Shivani DDPPL

Air Arabia signs agreement with SAP for cloud-based Human Resources system

Adel Al Ali, Group CEO, Air Arabia & Julien Bertin, Managing Director, SAP during signing ceremony

Air Arabia has signed an agreement with SAP – a Germany-based company that makes enterprise application software, for a new cloud-based Human Resources system. The new system “SAP SuccessFactors” will provide Air Arabia with advanced capabilities across all HR functions using some of the latest technologies and cutting-edge human capital management software solutions. Through this agreement, Air Arabia will acquire advanced capabilities across all its Human Capital functions via the use of the latest technologies provided by SAP SuccessFactors scope, which include core employee management functions, the payroll system, employee self-service, recruitment and onboarding, performance and goal management, learning management, manpower planning and many additional features. Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia, said,  “Since its launch, Air Arabia has always adopted smart and cutting-edge technologies that supports that carrier’s ever growing operations with reliability and efficiency. The new agreement with SAP is in line with this strategy and we look forward to working together to make this project a success.” Julien Bertin, Managing Director, SAP said, “We have developed the SAP Model Company for Human Resources service to support digital HR transformation. We are confident that Air Arabia’S human capital function will considerably benefit from a ready-to-run, preconfigured SAP SuccessFactors solution based on leading practices for end-to-end HR business processes. We are proud to have partnered with Air Arabia and we look forward to a successful collaboration.”

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Travelport and IBM launch AI travel platform for corporate travel spend

travelport_logo NEW

Travelport and IBM have introduced IBM Travel Manager, an industry-first AI platform designed to help business manage corporate travel spend. Delivered via the IBM Cloud, the platform uses IBM Watson capabilities to track, manage, predict and analyse travel costs in one place to fundamentally change how companies manage and optimise their travel programmes. With annual global business travel spend estimated to reach a record $1.2 trillion this year, as projected by the Global Business Travel Association, corporate travel managers continue to look for new ways to reduce costs. Currently for businesses to get a full picture of travel patterns a travel manager might have to sift through data silos from travel agencies, cards, expense systems and suppliers for end-to-end visibility of spend and compliance across all travel subcategories but this is usually undertaken in a historical view rather than in real time. The new platform features advanced artificial intelligence, and provides cognitive computing, predictive data analytics using “what-if” type scenarios, and integrated travel and expense data to help travel management teams, procurement category managers, business units, finance and human resource departments optimize their travel program, control spend and enhance the end-traveler experience. IBM Travel Manager gives users complete, unified access to previous siloed information, which, when combined with travel data from the Travelport global distribution system (GDS), is then used to create real-time predictive analytics recommending how adjustments in travel booking behavior patterns can positively impact a company’s travel budget.

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Abu Dhabi Summer Season extended to September 1

Fireworks in Abu Dhabi

Attracting visitors from across the region and beyond, the Abu Dhabi Summer Season (ADSS) will continue this week with an interactive and exciting programme offering both residents and visitors prizes, F&Bs special deals, shopping offers, line-up of events and shows, and amazing hotels deals. Due to popular demand, the summer bonanza will be now extended to 1st September, now taking in the Eid al Adha holiday. The ADSS Unbox the Amazing campaign will also be extended until September 1st, starting next weekend with Al Ain Mall on August 24 & 25. Relax and cool down for the rest of the summer in Abu Dhabi! Plan your staycation extravaganza with amazing hotel deals for an escape right on your doorstep. Enjoy your Eid holiday with the emirate’s most exclusive hotel deals and promotions, including savings on room nights, spa experiences, fitness centres, pool access, F&B and activities. Check out Tilal Liwa Hotel, Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas, Yas Island Rotana and Centro Yas Island, Al Seef Resort & Spa by Andalus, Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana, Emirates Palace, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi and Bab Al Qasr Hotel, and more! Celebrate Eid Al Adha at Yas Marina, Yas Island and watch the spectacular fireworks at 9pm daily on the first three days of Eid. Exciting performances and games will be live across malls in Abu Dhabi and kids and families can experience circus parades, magic shows and more at Abu Dhabi Mall on 22 and 25 August; visit a four-day stage show and participate in activities from 21 to 24 August from 6pm-10pm at Bawadi Mall.

