Emirates area manager in South Africa, Juan van Rensburg stated almost 6 weeks ago that they were ready to fly to Cape Town. Two issues however:
1) The current bilateral between UAE and South Africa only permits 14 weekly flights and Emirates already utilise these on their JNB
2) Not enough aircraft are available for a start as early as October.
The good news is that the bilateral is likely to be revised at the next talks in January and you are likely to see Emirates press for a daily into CPT
and rights to Durban for the future. Furthermore i have heard that Gulf Air are also keen on operating to CPT
from AUH and the bilateral talks will likely try to accomodate this also.
Also Emirates is set to take on 6 ex-SQ A340-300s from early 2004. These are likely to be deployed on some Australian/Asian and European routes and will hence free up some B777s and A330s which would enable additional flights. Africa is at the top of Emirates expansion list in the near-term. Emirates will add a no. of new routes in the next 2-3 years on this continent as well as boost frequencies.
South Africa flights have been tremendously strong. In fact straight after SARs broke out a lot of the Asian capacity was diverted to East and South Africa. Furthermore Emirates has beefed up the B777-200ER to a B777-300 on many of the flights although they likely took some cargo penalties in order to do the flights non-stop. When the B777-300ERs arrive from March 2005 two of the routes that are likely the first recipients of the acft will be JNB
as they provide much needed capacity increases with the range and without the payload penalties.