Emirates celebrates 10 years on the Hre-Dubai route
BY SYDNEY KAWADZA/TANYARADZWA NHARI
A global carrier, Emirates has flown around 700,000 passengers between Harare and Dubai in 6,000 flights since 2012, the airline announced on Monday, as it marked its first decade on the route.
Emirates, which first landed in Harare in February 2012, has benefited from strong demand for air travel from Zimbabwean traders seeking goods at one of the world’s biggest trading hubs.
Tourists from around 120 of the world’s most lucrative source markets have also taken advantage of the Harare-Dubai route to travel to the southern African country.
On Monday, the company said its cargo service, which kicked off after increasing its frequency and rolling out larger jetliners to the route, has become a key service provider for the country.
“The airline … in December 2021 carried more than 692,000 passengers and recorded nearly 6,000 flights between Dubai and Harare,” Emirates said in a statement.
“A steady increase in market demand over the years has prompted the airline to increase its flights between Harare and Dubai and beyond to more than 120 destinations in its network to six times a week.
“The route was initially served by the Emirates Airbus A330-200, then by the Airbus A340-300, then by the current B777-300ER.
“This is a momentous market opportunity for us and as destinations open up, we hope to see more people going out into the world,” said Nasser Bahlooq, Emirates country director for Zimbabwe.
“Emirates remains committed to providing the best full service and travel experience with innovative ‘industry firsts’ in the form of upgrades and customer-centric products for business and leisure travellers,” Bahlooq added.
Emirates spoke as airlines began to return to the Zimbabwean market after two frustrating years of COVID-19-induced headwinds which triggered damaging hard lockdowns.
The effects of the lockdown have been felt across all industries, but Zimbabwe’s tourism sector has been among the hardest hit.
Last week, Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) chief executive Ross Kennedy said the industry was poised to rebound after airlines, including Emirates, returned.
The airline has increased its frequency to six a week from three when the line launched a decade ago.
Kennedy predicted a rapid rebound in tourism to be recorded as early as April this year, straddling Emirates and Eurowings, among many international airlines.
Until now, Zimbabwe’s tourism industry had predicted a longer depression phase before picking up at the end of winter, when the waves of COVID-19 temporarily die down.
“Access to Victoria Falls and the region has been boosted with a number of airlines resuming flights after the suspension when the Omicron variant of COVID-19 was identified by South African scientists in late November,” Kennedy said.
“Airlines currently serving Victoria Falls include fastjet, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, British Airways (operated by Comair), Airlink, Air Zimbabwe and Mack Air, as well as charter airlines, while Emirates has resumed flights to Harare.
Lufthansa Group‘s new leisure airline, Eurowings Discover, will begin flying to Victoria Falls from March 30, increasing Frankfurt-Windhoek flights to a daily service, with a Windhoek-Victoria Falls-Windhoek flight three times daily. week.
“In addition, on June 30, fastjet will introduce four weekly flights between Victoria Falls and Maun, the gateway to the Okavango Delta in Botswana, as well as flights between Victoria Falls and Nelspruit, near Kruger National Park in Africa. of the South, starting March 16, connecting the region with prime tourist destinations,” added Kennedy.