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DTCM participates in annual recycle campaign

Yousuf Lootah - Executive Director Tourism Development and Investments

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has successfully participated in the ‘Recycle Reforest Repeat’ campaign, launched by the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG), to contribute to the national objective of reducing the level of wasted paper consumed. This, in turn, helps combat wide spread desertification, with colleagues at the department achieving results above and beyond their target, responsible for recycling 280 kg of paper during the course of one month. As an accredited UN organisation, Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) has collaborated with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in its efforts to restore degraded soils. The project has reinforced the need to preserve the environment by constructively engaging the community, challenging companies, academic institutions, families and individuals to a month-long mission “Recycle. Reforest. Repeat.” to collect as much wasted paper as possible to contribute to an overall campaign target. Commenting on the programme, Yousuf Lootah, Executive Director – Tourism Development & Investments, Dubai Tourism said, “Supporting initiatives such as ‘Recycle. Reforest. Repeat’ is a key enabler to help transform Dubai into a more sustainable working environment. Encouraging effective resource management by reducing the amount of wasted paper is the first step in empowering employees towards more sustainable business practices and we were delighted to extend our support to the Emirates Environmental Group to help achieve this shared vision.”

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Emirates SkyCargo launches Emirates Pets

Emirates SkyCargo Aircraft Brand Freighter med res

Emirates SkyCargo has launched Emirates Pets – a new and improved air transportation product developed by a team of experts to offer a convenient and comfortable air transportation experience for domestic pets. The product builds on Emirates SkyCargo’s existing capabilities to transport pet animals on its flights and offers new features such as door to door transportation as well as booking return flights for pets. With Emirates Pets, the entry level solution, Emirates SkyCargo will offer airport to airport transportation for pets across the carrier’s network of over 160 destinations. The owner of the pet will be responsible for completing all the required paperwork and clearances needed for the transport of the pet from one country to another. In addition, Emirates SkyCargo has also entered into a partnership with Snoopy Pets, a leading pet relocation service provider based out of Dubai, to offer a new premium door to door transportation service, Emirates Pets Plus, across 16 markets. Under its premium service, the complete logistics of transporting the pet, including filing all the required documentation, taking the pet for any required veterinary checks and transporting the pet to and from the airport, will be managed by Snoopy Pets on behalf of the customer and Emirates SkyCargo. The markets where this service is available are Bahrain, Brazil, Cyprus, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, UAE and UK. With Emirates Pets and Emirates Pets Plus, owners wishing to take their pets with them on extended holidays also have the option of also booking a return flight for their pets with Emirates SkyCargo.

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SATA and Tune Protect ink online deal to provide additional travel products

sata

Sharjah Airport Travel Agency (SATA) has geared up on the online space to provide additional travel products by partnering with Tune Protect EMEIA – the online facilitator of Travel Assurance. The travel assurance plans are extremely important as they cover unplanned expenses in case of an emergency, before, during & after travel. Unforeseen events whether traveling domestic or internationally can put travelers under a financial strain. It is extremely important to have the right travel protection cover. Tune Protect offers travel protection plans for different types of travellers be it for leisure, business or visitors traveling to meet family or friends, adventure seekers, golf lovers & more. Catering to varied types of international travelers requiring products customization, SATA, in partnership with Tune Protect EMEIA, offer travel products to meet need the travelers including travel protection plans with ease. Moses Paul, Manager IT & eCommerce at SATA believes, “With 17 years of dedicated commitment and 14 branches across the UAE, SATA has kept ahead of the travel game by providing tailor-made services and enhancing existing travel products to meet the ever-growing travel needs of our customers”. Speaking on the tie up with Tune Protect EMEIA, “With regards to SATA’s digital transformation strategy, i.e. bringing our multi-faceted travel products to the travellers on a single platform with the ability to customise, it was extremely important to provide additional value-added products personalized for Travel protection plans facilitated by Tune Protect EMEIA, makes it a perfect fit to our business ethos.”

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Travelport signs multi-year agreement with Cobalt Air

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Travelport has announced the signing of a new multi-year content agreement with Cobalt Air, which includes the use of the company’s leading merchandising tool, Travelport Rich Content and Branding. From its base in Cyprus, Cobalt Air, offers regular flights to 22 destinations in Greece, UK, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Spain, Israel, Denmark, Lebanon and the UAE. Under the new agreement, its full content and inventory will be made available for the first time to over 68,000 Travelport-connected agencies servicing hundreds of millions of consumers around the world. With Cobalt Air joining over 260 airlines using Travelport Rich Content and Branding, agencies and travel bookers will also be given a graphically rich experience when searching for and booking the airline’s branded fares, as well as greater access to its ancillary offers. Through delivering these benefits, Travelport’s merchandising tool will help drive increased revenue. Philip Saunders, Vice President, Air Commerce, Europe Middle East and Africa at Travelport added, “We are delighted to welcome Cobalt Air to Travelport’s platform and look forward to supporting its growth objectives. Our Rich Content and Branding solution will help promote the airline’s brand and increase revenue by facilitating upsell of branded fares, ancillaries, and special promotions while continuing to develop Travelport’s position in the Cyprus travel industry.”

