By Andy Sambidge
Dubai airline says service set to start on Sept 1, will fly five times a week to Dakar.
Emirates Airline on Monday unveiled plans to launch direct services to Senegal – its 106th international destination.
Dakar is the airline’s third new African destination in less than 12 months, after Durban and Luanda joined the network in late 2009 and follows new route announcements to Tokyo, Amsterdam, Prague and Madrid, also launching in 2010.
Starting September 1, Emirates will fly non-stop to Dakar five times a week on every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline & Group, said: “This new route further underlines our commitment to Africa, as we seek to continuously strengthen our services across the continent.”
He added: “It is a significant next step in further strengthening ties between the United Arab Emirates and Senegal, as the two nations continue to collaborate on many significant projects.”
Karim Wade, senior minister, Ministry of International Cooperation, National Planning, Air Transport and Infrastructure, Senegal said: “As the first direct service between Senegal and the UAE, this new route will deliver a significant boost to our nation’s trade, commerce and tourism industries.”
The announcement of the Senegal service comes as economic activity between the two nations continues to grow.
Dubai’s non-oil trade with Senegal has increased significantly in recent years – from $61.9m per year in 2005 to $130.2m per year in 2008 – an average annual growth of 28 percent.
DP World was recently awarded the concession to develop and operate the existing container terminal at Dakar and invest in a new container terminal at the city’s Port du Futur, while the Jebel Ali Free Zone is developing a special economic free zone connected to Senegal’s new Blaise Diagne Airport, which is currently under construction.