Shivani DDPPL

Finland visa centre opens in UAE

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Two new Finland Visa Application Centres have been launched in Abu Dhabi and Dubai by the Embassy of Finland in Abu Dhabi, enabling applicants to submit visa applications and enrol for biometrics. The Abu Dhabi centre, centrally located at Shining Tower on Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, was inaugurated by H E Riitta Swan, Ambassador of Finland to the United Arab Emirates on November 16. The centre in Dubai is located at the Wafi Mall. Services at the new centres are designed to facilitate quicker and more streamlined visa application submission processes. For added convenience to applicants, the centres will also provide travellers to Finland with a range of optional services ranging from Premium Lounge services to doorstep courier return-delivery of their processed passports.

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flydubai inks deal with 225 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft

flydubai announced a commitment of US$27 billion order for 225 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to support the growth of its fleet. This is the third aircraft order placed by the airline with Boeing in its eight-year history. The new aircraft order will support its continued expansion within a geographic area that is home to 2.5 billion people. The airline, by the end of the year, will have a fleet of 61 next-generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft and Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. In addition, there is a pipeline of 70 aircraft due for delivery by 2023. The announcement will bring the total number of aircraft to 320.

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EGYPTAIR leases six Dreamliners

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Boeing and AerCap announced EGYPTAIR’s new agreement to lease six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners from Dublin-based AerCap. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the fastest-selling twin-aisle airplane in history. Boeing has delivered more than 600 787s entering service in 2011, flying more than 200 million people on more than 610 unique routes, saving over 19 billion pounds of fuel. The airline’s selection of the Dreamliner builds on its long-term partnership with Boeing, which dates back to 1966 with the airline’s order for three 707s. Today, the carrier’s fleet includes a mix of Boeing 777s and 737s. EGYPTAIR operates passenger and freight services to more than 75 destinations in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia and the USA. AerCap is a global leader in aircraft leasing and aviation finance with nearly 1,100 owned and managed aircraft.

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Emirates and Thales present NextGen Wi-Fi

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Emirates and Thales have signed a new agreement to equip its Boeing 777X fleet with the next generation broadband inflight connectivity using Inmarsat GX global network. The partnership will give Emirates’ customers the best-in-class connectivity due for delivery in 2020. Emirates and Thales already have an existing multi-million dollar deal to fit its Boeing 777X fleet with a next generation Thales AVANT inflight entertainment system. The new agreement is part of the Emirates and Thales’ plans to enhance the state-of-the-art inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) on the 777X fleet. Emirates offers all its customers 20MB of complimentary Wi-Fi data on board while Emirates Skywards members in First Class and Business Class enjoy unlimited complimentary Wi-Fi and discounted plans in Economy Class. Emirates, Thales and Inmarsat will work together to meet the increasing demand for Wi-Fi on board. Broadband connectivity speeds coupled with Thales’ AVANT innovative and customisable IFE system will further boost Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system.

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AviaReps to promote Baltic and Scandinavian states in ME

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AviaReps has been appointed by Latvia’s Spare Travel as the agency to promote travel to the Baltic states, Scandinavia and Finland from the Middle East. The appointment, which has immediate effect, is the result of Spare Travel’s international outreach programme to engage and provide customised, VIP travel solutions for Middle Eastern travellers seeking authentic, unique and bespoke Northern European travel experiences. The appointment is also timely as it was made on the heels of airBaltic airlines’ launch of direct non-stop flights from Abu Dhabi to Latvia’s capital Riga on October 30, 2017. To celebrate the launch, Spare Travel is offering special promotional travel packages to discover Latvia based around the themes of Castles, Chocolate and Culture. Many UAE travel agencies have been quick to offer promotional packages to Latvia as a new must-see destination. The direct flight from Abu Dhabi with airBaltic takes just over six hours, thereby making Latvia perfect for a long weekend getaway.

