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Wed 22 Jul 2009 03:33 PM

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Emirates opens first airport lounge in Africa

Dubai carrier has 23 dedicated airport lounges worldwide, costing $63m.

Emirates Airline has launched its first airport lounge in Africa taking the carrier's total number of lounges worldwide to 23.

The Dubai-based carrier has also unveiled plans to introduce three more Emirates Lounges to cater for its first and business class passengers and frequent flyers over the next 12 months, to be located at Manchester, Birmingham and Hamburg airports.   The airline said it has spent AED230m ($63m) to date on expanding its lounge network. Its first African lounge is at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

Mohammed Mattar, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President for Airport Services, said: “We will continue to investigate and introduce more innovative ways to enhance the overall customer experience.” Emirates began developing dedicated lounges outside of its Dubai hub in 2004.

Today, the airline’s 23 lounges can serve more than 5,600 Emirates passengers at any one time, the carrier said in a statement on Wednesday. Mr Mattar added: “In our last financial year, over two million passengers enjoyed the facilities at Emirates Lounges around the world. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and tells us that our customers appreciate having an exclusive sanctuary to rest and refresh before their flights.”

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