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Emirates joins Ghana in making aviation history: One-off A380 lands in Accra

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Airline supports Kotoka International Airport’s new Terminal

Dubai – 2 October, 2018: The Emirates A380 aircraft made a historic touch down at the Kotoka International Airport’s Terminal 3, as a one-off service to the new terminal. The airline’s flagship double-decker has become the first-ever scheduled A380 service to Ghana, demonstrating the airport’s readiness to accommodate the A380, the world’s largest commercial passenger jet.

The special Emirates A380 flight was operated by Accra-born Ghanaian, Capt Solomon Quainoo and UAE national, First Officer Faisal Alhammadi.

The A380 flight, operating as EK 787, was joined by a top-level delegation led by Orhan Abbas, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations – Africa, H.E. Ahmed Ramadan – Ambassador of Ghana to the U.A.E, Simon Atieku – Vice Council of Ghana (Dubai & N.E) – Consulate General of Ghana, Akwasi Abayie Adomako – Minister – Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission Ghana, Hesham Abdulla Qassim Al Qassim – CEO – Wasl Group & Vice Chairman – ENBD, Vinay Malhotra – Chief Operating Officer, VFS, Lt. Col. Ibrahim Hamad Ibrahim Abdalla Al Maazmi – Dept. of Naturalisation & Residency Dubai, Majed Sultan Murad Ali Al Joker – Executive Vice President Corporate Affairs, Dubai Airports.

Upon landing at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, the aircraft was met with a ceremonial water cannon salute, and the Emirates delegation was welcomed by government officials and airport executives. After a welcoming ceremony, government officials, VIPs, media and members of the travel industry were given a guided tour of the A380 by Emirates cabin crew.

Orhan Abbas, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Africa said: “We are honoured to bring our flagship A380 to the impressive new terminal at Kotoka International Airport, as it demonstrates its full capabilities with the handling of the first A380 aircraft. Accra is an important destination in Africa and we remain committed to providing our customers in Ghana with the world class services we are known for. The Emirates A380 has been at the centre of innovation, and bringing this popular aircraft to Accra is a significant milestone in our operations to Ghana, where we will soon celebrate 15 successful years. We thank the Ghanaian government, the Ministry of Aviation and the government authorities whose support has been instrumental in making today’s one-off service a success.”

Emirates commenced operations to Ghana in January 2004 and flies to Accra daily from Dubai. Close to 1.6 million passengers have flown the Dubai – Accra route since its start, with popular destinations being China, India and the United Kingdom via its Dubai hub. Since 2006, Emirates SkyCargo has transported a total of over 73,000 tonnes of cargo from and into Ghana. The air cargo carrier has facilitated exports of over 41,000 tonnes from the country in the same time period. Major commodities exported include fruits and precious metals.

This year marks the Emirates A380’s 10th anniversary, and the iconic aircraft has transformed flying over 96 million passengers on over 106,000 flights. The Emirates A380 to Accra operated in a three-class configuration, with 426 seats in Economy Class on the main deck, 76 flat-bed seats in Business Class and 14 First Class Private Suites on the upper deck. In addition to spacious seats, free onboard Wi-Fi and award-winning inflight entertainment in all cabins, the Emirates’ A380 is renowned for its First Class Private Suites, Shower Spas and Onboard Lounge for First Class and Business Class passengers, offering a wide range of drinks and canapés, as well as space to socialise or simply relax.

www.emirates.com

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Lufthansa and SWISS partner Airlink to offer convenient travel connections in Southern Africa

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Lufthansa and SWISS Aircraft (Source: Lufthansa Group website)

Lufthansa and SWISS are partnering with Airlink, to offer customers access to over 25 domestic destinations in South Africa, including Bloemfontein, George, Upington, Skukuza, Nelspruit, Hoedspruit and Port Elizabeth – as well as over 20 regional destinations in Southern Africa, such as Gaborone, Kasane, Vilanculos, Maun, Victoria Falls, Maputo, Windhoek, Harare, Lusaka, Ndola, Bulawayo and many more.

The interline agreement which came into effect in January 2021, allows customers the convenience of purchasing a single ticket to or from a multitude of destinations in Southern Africa, via Airlink’s gateways in Johannesburg and Cape Town, therefore offering a truly seamless travel experience across both airlines.

“The Lufthansa Group is pleased to offer our customers even more travel options and convenience through our partnership with Airlink. We value Airlink as an important and reliable partner in the restart of our South African operations, and look forward to exploring further opportunities to widen the scope of our joint collaboration. This
partnership represents another milestone in further enhancing our network, and expressing the Lufthansa Group’s commitment to South Africa,” says Dr. André Schulz, General Manager Sales Southern and East Africa, Lufthansa Group.

Airlink CEO, Mr. Rodger Foster added: “We are proud and excited about our commercial interline agreement with Lufthansa and SWISS. We have a deep respect for these airlines, their values and global reach. We are confident that the partnership will provide our respective customers with a wider choice of travel options through the convenient interconnectivity of our respective flights at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport and Cape Town International Airport.

The Lufthansa and SWISS agreement with Airlink applies to tickets sold through LH.com, swiss.com and flyairlink.com – as well as through local travel agencies.

