Shivani DDPPL

Emirates adds flights to Paris, Lyon

Emirates has announced that it will introduce two additional flights to Lyon and one to Paris per week, complementing its existing schedule and providing more choice and convenience to travellers. The increase in frequency from five to seven between Lyon and Dubai will see the route become a daily service, while the extra flight to Paris brings to 21 the number of flights per week to the French capital, offering travellers three flights per day. The Lyon flights will start on August 2, 2018, and will operate on a Tuesday and Thursday at the same time as the current flights, which depart Dubai as EK081 at 1435hrs and arrive in Lyon at 1930hrs. The return flight, EK082, leaves Lyon at 2155hrs and arrives in Dubai at 0615hrs the next day. Both flights will be operated by an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER in a three class cabin configuration, with eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie-flat seats in Business Class and 304 spacious seats in Economy Class. The additional Paris flight will start on August 7, 2018, and will operate as the third daily every Tuesday morning. Flight EK071 will depart Dubai at 0405hrs and arrive in Paris at 0925hrs, while the return flight leaves Paris at 1125hrs and arrives back in Dubai at 2000hrs. As with Emirates other flights between Dubai and Paris, the airline’s flagship A380 will be used on the route. It will also have a three class cabin configuration, with 14 privates suites in First Class, 76 lie flat seats in Business Class and 429 seats in Economy Class.

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Rotana inaugurates new global sales offices as part of expansion

Rotana has announced the inauguration of three new global sales offices in Paris, Milan and Amsterdam. These will complement the company’s existing offices in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Germany, India, Russia, the UAE and the United Kingdom, to help support Rotana’s expansion plans and drive business from these key markets. Declan Hurley, Rotana Corporate Vice President – Sales, declared, “The main responsibilities of these new offices will be to grow our client base, introduce our brands to new clients, promote market, and sell our properties based outside of their physical location. Taking into consideration the huge potential of these markets, which have seen a growth of 16 per cent to our hotels across the Middle East, Rotana has appointed Aviareps as its GSA, owing to their experience, reputation, and presence across Europe. We are pleased with how our relationship has got off the ground and we have compiled a solid sales and marketing plan with a wide range of sales activities to roll out during the remainder of 2018 and throughout 2019. Our plan is to have more offices across key markets within the next 24 months. This is in line with the overall expansion of Rotana properties and our growing market segment.”

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Hala China tourism initiative signs first agreements in Dubai

The Hala China initiative, jointly launched by Meraas and Dubai Holding earlier this year, has announced the signing of its first strategic agreements at a press conference at Bvlgari Resort Dubai. The event was organised by Meraas, with support from the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Dubai, and also saw the establishment of a new Hala China Board of Directors. Dubai-based Emirates Airline was appointed official carrier for Hala China, with plans to develop attractive packages and privileges for Chinese speakers across its seven routes from China. Payment services company Union Pay will be the preferred payment partner for the initiative, with Bank of China also looking to establish long-term economic relationships through its own range of financial services. Other organisations to join the initiative include Dubai Parks & Resorts, Bank of China, China Everbright Group, Union Pay, China CYTS Tours Holding Co, Hikvision, JollyChic, Mafengwo, Utour Group, DYO Consultants, Zhongteng Tianchuang Information Technology and Sino-Union Reserve Investment. The remit of these partners spans banking, finance, travel, tourism, marketing, technology, e-commerce, education, entertainment, and the environment, and will result in direct investment while creating a seamless visitor experience. With the President of China due to be in the United Arab Emirates later this week, this initiative will further attract Chinese visitors to the United Arab Emirates and further strengthen the relationship between the two nations.

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Emirates unveils new lounge in Cairo airport

Emirates has opened its new dedicated lounge at Cairo International Airport which is now open to Emirates First Class and Business Class customers as well as Platinum and Gold members of Skywards, the airline’s loyalty programme. Reflecting the airline’s ongoing commitment to Egypt, the Emirates Lounge in Cairo represents a US$ 3.6 million investment to provide premium customers with a seamless and enjoyable journey. Catering to three daily flights, the lounge offers customers even greater levels of comfort, hospitality and convenience as they start their Emirates experience in Cairo. Located at Departure Terminal 2, Level 2, above the secondary security check & Duty Free area, Emirates’ customers can look forward to relaxing, unwinding and enjoying award-winning service and cuisine. The lounge was formally opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by Eng. Ahmed Youssef, Chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Board; Mohammed H Mattar, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President – Emirates Airport Services; Thani Al Ansari, Country Manager, Egypt, Emirates. The opening was also attended by Montaser Manaa, Civil Aviation Authority VP and Khaled Abdel Monem, Chairman of Central Air Transport Administration. The interior design in the Emirates Lounge reflects a new contemporary and fresh design. The Lounge offers seating for up to 152 customers, covering an area of 880sq.m. The lounge will provides premium passengers with a relaxing ambiance, luxurious facilities and amenities, LED TVs, comfortable leather armchairs, a choice of formal and relaxed seating, bespoke artwork, and separate male and female prayer rooms.

