Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Emirates fans out across Africa

DUBAI, UAE, 8th April 2009 - Africa's international links are to receive a significant lift with news that Emirates is to start flights to Angola, its 17th African destination.

The Dubai - Luanda service, which begins August 2nd, will operate three times a week - on a Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

This is the second new route into Africa to be announced by Emirates this year. Flights to Durban in South Africa start October 1st.

The thrice weekly Luanda service allows Angola to further embrace international trade by being brought into the six continent-wide Emirates' network.

An Airbus A330-200 will serve the route, which will help support the nation's oil-led boom, the emerging tourism market and the thousands of migrant workers, many of whom are from China.

Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline, said: "This new Luanda flight provides enormous potential to develop air travel into Angola, alongside the assistance we can provide for international trade through Emirates SkyCargo. In the past year, we have seen strong growth in Africa of 17%. Now, with Luanda starting in August and Durban starting later in the year, this is going to be another very exciting year in this largely untapped continent."

Angola, around five times the size of the UK, lies on the Atlantic coast of south-central Africa. It is the continent's second largest oil exporter after Nigeria.

With four major ports along an expansive coastline, the nation is a natural transhipment point for the region. The country has abundant natural resources including oil, diamonds, gold, iron, copper and uranium.

On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, EK 791 will depart Dubai at 1050hrs, arriving at 4 de Fevereiro International Airport in Angola at 1550hrs.

EK792 departs Luanda on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 1800, touching down in Dubai at 0500 the following day. The A330-200 to be deployed on the route offers 237-seats across Economy, Business and First Class accommodation.

The timings of the flight from Dubai allow good connectivity with arrivals from Emirates' points in Asia and Australasia. Meanwhile, the flight coming into Dubai provides smooth connectivity with all our departures to Europe, the Middle East and the Americas.

Emirates SkyCargo will provide up to 12 tonnes of cargo capacity in the bellyhold of each aircraft with imports expected to include consumer goods, electronics, telecommunications products and oil related equipment and spares. Perishables, such as fruit and flowers, are expected to feature amongst exports.

Dubai-based Emirates started flights to Africa in 1986, serving Cairo. Around 4,000 Africans are now employed throughout the Emirates Group.

Since establishing itself as an airline in 1985, Emirates has rapidly expanded into a major transcontinental travel and tourism conglomerate. The airline now flies to six continents with a fleet of 132 aircraft, including four double-decker A380s.

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