Category Archives: Aviation

Global Investment in Aviation Summit 2019 to be held from January 27-29

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Global Investment in Aviation Summit 2019 is all set to take place from January 27-29, 2018 at the Intercontinental Dubai Festival City with brainstorming on challenges and investment in aviation being the core objectives. The required modernisation of aviation infrastructure expansion, development, and modernisation to cater to anticipated increase in passenger and freight air traffic demand will reach USD 1.8 trillion by 2030. GIAS 2019 is an initiative of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), which was established to create a leading, safe, secure and sustainable civil aviation system in the country. According to a report published by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA), global aviation will have to cater to over 14 trillion passenger traffic and 466 billion tonnes of freight traffic by 2034. This projection will show an increase of 14.5 per cent RPK and 4.2 per cent FTK, per annum respectively. The projected growth in global aviation industry will generate at least 99 million jobs and will contribute USD 5.9 trillion in GDP, a 122 per cent increase from 2014, according to the same IATA report. The UAE is investing substantially in upgrading the aviation infrastructure. HE Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General, UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, said, “Aviation has been an important part of the UAE’s economic growth. One of the nation’s vigorous strength is its rapidly-expanding infrastructure, with spending of USD23.16 billion, including USD8 billion for expansion of Al Maktoum International Airport, USD7.6 billion for Phase IV development of Dubai International Airport, and USD 6.8 billion for expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport. Collectively, the UAE increases its fleet per month by approximately 4-5 per cent and the total number of aircraft will …

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Royal Air Maroc to join oneworld besides Royal Jordanian and 12 global carriers

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Royal Air Maroc will join oneworld to be the third Arab airline member, besides Royal Jordanian and Qatar Airways by mid 2020. Its regional subsidiary Royal Air Maroc Express will join as a oneworld affiliate member at the same time. Its election as a oneworld member was announced as the chief executives of the alliance’s 13 current member airlines gathered in New York for their year-end Governing Board meeting. From then, the recruits will offer the full range of oneworld customer services and benefits, with the one million plus members of Royal Air Maroc’s Safar Flyer loyalty programme able to earn and redeem rewards on all oneworld member airlines, and with its top tier members able to use the alliance’s more than 650 airport lounges worldwide. While Comair has been a oneworld affiliate member since the alliance launched in February 1999, Royal Air Maroc will be oneworld’s first full member from Africa – the only continent, apart from Antarctica – where the alliance has, until now, had no full member. It will also be the alliance’s first new full member airline signed since 2012.  Royal Air Maroc is today the largest unaligned carrier in Africa – with a transformational strategy well underway to develop it quickly into a truly global airline and the continent’s leader in terms of both size and quality.  It carried 7.3 million passengers last year on a fleet of 55 aircraft, with a network that currently connects its Casablanca base with 94 destinations in 49 countries across Africa, Europe, the Middle East and North and South America, including oneworld hubs Doha, London Heathrow, Madrid, Moscow Domodedovo, New York JFK and Sao Paulo.

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Emirates adds another A380 to Johannesburg

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER

Emirates has introduced an additional Airbus A380 service to Johannesburg (OR Tambo International Airport), replacing the previous Boeing 777 aircraft on the route. EK762 (JNB-DXB) and EK761 (DXB-JNB) are now served by the flagship A380 aircraft. The Emirates Airbus A380 aircraft serving the Dubai-Johannesburg route will offer a total of 519 seats in a three-class configuration, with 429 spacious seats in Economy Class, 76 fully flat-bed seats in Business Class and 14 First-Class Private Suites. Upcoming festive season travel between the two global transit hubs is expected to be especially strong, building on over 700,000 customers who flew with the airline before November. With Emirates, customers from Johannesburg can enjoy a seamless A380 experience to their most popular destinations via Dubai, including London, Moscow, New York and Bangkok. All four daily Emirates flights between Johannesburg and Dubai operate as codeshare flights with partner South African Airways. The deployment of the double-decker aircraft on routes to and from South Africa gives even more regional travellers the chance to experience the aircraft’s industry-leading comforts. These include private suites and Shower Spas in its First-Class cabin, while Business-Class customers can enjoy the popular on-board lounge and lie-flat beds.

