Emirates Airline has announced plans to upgrade its services to Zambia and Zimbabwe from next month.
Dubai's international carrier said it will add more than 1,600 seats a week on its Lusaka and Harare routes when it introduces a Boeing 777-300ER on its daily flight from Dubai starting on February 1.
A 354-seat Boeing 777-300ER, the longest passenger aircraft ever to touch down in Lusaka and Harare, will replace a 237-seat Airbus A330-200 on the route - a capacity increase of more than 50 percent, Emirates said in a statement.
The upgrade will launch on the first anniversary of the route. Since February 1 last year more than 55,000 passengers have travelled with Emirates on the Dubai-Lusaka-Harare route.
"Our Lusaka and Harare service has come of age and with demand continuing to increase, this is the right time for Emirates to be expanding its capacity," said Jean Luc Grillet, Emirates' senior vice president for Commercial Operations in Africa.
"With the introduction of this larger aircraft, we will offer almost 5,000 seats total every week on the route between Dubai, Lusaka and Harare."
Emirates' key destinations for Zambian and Zimbabwean travellers include Dubai, Guangzhou, Beijing, Hong Kong and Bombay, the statement added.
The Boeing 777-300ER is the backbone of the Emirates fleet, with 82 in service and a further 69 on order.
Since the route was launched, Emirates has also carried more than 5,000 tonnes of cargo on its Lusaka and Harare service.
The arrival of the larger aircraft will mean an increase in cargo carrying capacity of 22 percent per flight.
"Emirates constantly strives to deliver its passengers with the very best service. The Boeing 777-300ER aircraft forms the backbone of Emirates' fleet, and its introduction on the Lusaka and Harare route reflects our commitment to quality," added Grillet.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.