By Dipo Olowookere
Dubai-based flydubai on Sunday commenced flight operations to the N’djili Airport (Kinshasa International Airport – FIH) and will operate daily flights to N’djili Airport with an enroute stop in Entebbe.
On the inaugural flight to the airport was a delegation led by Sudhir Sreedharan, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations (UAE, GCC, Indian Subcontinent & Africa) for flydubai.
The delegation was met on arrival by Mr Tshiumba Pmunga Jean, Director General, Civil Aviation Authority, Mr Kufula Makila Rex, Cabinet Director, Minister of Transport and Mr Bilenge Abdala – General Director RVA- (Régie des Voies Aériennes).
The planed arrived N’djili Airport at 14:20 (local time), becoming the first national carrier for the UAE to create direct air links to the Congolese capital, Kinshasa and with the start of the service sees its comprehensive network in Africa grow to 13 destinations in 10 countries.
With the start of flights to Kinshasa, another gateway is opened up for passengers from the GCC, Russia and the Indian Subcontinent into Central Africa.
Passengers from Kinshasa have access to more than 90 destinations on the flydubai network and through its codeshare partnership with Emirates can connect easily and conveniently to Emirates’ destinations spanning six continents in over 80 countries.
Chief Executive Officer of flydubai, Ghaith Al Ghaith, said on the launch of flights to Kinshasa that, “As one of the largest and most populous cities in Africa, Kinshasa, is a key hub for travel and trade.
“Africa is one of the UAE’s emerging trade partners and with the opening of this new route to one of the busiest airports in the Democratic Republic of the Congo there will be further opportunities to strengthen commercial ties across a neighbouring continent with vast natural resources.”
The fast-growing economies of the countries of Africa are important trading markets for the UAE and their increasing prosperity will ensure that their contribution of visitor numbers to Dubai will similarly grow strongly.
Sudhir Sreedharan, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations (UAE, GCC, Indian Subcontinent and Africa) at flydubai, who led the inaugural delegation, added: “Africa has been an important market for flydubai since the airline’s launch in 2009. We continue to see strong demand for direct airlinks and last year flydubai contributed 13 percent of the total growth at Dubai Airports for the African market.
“I am pleased to see our network in Africa grow to 13 destinations in 10 countries with the launch today of flights to Kinshasa. With the start of the daily service from Dubai’s aviation hub to one of the largest countries in Africa, passengers will have access to increased connectivity.”
All flights to and from Kinshasa will offer travellers flydubai’s onboard experience, whether opting for priority services and more space and privacy in Business Class, or enjoying flexibility and convenience as a passenger in Economy Class.
flydubai says it will codeshare this route with Emirates. With the partnership, passengers can connect easily and conveniently to over 90 of flydubai’s destinations which complement the Emirates route network, spanning six continents in over 80 countries.
In under 10 years, flydubai has grown an extensive network across Africa and currently offers flights to Addis Ababa, Alexandria, Asmara, Djibouti, Entebbe, Hargeisa, Juba, Khartoum and Port Sudan as well as Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar.
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