In plenty of time to prepare for the onslaught of visitors expected in South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup of football, Emirates Airline is launching a daily service from Dubai to Durban on October 1.
The daily service will provide the only direct air link between the international aviation hub of Dubai and Durban, one of South Africa’s host cities for FIFA World Cup football matches next year.
Emirates, an Official Partner of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, already flies to two South African destinations, Cape Town and Johannesburg. Emirates’ new service to Durban, which in addition to being the busiest port in Africa has long been one of South Africa’s key tourism hubs because of the many miles of beach and surf resorts just north of the city, means the airline will serve each of South Africa’s three largest cities.
“The new Durban route offers our American passengers a third destination in South Africa, one of the most popular destinations for those traveling beyond Dubai,” says Nigel Page, Emirates’ senior vice president, commercial operations, the Americas and Africa. “This gateway will provide benefits well before, during and long after the FIFA World Cup, enhancing Emirates’ global route network and Durban as a premier tourist destination in South Africa.”
Flight EK775 will depart Dubai at 4:45 a.m. Dubai time, arriving at Durban International Airport at 11:30 a.m. Durban time. The return flight, EK 776, leaves Durban at 1:00 p.m. Durban time and gets into Dubai at 11:40 p.m. Dubai time. Emirates will use 278-seat Airbus A330-200s in a two-class configuration on the flights, which will last around 8 hours 45 minutes in each direction.
Emirates passengers can connect to Durban flight EK 775 in Dubai from any of Emirates’ four U.S. gateways: New York, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The airline already flies to 15 destinations in Africa. Services to Johannesburg commenced in 1995 and Emirates now operates three-times-daily services on the route. In March 2008, the airline launched daily service to Cape Town.