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Abu Dhabi Airports conveys sense of patriotism among Emiratis

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) celebrated its 47th National Day. Commenting on t he occasion, Bryan Thompson, CEO, Abu Dhabi Airports, said, “Abu Dhabi Airports takes pride in celebrating the 47th UAE National Day and introducing the Emirati culture and tradition to passengers coming from across the world. Marking the festivities, Abu Dhabi Airports strives to convey the sense of patriotism and unity among the Emirati people. Our celebration of the UAE National Day is in line with our continuous efforts to provide a unique travel experience to our passengers, ensuring the highest quality services as part of our vision to become a world-leading airport group.”

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Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens 2018 to witness over 930 rugby and netball matches

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The 2018 Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens is underway at The Sevens Stadium. Now in its 49th year, the event is set to be the largest event on record with over 930 rugby and netball matches across three days and enhanced entertainment for everyone. During the Dubai Sevens, Emirates will be bringing the Rugby World Cup and will be displaying it at its hospitality for guests and fans. After six months of training, drills and preparation, the EK Firebirds, an all-women’s rugby club comprising Emirates Cabin Crew from 14 different nationalities, is ready to compete at the 2018 edition of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens invitational women’s tournament. The EK Firebirds squad met with the USA Women’s Eagles, the national sevens rugby team, for a mini-training camp ahead of the tournament, where they ran through practice scrums, along with kicking and tackling techniques and exercises. The EK Firebirds team members come from rugby loving nations including the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, as well as other diverse nations like Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Namibia, the Philippines and Nigeria – reflecting the multicultural Cabin Crew team at the airline and the global make-up of Dubai. The team members have found time to practice and train during their busy travel rosters, and organise themselves to ensure that as many of them train together as possible, using the Sevens stadium, Zaabeel Park and other venues in Dubai as their training grounds.

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Etihad Airways launches maiden flight to Barcelona

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Etihad Airways has launched its first-ever scheduled flights from Abu Dhabi to Barcelona. The inaugural flight recently departed Abu Dhabi with a special delegation including dignitaries, media representatives and senior members of the airline’s management team. Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said, “There could not have been a better time to arrive here than the month when Etihad celebrates its 15th anniversary. Commercial and cultural links between the UAE and the Catalonia region are flourishing and Etihad is honoured to play a pivotal role in facilitating and enhancing the growth of trade and the strong demand for tourism. This is a breathtakingly beautiful part of the world, with something to offer the most discerning of travellers, and now for the first time, Abu Dhabi is accessible from Barcelona with regular non-stop flights. On behalf of the Etihad Aviation Group, I extend our sincere thanks to the Barcelona Air Route Development Committee for their invaluable support with the new service.” The number of visitors from the UAE to Spain has been rising rapidly, thanks in part to a successful Schengen visa waiver programme introduced for UAE nationals in 2015. The new route will initially be operated five times a week by a two-class Airbus A330-200 before becoming a daily operation from March 31, 2019.

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Emirates Skywards rolls out fast track status

An Emirates Airbus A380

Members of Emirates Skywards, the loyalty programme of Emirates and flydubai, can now achieve their next Emirates Skywards tier faster, with an exciting new offer to earn up to double Tier Miles on flights. The offer is valid for eligible tickets booked between November 26 and December 03, 2018 (both days inclusive) for travel on Emirates or flydubai flights between November 26, 2018 and March 31, 2019. To be eligible for the promotion, customers must be existing or new members of Emirates Skywards can register for the offer via the Emirates app or by logging into their account online at emirates.com or flydubai.com. Customers must also choose ‘Flex’ or ‘Flex Plus’ fares when flying on Emirates and ‘Free to Change’ or ‘Business Basic’ fares when travelling on flydubai to be eligible to earn bonus Tier Miles. Emirates Skywards offers four tiers of membership – Blue, Silver, Gold and Platinum – each with unique incremental benefits for members including dedicated check-in, priority boarding, lounge access, complimentary advanced seat selection and special Wi-Fi privileges. Members build up their tier status by earning Tier Miles on flights flown with Emirates or flydubai. Dr Nejib Ben Khedher, Senior Vice President, Emirates Skywards, said, “We always strive to provide greater value to our customers and offer them access to a much wider range of benefits and rewards. Through our latest offer, a first of this scale and reach, Emirates Skywards members will be able to accrue bonus Tier Miles from flights and this means that they can reach their next Emirates Skywards tier faster.”

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Oman Air adds 2nd three-class configuration 787-9 to its fleet

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Oman Air has taken delivery of its second three-class Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and expects to receive it next month. Besides, the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman is anticipated to receive a total of nine more 737 MAX 8s within the next year. The three-class Dreamliner features eight First Class Private Suites, 24 Business Class seats and 232 Economy seats. Guests travelling aboard this aircraft in First Class can enjoy unparalleled levels of comfort with one of the longest 180 degrees flat-bed seats available on any commercial airliner. Fully enclosed, the suite has 55-inch extra tall doors to ensure complete privacy. The aircraft will be equipped with leading technology and the latest-in-comfort amenities, including cutting-edge entertainment to enhance the travel experience of their guests. All classes feature ‘Aria’, a new state-of-the-art Thales Integrated In-Flight Entertainment System designed exclusively for Oman Air featuring an immersive cinematic interface design, showcasing the latest in on-demand blockbuster movies, TV programmes and audio selections. Exclusively curated content is available for visitors to Oman, who look to experience the very best of Oman culture from the moment they step onboard. Following the launch of new routes to Istanbul and Casablanca in June and July this year respectively, Oman Air recently celebrated the launch of its new service to Moscow on October 30, and the resumption of the Maldives route on October 28. With the addition of new Dreamliner, Oman Air’s fleet consists of three Boeing 787-8, five 787-9 Dreamliners, six Airbus 330-300s, four Airbus 330-200s, five Boeing 737-900s, 21 Boeing 737-800s, four Embraer 175s and five 737 MAX.

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Abu Dhabi International Airport opens multi-faith prayer room for UAE’s value of tolerance

Abu Dhabi Airports Multi Faith Prayer Room 3

Abu Dhabi Airports has inaugurated a multi-faith prayer room in Terminal 3 at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH). This new facility reflects on Abu Dhabi Airports’ commitment to embed the UAE’s values of respect, acceptance and diversity. The prayer room is located adjacent to the bus gates at Terminal 3, which has an annual capacity of 12 million passengers. The launch of the multi-faith prayer room comes as the result of Abu Dhabi Airports’ primary focus on customers and commitment to providing excellent services. It also reflects the values of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founder, the UAE, who conveyed the importance of religious tolerance. Bryan Thompson, CEO, Abu Dhabi Airports, said, “At Abu Dhabi Airports, our priority is serving the needs of our passengers, and ensuring that our customers have access to all the services that they require. As a global hub, we welcome passengers and travellers from all parts of the world and all walks of life. Our new multi-faith prayer room seeks to accommodate our millions of travellers from a range of different religious backgrounds and faiths.” He added, “Abu Dhabi Airports’ new corporate values, which were launched earlier this year as part of our Year of Zayed programme, emphasise and reflect the core principles of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE. As a leader who was known globally for his acceptance of others and multi-cultural outlook, this multi-faith prayer room is a representation of those values being implemented throughout our activities and operations.”

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dnata expands operations in the United States

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dnata has launched operations at Los Angeles International Airport and now provides quality and reliable ground handling and cargo services at 20 airports in the country. To establish operations in Los Angeles, dnata has invested $8 million in infrastructure and resources, creating more than 350 local jobs. Serving six airlines, including Austrian Airlines, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines and Qantas, dnata will initially handle 4,600 flights a year. The company commenced ground handling and cargo operations in the United States by the acquisition of industry players in 2016. Since then, it has invested more than $35 million in facilities, equipment, training and technology. Having won over 45 new contracts in the past 12 months, dnata now serves over 60 airlines in the United States. David Barker, Chief Executive Officer, dnata USA, said, “We are thrilled to be launching operations at one of the world’s leading international airports. Adding Los Angeles International Airport to our growing network underlines our strong commitment to the US market, where we have significantly expanded our operations through massive investments in our facilities and resources in the past two years. We see an opportunity to create a step change in service excellence for our customer airlines at this important gateway.” Joerg Mnich, Vice President, Commercial Airport Infrastructure, Lufthansa Group, said, “As a premium airline, the Lufthansa Group is excited to grow the North American relationship with dnata into other major hubs like Los Angeles. With our positive service experience from destinations like Boston, New York-JFK, San Diego and Tampa, we are looking forward to providing first-class service to our customers with our handling partner at Los Angeles International Airport.”

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