5 February 2013

Zambia: Emirates Applies for Direct Landing Rights in Livingstone

EMIRATES, one of the world's fastest growing international airlines has applied to the Zambian Civil Aviation department for Traffic Rights to enable them land directly into Livingstone during the United Nations World Tourism Organisation's (UNWTO) conference.

The UNWTO 20th General Assembly will be held in August this year and Emirates senior vice president of commercial operations for Africa, Jean Luc Grillet said the airline has requested the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication to grant them Traffic Rights to land their planes directly into Livingstone during the UNWTO meeting.

Mr Grillet said in an interview in Lusaka that it was important for Emirates to land directly into Livingstone during the UNWTO General assembly instead of just landing in Lusaka in order to contribute to the development of the tourism industry.

"We thought of passengers coming into Zambia for the UNWTO meeting and it could be a good idea to have one or two flights lands directly into Livingstone instead of just landing into Lusaka and afterwards, subject the passengers to go either by bus or smaller planes into Livingstone," he said.

"This is not a permanent move but it will only be done during the UNWTO General assembly meeting in August and we have made our request to the Zambian Civil Aviation Department for Traffic Rights and we hope to get a positive answer," Mr Grillet said.

On Friday Emirates welcomed the introduction of a Boeing 777-300ER on its Dubai-Lusaka-Harare daily service, the largest aircraft to have ever touched down at Kenneth Kaunda International airport.

Commenting on the upgrade, Zambia Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) expressed its happiness with the reported carrier upgrade concerning the Emirates aircraft sent to Zambia.

ZACCI Vice President - South Chabuka Kawesha said recently, both emirates and British airways have had challenges which led to their scheduled flights experiencing faults in mid-air resulting in emergency landings or aborting flights.

"Reasons expressed by both airlines through their Local offices have been very unsatisfactory and disappointing to both the business community and the general public which prompted ZACCI to question the silence from the airlines, national airports and Civil Aviation department.

It's our hope and belief that the initiative from emirates equally responds to the concerns from the Local business community and General Public over the comfort, quality, age and standard of planes sent to Zambia," Dr Kawesha said.

ZACCI urged the media, business community and public at large to observe the initiatives being undertaken by Emirates and wait to see what British Airways would do in addressing the concerns the business community have raised.

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