Emirates has officially confirmed that it will be launching new daily flights to CPT-Cape Town, South Africa from March 30th 2008 using a 3 class configured Airbus A 330-200. However, from October 1st 2008, capacity will be increased to a 3 class configured Boeing 777-200ER.
Flight timings are as follows :
EK 770 Dep DXB 0815 Arr CPT 1625
EK 771 Dep CPT 1810 Arr DXB 0600+1
EK is also suspending one of its 3 daily DXB-JFK flights i.e. EK 204/205 which is routed daily via HAM using an A 345. This will come into effect from 30th March 2008. Nevertheless, EK will continue to fly to HAM with daily nonstop terminator flights using a B 777-200 configured in a 3 class layout. However from August 1st 2008, DXB-HAM nonstop flights will witness an increase in capacity as the 3 class B 772 will be replaced on the route by a 3 class B 773ER.
The reason why this is happening is probably because EK wants to fly to Berlin as soon as possible as it views that market segment more positively than Hamburg. Thus as a comprimise to satisfy Lufthansa, it is giving up its 5th freedom rights on the HAM-JFK route to get flying rights for a daily flight into TXL-Berlin nonstop from DXB.
As far as CPT is concerned, it seems that EK's patience with SAA and the Pretorian Govt has paid off. Initially in 2002-03, SAA allowed EK only 4 flights a week to CPT but EK refused as it wanted daily or nothing which was refused. As a result, EK and the UAE Govt kept on lobbying the South African Govt authorities for more frequencies and it seems 5 years later, it has beared fruit for them. In CPT, EK's main target market would be passengers headed onwards to India and the Far East. It would also target the UK/EU-CPT market with dirt cheap fares which is its current practice for LHR/MAN/BHX-DXB-JNB bound flights.