Shivani DDPPL

Etihad launches Boeing 787 Dreamliner on Geneva route

Beginning with the summer schedule, Etihad Airways has launched its flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the Abu Dhabi–Geneva route. The three-class aircraft, featuring eight First Suites, 28 Business Studios and 199 Economy Smart Seats, replaces the Airbus A330s previously operating daily on the route, and offers additional cargo capacity. Peter Baumgartner, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, said, “We are delighted that Switzerland, one of our most attractive markets for both business and leisure travellers, will now be exclusively served by our flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliner.” “In addition to maintaining attractive timings for guests travelling between Abu Dhabi and Geneva, we will create further suitable connections in many markets that will benefit more travellers to conveniently connect to Geneva via our Abu Dhabi hub. Through our optimised schedule, more business and leisure guests from an increasing number of destinations will now have the opportunity to experience our next generation aircraft throughout their journey with us.” The new generation aircraft’s environmental performance brings a number of operational advantages, such as a 12 per cent reduction in fuel consumption compared to the previous aircraft on the route and a concomitant substantial reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

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Omeir Travel renews partnership with Amadeus

Omeir Travel Agency has extended its partnership with Amadeus Gulf to expand the agency’s integrated travel services and digital solutions offering for its customers. Under the three-year agreement, Omeir Travel will leverage cutting-edge travel technology solutions aimed at maintaining the agency’s competitive edge. This includes driving automation across the agency’s operations and optimising intelligence tools in order to improve product customisation and enhance customer experience. The latest agreement will also see Omeir Travel diversify its capabilities in online and retail shops. Abdulla Bin Omeir, CEO, Omeir Travel Agency said, “In our efforts to deliver exceptional customer experience, we have embarked on a journey of digital transformation for our business. With Amadeus as our technology provider, we are confident that we can stay agile and adapt to the fast-changing needs of our customers.” According to Graham Nichols, Managing Director, Amadeus Gulf, “We are delighted to renew our long association with Omeir Travel as they embark on this exciting digital project. We will bring our vast worldwide on-line experience and technology to support them fully throughout their transformation. This new agreement demonstrates the confidence that they have in our technology, service and support.”

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Emaar Hospitality Group unveils Vida Za’abeel in Dubai

Emaar Hospitality Group has expanded the portfolio of hotel projects under its Vida Hotels and Resorts brand, with the new Vida Za’abeel. Vida Za’abeel is located in the heart of Za’abeel, mixed-use development, with direct views of the Dubai Frame as well as 360-degree vistas of the city including its famed landmarks. The property is only 10 minutes away from the Dubai International Airport, and offers close proximity to Downtown Dubai as well as Bur Dubai. An elegantly designed twin-tower development of 70 and 68 storeys, Vida Za’abeel will be home to the 220-room Vida Za’abeel hotel and Vida Residences Za’abeel, a collection of serviced apartments in one, two and three-bedrooms. Olivier Harnisch, Chief Executive Officer, Emaar Hospitality Group, said, “As a home-grown brand offering a different experience for the new generation of business and leisure travellers, Vida Hotels and Resorts have set a distinctive niche in Dubai’s hospitality sector. Vida Za’abeel is a significant addition to our portfolio of hotel projects that stands out for its central location and spectacular views of the city’s landmarks. With its focus on convenience and connectivity, Vida Za’abeel will add to the choice of hotel guests and discerning customers who are seeking a vibrant hub where inspiring minds can create and connect.”

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Travelport inks deal with Air France-KLM

Travelport and Air France-KLM have signed an agreement for the distribution of content through Travelport’s platform. Air France-KLM and HOP! content on Travelport’s platform will include Travelport’s rich content, branded fares, fare families and multiple ancillaries. Travelport customers will continue to benefit from Travelport’s tools beyond booking capability that enable workflow automation, change management processes, multiple content integration, robotics for fulfilment and other vital services. This agreement also enables customers selected by Air France HOP! and KLM to access a private channel via Travelport through which they will receive content without the additional distribution surcharge levied by Air France-KLM starting April 1, 2018. Derek Sharp, Senior Vice President and Managing Director – Air Commerce, Travelport, says, “This agreement is an extension of a long-term relationship which has delivered greater choice to Air France KLM’s customers. We look forward to a continuing productive partnership as we deploy new technology with the airline.” Emmanuelle Gailland, Vice President – Distribution, Air France-KLM, says, “Travelport has been a great partner throughout our private channel engagement as a transition towards NDC. Both Air France KLM and Travelport will work together to bring NDC content of new fares, products, services and rich media in the marketplace.”

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Emirates to launch second daily to Prague from July 1

Emirates is set to add a second daily flight between Dubai and Prague from July 1, 2018, after steadily growing passenger numbers on the route since its launch of operations in July 2010. The flight will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER with a capacity of 360 seats, boosting inbound tourism through the additional 262,800 seats it will provide. The year-round flight will have a three class configuration offering eight Private Suites in First Class, 42 lie-flat seats in Business and 310 spacious seats in Economy. Emirates‘ flight EK137 will leave Dubai at 15:30 and arrive in Prague at 19:55. The return flight EK138 will depart Prague at 21:35 and arrive in Dubai at 05:30 on the following day, giving travellers a full day in Dubai. The second daily flight will improve Prague’s connectivity to and from a range of destinations in the Emirates network including Far East places like Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Phuket in Thailand, Yangon in Myanmar, Guangzhou in China and Phnom Penh in Cambodia. African destinations of Durban, Dar-Es-Salaam, Harare, Lusaka, Entebbe and Nairobi as well as Auckland and Christchurch in New Zealand and Brisbane in Australia will be easily reached with improved connectivity with a convenient transit in Dubai’s world-class hub.

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AVANI to open third property in Dubai by 2020

The new AVANI Hotel Suites & Branded Residences with a total 527 keys, comprising 263 AVANI Residences and 264 AVANI Serviced Apartments will be the new addition to be opened in Dubai by 2020. The Residences, which will be marketed to investors as a sale and lease-back product, will be a mix of one, two, three and four bedrooms, the latter offering an impressive 425 square metres of contemporary living space. Offering great visibility for the brand, AVANI Hotel Suites & Branded Residences will be located in a prime area of the city, directly overlooking the iconic Palm Jumeirah, adjacent to Dubai Marina and Media City, and half an hour from Dubai International Airport. “The AVANI Hotel Suites & Branded Residences will be our third property in Dubai, signalling the brand’s steady growth in the region as well as around the world. Residence owners and guests will be able to enjoy AVANI, starting from the brand’s designed sleep satisfaction and curated honest food programme, to simply exploring the vibrant destination Dubai through our AVANI lens designed to interact with the new generation of travellers,” said Alejandro Bernabe, Vice President, AVANI Hotels & Resorts.

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315-room Pearl Rotana debuts in Abu Dhabi

Pearl Rotana has announced the opening of its business and leisure-led hotel, Pearl Rotana Capital Centre, Abu Dhabi, located a few steps away from the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). An extensive array of spacious rooms and suites await guests, many of which present stunning sea views. The property has five dining venues, including two distinctive new concepts set to disrupt the Abu Dhabi dining scene. With central location to top attractions, in the buzzing Capital Centre area, and 20 minutes from Abu Dhabi’s International Airport, the hotel makes for an ideal place to stay, immerse and experience the UAE capital to the fullest. “We are thrilled to offer Abu Dhabi residents and global travellers with an all new contemporary hospitality experience,” says Karim Nahas,General Manager, Pearl Rotana. “Following the recent announcement from the Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT Abu Dhabi), an impressive 7.4 per cent increase from last year in hotel guests to the capital, shows growth in the market,” he said. The 315 light, modern rooms and suites offer high-speed wireless internet, complimentary coffee and tea making facility, daily local newspapers and IDD telephones together with deluxe beds for maximum comfort. In-room flat-screen TVs come with multi and satellite channels, suitable for all visitors.

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Qantas and Emirates extend ACCC partnership until 2023

Qantas and Emirates welcome the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) reauthorisation of their partnership until 2023. For customers, the continuation of the joint business, announced in August 2017, will deliver expanded services, greater schedule choice, increased frequent flyer benefits and an ongoing commitment to the development of world-class products and travel experiences. Alison Webster, CEO, Qantas International states, “The ACCC’s reauthorisation of our joint business is an important milestone in helping us continue deliver benefits for travellers and Australian tourism for the next five years. With three options to get to Europe via Perth, Singapore and Dubai, and greater frequency across the Tasman, the ACCC’s decision allows us to continue to jointly provide the best network, the best service and the best frequent flyer programmes for millions of customers travelling between Australia/New Zealand and the UK and Europe.” Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates said, “We look forward to progressing on the plans that will take our successful partnership to its next phase. Together, we offer travellers access to even more destinations on our joint network, more convenient flight choices and frequent flyer benefits. Over the next five years, we will continue to work closely with our partner Qantas to deliver benefits for our customers.”

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Zeeyarah.com gets highest level of IATA NDC certification

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has awarded New Distribution Capability (NDC) Level 3 certification to zeeyarah.com, managed by Superior Tracks Travel and Tourism Agency based in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Zeeyarah.com becomes the first online travel agency and B2B reseller in the MENA region to receive the highest level of IATA NDC certification on PADIS Publication 16.2 Schema. Zeeyarah announced the official launching of  zeeyarah.com in KSA and zeeyarah.ae in United Arab Emirates market with online payment facilities including. As part of NDC certification, Zeeyarah had commenced direct connection with major Middle Eastern and European carriers. Dr Abdulaziz Khayat, Assistant Vice President – Sales Strategies, Saudi Arabian Airlines said, “In keeping up with the new advancements in the airlines reservation technologies, Saudia is proud to announce the successful completion of its NDC pilot project. We thank our partners at Amadeus, TPconnects and zeeyarah.com for their excellent work and dedication throughout the implementation of this project.” Mohammed Gaus, CEO and Founder, Zeeyarah, commented, “This is great achievement for us to start-up in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia because generally such projects commences outside Kingdom and then try to penetrate into the country but we have done the opposite.”

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Visit Indonesia hosts networking sessions for travel trade in Dubai

Nour Aridi, Country Manager, Visit Indonesia Tourist Office along with the Ministry of Tourism, Indonesia hosted a brand new campaign to the travel fraternity in Dubai with an interesting presentation. Indonesia, with over 17,000 islands, has some of the best tourist spots in the world. This year, they are on a new venture to promote these picturesque destinations especially to the many travellers in the UAE. It was an exclusive event which discussed and showcased new areas of tourism as well as the infrastructure that will be developed alongside the same. The partners had an opportunity to meet the tourism board officials to discuss further about ways to promote their destination.

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