United Arab Emirates (UAE) carrier, Emirates Airline, is to launch flights to former Routes Africa host city, Bamako, the capital of Mali. The airline will operate a four times weekly link from its Dubai International Airport base from October 25, 2015 – its 28th destination in Africa.
The West African market will be served alongside the airline’s existing route between Dubai and Dakar, in Senegal, which is operated using an Airbus A340-300 configured with offers 12 First Class, 42 Business Class and 213 Economy Class seats. Bamako will be linked directly from Dubai, but return flights will operate via Dakar.
“Mali has a growing economy and huge tourism potential, and we expect that linking Bamako to our Dakar service will greatly boost both business and leisure travel to and from Mali,” said Adil Al Ghaith, senior vice president, Emirates Airline.
Bamako has a population of about 2.3 million people, and is located in the south western part of Mali on the Niger River. Mali is one of Africa’s top gold producers, and it also boasts four UNESCO world heritage sites, which are the famous city of Timbuktu, the Old Towns of Djenne, the Tomb of Askia and the Cliff of Bandiagara.
This will be Emirates sixth destination in West Africa alongside Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Accra, Ghana; Conakry, Guinea; Dakar, Senegal and Lagos, Nigeria. Emirates said last year that it expected to add at least ten new routes into Africa by 2025, while in the final quarter it reached a deal with the Angolan government to manage its national carrier, TAAG Linhas Aéreas De Angola.
In addition to passenger services, Emirates SkyCargo, the airline’s freight division, will offer about 13 tonnes of belly-hold cargo capacity per flight, which will further support Mali’s exports, such as seed oil, leather, fresh fruit and semi-conductors, and imports of woven fabrics, machinery parts and components, pharmaceutical products and electrical and electronic equipment.