EMIRATES is placing a strategic focus on Africa, a continent currently shaken by the Ebola virus, in the coming decade.
Speaking at last month’s Africa Global Business Forum 2014 in Dubai, president Sir Tim Clark said the airline expects to increase operations by over 40 per cent to the continent.
“The Government of Dubai recognised the potential of Africa early on and Emirates has been instrumental in supporting the region’s growth. Today, Emirates fleet investment in Africa tops $7 billion with operating costs of over $2 billion. We will add around 10 destinations in the next decade and will continue our investment and commitment to introduce more frequencies to our existing points to provide critical links to emerging markets from Asia, the Middle East and Australia.”
Emirates currently operates 22 passenger destinations to Africa.
“Africa is still an under-served market and Emirates will continue to channel traffic through the Dubai hub,” he said.
Dubai’s location makes it possible for African travellers to experience shorter travel times, which have been historically routed through European hubs such as London, Paris and Frankfurt.
In the past five years, Emirates carried over 1.6 million passengers between Africa and China, underscoring the vital trade relationship that the continent has with the East. By 2020, Emirates expects to provide an additional 8.5 million seats to its African capacity.
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