Serving a key African oil nation

EmiratesAirburs3302002090Emirates’ 18th destination in Africa, oil-rich Angola, came on stream recently with the launch of flights to Luanda.

Amongst the VIP delegation joining the inaugural flight from Dubai, on 25 October 2009, were Nigel Page, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Americas & Africa; Rui Mangueira, the Angolan Ambassador to the UAE; Julio Maiato, Angola’s Consul General in Dubai and Salah Sharaf, Director General, Sharaf Group. The three times a week service means Emirates now serves Africa’s two biggest oil exporters. The award winning carrier has been serving Nigeria since 2004 and went double daily to Lagos in February. The new non-stop air-link also comes at a time of aggressive trade growth between Dubai and Angola. In 2004, non-oil trade between the two places was around AED235mn (US$64mn), according to statistics from Dubai World, the Dubai government’s investment arm. Last year that figure had leapt to more than AED2.9bn (US$800mn), reflecting explosive growth of more than 1,200 per cent.

A main destination

Joaquim Cunha, Director, Luanda International Airport, said, “In the name of 4 de Fevereiro Airport, it is an honour for me to receive Emirates, one of the most prestigious airlines in the world. The airport has been undergoing extensive modernisation, and the inauguration of this new route means our efforts are bearing fruit.
“We wish this new service every success and believe the cooperation that has been developed with Emirates during the months of preparation is only the beginning of a much longer term relationship.”

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