Emirates Sets Up New Channel of Trade With South Africa

Published July 27th, 2009 - 10:59 GMT
Emirates Sets Up New Channel of Trade With South Africa 
The start of Emirates' flights to Durban opens a new chapter in the economic development of South Africa's Kwa-Zulu Natal province, the airline and regional officials told reporters today.
Speaking at a media breakfast in Durban, jointly hosted by the Kwa-Zulu-Natal Tourism Authority and Emirates, Nigel Page, the airline's Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Americas & Africa, said: "We know as a manufacturing base, the province is very significant in terms of South Africa's GDP. Emirates is effectively opening the door to the world with its daily service into Dubai and our vast route network beyond."
Emirates begins flights to Durban International Airport on October 1st and will be the only carrier flying international routes on a daily basis out of the city.
Mr Page added: "As the third most populous city in South Africa, I'm sure the people of Durban and the surrounding area will benefit from the new opportunities and economic growth that the new service will bring. These are exciting times for Kwa-Zulu Natal province and we are proud to be part of it, especially in these challenging economic circumstances. Our new daily flight will enhance Durban's position as a trading hub, given the city's existing status as the busiest port in Africa."
It's also good news for tourism - with official figures indicating that 20% of all tourists heading to South Africa visit KwaZulu-Natal.
Tourism KwaZulu-Natal CEO Ndabo Khoza, said: "With the vision of TKZN to position the province as Africa's leading tourism destination, nationally and internationally, the arrival of Emirates takes us closer to that goal. The is a major landmark for the region and we should firmly embrace the opportunity it presents. No longer does this province have to depend on neighbouring international gateways. We will have our own gateway to the world."
The value of trade between South Africa and the UAE is around AED 5 billion, according to figures from the Dubai Export Development Corporation. Exports from the UAE to South Africa reached AED 2.3 billion, the 2007 figures show, whilst exports from South Africa to the UAE reached almost AED 2.7 billion in the same period. Emirates SkyCargo will support this trade, offering up to 13 tonnes of cargo capacity on each flight.
From October 1st, Flight EK775 will depart Dubai at 0445hrs, arriving at Durban International Airport at 1130hrs. EK 776, leaves Durban at 1300hrs and gets into Dubai at 2340hrs. A 278-seat Airbus A330-200 in a two-class configuration will be deployed on the route. The flight time is around 8hrs 45 minutes.
Emirates currently flies to 16 destinations in Africa. Following on from the Durban launch, the airline is starting services to Luanda in Angola on October 25th.
The multi-award winning carrier is holding a series of events across Africa to raise its profile on the continent. Tonight, a high profile road show event will be held in Durban for more than a 1,000 representatives from the travel industry, corporate guests and government officials. At the same time, Emirates Holidays, the tour operating arm of Emirates, is criss-crossing South Africa as part of a month long road show, which started in Durban on July 22nd and will wrap up in Johannesburg a month later.
Emirates started flying to South Africa in 1995 with services to Johannesburg. Cape Town was added as a second gateway last year. The Dubai-based travel and tourism conglomerate now employs nearly 900 South Africans - about 450 of whom are cabin crew.

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