Thursday, October 22, 2009

Emirates' Luanda flight demonstrates "enormous interest" in Angola

DUBAI, U.A.E., 22nd October 2009 - The start of Emirates' flights between Dubai and Luanda reflects the flurry of global interest in Africa's second biggest oil producer, according to an Angolan government minister.

Emirates will start a three times a week service to the Angolan capital on Sunday, October 25th, prompting the comments by Angola's Transport Minister, Augusto da Silva Tomás.

Mr da Silva Tomas said: "In a global world, where physical distances still exist, a flight connection between two steady developing countries enhances the potential for growth of both nations. The reputation of Emirates and the preference of Angola as one of the main destinations in Africa, demonstrates the enormous interest Angola is provoking worldwide."

Using an Airbus A330-200 in a three-class configuration, Emirates will fly to Luanda on a Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. EK 791 will take off from Dubai at 1000hrs and arrive in Luanda at 1510hrs. On the way back, EK792 leaves Luanda at 1800hrs, touching down in Dubai eight hours later at 0450hrs the following day.

Nigel Page, Emirates' Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Americas & Africa, said: "Africa is such an exciting continent for us and such an important part of the world in terms of world trade. Emirates has demonstrated time and time again that a new air link stimulates business and we look forward to the same happening in Luanda, our 18th destination in Africa and one of only two new routes we have announced this year. This makes our decision to launch the service all the more significant."

In July, a delegation from Angola's travel industry came to Dubai as guests of Emirates on a familiarisation trip to learn more about the airline and Dubai in preparation for the new non-stop flight.

During the four day visit, representatives were brought to the carrier's purpose built headquarters opposite Terminal 3 and shown some of the city's mega-projects including the Burj Dubai and Palm Jumeirah.

In 2004, non-oil trade between Dubai and Angola was around AED 235 million (64 million US dollars), according to statistics from Dubai World, Dubai's government-owned investment company. By 2008, that figure had skyrocketed to more than AED 2.9 billion (800 million US dollars).

Luanda is the second new African service to be launched this year by Emirates. Durban, one of the FIFA 2010 host cities, became its third gateway into South Africa on October 1st.

No comments: