Emirates, a leading international airlines, has announced plans to expand its Africa operations in order to meet the growing air travel needs of travellers in the region.
Currently, the Dubai-based airline, which is a subsidiary of the Emirates Group, owned by the government of Dubai’s Investment Corporation of Dubai, which fly to 150 destinations across the globe, also fly to 21 African countries.
The countries include Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guinea, Angola, Uganda Nigeria, and South Africa.
Catherine Wesley, Country Manager for Emirates Ghana and Coted’Ivoire, who disclosed this during a media roundtable to brief journalists on the operations of the airline, said the Emirates had resorted to full pre-pandemic passenger network.
“Our African network currently stands at 21 destinations, and today we operate over 140 weekly flights into the continent. We have redeployed our A380 into Cairo and Johannesburg with multiple daily services and the easing of travel restrictions, and the acceleration of passenger demand, we are advancing our plans to expand our presence across Africa even further,” Ms Wesley said.
On the Ghanaian operations, the Country Manager of Emirates Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, said “We have restored our daily frequencies to and from Dubai,” and said the airline on the average flew 8000 passengers from Ghana to other destinations across the world.
She said the Ghanaian market remained one of the priority markets for the company, stressing that Emirates offered award-winning services to customers in all classes of travel and the company had been awarded several times for its outstanding services both on and off flight.
“I’m working to increase our passenger levels from Ghana to other destinations to 500 so we can introduce the wide-body plane A380 on the Dubai to Accra route,” she said.
Ms Wesley noted that Emirates showcased Ghanaian dishes such as ‘fantefante, sauce and salmon with ‘Kpakpo shito’ onboard flights from Ghana, adding that passengers could choose from a selection of 13 special meals to suit their medical, dietary and religious requirements.
Touching on the outlook for the aviation industry in general, Ms Wesley said the industry would continue to see high demand for travel, especially leisure and premium leisure travel.
“We need to work collectively as an industry to overcome the operating challenges, such as staff shortages, fuel price, geopolitical issues and consumer confidence,” the Country Manager for Emirates Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire said.
The aforementioned issues, she said were affecting air travel, movement and profitability of aviation industry.
Ms Wesley said the Emirates’ steady investment in infrastructure, technology, people and partnerships would continue to give the company an ability to deliver industry-leading products and value to customers.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE