As International interest in Zimbabwe continues to increase, one of the world’s premier airlines, Emirates, announced in September 2011 their plans to launch a flight to Harare in 2012.

The Dubai-Lusaka-Harare inaugural flight will take place on 1st February and the service will be operated by an A330-200 aircraft in a three-class configuration that offers 12 luxurious First Class seats, 42 seats in Business Class and generous space for 183 passengers in Economy Class.

Scheduled to operate five times a week, passengers flying Emirates from Lusaka and Harare will be able to connect seamlessly to points across the Far and Middle East, Indian sub-continent, Europe and Australasia via the airline’s hub in Dubai. “Emirates has long understood the enormous potential of Africa, which today is one of the fastest-expanding economic regions of the world, benefitting from a combined market of over one billion people and with a rising consumer demand, as well as an abundance of natural resources,” explained Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman and Chief Executive of the Emirates Airline Group. He went on to add, “Zambia and Zimbabwe will be our 20th and 21st African destinations and their addition to our global network will enable us to provide new flexibility and choice for customers, helping to grow trade routes and create important new inbound and outbound markets for tourism.”

David Chawota, chief executive officer of the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) said: “The arrival of an airline of Emirates’ stature will be very significant for Zimbabwe, increasing capacity, connectivity and choice as the country strives to consolidate its economic recovery through attracting new trade, tourism and investment.”

The Schedule is expected to be as follows:
Emirates Flight EK 713 will depart Dubai on every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 0925hrs, arriving in Lusaka at 1450hrs. The service will depart Lusaka at 1620hrs, arriving in Harare at 1720.

The return flight leaves Harare at 1920, arriving Lusaka at 2020. It departs Lusaka at 2150 and lands in Dubai at 0710hrs the next day.

It is likely that as Zimbabwe slowly regains its position on the map as a sought after Tourist Destination, more and more airlines will begin to show renewed interest in operating flights to and from the country.