UAE-based airline Emirates has announced that its Dubai-Lusaka-Harare route is to become a daily service from October 2012
The linked service to Zimbabwe and Zambia, which currently operates five times a week, has performed strongly since its launch in February 2012 and has carried more than 43,000 passengers on the route to date.
“This latest boost to Emirates’ African network is testament to the continuous upward growth in demand for our flights to and from the continent,” said Jean Luc Grillet, senior vice president of commercial operations for Africa at Emirates.
“A daily service to Lusaka and Harare will mean greater choice for customers, while an increased cargo capacity of 40 per cent will facilitate more export business opportunities for both countries, forging greater trade links and increasing access to key trading partners in Asia and the Middle East.”
A weekly cargo capacity of 224 tonnes and access to Emirates' network of more than 120 destinations worldwide is already supporting a range of exports from both Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Key commodities being shipped from Lusaka and Harare include fresh flowers, fruit, vegetables and copper mining industry by-products.
Tourism is another key beneficiary, with Emirates’ Lusaka service supporting the Zambia Tourism Board’s target for increasing visitor arrivals by 22.5 per cent to one million in 2012.
It is also expected that Emirates’ flights to Harare will support the Zimbabwe Tourism Ministry’s projections that the sector will contribute more than US$5 billion to the Zimbabwean economy by 2015.
The Dubai-Lusaka-Harare service is operated by an A330-200 aircraft in a three-class configuration, offering 12 first-class seats, 42 seats in business class and space for 183 passengers in economy class.
Emirates currently serves 21 passenger and cargo destinations across Africa.