AFRICA – United Arab Emirates flag carrier has picked six seasoned team members in leadership roles, all UAE Nationals, to help drive the airline’s commercial initiatives across key markets with a strategic focus on rebuilding its leadership position and growing its customer base as countries continue easing their restrictions, including in Africa.

Appointments are effective 1 September 2021.

Khalfan Al Salami, country manager Sudan, will become manager Morocco.

Khalfan joined the Emirates commercial management training program in 2015 and went on to train further in Madrid before taking on a commercial manager role in Kuwait and since then, he’s held the Country Manager role in Sudan.

 Rashed Salah Al Ansari will become country manager in Sudan.

Rashed has been with Emirates since 2017, holding various commercial support manager roles in Singapore and Jordan.

 Adnan Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates Airline said: ‘’Thanks to the strength of the Emirates brand, our laser focus on executing strategic customer and commercial initiatives, and rationally rebuilding our network based on tangible demand, the airline is well-positioned in the long-term to generate improved results as we navigate recovery.”

“The movements within the commercial team that have been put in place significantly strengthen our management structure across key markets. We’re proud of the hard work and dedication that UAE Nationals appointed to these roles have demonstrated to tackle the challenges of the last 18 months, and today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to build bench strength from within.”

This comes as Emirates, which suspended passenger operations to South Africa in January 2021 – took the opportunity to re-evaluate its approach to the country and found a window of opportunity to start rebuilding: cargo. 

“The movements within the commercial team that have been put in place significantly strengthen our management structure across key markets”

Adnan Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates


When passenger flights were suspended, it did not suspend cargo operations to and from South Africa.

Cargo played a critical part as the backbone of Emirates’ operations to South Africa during this period, said Afzal Parambil, the regional manager for South Africa.

What is more, the airline foresees an even further increase in demand for cargo.

“With the help of cargo operations, we are quite confident that we will rebuild our market in SA,” added Parambil.

Emirates is one of the largest foreign carriers operating in South Africa.

“We realized that, during the pandemic, it is not only about refunds for customers, but they also want alternative options to still be able to travel. Therefore, flexibility is important – allowing changes, including of destination, without additional charges. This builds trust with consumers.”

The airline resumed passenger flights to South Africa from 6 August 2021 after obtaining approval from the United Arab Emirates government to do so.

“Permission was given once the number of Covid-19 cases in South Africa started dropping and the vaccination rollout increased,” said Parambil.

Emirates is currently operating to almost 90% of its pre-pandemic destinations – 120 of them which is done via its hub in Dubai.



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