Written by Arooba Muhammad, CNN
International air carrier Emirates is expanding operations in South Africa to deliver a wider choice of services and flexible schedules in an effort to expand its “profitable business in the country.”
South Africa’s key commercial hub, Johannesburg, has been home to Dubai-based Emirates since 2007. Until May, the airline used Windhoek International Airport for its day-to-day operations, transporting passengers on its two flights a day from the city to Dubai.
But that arrangement ended in May when the airline took delivery of a Boeing 777F, enabling it to add the second flight a day to Johannesburg. Emirates spokeswoman Bronwyn Lans said the additional route launched this month had already been fully booked.
“We are one of the few airlines in the world that can offer daily services between Johannesburg and Dubai,” she said.
Emirates flights currently operate daily at both destinations. (An earlier version of this story suggested that daily flights were already scheduled. Emirates later confirmed that its services are scheduled twice daily.)
A strategy for growth
Emirates has at least one million connections a day across its network in 165 countries.
A 2015 investment by the Dubai-based airline in a hub in Britain’s Gatwick Airport and other investments in Europe and the Americas are intended to help it win greater market share in faster-growing markets.
In July 2018, Emirates revealed it would receive five more A380 aircraft, one a month until 2020, bringing the total number of the giant aircraft to 13.
David Scowsill, Emirates’ president of commercial operations, said the extra route from Johannesburg would help the airline keep up with demand.
“We see growth prospects for more services in South Africa, so the launch of a second daily service to Johannesburg is great news for both customers and the South African economy,” he said in a statement.