Emirates (Dubai) has announced a new daily service to Abuja and Kano from August 1, 2014. 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 center 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 the 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 in the 1970s.
Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of the airline, introduced a scheduled freighter service to Kano in October 2013, and with Abuja joining the network, Emirates will now fly to 26 destinations in Africa and 142 worldwide in 80 countries.
Emirates launched services to Nigeria on January 2, 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 Emirates increased its services from four to six flights a week, and following further demand, it became a daily operation in October 2005. On January 1, 2006, Lagos was delinked from Accra and became a direct service to Dubai. On February 1, 2009, a second daily service was introduced, and today each flight is served with a Boeing 777-300 ER.
The route will be serviced by an Airbus A340-500 offering a total of 258 seats in a three class configuration – 12 in First Class, 42 in Business Class and 204 in Economy Class.
Abuja will be the first stop on the linked service on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, and Kano will be the first stop on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Emirates flight EK 785 will depart Dubai at 1030 and arrive in Abuja at 1450. The flight will depart Abuja at 1640 and arrive in Kano at 1750. The return flight will depart Kano at 2025 and arrive in Dubai at 0615 the next morning. Flight EK 786 will depart Dubai at 1030 and arrive in Kano at 1430. The flight will depart Kano at 1625 and arrive in Abuja at 1735. It will depart for Dubai at 2005 arriving at 0615 the next morning.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A340-541 A6-ERB (msn 471) arrives at New York (JFK).