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Dubai International welcomed over 36 mn passengers in 2018

Dubai International (DXB) welcomed 36.9 million passengers during the first five months of 2018, according to the monthly traffic report by Dubai Airports. DXB welcomed a total of 36,943,613 passengers during the first five months of 2018 compared to 36,969,594 passengers recorded during the same period last year, a marginal contraction of 0.1%, largely due to the impact of Ramadan which fell in May this year. Passenger traffic for the past 12 months totalled 88,216,118, up 2.6% compared to 85,974,096 recorded during the corresponding period in 2016-2017. In May, passenger numbers totalled 6,589,264 compared to 6,850,052 recorded during the same month last year, a contraction of 3.8% due to lower volumes traditionally experienced during Ramadan. Average monthly traffic volumes have however remained high in 2018 at 7.4 million passengers. Eastern Europe was the fastest growing region in May with 19.4% growth, thanks to robust growth on routes to Croatia, Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania and the launch of flydubai’s new services to Krakow in Poland. CIS was the second fastest region (11.3%), followed by Africa (9.9%) – where Nigeria and Egypt recorded strong growth during the month. India was the top destination country with a total of 1,041,258 passengers, followed by Saudi Arabia (495,242), and the UK (429,893), while the top cities for passenger volumes were London with 262,913 passengers, Mumbai (213,056) and Jeddah (179,756). Flight movements during the month under review totalled 32,620 compared to 34,544 during May 2017, a drop of 5.6%. The hub’s efficiency increased as the average number of passengers per flight was 209 during May, up 2% compared to 205 during the same month last year.

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Swiss International Hotels & Resorts and IDS Next sign technology solutions partnership

Swiss International Hotels & Resorts and IDS Next Business Solutions Pvt have announced that they have entered into a global agreement in which,  IDS Next Business Solutions will provide its hotel ERP technology solutions to Swiss International Hotels & Resorts. With its solid presence in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, Swiss International has 15 hotels currently in operation with a healthy pipeline of new hotels under development across these regions. IDS Next’s hotel ERP solution will facilitate in streamlining operations, in managing the distribution and managing the revenues efficiently, while improving both the guests’ and the hotel users’ experiences for the hotel chain. Binu Mathews, the CEO of IDS Next said, “We are delighted to welcome Swiss International to the IDS family. With Swiss International’s experience in hospitality and IDS Next’s rich technology expertise of 30 years, we are confident that we have a winning partnership for both of our organizations. With our presence in the Middle East, Africa and Asia regions, we see the partnership contributing to our growth potential globally.” “We are pleased to enter into the agreement with IDS Next, a company which we have recognized as one of today’s leading hospitality technology provider”, said Mr. Henri Kennedie, the President & CEO of Swiss International. “With IDS Next’s complete and integrated solutions, we are confident of offering superior guests’ experiences and improve the overall operational efficiency for our hotels.”

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DCT Abu Dhabi delegation attends executive summit at Google HQ

A delegation led by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) attended an executive summit recently held at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, USA. The event offered DCT Abu Dhabi and its partners, Etihad Airways, Miral, ADNEC, and Aldar, the opportunity to explore Google’s main campus as well as giving exclusive insight into the tech giant’s work culture, technology, and innovations. As part of DCT Abu Dhabi’s mission to position Abu Dhabi as a thriving tourism destination of distinction, the summit aimed to further coordinate the commercial activity of all attending organisations by reviewing with Google shared best practice and process efficiencies, a joint approach to positioning Abu Dhabi as one of the world’s top destinations. Sessions were organised around the unique working culture at Google, on digital brand building and the variety of Google travel products, as well as trends that are shaping the industry. Google also organised an exclusive presentation by Visit California, as a way of sharing experiences among tourism boards, with particular emphasis on organisational structure, objectives and marketing strategy. The second day of the Executive Summit was dedicated to discussion and interactive sessions on Abu Dhabi’s tourism ecosystem and fostering collaboration between different entities, with the help of Google’s system intelligence and technology. Among a number of agreed action points from the summit was a shared data initiative intended to significantly bolster the tourism ecosystem of the Emirate, as well as further cooperation on consistently presenting the destination brand.

