Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates has bolstered its operations on the booming Africa trade route.
Supporting the thriving trade between Africa and the rest of the world, its weekly cargo capacity into and out of the continent will be over 6000 tonnes after the launch of flights to Lusaka and Harare on February 1.
The addition of flights to the capitals of Zambia and Zimbabwe comes less than three months after the launch of a dedicated weekly freighter to Accra and Lome and means Emirates SkyCargo now has a total annual capacity of more than 300,000 tonnes.
The two new gateways mean Emirates SkyCargo can connect businesses in 22 countries across Africa to its network of more than 100 destinations, while also providing increased opportunities for key trading partners such as China and Japan.
“While many regions are experiencing challenging economic conditions, Africa – with a population in excess of one billion and rich in natural resources – is one of the few areas to record growth and the long-term outlook is very positive,” said Ram Menen, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President Cargo.
“We expect demand to be strong for a variety of commodities going into and out of Lusaka and Harare and have no doubt the two destinations will be a strong addition to our African network.”
The Dubai-Lusaka-Harare service will be operated five times a week by an A330-200, providing a total weekly cargo capacity of up to 160 tonnes.
South Africa – with a weekly capacity of more than 1500 tonnes spread across the belly-hold of 84 passenger flights serving Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, as well as two dedicated Johannesburg freighters – is Emirates SkyCargo’s key trading point on the continent.
Dedicated freighters also operate to Eldoret and Lilongwe, while the other points on Emirates SkyCargo’s African network – Abidjan, Addis Ababa, Accra, Cairo, Casablanca, Dakar, Dar el Salaam, Entebbe, Khartoum, Lagos, Luanda, Nairobi, Tripoli, and Tunisia – are served using either the belly-hold of wide-body passenger aircraft, or a combination of the belly-hold and freighters.
“We have slowly built up our presence on the continent since we launched flights to Cairo in 1986 and in recent years, as Africa started to realise its huge potential, we began operating to Cape Town, Durban, Luanda and Dakar,” added Menen.
“With such a comprehensive service now in place we are in a good position to help sustain Africa’s continued economic development by facilitating international trade with its business partners and opening it up to new markets on our ever-expanding network.”
Zambia has been enjoying an economic boom, driven by record copper prices and continued foreign investment in its mining industry and infrastructure, while Zimbabwe’s economy is growing at a brisk pace despite continuing political uncertainty.
Emirates SkyCargo expects to be transporting parts to support the mining and infrastructure sectors – as well as of commodities such as garments, computer parts, and pharmaceuticals – from the likes of the Far East, Australasia, the Indian Subcontinent, Middle East, Europe and North America.
Fresh flowers, fruit and vegetables will be among the main commodities shipped in the other direction, while trade is also expected to be generated by neighbouring countries.
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.