Air Zimbabwe woes mount as Emirates jets in

Ailing airliner Air Zimbabwe mounting woes are set to multiply after Emirates SkyCargo landed in the country starting an African safari from next week.

Air Zimbabwe which is bedeviled by insolence, and a dearth of planes has been struggling to meet the growing demand and the entrance into the market of, one of the fastest growing international airlines, 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 6,000 tonnes after the launch of flights to Lusaka and Harare on 1st February.

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.

“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.

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“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.

An A330-200 – with a weekly capacity of up to 160 tonnes – will operate every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from Lusaka and Harare to Dubai, providing businesses in Zimbabwe and Zambia the opportunity to connect with trading partners on Emirates SkyCargo’s network of more than 100 destinations.

Emirates SkyCargo operates dedicated freighter services to a number of points throughout Africa, including: Accra, Dakar, Eldoret, Entebbe, Johannesburg, Lilongwe, Lome and Nairobi.

Emirates SkyCargo is the freight division of Emirates and will serve 22 destinations in Africa after Lusaka/Harare comes online. Reflecting Emirates’ overall policy of excellence in every area of operation, Emirates SkyCargo’s investment in highly-qualified staff, the very latest information technology, the most efficient aircraft and the finest ground handling facilities, has made it a significant force in the global air cargo industry.

Following the launch of the Lusaka/Harare service, Emirates SkyCargo will serve a global route network that spans 120 points in 72 countries, including 11 cargo-only destinations, while more than 50 of the locations Emirates SkyCargo serves are e-freight compliant.

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