NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 30 – Emirates Airlines will begin a daily flight to the South African port city of Durban starting October 1 this year, almost a year after original scheduled date.
The airline had earlier planned to launch the Durban route in December 2008, but deferred it after a review of aircraft deployment during a period of fuel price volatility.
“Durban was originally due to launch on December 1 last year. It was deferred after a routine review of our operations, which we periodically conduct to ensure the best utilisation of our aircraft fleet for our overall business goals," Mike Simon, Emirates\’ Divisional Senior Vice-President, Corporate Communications said.
The airline has further lifted the temporary suspension of their third daily Johannesburg flight, which was due to take effect from February 1.
“EK766 will operate on a scaled back basis – three times a week – from February 1 to March 29. The third daily flight will return to its full seven days a week operation from March 30. This follows a review of our operations, which includes factors such as aircraft availability and market requirements,” Mr Simon said.
He explained that Emirates is constantly evaluating its routes in line with aircraft availability and that the airline is in close and regular contact with manufacturers to ensure delivery schedules remain as smooth as possible, to realise its growth and expansion plans.
“A key consideration is to make sure any changes or revisions that are made have no or a minimum impact on our valued customers,” Mr Simon added.
Meanwhile, the Airline has announced that it would begin operating its ultra-modern and environmentally-friendly A380 aircraft to the Seoul International Airport in November 2009.
The new service is timed to coincide with ‘Visit Korea Year in 2010,’ where the national government and the city of Seoul are joining forces with the private sector to promote South Korea as a destination for international tourism.
According to a statement from Emirates, the new service represents the aviation world’s first A380 operation to Seoul, as well as Emirates’ first A380 service to North East Asia.
“It follows the successful deployment of Emirates’ A380s to New York and London, and soon-to-be-launched Sydney and Auckland,” the statement read in part.
The A380 is the world\’s most environmentally-advanced aircraft with significant reductions in noise, emissions and fuel burn compared to other comparable aircraft.