South Africa is Emirates? shining diamond in Africa for both passenger traffic and as a holiday destination, the airline has revealed.
?Two of Emirates top 5 passenger destinations can be found in South Africa ? Johannesburg and Cape Town, while South Africa as a whole has also been declared the top African destination by Emirates Holidays.
The airline operates 161 flights a week from Dubai to Africa, serving 25 destinations in 21 countries.
?Africa holds such enormous potential for leisure travellers wanting a trip with a difference, said Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Emirates? Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Centre. The continent is huge, incredibly diverse and a close neighbour of the UAE. As time goes by, more and more people are realising Africa?s appeal and embarking on a real adventure.?
South Africa leads the way in Africa because of its outstanding natural beauty, wildlife and highly developed range of activities and excursions for individuals, groups and families, according to Emirates Holidays. Also in the top 5 are Kenya, Tanzania, Morocco and Zimbabwe. Safaris featuring the ?The Big Five? (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and Cape buffalo), visits to cultural villages and hot air balloon rides are amongst the favourite activities.
Looking at Africa-bound passenger traffic overall, the top 5 African destinations are Johannesburg, Lagos, Cape Town, Cairo and Nairobi.*
The top 5 points from where passengers are visiting Africa are Dubai, London Heathrow, Beijing, Guangzhou and Bombay. The same destinations feature in the top 5 list of where passengers from Africa are heading to on Emirates? network.
Cairo was the airline?s first African destination in 1986. Conakry became the 25th gateway to be launched in October last year. Services to Abuja and Kano in Nigeria, which will supplement the existing service to Lagos, will start 1 August. Until then, South Africa remains the only market with multiple passenger gateways. Emirates offers triple daily flights to Johannesburg, twice daily flights to Cape Town and a daily service to Durban.
?There is a reason why Emirates embarked on its Africa journey back in 1986 when we began flights to Egypt, said Sheikh Majid. ?We could see that this continent was rich in opportunities for both travellers and business people. The fact that China features twice ? Beijing and Guangzhou ? in the top 5 places where our visitors to Africa come from says a great deal about global dynamics and Emirates? role in connecting the world.?
Emirates is currently running a series of special fares from Dubai to over 20 destinations in Africa, starting from AED 1,535.