File photo: The flight was also expected to be the longest by duration, with a gate-to-gate time of 17 hours, 15 minutes.

Johannesburg - An increased demand has resulted in Emirates Airlines increasing the number of flights out of South Africa.

This week Emirates announced that from October 26, a fourth daily flight will take to the skies from Joburg to Dubai, increasing the total number of flights to seven on a daily basis and 49 a week from three destinations in South Africa (Durban, Joburg and Cape Town).

Their luxury Boeing 777-300ER, which has eight first-class suites, 42 business class seats that convert into beds and 354 economy seats, will depart Joburg at 9.30am and arrive at the airline’s Dubai mega-hub at 7.40pm.

On its return, the flight will push back from Dubai at 11.20pm and touch down in Joburg at 5.35am, the following day.

Orhan Abbas, Emirates senior vice president, commercial operations, Latin America, Central and Southern Africa, who was in Durban recently, said that the increase was imperative due to the demand from passengers.

“We are introducing our fourth daily service between Dubai and Joburg to meet the growing passenger demand for flights between these two important business and tourism hubs. The increased frequency gives our customers greater flexibility in their travel plans and enhances connectivity to other flights on the Emirates network through our Dubai hub.

“The number of South Africans engaging in leisure outbound travel is increasing, with the visiting of friends and family (VFR) traffic becoming a major contributor to the sustainability of the route.

“We have seen a healthy year-on-year increase in passenger numbers on the route, reflecting the steady economic and tourism growth of both cities (Joburg and Dubai) and this investment demonstrates our confidence in the strength of the market.

“Joburg remains an important gateway for inbound traffic and we are pleased to provide more connectivity options to our customers.

“The fourth daily flight will also enhance connection convenience for outbound passengers going to India, Pakistan, Singapore, Malaysia, Bangkok and Jordan, Qatar and Iran,” said Abbas.

Saturday Star