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Amadeus acquires TravelClick for US $1.52bn

Amadeus new

Amadeus has acquired TravelClick from Thoma Bravo, an equity investment firm, for US $1.52bn. TravelClick provides innovative cloud-based solutions, including an independent and mid-size hotel Central Reservation System (CRS) and Guest Management Solution (GMS), as well as business intelligence and media solutions. This portfolio gives hotels distribution reach across all channels, both digital and traditional. It also allows them to improve digital interaction with guests, increase revenues and performance, reduce cost and create a strong brand. The addition of TravelClick’s solutions to the Amadeus portfolio will create a hospitality leader providing a broad range of innovative technology to hotels and chains of all sizes across the globe. As part of the acquisition, approximately 1,100 TravelClick employees are expected to join Amadeus. “TravelClick has a great team, great technology and a broad customer base, and we are looking forward to welcoming such a successful business into Amadeus,” said Luis Maroto, President and CEO of Amadeus. “Our ambition is to provide the hospitality industry with the tools they need to grow their businesses and deliver a great experience to their guests. The combination of our two portfolios will allow us to provide that to hotels of all shapes and sizes across the world.” “This deal marks the next stage in TravelClick’s incredible journey of success in delivering groundbreaking solutions for hoteliers,” said Larry Kutscher, CEO of TravelClick. “I couldn’t be more proud of our team or more excited about the impact our combined companies will have on the hospitality industry as we begin to deliver the next generation of innovation for hoteliers.”

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Arrival flights around Mecca up 20% ahead of Hajj: Travelport

Matt Powell

As of July 2018, arrival flights around the holy city of Mecca ahead of this year’s Hajj were up 20 per cent when compared to the last year’s pilgrimage, according to an analysis conducted by Travelport. With Hajj being one of the five pillars of Islam, all Muslims are obliged to make the Islamic pilgrimage at least once in their lifetimes if they have the means to do so. Over five days, it involves undertaking a series of rituals including trekking through the desert and drinking water from a holy well. Every year, in excess of one million people from all over the world fly into western Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj, making it one of the largest annual spikes in global air traffic. To manage numbers from overseas, Saudi Arabia sets quotas for countries based on their population of Muslims. Local governments and/or private travel companies then allocate places for citizens. This year, the pilgrimage begins this weekend and concludes on the first day of Eid AlAdha. During this period, in total, as many as three million pilgrims are expected to participate. With such vast numbers involved, pilgrims start arriving in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as early as one month before the official start of Hajj to avoid the crowds at holy sites and prepare for the pilgrimage. Due to their proximity to relevant locations, the three airports pilgrims tend to fly into are: King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah; Ta’if Regional Airport, Ta’if; and Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz International Airport, Medina.

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Etihad to operate additional flights for Hajj Season

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Etihad Airways will operate additional flights between Abu Dhabi and its destinations in Saudi Arabia to facilitate the movement of thousands of pilgrims for Hajj. Until August 28, Etihad will operate special charters to carry pilgrims on its additional flights to Jeddah and Medina Airport. All flights will operate alongside regular scheduled services. The top inbound destinations for the Hajj Etihad flights are the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Korea, and Nigeria. Hareb Mubarak Al Muhairi, Etihad Airways’ Senior Vice President, said, “The Hajj pilgrimage is a very important experience for Muslims around the world and Etihad is proud to help its customers make this significant journey. This year we see a 17 per cent increase in the number of pilgrims travelling with Etihad compared the same period last year. To meet this increasing demand, Etihad Airways are adding 16 flights alongside our scheduled services to Jeddah and Medina. We are committed to providing a memorable Hajj travel experience for our customers and to helping them complete their journey with ease and peace of mind.” A dedicated group of airport staff is available to facilitate a seamless ground experience for Hajj travellers. In addition, dedicated check-in counters have been set up at Abu Dhabi international airport. Extra provisions will also be made by cabin crew to meet pilgrims’ needs and requirements and to facilitate the performing of ablutions, advising them about the entry into Al Miqat (state of sanctity), and the changing into Ihram robes.

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