Emirates increases air cargo capacity in Nigeria
04 / 02 / 2014
EMIRATES is to expand its presence in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, with the start of a daily linked A340 service to Abuja and Kano from August.
The announcement follows Emirates’ recent milestone of 10 years of successful operations to Lagos, to which the airline flies twice-daily.
Abuja, located in the centre of the country, is a planned city built largely during the 1980s which replaced Lagos as Nigeria’s capital in 1991. It is the seat of the federal government and home to most of Nigeria’s institutions, including the Central Bank of Nigeria and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Abuja is also the headquarters of the Economic Community of West African States and the regional headquarters of OPEC [Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries].
Kano, the capital of Kano State in northern Nigeria, is the second most populous city in Nigeria after Lagos, and has a history that goes back hundreds of years. The area is known for the production and export of groundnuts, which was a major source of Nigeria’s export earnings before the oil boom of the 1970s.
Emirates SkyCargo introduced a scheduled freighter service to Kano in October 2013, and with Abuja joining the network, Emirates will now fly to 26 passenger and cargo destinations in Africa.
Emirates launched services to Nigeria in January 2004 with four flights per week from Dubai to Lagos, linked with Accra in Ghana, using an A330-200 aircraft.
Just over a year later it increased its services from four to six flights a week and, following further demand, it became a daily operation in October 2005.
On 1 January 2006, Lagos was delinked from Accra and became a direct service to Dubai. On 1 February 2009, a second daily service was introduced, and today each flight is served with a B777-300ER.
“Nigeria is experiencing strong demographic and economic growth. The country is strategic to Emirates’ global expansion, as is Africa,” says Thierry Antinori, Emirates’ executive vice-president and chief commercial officer.
“With a daily linked service to Abuja and Kano, we will offer from three major cities in the country a very convenient and comfortable access to Dubai, and onwards to other destinations on the Emirates network, including more than 30 destinations in the Middle East and Asia Pacific, where we operate our popular Airbus A380 to 12 cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Sydney,” he adds.
The new service will also help create new opportunities for business, industry and tourism,” says Antinori.
Emirates SkyCargo will offer more than 200 tonnes of cargo capacity per week, with main imports into Abuja and Kano expected to include personal effects, clothing material and electronics, whilst exports will include leather, kola nuts, spices and fresh meat.