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Etihad’s Abu Dhabi Pass to provide special offers

Etihad Airways has added more options to its “Extraordinary Abu Dhabi Pass” including restaurants, leisure attractions and a five-star hotel, to provide visitors arriving in Abu Dhabi with more exclusive discounts and special offers. On dining experiences, visitors can now also look forward to a 20 per cent discount off various dining outlets in Yas Mall, including Fish & Co, Greek, Al Fanar and more. Adventure seekers will benefit from a 20 per cent discount on Leisure Train Tourism tours in Al Ain and a generous 50 per cent off Hala Abu Dhabi tours, including the Story of Abu Dhabi City Tour, Morning Desert Drive and Desert Sunset Drive & BBQ experiences. For an award-winning beach resort experience, guests at Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi will enjoy a 20 per cent discount on accommodation (inclusive of breakfast), across all food and beverage outlets, and at its signature Atarmia Spa. To qualify for discounts or special offers, visitors simply have to keep their Etihad Airways issued boarding pass (branded or non-branded) and present it at participating retailers to receive their discount. Tim Burnell, Etihad Airways Vice President Marketing, said, “Etihad is delighted to increase the number of exclusive discounts available with The Extraordinary Abu Dhabi Pass. Guests now have even more offers and opportunities to explore Abu Dhabi for less this summer, and discover for themselves the wealth of exciting opportunities our dynamic capital, and wider emirate, has to offer.”

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Marriott launches hospitality training programme in Egypt

Marriott International has launched Tahseen, a unique hospitality training programme in Egypt, developed in response to a growing need for talent within the industry. Created in partnership with Helwan University and Professional Development Foundation (PDF), the programme is focused on fast tracking the next generation of hospitality leaders from Egypt by providing them with firsthand experience and a springboard to launch successful careers in the industry. The company unveiled the programme at a signing ceremony graced by His Excellency Khalid Atef Abdul Ghaffar, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Egypt. Also present at the occasion was Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International, who is on a three-day visit to the country. “Marriott International is a company that believes in putting people first and we are committed to giving our associates the world class training and the opportunity to grow and reach their potential, both personally and professionally. Our vision is to develop future leaders, empowered with the knowledge, skills and opportunities to be successful within the hospitality industry, both regionally and globally. Building a sustainable and robust hospitality education program like Tahseen, that nurtures and builds national talent, is indeed key to our success,” said Sorenson. “Over the last four decades we have worked hard to consciously develop local talent and prepare them to become future leaders in hospitality,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “Today we employ over 10,200 associates across our hotels in Egypt with 99% of them being local Egyptian nationals.

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Ethiopian to resume daily flights to Asmara, Eritrea from July 18

Ethiopian Airlines has decided to resume daily flights to Asmara, Eritrea on July 18 with the most technologically advanced commercial aircraft, the Boeing 787. This follows agreements reached in Asmara between HE Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and President HE Isaias Afewerki of the State of Eritrea. Regarding the resumption of flights to Eritrea’s capital, Group CEO, Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde GebreMariam said, “We at Ethiopian feel an immense honour and joy to resume scheduled flights to Asmara after 20 years, following the visit to Eritrea by Ahmed, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. With the opening of a new chapter of peace and friendship between the two sisterly countries, we look forward to starting flights to Asmara with the B787, the most technologically advanced commercial aircraft, which gives customers unparalleled on-board comfort. The resumption of air links will play a critical role in boosting the overall political, economic, trade and people-to-people ties between the two sisterly countries. Thanks to Ethiopian extensive network of more than 114 international destinations in 5 continents, our flights to Asmara will avail best connectivity options to the vast Eritrean Diaspora Community across the world and will boost the flow of investment, trade and tourism into Eritrea. Very quickly, we plan to operate multiple daily service and to start cargo flights in view of the huge market potential between the two sisterly countries.” Asmara is the capital and the largest city of Eritrea and is situated in Eritrea’s central Maekel Region.

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