Category Archives: Aviation

Six Indian cities served by SpiceJet will join the Emirates network

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Emirates and SpiceJet have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enter into a reciprocal codeshare agreement, which is set to open new routes and destinations for passengers travelling between India and popular destinations across Africa, America, Europe and the Middle East. Subject to necessary government approvals, the partnership will enable Emirates’ passengers to enjoy seamless connectivity on flights to India, leveraging SpiceJet’s strong domestic presence and adding six new destinations: Amritsar, Jaipur, Pune, Mangalore, Madurai and Calicut — to the nine existing cities in India served by Emirates. This will bolster Emirates’ already-extensive network adding a total of 67 weekly connections between Emirates’ hub in Dubai to these six fast growing destinations in India. This includes increased domestic connectivity from Emirates’ nine Indian gateways to points such as Goa, Hubli, Guwahati, Vishakhapatnam and Tuticorin which would allow for a greater variety of travel options between both Emirates and SpiceJet flights. “Our journey in India has been defined by progressive investment, partnership and growth. We constantly try to improve and provide our customers with greater flexibility and travel choices,” said Adnan Kazim, Divisional Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning, Revenue Optimisation and Aeropolitical Affairs at Emirates. Passengers travelling from India will have more choice to travel seamlessly with minimum connection times, when flying to destinations in Emirates’ Europe network such as London, Paris, Frankfurt, Manchester and Amsterdam. The codeshare agreement will also open up flights for Indian travellers to North and South American destinations such as New York, Washington, Toronto, and Sao Paulo as well as Middle Eastern destinations such as Jeddah, Kuwait and Amman, operated by Emirates.

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Africa’s growing aviation sector sees more potential for new routes to GCC

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Africa’s vast aviation potential as the continent continues to increase airline frequency to the GCC will be explored at the Inaugural CONNECT Middle East, India and Africa – co-located with Arabian Travel Market 2019 and taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre on April 30 and May 1. With up to 300 delegates, the forum will include a packed conference programme, panel discussion and airline and industry briefings as well as unlimited one-to-one meetings pre-scheduled for airlines, airports and suppliers – all combined with endless informal opportunities for networking throughout the two days. The potential for the aviation sector in Africa is immense. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) projects that the African continent will become one of the fastest growing aviation regions within the next 20 years, with an average annual expansion rate of almost 5 per cent. Currently, there are 731 airports and 419 airlines on the African continent, with the aviation sector supporting around 7 million jobs and generating $80 billion in economic activity. In terms of passenger numbers, 47 million passengers departed from Africa’s top five airports, which included Cairo, Addis Ababa and Marrakesh in 2018, according to the latest ANKER report. “Emirates and Saudia were only responsible for 8 million of those passengers, highlighting the potential for new routes throughout the continent and between the Middle East and Africa. Furthermore, IATA reckons if just 12 key Africa countries opened their markets and increased connectivity, an extra 155,000 jobs and US$1.3 billion in annual GDP would be created in those countries,” said Nick Pilbeam, Divisional Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions. The international aviation industry has been monitoring developments in Africa closely, especially since the Single African Air …

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Turkish Airlines adds Marrakech to its flight network

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Successfully completing its “Great Move” process and transferring all of its passenger operations to its new hub, Istanbul Airport, Turkish Airlines now adds Marrakech, the tourist city of Morocco, to its flight network. As the national flag carrier’s first inaugural flight from its new home, Marrakech became Turkish Airlines’ second destination in Morocco while becoming its 308th destination globally. Started from April 15, Istanbul – Marrakech – Istanbul direct flights will be commenced five days of a week as Turkish Airlines reinforces its title of flying to more international destinations than any other airline. The inaugural flight from Istanbul Airport, landed in Marrakech Menara Airport, was welcomed by the customary water cannon salute in a formal ceremony, and was attended by the executives both from the global carrier and Marrakech Menara Airport, and press members as well. Commenting on this inaugural flight, Ahmet Olmuştur, Chief Marketing Officer, Turkish Airlines, stated, “With Istanbul Airport, a new era has begun in global aviation. Our new operation centre offers an important opportunity for us to develop our globally unparalleled flight network performance even further. Thus, we are working on new strategies to capitalise on this opportunity. Marrakech will always hold a special place for us as it is the first destination we added from our new home. We are happy to carry our passengers to this crimson city with our privileged travel experience.” Passengers travelling to Marrakech with the privileged travel experience of Turkish Airlines, will be able to visit various significant locations for cultural tourism while experiencing different activities such as nature and wildlife tours. Istanbul – Marrakech – Istanbul scheduled flight times beginning from April 15, 2019 will include Monday, Wednesday, …

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Emirates inks deal with Africa World Airlines

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER

Emirates and Africa World Airlines (AWA), the Ghanaian airline, announced a one-way interline agreement whereby Emirates customers can connect onto selected routes of Africa World Airlines’ network, opening up new African destinations for Emirates customers from May 2019. “The agreement between Emirates and Africa World Airlines underpins our commitment to provide greater connectivity across West Africa. This partnership will allow us to further extend West Africa via the selected domestic and regional routes of Africa World Airlines,” said Orhan Abbas, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Africa, Emirates. “Africa World Airlines is proud to partner with Emirates in order to connect passengers through our hub at the new Terminal 3 in Accra. Customers will enjoy seamless connections at the premier gateway to the West African region as a result of this new agreement,” said Sean Mendis, Chief Operations Officer for Africa World Airlines. Passengers on Emirates’ network can now benefit from greater connectivity to West Africa, especially those travelling from popular inbound markets such as Dubai, China, India and Australia who can now connect from Accra onto AWA flights to Kumasi, Tamale and Sekondi-Takoradi in Ghana; and regional destinations Monrovia in Liberia and Freetown in Sierra Leone. Emirates passengers can choose from seven weekly flights from Dubai to Accra until June 2, 2019, when Emirates will increase services on the route to 11 weekly flights. The agreement with AWA will further extend Emirates’ connectivity from Accra with up to ten flights daily to Kumasi, four flights daily each to Tamale and Takoradi and six weekly flights to Monrovia and Freetown.

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DXB and DWC ready for 45-day runway closure

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Dubai Airports confirmed operations teams at both airports are ‘good to go’ for the commencement of the 45-day long refurbishment of the southern runway at Dubai International (DXB). The runway is nearing the end of its design life and requires a complete upgrade to accommodate future traffic growth. “Planning and preparations have been underway for almost two years in close coordination with Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, airlines, dnata, the regulator and a host of other service partners to make sure this massive project goes off without a hitch. We’re confident we are fully prepared and good to go for April 16. We are encouraging passengers to confirm their airport of departure before they set out to take their flights but otherwise they can expect smooth operations and great service ,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports. The main visible difference for passengers will be a potential change in airports, although scheduling experts have optimised DXB’s one runway operation to the point where there will be only a 29% reduction in the number of available seats. Thanks to the additional capacity provided by DWC, the number of flights across the Dubai Airport system will see a reduction of just 19% and a seat reduction of just 20%. Many customers will get to experience the speed and convenience of Dubai’s second airport Dubai World Central (DWC) for the first time during the closure as it takes on additional traffic from affected scheduled, charter, cargo and general aviation operations. DWC will handle an average of 145 passenger flights per day operated during the period by airlines including flydubai, Wizz Air, Aeroflot, Indigo, SpiceJet, Gulf Air, Ukraine International Airlines, Ural Airlines, Nepal Airlines, Kuwait Airways …

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Emirates deploys fully-enclosed First Class private suites in the GCC

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER

In a move to offer a range of experiences and greater choice for its customers travelling for business and leisure, Emirates will be operating its latest Boeing 777-300ER aircraft fitted with the ‘Game Changer’ First Class suites from Dubai to Riyadh starting from April 16, 2019 and Kuwait starting from June 1, 2019. Adil Al Ghaith, Senior Vice President Commercial Operations Gulf, Middle East & Iran said, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will be the first countries in the Middle East and GCC to be served by the latest Emirates Boeing 777 aircraft featuring fully-enclosed private suites inspired by luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz. Deploying the newest Boeing 777 to both Riyadh and Kuwait will cater to the significant premium demand we see on these routes, and is in line with our commitment to provide our customers across all classes with outstanding service and industry-leading onboard products for a better flying experience. The unique First Class suites onboard the Boeing 777 will offer our premium passengers unparalleled privacy, comfort and luxury, with experiences tailored to their individual needs.” Travellers to/from Saudi Arabia can experience the new Boeing 777 product on flight EK 819 departing Dubai at 06:55hrs, arriving in Riyadh at 07:50hrs. The return flight EK 820 leaves Riyadh at 09:35hrs, arriving in Dubai at 12:30hrs. The new Boeing 777 aircraft will begin operating the route five times a week, and from June 1, 2019 will begin flying on a daily basis. Emirates will be expanding its premium Boeing 777 experience to/from Kuwait on EK 855, which departs Dubai at 07:45hrs, arriving in Kuwait at 08:25hrs. The return flight EK 856 leaves Kuwait at 09:50hrs, arriving in Dubai at 12:40hrs. …

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New libraries opened across Terminals 1 and 3 of Abu Dhabi International Airport

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Abu Dhabi Airports, with the support of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has opened a series of new ‘AUH Libraries’ at Abu Dhabi International Airport, following the UAE’s Month of Reading in March 2019. Located across Terminals 1 and 3, passengers are welcome to visit the Main Library near gates 14-18 in the T1-Transit area, as well as three ‘mini libraries’ along the airside corridor between T1 and T3 and an additional three mini libraries at the departure pier in T3 (Gates 33-35). The Main Library accommodates up to ten people at a time, while the smaller units can host six people. During 2016’s Year of Reading, Abu Dhabi Airports had launched its inaugural airport library, which was the first amongst the region’s airports, and has since then continued to promote a culture of reading throughout its facilities. The new libraries that are launched today are a step further towards enhancing customer experience at the Capital’s airport. With around 200 books provided by DCT Abu Dhabi, passengers from across the globe can now enjoy an array of novels, as well as a selection of books related to the Founding Father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Speaking about the opening of the libraries, Bryan Thompson, Chief Executive Officer at Abu Dhabi Airports, said, “We are delighted to welcome travellers to take a minute to dive into a novel or learn about the UAE’s rich heritage at our new libraries across Abu Dhabi International Airport. Much like travel, reading opens our minds to new experiences and places and Abu Dhabi Airports is committed to fostering a culture of reading …

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Etihad to deploy Dreamliner on its Johannesburg, Lagos and Milan routes

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This summer, Etihad Airways will introduce the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its scheduled services from Abu Dhabi to Johannesburg, effective August 1, Lagos, effective August 2, and Milan, effective  September 1, replacing the Airbus A330s currently operating the routes. All three destinations will feature Etihad Airways’ next-generation Business and Economy cabins, configured with 299 seats — 28 Business Studios and 271 Economy Smart Seats. Etihad Airways extensive global network to and from Abu Dhabi will see more 787 Dreamliners introduced on key destinations as the airline takes delivery of more of the type. Boeing 787 schedule to Johannesburg, effective August 1, 2019 will leave Abu Dhabi at 10:05 and reach Johannesburg by 16:30 daily and return from Johannesburg at 20:05 to Abu Dhabi at 06:00 daily (Next day arrival). For Lagos, effective August 2, 2019 from Abu Dhabi at 02:35 to Lagos and 07:10 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Return from Lagos at 08:30 to Abu Dhabi at 19:10 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. To Milan, effective September 1, 2019 from Abu Dhabi at 02:20 to Milan at 06:50 daily and return from Milan at 10:40 to  Abu Dhabi at 18:55 daily.

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British Airways introduces flights to Dammam from December

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British Airways is set to fly from Dammam to London Heathrow from December 1, 2019. The route is the first ever direct flight from Dammam to London Heathrow, with flights departing daily. The service will launch as a daily ‘tag’ service via Bahrain. Flights will be operated by a four-class Boeing 777-200 departing year-round from Dammam’s King Fahd International Airport and landing in Terminal 5 at London Heathrow. Dammam will be the third city in Saudi Arabia that British Airways flies to, with the airline already serving Riyadh and Jeddah with non-stop daily flights. This daily direct flight between Dammam and London Heathrow will cut journey times by three hours or more because passengers will no longer need to either drive to Bahrain or transit through Riyadh for a connecting flight. Moran Birger, Head of Sales for The Middle East and Asia Pacific, said, “This new link between Dammam and London underlines the importance of the Eastern province and the need for smooth onward connections to Europe and the United States. Direct flights will hugely benefit executives travelling between the Eastern Province and Europe’s premier financial capital and business hub, while also bringing London within an even easier reach for an extended weekend getaway.” Return fares start from SR2,480 for World Traveller, SR3,000 for World Traveller Plus, SR11,310 for Club World and SR18,900 in First. Dammam is one of five long-haul routes being launched by British Airways in 2019, its centenary year. The airline is also launching non-stop flights to Pittsburgh and Charleston in the US, Osaka in Japan and Islamabad in Pakistan, alongside several short-haul routes.  

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Travelport inks deal with Pakistan International Airlines

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Travelport has reached a full content agreement with Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) under which the former will expand availability of PIA’s content to Travelport-connected agencies in the Americas and Asia Pacific, as well as continue to provide access across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In doing so, over 68,000 agencies globally servicing hundreds of millions of travellers will now have real-time access to search, sell, and book the airlines’ full content and inventory. As the first global distribution system (GDS) to manage the live booking of flights using the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) New Distribution Capability (NDC) technical standard, Travelport will soon further help PIA by giving it the opportunity to create NDC connections and display NDC-based airline content on its platform. Commenting on the new deal, Ali Tahir, Chief Commercial Officer at Pakistan International Airlines, said, “Travelport has been a valued partner to PIA for a number of years. By expanding our relationship with the company to cover the Americas and Asia-Pacific, two strategically important regions for us, we will provide our loyal customers with greater access to our flights and open up significant new growth opportunities for our business.” David Gomes, Head of Middle East, Africa, Turkey and Pakistan, Air – Travel Partners, Travelport, added, “PIA is highly valued by travel agencies in all corners of the world due it its vast international network, high quality service and large customer base. We are delighted the airline has chosen to expand its partnership with us. We are fully committed to supporting the company in achieving its international growth objectives and look forward to continuing to work with its world-class team.”

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