, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 7 – Emirates, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, has extended its reach into Africa with the launch of a new linked service to Lusaka and Harare.
Now flying to 22 points within Africa, Emirates now connects Zambia and Zimbabwe to key markets across Africa, Europe, Americas, the Far East, Australasia and the Indian Subcontinent.
The Nairobi-Lusaka-Harare service operates every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday using an A330-200 aircraft in a three class configuration through the airline’s Dubai hub.
EK 713 departs Dubai at 0925hrs, arriving in Lusaka at 1450hrs. The onward connection to Harare departs Lusaka at 1620hrs, reaching the Zimbabwean capital at 1720hrs. The return flight leaves Harare at 1920hrs, arriving Lusaka at 2020hrs. It departs Lusaka at 2150hrs, landing in Dubai at 0710hrs the next day.
“Zambia and Zimbabwe are both important emerging business and industrial centres, with economies that are projected to grow by over five per cent annually during the coming years,” said Essa Ahmad Sulaima, Emirates Regional Manager for East Africa.
He continued: “Emirates’ new service will play a significant role in supporting this growth by connecting Lusaka and Harare to Nairobi and our worldwide network, opening new conduits for trade, investment and tourism.”
In 2010 total trade between Kenya and Zambia stood at US$68 million, with Kenya’s exports to Zambia standing at US$35 million and Zambian in turn exporting US$33 million. Kenya has also been warming up for improved trade relations with Zimbabwe. In Late November, 2011 a 15-member delegation from the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) toured Zimbabwe trade and investment opportunities. Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe belong to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa trading bloc.
Emirates services to Lusaka will be a huge boost to its tourism industry, helping to support the Zambia Tourism Board’s target for increasing visitor arrivals by 22.5 percent to one million visitors in 2012. It is also expected that Emirates’ services to Harare will support the Tourism Ministry’s projections that the sector will contribute over US$5 billion to the Zimbabwean economy by 2015.
To support the linked service, Emirates will promote Zambia and Zimbabwe’s tourism attractions, including Victoria Falls, the Zambezi River, game reserves and safaris, in advertising campaigns executed across the airline’s global network. Emirates Holidays will also feature eight pages on Zimbabwe and Zambia in its 2012 World of Choice brochure.
With a fleet of 169 aircraft, Emirates is the world’s largest Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 operator. The airline placed an order for 50 new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft at the Dubai Airshow in November, bringing its total order book to 236 aircraft, worth over US$84 billion at list prices.
In addition to the launch of Lusaka and Harare, Emirates also start services to Dallas, Texas on 2nd February and is set to launch flight to Seattle on 1st March, Ho Chi Minh City on 4th June and Barcelona on 3rd July.