Jointly issued by Airlink and Lufthansa Group

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Qatar Airways Expands Africa Network with Increase in Flight Frequencies

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Qatar Airways Aircraft (Source: YouTube)

Cape Town, Casablanca and Tunis will increase to five weekly flights, while Johannesburg will increase to 18 weekly flights, offering passengers more flexible and reliable travel options

Airline’s young mixed fleet of sustainable aircraft has enabled it to continue flying throughout the pandemic and rebuild its global network to more than 800 weekly flights to over 120 destinations via the Best Airport in the Middle East

Qatar Airways continues to be the leading global carrier connecting Africa, operating one of the largest and most reliable networks in the region. Having become the largest international carrier during the early stages of the pandemic, the airline has applied its unrivalled knowledge of global passenger flows and booking trends to rebuild its Africa network to 23 destinations and more than 100 weekly flights.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are proud to be the leading international carrier connecting Africa with Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the U.S., offering more flexible travel options and a global network of flights that passengers, trade and business partners can rely on. Having launched three new destinations in Africa with Abuja, Accra and Luanda joining our network in 2020, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to the region by adding new routes and steadily increasing frequencies across the continent. With the resumption of Alexandria and Cairo, we will operate over 100 weekly flights to and from Africa with connections via the Best Airport in the Middle East, Hamad International Airport, to our global network of over 120 destinations. As global travel recovers in 2021, we look forward to further expanding our network and offering more connections to and from Africa.”

In line with the airline’s steady rebuild of its Africa network, Qatar Airways plans to increase frequencies to the following destinations:

  • Alexandria (two weekly flights resumed 25 January)
  • Cairo (up to 16 weekly flights resumed 18 January)
  • Cape Town (increasing to five weekly flights from 1 February)
  • Casablanca (increased to five weekly flights from 21 January)
  • Durban (increasing to three weekly flights from 14 February)
  • Johannesburg (increasing to 18 weekly flights from 26 January)
  • Maputo (increasing to three weekly flights from 14 February)
  • Tunis (increased to five weekly flights from 24 January)

The national carrier of the State of Qatar continues to rebuild its network, which currently stands at over 120 destinations with plans to increase to over 130 by the end of March 2021.

Qatar Airways has become the first global airline in the world to achieve the prestigious 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. This follows HIA’s recent success as the first airport in the Middle East and Asia to be awarded a Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating. These recognitions provides assurance to passengers across the world that airline health and safety standards are subject to the highest possible standards of professional, independent scrutiny and assessment. For full details of all the measures that have been implemented onboard and in HIA, please visit qatarairways.com/safety.

Passengers can book flights with peace of mind, knowing that Qatar Airways offers unlimited date changes and fee-free refunds for all tickets issued before 30 April 2021, for travel completed by 31 December 2021. The carrier’s industry-leading flexible booking policy also provides the permanent feature of exchanging tickets for a travel voucher with 10% additional value for all customers booking travel via qatarairways.com. For full terms and conditions visit qatarairways.com/Flexibility.

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’, and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite. The Qsuite seat layout is a 1-2-1 configuration, providing passengers with the most spacious, fully private, comfortable and social distanced Business Class product in the sky. Qsuite is available on flights to more than 45 destinations including Kuala Lumpur, London, Melbourne and New York. It is the only airline to have been awarded the coveted ‘Skytrax Airline of the Year’ title, which is recognised as the pinnacle of excellence in the airline industry, five times.

Issued by Qatar Airways

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Congo Airways Orders Two Embraer E195-E2 Jets

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Congo Airways Embraer Aircraft (Source: Embraer)

Just six months after their first E2 order, Congo Airways has placed a firm order for two E195-E2 jets. This is in addition to their existing two aircraft order for the smaller E190-E2. The four aircraft deal has a total value of USD 272 million at current list prices. This new firm order will be included in Embraer’s 2020 fourth quarter backlog.

Desire Bantu, CEO of Congo Airways said, “We see an opportunity in our market and the crisis we are all facing for Congo Airways to emerge stronger – which is why we are not waiting to place this further order. These new jets will allow us to extend our passenger and cargo operations regionally to high demand destinations such as Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Abidjan.

As we prepare for future success, we will have the flexibility, and the right sized, most efficient aircraft, to serve our customers as the market returns.”

“Africa has for too long been thought of as a market of mostly low frequencies and long thin routes. As airlines start ramp up their operations, the E2 family of aircraft is perfectly positioned to right size routes previously operated by narrowbodies, while keeping frequencies and adjusting capacity to new levels,” said Cesar Pereira, vice president of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Embraer Commercial Aviation. “Congo Airways will benefit from the flexibility provided by the common cockpit on the E2 jet family meaning their flight crews can transition seamlessly between variants.”

The E195-E2 will be configured in a dual class 120 seat layout, 12 in business, 108 in economy. An additional 25% capacity when compared to the 96-seat configuration chosen by Congo Airways for their E190-E2s. The E2 deliveries are expected to begin in 2022 with Embraer and Congo Airways continuing to review the potential to anticipate the beginning of the deliveries. There are currently 206 Embraer aircraft operating in Africa with 56 airlines in 29 countries.

Source: Embraer

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