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14 April 2024

Emirates celebrates 10 years of connecting Durban to world

Photo: WAM


Emirates airline is celebrating a milestone in its operations to South Africa, marking ten years of service to the port city of Durban.

The first Emirates flight between Durban and Dubai operated on 1st October, 2009, and the airline has since carried over two million passengers on the route.

"The past 10 years have been both rewarding and fulfilling; we have seen our Durban route steadily grow both in passenger and cargo figures and contribute to our overall success in South Africa. We have worked hard to deliver a world-class product while celebrating the many cultures we connect. Durbanites can look forward to the local favourites included in our menu, a film from the city on ice, or meeting someone from 'home' amongst our diverse cabin crew. I feel proud to be part of a team that has brought these memorable travel experiences to life, not only for Durban locals but for all South Africans," said Fouad Caunhye, Regional Manager of Emirates Southern Africa.

Year on year, travellers using the King Shaka International Airport have steadily increased, particularly international travellers. The top destinations for travel into Durban across the Emirates network include the UAE, the United Kingdom, the United States, India and Germany.

Emirates staff have also seen the airline grow over the past decade. "Emirates is very close to my heart. I am proud to be part of our phenomenal journey, from that very first flight to where we are now and the affection we enjoy in Durban," said Jeenesha Baichan, Emirates Airport Services Manager, Durban.

"Being part of the Durban start-up operation and watching it grow from infancy to the successful daily operation it is today, has been a career highlight for me. It is an incredible feeling and the result of the hard work and dedication of our team," said Robyn Stander, Emirates Sales Manager, Durban.

According to the Leader of Government Business of KwaZulu-Natal Province, and MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, over the years, Emirates has been a reliable partner. "We will continue to work with the airline to position this province as a destination for tourists and for those who want to do business. We look forward to another 10 years of an increase in the number of visitors to KZN."

Earlier this year, Emirates introduced its award-winning First Class travel experience to the coastal city during a seasonal increase of four additional flights a week between 14th June and 4th August, 2019.