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Tue 22 Feb 2011 09:16 PM

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Dubai's Emirates expects surge in Africa cargo business

Dubai-based carrier expects lift from Africa's vibrant economies and rising consumer demand

Dubai's Emirates expects surge in Africa cargo business
Cargo business to Africa is set to increase this year thanks to vibrant economies on the continent (Photo supplied)

Emirates Airline expects the contribution of African routes to its cargo business to rise this year as vibrant economies on the continent import infrastructure gear and consumer goods, a senior executive said on Tuesday.

Africa contributed 7 percent to the airline's cargo haulage of 1.6 million tonnes last year, Ram Menen, divisional senior vice president for cargo, said at an industry exhibition.

"Telecommunication equipment are very huge purely because Africa is upgrading its telecommunication technology," Menen said.

"This is just a catalyst. It shows the health of the economy in the region," he said.

Many sub-Saharah African economies have posted average economic growth of five percent in recent years, he said.

Emirates operates a freighter four times a week into Nairobi. It also operates flights to Lilongwe, Entebbe, Lagos and Dakar.

To South Africa, it operates freighters on an ad hoc because it has several regular daily passenger flights.

In Nigeria, where Emirates ships in oil equipment and consumer goods, Menen said inbound volumes were good enough to offset the lack of export cargo.

The airline also uses cargo flights to Nigeria to pick up exports from other markets, like Kenyan flowers, headed to Europe.

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