13 December, 2011

Emirates to boost Kenya- France tie

Airline to add five more flights to Paris by end of 2012

Nairobi– 13th December 2011 – Emirates, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, will add an additional five weekly flights to Paris by the end of 2012. The increase in flights is in direct response to strong passenger demand on the route.

Effective 25th March, the current double-daily Charles de Gaulle service will be supplemented by an additional four frequencies, increasing to five extra weekly flights in the winter 2012 schedule.

Making the announcement in Nairobi, Emirates Regional Manager for East Africa Essa Sulaiman Ahmad said:  “Demand to and from France, particularly from business travellers, is such that a third frequency has always been an objective for Emirates. With these additional services, we will help to satisfy that demand, while providing more opportunities for travel between Nairobi and Paris through our Dubai hub.” 

The announcement comes as good news as Kenya seeks to strengthen trade and social ties with France. Kenya is France’s first economic partner in East Africa and trade between the two countries are expected to grow.

According to the Kenya’s Ministry of Trade, trade between Kenya and France reached nearly €240 million during the first three quarters of 2011. According to the Quai d'Orsay, France imported Kenyan products, mainly food, tea, coffee and tropical fruits, to the tune of nearly €70 million and exported to Kenya pharmaceutical formulation products, cables and equipment worth €170 million. 

“The additional flights will also boost our cargo capacity to France and to other countries within the European Union, which is the main export markets for cut flowers from Kenya. France is one of the main European markets in addition to Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Sweden, Italy, and Switzerland,” said Mr Ahmad.

On social front, Kenya has also signed an agreement of co-operation with France where the two countries are expected to promote co-production of films that focus on common interest and favour involvement of individuals and companies whose activities are linked to the film industry. The deal also allows for cross participation of national works in festivals and cinema events organised in both countries and ensure that the parties contribute to the collection of film materials that enhance national film collections of the two countries.

France became part of the Emirates’ route network in 1992 and now two gateways are served; Paris and Nice. The additional five frequencies, taking the total number of Emirates’ weekly flights to Paris to 19, will be operated with a 777-300ER. The aircraft offers eight First Class Private Suites, 42 lie-flat beds in Business Class and a spacious cabin in Economy Class with 310 seats.

The four extra flights from March will operate on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The new EK 071 will depart Dubai at 0355hrs and arrive in the French capital at 0905hrs. The return flight, EK072, leaves Paris at 1110hrs to land in Dubai at 1940hrs. Effective 30 October 2012, EK071 and EK 072 will also operate on a Tuesday.

Throughout all cabin classes, passengers can enjoy the latest version of the airline’s multi award-winning ice entertainment system, which brings over 1,200 channels of movies, TV shows and music, including French language content. 

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