JOHANNESBURG - Emirates Airlines is continuing to look for more opportunities to connect South Africa with other destinations throughout the globe.
“There are many opportunities presented by South Africa as it is one of the preferred destinations for tourists. We want to ensure that we service the tourists who visit these shores. We have stayed in the country when other airlines decided to leave in the past,” said Fouad Caunhye, a regional manager for Southern Africa.
He said Emirates operated four flights a day from Johannesburg to Dubai, with three from Cape Town and one from Durban on a daily basis.
Emirates is one of the largest airlines in the world and it operates between a fleet of between 250 and 260 aircrafts according to Caunhye.
In South Africa the airline said it had been able to keep the operations going despite a slow down in the economy in the past few years.
South Africa’s economy grew by less than 1percent in 2017.
“We have not really been affected by the slow economic growth in the country. Instead, we have increased our operations in the country since we started our operations in 1995. From there we have grown tremendously. We have managed to spread our operations to lesser known destinations like Azerbaijan, through expansive codeshare agreement with FlyDubai."
We see opportunities where our competitors might see no need to put their operations,” he said.
Caunhye said Durban had been one of the success stories.
“Durban used to be a seasonal market, only busy during the Christmas period. However, this has changed over the years and we started to see a tremendous growth from 2009. I think with the country hosting the 2010 World Cup also put the city on the map,” Caunhye said.
Durban has also attracted British Airways to re-enter Durban by providing flights to fly to Durban, thus confirming the city’s appeal as the demand grows.
During the Tourism Indaba held in Durban British Airways announced last week that it would start operating direct flights from London to Durban three times a week.
The route expansion comes as British Airways rolls out a £4.5 billion, five-year customer investment plan, with a focus on excellence in the premium cabins and more choice and quality for all its customers.
- BUSINESS REPORT