Airline giant, Emirates, has added Harare and Lusaka in Zambia as its newest destinations as it expands its network on the continent.
The development comes days after the troubled national airline Air Zimbabwe took to the skies after pilots ended a strike.
Beginning February next year, Emirates will embark on a five times weekly flight from Dubai.
“Emirates has long understood the enormous potential of Africa, which today is one of the fastest expanding economic regions of the world, benefiting from a combined market of over one billion people, rising consumer demand and an abundance of natural resources,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline & Group.
“Zambia and Zimbabwe will be our 20th and 21st African destinations and their addition to our global network will enable us to provide new flexibility and choice for customers, help to grow trade routes and create important new inbound and outbound markets for tourism,” added Al-Maktoum.
Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe chief executive officer David Chawota said the arrival of Emirates was significant for Zimbabwe as it seeks to increase capacity, connectivity and choice as the country strives to consolidate its economic recovery through attracting new trade, tourism and investment.
“We are extremely proud of the facilities we have at Harare International Airport and look forward to providing the very best service to Emirates customers from around the world. We really appreciate the support of our government in facilitating this development,” said Chawota.
The airline said the Dubai-Lusaka-Harare service would be operated by an A330-200 aircraft in a three-class configuration that offers 12 luxurious first- class seats, 42 seats in business Class and 183 passengers in economy Class.
Several foreign airlines have made it onto markets that used to be serviced by Air Zimbabwe.