Emirates is expanding its services into oil-rich Nigeria with the start of daily linked services to Abuja and Kano from August 1.
The announcement of the route, to be operated initially on one of its older A340-500 aircraft – similar to Kiev, which started last month – follows Emirates’ 10th anniversary to Lagos, where it flies double daily on B777-300ER aircraft.
Abuja, located in the centre of the country, is the seat of the Federal Government and home to most of Nigeria’s institutions, including the Central Bank of Nigeria and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. It is also the headquarters of the Economic Community of West African States and regional headquarters of OPEC.
Kano, the capital of Kano State in northern Nigeria, is the second most populous city in Nigeria, and is known for the production and export of groundnuts, which was a major source of Nigeria’s export earnings before the 1970s oil boom.
Emirates SkyCargo, which introduced a scheduled freighter service to Kano in October 2013, will offer over 200 tonnes of cargo capacity per week.
Thierry Antinori, Emirates EVP and chief commercial officer, said Nigeria is experiencing strong demographic and economic growth and “strategic” to Emirates’ global expansion.
“With a daily linked service to Abuja and Kano, we will offer from three major cities in the country a very convenient and comfortable access to Dubai, and onwards to other destinations on the Emirates network,” he said.
For all its clear economic potential, Nigeria continues to grapple with insurgency attacks and unrest, and Emirates will be closely monitoring events in the run-up to August. New route launches to the region can be prone to delays or postponements.