistics (ATL), which is a government-owned holding company managing aviation-related activities, has been tasked with overseeing construction works of the new airport project.

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