Emirates to Focus on West Africa

Emirates, the Dubai-based international airline,
re-affirmed its commitment to the West African region today with the
announcement of a significant increase in services later this year. From 1st
October, the airline will increase its flights to Lagos and Accra to a daily
service and, from 1st December, Emirates will operate dedicated non-stop
flights to both Lagos and Accra on a daily basis.These increases, which are being announced just 15 months after the start of
Emirates’ services to Lagos and Accra, reflect the phenomenal success of the
route to date. The award-winning airline currently operates six weekly flights to Lagos and
Accra, and the addition of the seventh weekly flight will represent an
increase of 10 per cent in passenger and 15 per cent in cargo carrying
capacity. The introduction of non-stop flights to both these cities will greatly boost
capacity further, doubling both passenger and cargo carrying capacity.

The non-stop flights will also cater to the increasing demand from
neighbouring cities in the region such as Ouagadougou, Niamey, Lome,
Cotonou, Freetown, Monrovia and Bamako. Flights from these cities to Accra
offer connections of around three hours to Emirates’ service to Dubai,
opening up the extensive Emirates global network to large areas of West
Africa.

 

From 1st October, Emirates will operate an Airbus A330-200 aircraft on the
service, in a three-class configuration with 12 First Class, 42 Business
Class and 183 Economy Class seats.

 

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Emirates’ Senior Vice President Commercial Operations Africa, Nasser bin
Kherbash, who recently met with the Ghanaian President, His Excellency John
Agyekum Kufuor during the latter’s brief stay in Dubai said: “West Africa’s
business community, along with leisure travellers, have contributed to the
steady rise of trade and tourism between Dubai and West Africa. In 2004
non-oil trade between the two stood at US$ 148 million.”

 

Paa Kwesi Ansong, President of the Ghana Union of Traders’ Association
(GUTA) welcomed this move.  He noted: “Most Ghanaian traders travel to the
Middle East for purchase of textiles, mechanical appliances, transport
equipment and other manufactured goods. To have one of the world’s best
airlines with unmatched levels of service, operating non-stop, daily flights
to Dubai and onwards, definitely makes travelling a very rewarding
experience.”

 

In the past few years, West Africa has assumed a growing importance within
the Emirates network. The award winning airline started flying to the region
in January 2004 when it launched services to Lagos and Accra. Just over a
year later, on 27th March 2005, Emirates stepped up frequencies by
introducing two additional flights to both these destinations.

 

Earlier this year, Emirates set up a new office in Accra to serve as its
West African regional hub. In line with the airline’s global standards for
service delivery, the new office allows staff to effectively handle a larger
volume of customers, and also has provision for further expansion to cater
for increasing demand.
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