Nairobi- 27th July 2011 – Emirates, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, has announced the historic capital city of Rome as the next destinations slated for its flagship A380 aircraft. The daily A380 services will start 1st December 2011.
The announcement of Emirates’ first permanent scheduled A380 service to Italy comes on the back of its momentous June 6th landing at Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport to mark the celebrations for its 50th anniversary, while commemorating 150 years of Italian unification.
Making the announcement in Nairobi, Emirates’ Regional Manager for East Africa Essa Sulaiman Ahmad said the launch of Emirates A380 service to Italy will improve economic ties between Kenya and Italy
“In addition to underscores our commitment to Italy, the permanent service of the Emirates’ A380 to Rome, will improve trade and between Nairobi and Rome. The new A380 service improves the capacity in terms of passengers and cargo loads and enhances connectivity between the two cities,” said Mr Ahmad.
Currently, there exists a trade gap deficit between Kenya and Italy, hugely in favour of the later. According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Kenya’s imports from Italy amounted to Kesh13.88 in 2009 against Ksh2.4 billion worth of exports to Italy during the same period.
“Rome is currently served twice daily by Emirates. Coupled with a double daily service to Milan and a daily flight to Venice, our weekly flights to Italy now stand at 35. This is brings convenience to both businessmen wishing to trade with Italy or leisure travelers and pilgrims visiting Italy,” Mr Ahmad said.
The A380 service will operate daily as EK 97, departing Dubai at 0910hrs (local time) and arriving at Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport at 1235hrs (local). The return flight, EK 98, departs Rome at 1435hrs (local) and arrives in Dubai at 2305hrs (local). The arrival time of the A380 in Dubai will allow passengers from Italy to connect to its extensive network of destinations in the Far East.
With 15 A380s currently in its fleet, Emirates is the largest operator of the environmentally friendly double-decker aircraft, operating services from Dubai to London Heathrow (double-daily), Manchester, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Toronto, Seoul, Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai, Jeddah, New York, Hong Kong, Sydney and Auckland.
From 1st October 2011, the A380 will begin serving Johannesburg, followed by Kuala Lumpur as of 1st December and then from 1st January 2012, the A380 will be deployed on the Munich route.
So far in 2011, Emirates has launched passenger flights to Basra and Geneva. Services to Copenhagen will commence on 1st August and St Petersburg will be launched on 1st November, followed by Baghdad on 13th November, and Rio and Buenos Aires in January 2012.