Emirates to restore full operations in Nigeria

Nov 04, 2017

Emirates Vice President, Commercial Operations Africa Orhan Abbas said in Dubai that the airline will resume two daily flights from Dubai to Lagos and four weekly flights to Abuja beginning from 15th December this year. This will make the total weekly flights into Nigeria by Emirates 16.

In a chat with Africa journalist who were on working visit to Expo 2020 Dubai Abbas said that “All Emirates’ destinations in Africa are being served with Boeing 777 aircraft, except Morocco and Mauritius, which have EmirateA380s. One of the four services to Johannesburg is also an A380 service.

He said that Emirates fly 165 flights per week from Dubai to Africa. He said that nearly 5,8 million passengers were carried in 2016/2017 a 6 per cent increase over 2015/2016. According to him the “percentage revenue contribution of Africa to Emirates is over 8 per cent. He said that Emirates top three markets in Africa are South Africa, Egypt and Kenya. Continuing Abbas said “Emirates employs nearly 7,700 nationals from African countries across the Group”.

Abbas said that Emirates has 269 air craft worth $104 billion. He said that the airline total revenue for 2016/2017 financial year was $23.2 billion and its net profit was $34 million. Emirates he said carried 56.1 million passengers and earned a total of $2.9 billion as revenue from 2.6 million tonnes of cargo it carried during the period. He said that the airline has 156 destinations in 84 countries and territories including cargo only service. of this destinations 26 are to Africa. He said that the challenge the airline is facing in Africa is that of repatriation of proceeds of ticket sales.

He said that was what led to the airline scaling down its operation in Nigeria. He said now that the foreign exchange situation has improved, the airline can now restore full operation to Nigeria routes. Emirates said that the added frequencies to Lagos will be operated with Emirates’ Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, offering eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie-flat seats in Business Class and 310 spacious seats in Economy Class.

The reinstated service to Abuja will be served by a 360-seat Boeing 777-300 in a three-class configuration. Emirates will be offering Nigerian travellers the opportunity to visit Dubai with a special Economy and Business Class return airfare that includes a free third piece of luggage of up to 23 kg. Under the special offer, an Economy Class ticket from Lagos to Dubai costs USD899 and Business Class USD3499. The fare offer is for a limited time only and tickets must be booked between 1st November and 17 November 2017.

Travel must take place between 1st November 2017 and 30 March 2018. The cost of the ticket includes airport taxes. Seasonality and blackout dates apply as well as other terms and conditions. “Nigeria is a key market for Emirates and its importance is reflected by the fact that we will add 11 weekly flights between Dubai and two major cities in Nigeria, Abuja and Lagos. This is great news for both our business and leisure customers and highlights our commitment to providing travellers in Nigeria with not only the very latest in aircraft innovations but also increased connectivity,” said Orhan Abbas, Emirates Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Africa.

“We thank the Nigerian authorities for facilitating the reinstatement of our flights to Abuja and Lagos which will, in turn, greatly benefit Nigerian tourism, trade, investment and economy at large.” added Mr Abbas.

According to the airline by operating a double daily service to Lagos and four weekly flights to Abuja, Emirates will offer travellers in Nigeria very convenient and comfortable access to Dubai, and onwards to other destinations on the Emirates network, including more than 35 destinations in the Middle East and Far East, 18 destinations in South Asia and over 20 destinations in the Americas and Australia. Many of these destinations are served by Emirates’ iconic A380 aircraft.

Apart from the increased passenger capacity, the new flights will provide up to 23 tonnes of cargo capacity per flight, giving businesses and traders more opportunities for increased imports such as electronic goods, construction equipment and pharmaceuticals, and exports such as fresh produce and perishables. The added Lagos flight EK781 will depart Dubai every day at 0355hrs and arrive in Lagos at 0905hrs. The return flight EK782 will depart Lagos at 1240hrs and arrive in Dubai at 2255hrs. The Abuja flight EK785 will depart Dubai every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 1035hrs and arrive in Abuja at 1535hrs.

The return flight EK786 will depart Abuja at 1855hrs and arrive in Dubai at 0435hrs the next day. The arrival of the flight in Dubai is conveniently timed to enable a shorter transit period for customers connecting to Emirates’ early morning flights to popular destinations such as New York, Houston, London, Beirut, Bangkok, Jeddah, Medina, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Delhi and Sydney, amongst others, which are popular cities for Nigerian travellers.

Customers on Emirates can look forward to the famed on board service and hospitality from its multi-national cabin crew including Nigerians, as well as enjoy regionally and internationally inspired meals and complimentary beverages. Passengers can also enjoy Emirates’ award winning ice entertainment system, offering up to 2500 channels of on demand movies, television programmes, music, audio books and music.

Families with young children are also well catered for with special products and services to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable flight, from free toys to kid’s meals and entertainment, as well as priority boarding.

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.

Emirates operated a second daily service to Lagos between February 2009 and June 2016 and daily flights to Abuja between August 2014 and October 2016. From 15 December 2017, Emirates will operate 18 weekly flights between Dubai and Nigeria.

 

-  VANGUARD NEWS

 

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