Travel and tourism in South Africa is continuing to improve as King Shaka International Airport in Durban welcomed the first of the new Emirates Boeing 777-300ER into service. The 354 seater aircraft brings Emirates’ much sought after First Class cabin to Durban routes and improves passenger capacity by almost 30 percent. Over the next few weeks, Emirates will replace the Airbus A330-200 aircraft which currently serve the Durban flight routes serving 22 destinations across the African continent.
In a recent press release regarding the change of aircraft on the Durban routes, Emirates’ Regional Manager for South Africa, Fouad Caunhye stated, “Durban is one of South Africa’s most popular tourist destinations and the introduction of the new Boeing 777 is a direct response to increasing passenger demand on this route. Emirates carried over 165,000 passengers on flights to and from Durban in 2011. With the new Boeing 777 service we expect this to grow by nearly a third as our customers continue to explore the opportunities Emirates’ global network has to offer.”
The top of the line Boeing 777 is able to offer some of the highest standard in terms of luxury and passenger comfort levels. The aircraft features a total of eight luxury private cabins for First Class passengers and 42 Business Class seats featuring lie flat beds in addition to the 304 Economy Class seats which are generous compared to Economy seats on other airlines. All aircraft in the Emirates fleet are equipped with the ice entertainment system which consists of over 1200 channels of on demand content including 200 movies, 100 television stations, 100 video games and over 500 radio and audio channels. This award winning entertainment system means passengers can kept up to date on all of the latest sport, news and business headlines while in the air. Passengers are also enjoy gourmet food on all Emirates flights.
The upgrade to these new aircraft is not only a boost for tourism in South Africa, it also signals the increasing level of influence Durban has as one of South Africa’s key trade hubs. Kum Naicker of Emirates’ SkyCargo division said, “The introduction of the Boeing 777 will provide a 90 percent increase in cargo capacity on the Durban route. The port of Durban is already the busiest in Africa and one of the largest in the world. This, coupled with the increase in cargo capacity resulting from the new Boeing 777 service and the continuing growth of the Dube TradePort, will truly confirm Durban’s position as Africa’s global trade gateway.”