Afzal Parambil (middle), Emirates regional manager, West Africa, explaining a point of view on the airline’s flight services to China, while Aderonke Adebule (right), Executive director, JSP Communications looks on.
…airline may return to Abuja, restore usual frequencies on Lagos route
By Sade Williams
Emirates airline has re-launched flight services to Guangzhou in China, offering customers from across the globe, exciting products and services both in the air and on the ground.
Speaking at a media parley to promote Emirates’ Far East network , Afzal Parambil, regional manager, West Africa, said travelers stand to enjoy its unique offer on the Asian network, especially in China, adding that ‘as Emirates we’re able to offer Nigerians real global connectivity with just one convenient stop at our modern hub Dubai’.
According to him, “We offer over 2,400 Channels on board our aircraft to all our destinations and that includes movies, live news channels, sports and for kids we have enough entertainment to keep them busy so when you travel with the family you don’t need to worry about your kids. In fact, for the kids on the flight you will have to pull them out when they are playing a game or watching a cartoon.”
“In emirates, we have 172 nationals and we have to work with all because it is unique. We have 130 nationalities so crew flying for us. So, when you are flying for us you must surely see someone from your country, someone from your region, someone from your tribe so you don’t feel alone.”
“When you fly from Nigeria, we make sure that the senior crew member is Nigerian, that way when there is an issue, he or she is there to support and assist.”
Parambil, who said Emirates is the only airline that offer First class on Nigeria routes, added: “Our baggage policy is also very attractive. We offer two pieces of luggage now. In the past, we used to give 30kg for Economy Class, 40kg for Business Class and 50kg for First Class. So, we relaunched it having looked at the requirement of the market. We relaunched it by two pieces so economy passengers can carry two pieces of baggage 23kg each making 46kg for them; while Business Class also has two pieces of 32kg each making it 64kg and this has helped travelers to Guangzhou because they don’t travel and come back empty-handed.
He said the airline operates with the iconic A380 to most of its route in Asia, adding that it operates to 20 destinations and 13 countries in the continent.
“China is very popular for visitors from across the world, including Nigeria, not just for leisure travellers, but also for business and trade. Our network in Asia including China is extensive. We fly to over 20 destinations in 13 countries, some of which include Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Yinchuan, Zhengzhou, Seoul, Tokyo, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong, and many others.
He added that many of the cities are major business and trade hubs and are also served by multiple Emirates’ flights a day, ensuring its customers have more choice and convenience when planning their travel.
“Many of our Asian destinations are served by Emirates’ Iconic A380 double decker aircraft, which is very popular amongst our customers. Destinations to which we fly the A380 include again Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Taipei and Hong Kong, as well as Bangkok, Singapore, Seoul and Kuala Lumpur.
“As Emirates we’re able to offer Nigerians real global connectivity with just one convenient stop at our modern hub Dubai. Part of my role is to ensure that Emirates is the airline of choice for Nigerian travellers and that we offer the best possible experience in the air and on the ground”, he said.
As an award winning airline, including being named the world’s best airline according to TripAdvisor 2017, Emirates offers its customers’ value for money with excellent products and services, and a global network that currently extends to 156 destinations in 84 countries.
Parambil, who disclosed that China is the airline’s second largest in terms of network, said, ‘Guangzhou was not the choice of Emirates but the choice of the market because people found that most of the manufacturers in China are based in Guangzhou and it was easy for them to go and the gateway then was in the Congo but when Emirates started it was easy for travelers to get to Guangzhou.”
He explained that Nigerians in the past, used to trade in China sourcing goods for sale, adding that ‘it has changed considerably as Nigerians now go into partnership to produce things with the Chinese local partners so now they just don’t buy, they produce together.”
Meanwhile, Parambil has disclosed that plans are ongoing for the airline to return to Abuja just as he said they may consider restoring its usual frequencies on te Lagos route.
“It was painful to disconnect Abuja operations for economic but we are in discussion with the Minister of Aviation, very soon we might do something but that of Lagos is under review”, he added.