Emirates airline, a global connector of people and places, is set to expand its presence in Africa’s most populous country Nigeria, with the start of a daily linked service to Abuja and Kano from 1 August 2014. The announcement follows Emirates’ recent milestone of ten years of successful operations to Lagos, to which the airline flies twice daily.
Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of the airline, introduced a scheduled freighter service to Kano in October 2013, and with Abuja joining the network, Emirates will now fly to 26 destinations in Africa and 142 worldwide in 80 countries.
Emirates launched services to Nigeria on 2 January 2004 with four flights per week from Dubai to Lagos linked with Accra in Ghana, using an A330-200 aircraft. Just over a year later Emirates increased its services from four to six flights a week, and following further demand, it became a daily operation in October 2005. On 1 January 2006, Lagos was delinked from Accra and became a direct service to Dubai. On 1 February 2009, a second daily service was introduced, and today each flight is served with a Boeing 777-300 ER.
“Nigeria is experiencing strong demographic and economic growth. The country is strategic to Emirates’ global expansion, as Africa is. With our decision to start a daily linked service to Abuja and Kano we will now offer from three major cities in the country a very convenient and comfortable access to Dubai, and to Emirates network via Dubai, particularly the Middle East and Asia Pacific, where Emirates is flying to more than 30 destinations, including the Airbus 380 to 12 cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Sydney. The new service will also help create new opportunities for business, industry and tourism,” said Thierry Antinori, Emirates Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer.
The route will be serviced by an Airbus 340-500 offering a total of 258 seats in a three class configuration – 12 in First Class, 42 in Business Class and 204 in Economy Class. Customers will experience Emirates award-winning service by its multi-national cabin crew, gourmet cuisine and its ice entertainment system, offering hundreds of channels of on-demand audio and visual entertainment. Emirates’ customers also receive a generous baggage allowance of 50kg for First Class, 40 for Business Class and 30 for Economy Class
Emirates SkyCargo will offer over 200 tons of cargo capacity per week, with main imports expected into Abuja and Kano being personal effects, clothing material and electronics, while exports include leather, kola nuts, spices and fresh meat.
Further testament to the growing importance of Nigeria as a key Emirates market, Emirates Holidays, the tour-operating arm of Emirates, last December opened a dedicated retail office and call centre in Lagos in partnership with Tour Brokers International (TBI) Ltd, who was appointed Preferred Sales Agency (PSA) for Nigeria.
Abuja will be the first stop on the linked service on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, and Kano will be the first stop on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Emirates flight EK 785 will depart Dubai at 1030hrs and arrive in Abuja at 1450hrs. It will depart Abuja at 1640hrs and arrive in Kano at 1750hrs. The return flight will depart Kano at 2025hrs and arrive in Dubai at 0615hrs the next morning. Flight EK 786 will depart Dubai at 1030hrs and arrive in Kano at 1430hrs. It will depart Kano at 1625hrs and arrive in Abuja at 1735hrs. It will depart for Dubai at 2005hrs arriving at 0615hrs the next morning.
About Emirates: Emirates was founded as an airline in 1985. It now flies to 142 destinations in 80 countries across six continents, providing air services that enable trade and travel to its home base in Dubai and beyond. Emirates also connects millions of people on the ground each year through its other operations including Emirates Holidays, its destination marketing arm, and tour operator Arabian Adventures. Seamless trade connections are supported through Emirates SkyCargo, its cargo division.
A multinational and multicultural employer with over 160 nationalities working together, Emirates is committed to connecting people around the globe, and helping them to discover, enjoy and share new experiences together.
Courtesy of premiumtimesng.com