FILE PHOTO: Qatar Airways B777 aircraft arrives at the Cape Town International Airport, in Cape Town, South Africa, June 28, 2022. REUTERS/Shelley Christians/File Photo

SEOUL, May 15 (Reuters) – Qatar Airways will soon announce an investment in an airline in southern Africa, its CEO said on Wednesday, part of the Gulf carrier’s drive to expand its network in Africa.

“We are at the final stage of an equity investment in an airline in the southern part of Africa,” Badr Mohammed Al Meer said on a panel at the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha, saying the deal could be announced in two to three weeks.

Meer, who became CEO in November, said the southern part of Africa was a gap in Qatar Airways’ network coverage on the continent.

He added that Qatar Airways wants to expand the fleets of its partner airlines in Africa to improve connectivity.

Qatar Airways in 2019 took a 60% stake in a new $1.3 billion international airport being built in Rwanda and has code share agreements with several airlines in Africa including Rwandair.

Rwandair CEO Yvonne Manzi Makolo, speaking in Doha, said the airport could be incorporated around 2027-28.

(Reporting by Lisa Barrington; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Jacqueline Wong)