Emirates adds to daily Boeing 777 services to capital of Kenya

Africa's growing aviation market is one the Dubai flag-carrier aims to capitalise on and it is launching a third daily flight to Kenya in the east of the continent.

Africa is proving a growing attraction for Dubai’s Emirates airline, particularly the east African city of Nairobi.

Emirates, the largest international airline in the world, today announced that it will introduce a third daily flight between Dubai and Kenya’s capital from 1st June 2017.

The additional flight will increase the number of scheduled Emirates flights between the two cities to 21 a week. It also underscores Emirates’ commitment to Kenya and confidence in the route, the carrier said, which has grown to become one of the airline’s busiest routes in Africa since it first launched services to the country in October 1995.

As with its other two daily flights between Dubai and Nairobi, Emirates will operate a Boeing 777-300ER in a three-class configuration. The aircraft will have eight private suites in first class, 42 lie-flat seats in business class and 304 seats in economy class.

Kenya is among Africa’s fastest-growing economies. In the second quarter of 2016, GDP increased 6.2 per cent in annual terms, accelerating from the first quarter’s 5.9 per cent annual expansion and marking the fasted pace of growth in nearly four years, according to FocusEconomics.

Expansion was supported by broad-based increases in all sectors of the economy. The sectors that accelerated most, with double-digit expansions, were mining and quarrying, accommodation and restaurants, and electricity and water supply. In addition, solid growth rates of more than 8 per cent were recorded for construction, transport, information and communication, and property.

FocusEconomics forecasts GDP expanding 6 per cent for the whole of last year and 5.9 per cent for this year.

The new Emirates flight EK717 will become the first of the three daily departures to Nairobi, a city with a population of about 3.9 million people, from Dubai and leave at 01.40hrs and arrive in the Kenyan capital at 05.40hrs, enabling customers arriving on Emirates’ flights from India, the UK and many European countries such as France, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Netherlands and Italy to connect to the Nairobi flight within three hours. The return flight EK718 will depart Nairobi at 07.10hrs and land in Dubai at 13.15hrs, ahead of Emirates’ afternoon European flights and its fourth daily flight to New York, a popular destination for Kenyan travellers.

The flight will also provide 16 tonnes of additional cargo capacity on the route for Kenya’s main export products such as flowers, fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as key imports such as mobile phones, pharmaceuticals and readymade garments, among others.

The airline’s other two daily flights, EK 719, departs Dubai at 10.25hrs and arrive in Nairobi at 1425hrs. The return flight EK720, leaves at 16.35hrs and lands in Dubai at 22.40hrs. The third flight, EK721 departs Dubai at 16.00hrs and arrives in Nairobi at 20.10hrs, while the returning flight EK 722 leaves Nairobi at 22.45hrs and arrives back in Dubai at 04.50hrs the next morning.

Emirates has a strong presence in east Africa and in addition to Nairobi, also flies once daily to Entebbe in Uganda, Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

chnelson@thenational.ae

Follow The National’s Business section

EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS