The inaugural flight would be on February 1next year, as Emirates will fly from Dubai to Zimbabwe five times a week. The airline will also fly to Zambia.
“Emirates has long understood the enormous potential of Africa, which today is one of the fastest-expanding economic regions of the world, benefitting from a combined market of over one billion people, rising consumer demand and an abundance of natural resources,” Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of the Emirates Airline & Group said in statement.
“Zambia and Zimbabwe will be our 20th and 21st African destinations and their addition to our global network will enable us to provide new flexibility and choice for customers, help to grow trade routes and create important new inbound and outbound markets for tourism,” Sheikh Ahmed added.
David Chawota, chief executive officer of the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) said: “The arrival of an airline of Emirates’ stature will be very significant for Zimbabwe, increasing capacity, connectivity and choice as the country strives to consolidate its economic recovery through attracting new trade, tourism and investment.”
He said CAAZ was proud of the facilities at Harare International Airport and hoped to provide the best facilities for Emirates customers from around the world.
The Dubai-Lusaka-Harare service will be operated by an A330-200 aircraft in a three-class configuration that offers 12 luxurious First Class seats, 42 seats in Business Class and generous space for 183 passengers in Economy Class.
Passengers flying Emirates from Lusaka and Harare will be able to connect seamlessly to points across the Far and Middle East, Indian sub-continent, Europe and Australasia via the airline’s hub in Dubai.
Starting February1, 2012, EK 713 will depart Dubai on every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 0925hrs, arriving in Lusaka at 1450hrs. The service will depart Lusaka at 1620hrs, arriving in Harare at 1720.
The return flight leaves Harare at 1920, arriving Lusaka at 2020. It departs Lusaka at 2150 and lands in Dubai at 0710hrs the next day.
Emirates currently serves 19 passenger and cargo destinations across the African continent.
German carrier, Lufthansa has also expressed a wish to fly to Harare and is still waiting government approval.