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VFS Global hosts iConnect innovation workshop in Dubai

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The world’s largest outsourcing and technology services, VFS Global specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide, conducted the 4th global edition of its annual innovation workshop ‘iConnect’ for the outsourced government services industry in Dubai. The event brought together 129 delegates from 55 countries to discuss the most significant technology trends and cutting-edge solutions offered by VFS Global in visa, consular and citizen services. The delegates were predominantly senior officials from the central government ministries and from various embassies and consulates in the UAE. At the workshop, governments and private stakeholders discussed the importance of cyber-security in in the context of the recent escalation in cyber-attacks worldwide. Guest speakers, domain experts and global leaders in cyber security, highlighted potential risks and discussed measures to mitigate the risks. The speakers at iConnect spoke about how customers today wanted easy access to information and convenient service fulfillment. The growing relevance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to transform customer experience was also a topic of discussion, with technology now making inroads into various sectors from assisting in travel across airlines to enhancing the customer experience.

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Royal opening of Emirates Flight Training Academy

HH image for Emirates Academy opening

Emirates Flight Training Academy, the state-of-the-art facility for training initio pilots was officially inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai during the Dubai Airshow. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group said, “The Emirates Flight Training Academy is designed to be one of the most advanced flight training facilities not just in the Middle East region, but in the entire world. This is the only academy in the world that provides complete integration of flight training, ground school, accommodation and recreation under one roof. Students will not only get the best training but will be able to enjoy comfortable living standards while undergoing training.” Located in Dubai South, the academy has been established by Emirates to qualify UAE nationals and international students. The Academy will combine cutting-edge learning technologies and a modern fleet of training aircraft to train cadets with no previous knowledge of flying.

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flyadeal on a great start in two months

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Saudi Arabia’s new low-fare airline flyadeal has received a welcome market response since the start of services, with load factors reaching more than 82 per cent. flyadeal currently operates on three routes from Jeddah to Riyadh, Dammam and Qassim. Having commenced operations on September 23, Jeddah-Riyadh was the first city pair, beginning as a double-daily service, quickly growing to five-times-daily. Dammam and Qassim began this month, with Jeddah-Dammam increasing to double daily later this month. flyadeal currently has a fleet of three aircraft, with an additional five to be delivered. All are brand new A320 aircraft in a single-class configuration of 186 seats. Con Korfiatis, CEO, flyadeal, said, “flyadeal has received a very warm welcome from our passengers so far and we are grateful for their support. We look forward to continue serving our loyal guests as we move into the next phase of expansion in the coming months.”

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Air Arabia leases six new Airbus A321neo at Dubai Airshow

Air Arabia leases six new Airbus A321neo LR aircraft to serve longer range routes

Air Arabia signed a lease agreement for six Airbus A321neo Long Range aircraft with the Los Angeles-based Air Lease Corporation. These additional aircraft will join Air Arabia’s fleet starting 2019 and will help the airline better serve its existing network. The agreement was signed between Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia and Alex Khatibi, Executive Vice President, Air Lease Corporation on the sidelines of Dubai Airshow. Air Arabia’s new A321neo LR aircraft will feature 215 seats per aircraft while maintaining Air Arabia’s industry leading seat pitch that customers currently enjoy. Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia commented, “We continue to witness growth in passenger traffic across our hubs and remain focused on our business model to provide affordable fare and value for money to passengers.” The new A321neo LR will join Air Arabia’s existing fleet of 50 A320 aircraft that serve over 133 routes from five hubs in the UAE (Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah), Morocco, Egypt and Jordan.

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Etihad marks opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi with A380 fly-by

ETIHAD AIRWAYS A380 LOUVRE ABU DHABI FLY-BY LOW RES

Hundreds of visitors from around the world, attending the official public opening celebrations of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, were treated to a low-level fly-by of the Jean Nouvel-designed museum by one of Etihad Airways’ flagship Airbus A380 aircraft. Sporting the airline’s ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ livery, the aircraft chosen for the display also features Louvre Abu Dhabi’s official logo on each of its four engines, to promote the opening of the institution. Two specially equipped helicopters were also positioned above the capital to capture air-to-air filming of the aircraft as it flew over the museum. Peter Baumgartner, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, said, “Echoing the sentiments from the signing of our landmark partnership agreement with Louvre Abu Dhabi last month, Etihad Airways is honoured to play its part at the inauguration of this universal institution. We, as the UAE’s national airline, are poised to play our part in bringing millions of guests to our home to experience this modern wonder of art first-hand.”

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