EMIRATES will fly daily to Zimbabwe from Dubai starting on October 1, the airline said on Tuesday.
The United Arab Emirates’ flag carrier began five-times-a-week flights to Zimbabwe via Zambia in February, coinciding with the decline of Air Zimbabwe.
“The linked service... has performed strongly since its launch,” the airline said in a statement.
The Emirates has picked up most of Air Zimbabwe’s old customers, particularly from the United Kingdom. With its wide network of routes, it has also mopped up travellers from the rest of Europe, Asia and Australia.
By June 26, Emirates said it had carried over 43,000 passengers on the route in the first five months.
“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.
“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.”
Grillet said tourism was a key beneficiary, with Emirates’ flights to Harare supporting the Tourism Ministry’s projections that the sector will contribute over US$5 billion to the Zimbabwean economy by 2015.
The Dubai-Lusaka-Harare service is operated by an Airbus 330-200 aircraft in a three-class configuration, offering 12 First Class seats, 42 seats in Business Class and generous space for 183 passengers in Economy Class.
Presently, EK 713 departs Dubai at 0925hrs, arriving in Lusaka at 1435hrs. The service departs Lusaka at 1620hrs, arriving in Harare at 1720hrs.
The return flight leaves Harare at 1850hrs, arriving in Lusaka at 1950hrs. It departs Lusaka at 2125hrs and lands in Dubai at 0640hrs the next day.
With a fleet of 175 aircraft and already the largest Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 operator in the world, Emirates currently flies to 123 destinations in 73 countries.