Emirates to resume services to Nigeria’s Abuja
Dubai-based Emirates will resume operations to Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja, with four weekly flights from December 15, 2017, it announced on Sunday.
The airline operated daily flights to Abuja between August 2014 and October 2016. Flights were suspended due to falling demand triggered by a currency crisis in Nigeria.
From December 15, flight EK785 will depart from Dubai every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 10.35am and arrive in Abuja at 3.35pm.
The return flight EK786 will depart Abuja at 6.55pm and arrive in Dubai at 4.35am the next day.
The route will be served by a 360-seat Boeing 777-300 in a three-class configuration.
Meanwhile the airline will also reinstate its second daily service to Lagos, which was operational from February 2009 until June 2016.
Similar to the current daily service between Dubai and Lagos, the additional flight will be operated with a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, offering eight first class suites, 42 business class seats and 310 economy class seats.
Flight EK781 will depart Dubai every day at 3.55am and arrive in Lagos at 9.05am. The return flight EK782 will depart Lagos at 12.40am and arrive in Dubai at 10.55pm.
Apart from the increased passenger capacity, the new flights will provide up to 23 tonnes of cargo capacity per flight, enabling increased imports of electronic goods, construction equipment and pharmaceuticals, and exports of fresh produce and perishables, Emirates said.
“Nigeria is a key market for Emirates and its importance is reflected by the fact that we will add 11 weekly flights between Dubai and two major cities in Nigeria, Abuja and Lagos,” said Orhan Abbas, Emirates SVP, Commercial Operations, Africa.
“We thank the Nigerian authorities for facilitating the reinstatement of our flights to Abuja and Lagos which will, in turn, greatly benefit Nigerian tourism, trade, investment and economy at large.”
Emirates launched services to Nigeria on January 2, 2004 with four flights per week from Dubai to Lagos linked with Accra in Ghana, using an A330-200 aircraft. Just over a year later, the carrier Emirates increased its services from four to six flights a week, and following further demand, it became a daily operation in October 2005.
On January 1 2006, Lagos was delinked from Accra and became a direct service to Dubai.
From December 15 2017, Emirates will operate 18 weekly flights between Dubai and Nigeria.