Emirates' extensive African network is to be boosted again with the launch of two new destinations - Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, and Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe.
Zambia and Zimbabwe, which share a border with the Victoria Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world, will now be linked with a five times weekly flight from Dubai, starting from 1st February 2012.
"Emirates has long understood the enormous potential of Africa, which today is one of the fastest-expanding economic regions of the world, benefitting from a combined market of over one billion people, rising consumer demand and an abundance of natural resources," said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group.
"Zambia and Zimbabwe will be our 20th and 21st African destinations and their addition to our global network will enable us to provide new flexibility and choice for customers, help to grow trade routes and create important new inbound and outbound markets for tourism," added His Highness.
"The arrival of an airline of Emirates' stature will be very significant for Zimbabwe, increasing capacity, connectivity and choice as the country strives to consolidate its economic recovery through attracting new trade, tourism and investment," said Mr. David Chawota, Chief Executive Officer, Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe.
"We are extremely proud of the facilities we have at Harare International Airport and look forward to providing the very best service to Emirates customers from around the world. We really appreciate the support of our Government in facilitating this development."
The Dubai-Lusaka-Harare service will be operated by an A330-200 aircraft in a three-class configuration that offers 12 luxurious First Class seats, 42 seats in Business Class and generous space for 183 passengers in Economy Class.
Customers in all cabins will enjoy meals prepared by gourmet chefs, award-winning service from the airline's international cabin crew recruited from over 120 countries, as well as hundreds of channels of entertainment and the facility to send and receive emails and text messages. Passengers flying Emirates from Lusaka and Harare will be able to connect seamlessly to points across the Far and Middle East, Indian sub-continent, Europe and Australasia via the airline's hub in Dubai.
A must-see for any visitor to Zambia or Zimbabwe is the Victoria Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The 1.7 km wide natural wonder cascades for over 100 metres, making the Falls the largest curtain of water in the world. Both countries also boast a wealth of other breathtaking sights, including world-class national safari parks.
A bellyhold capacity of 16 tonnes will support the import and export of a diverse range of commodities, such as machinery, clothing, computer parts, and pharmaceuticals. These goods will arrive from markets like the United Arab Emirates, South East Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and Europe. Fresh flowers, fruit and vegetables will be exported - heading to destinations including Europe, China, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.
Africa was one of only two continents to record economic growth during the recent global downturn and its growth rate is likely to exceed 5 per cent this year, according to the Harvard Business Review.
With a collective Gross Domestic Product now roughly equal to that of Brazil or Russia, Relative Market Growth Index forecasts indicate that Africa's combined revenue could grow by approximately $1 trillion by 2020.The number of households with discretionary income is projected to rise by 50 percent over the next 10 years.
Starting 1st February 2012, EK 713 will depart Dubai on every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 0925hrs, arriving in Lusaka at 1450hrs. The service will depart Lusaka at 1620hrs, arriving in Harare at 1720. The return flight leaves Harare at 1920, arriving Lusaka at 2020. It departs Lusaka at 2150 and lands in Dubai at 0710hrs the next day.
With a fleet of 157 aircraft and already the largest A380 operator in the world, Emirates currently flies to 114 destinations in 67 countries.
Services to Basra, Geneva and Copenhagen have already started this year. Flights to St Petersburg begin on 1st November with Baghdad following suit as of 13th November. Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires become new links into South America from 3rd January 2012.
Emirates currently serves 19 passenger and cargo destinations across the African continent.
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