Emirates president optimistic on talks over disputed fourth daily flight to South Africa

South Africa’s transport department said earlier that the additional flight given to Emirates was awarded by an individual who was not authorised to do so.

Powered by automated translation

The Emirates Airline president Tim Clark said he is optimistic about talks with South African authorities regarding the carrier’s fourth daily flight from Dubai to Johannesburg, which Cape Town says was wrongly awarded.

“The South African government and UAE will meet to discuss the aero-political bilateral instruments to discuss who can fly to what, where and when,” said Mr Clark.

“I’m optimistic”, he said. “We are operating at the moment and we are operating with an entitlement that already exists.

South Africa’s transport department said earlier that the additional flight given to Emirates was awarded by an individual who was not authorised to do so.

Mr Clark said the fourth daily flight was “in good time, documented and approved”.

He described the relationship with South African as “healthy”, adding the two airlines have a good commercial agreement.

“We effectively give them inventory every day amounting to two flights, which they can sell and make a very good margin to the tune of US$27 million a year,” he said.

Emirates has 49 flights per week to and from Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. The Dubai-based carrier started it’s fourth daily flight to Johannesburg last month.

Emirates reported an 8 per cent rise in first half-profit, despite a runway closure at Dubai International Airport. The airline reported net profit of Dh1.9 billion in the first six months.

The rapidly expanding carrier also said it would benefit from falling oil prices in the second half of the year. Fuel accounted for 38 per cent of Emirates’ operating costs during the six months, versus 39 per cent in the same period a year ago.

selgazzar@thenational.ae

Follow The National's Business section on Twitter