Category Archives: Aviation

Emirates reaffirms care for its customers with latest policy updates

Emirates has announced the latest updates to its already generous booking policies, offering customers even more confidence and flexibility to make their travel plans. Customers holding tickets issued before 30 September 2020 for travel before 31 December 2021, can now rebook to travel anytime within 36 months, an extension of 12 months from the previous policy. Those holding tickets issued after 01 October 2020 for travel before 31 December 2021, can utilise their tickets anytime within 24 months. Fees for reissuing any ticket will be waived, and vouchers or unused portions of Emirates tickets may be refunded without penalty. Customers who hold tickets issued directly by Emirates, whether via emirates.com or the airline’s retail and contact centres, do not have to contact Emirates as the tickets are automatically extended. Customers who purchased their tickets via a travel agent will need to contact their agent before the expiry date to reissue their tickets.

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96% UAE travellers confident with digital health passports

The latest study, commissioned by Amadeus and delivered by Censuswide, provides encouraging news for the industry, with 51% of travellers from the UAE keen to book international travel within six weeks of restrictions lifting. The study also demonstrates the importance of understanding traveller concerns around privacy, ease of use and security. As governments and the travel industry explore the benefits of digital health passports, the message from travellers is clear: digital health passports can be a vital tool in opening up travel. An Amadeus commissioned study has found that that just over 9 in 10 (91%) travellers surveyed globally would be comfortable using a digital health passport for future trips. This encouraging research provides an incentive to accelerate plans for digital health passports that will help to address traveller concerns. The study provided further good news for the industry as just over half of UAE travellers (51%) said they would book international travel within six weeks of restrictions lifting, demonstrating that the appetite to travel remains high. The survey of 9,055 travellers in France, Spain, Germany, India, UAE, Russia, Singapore, UK and US also contained a note of caution for the industry with over 9 in 10 (93%) travellers having some concerns around storing their health data for travel. The survey also explored what solutions might alleviate concerns around digital health data and travel in the future and results showed: Almost 3 in 5 (58%) of UAE travellers would be comfortable using a digital passport if it was accepted by most countries and was regulated by international standards, while 47% would be comfortable if only COVID-19-specific data was included in any health passport.  Just under 8 in 10 (78%) would …

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Wizz Air Abu Dhabi to start Tel Aviv flights from April 18th

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi announced its first flight to Tel Aviv on April 18, 2021, following the announcement that Israel has been added to the green list (a list of ‘green’ countries, regions and territories that you can travel from if planning a trip to Abu Dhabi), meaning travellers will no longer need to quarantine upon arrival in Abu Dhabi. Tickets are already on sale on wizzair.com and the airline’s mobile app, which is also available in Arabic, with fares starting as low as AED 99*. The flights from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv will be available three times per week in April, moving to daily flights in May. Kees Van Schaick, Managing Director of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, said, “In light of the recently eased restrictions, I’m delighted to announce the date of the first WIZZ flight from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv later this month. The connection between the two cities is a historic moment – the link between the UAE and Israel will further contribute to the tourism sector and help to diversify the local economy, while bringing new low-fare business and leisure opportunities for travellers.”  

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Air Arabia resumes flights to Sarajevo from May 7th

Air Arabia has announced the resumption of direct flights between Sharjah and Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, starting May 7, 2021. Customers can now book their direct flights between Sharjah and Sarajevo by visiting Air Arabia’s website, by calling the call centre, or through travel agencies. Ensuring the highest standards of safety at every step of the journey by following all health and safety protocols, Air Arabia has also added to the convenience and confidence of passengers by introducing free COVID-19 insurance coverage. The insurance is automatically included as part of the booking and no additional documents are required from passengers.

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flydubai resumes flights to Asmara from 15th April

flydubai has resumed flights to Eritrea’s capital Asmara with weekly flight service. Flights to Asmara start from 15 April and will operate between Terminal 2, Dubai International (DXB) and Asmara International Airport (ASM). Flights are now available to book on flydubai.com. With the relaunch of flights to Asmara, flydubai has been steadily increasing its operations and has recently announced the start of flights to a number of destinations including Doha, Istanbul and the Maldives as well as new routes such as Malta, Tel Aviv and Tirana. Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai, said, “We continue to reopen destinations on our network and look forward to offering our passengers the convenience of direct airlinks to Dubai.” Sudhir Sreedharan, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations (UAE, GCC, Africa and the Indian Subcontinent) at flydubai, said: “We are pleased to relaunch our operations to Eritrea as we continue to offer convenient and reliable travel services between both countries. We look forward to welcoming our passengers from Asmara back onboard our flights as they travel to Dubai and beyond on our growing network.”

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Emirates expands its US network with restart of flights to Orlando

Emirates

Emirates airline has announced it will resume four-weekly services to Orlando from 2nd June 2021, further expanding its US network, and offering customers worldwide more travel choices and enhanced connectivity via Dubai. With the addition of Orlando, Emirates will be serving over 60 weekly services to and from 11 US destinations including Boston, New York (JFK), Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C, Seattle, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco and Newark (in June), reaffirming the airline’s ongoing commitment to this growing market and offering a convenient connection to travellers headed from and towards the Middle East, West Asia, and Africa via Dubai. Emirates customers also have seamless access to other US cities via the airline’s codeshare agreements with Jetblue and Alaskan Airlines. Flights to/from Orlando will operate four times weekly on Emirates’ two-class Boeing 777-200LR, offering 38 lie-flat seats in Business and 264 ergonomically designed seats in Economy class. Emirates flight EK219 will depart Dubai at 08:55hrs, arriving in Orlando at 16:30hrs while the return flight EK220 will depart Orlando at 21:00 hrs, arriving in Dubai at 19:10hrs the next day.  

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Ras Al Khaimah International Airport welcomes Rossiya Airlines

Ras Al Khaimah International Airport (RAK Airport) has opened up a new service to Russia through a partnership with Rossiya Airlines, with the inaugural flight from the carrier arriving from the Russian city of Yekaterinburg – Russia’s fourth-largest city and the second-largest in Siberia. The airport’s commencement of operations with the airline directly connects the UAE’s northernmost emirate to nine destinations in the world’s largest country. “Ras Al Khaimah International Airport forms a major plank in Ras Al Khaimah’s growth plans by increasing its numbers of destinations and schedules through forging partnerships with new carriers and extending services with existing ones. Its new partnership with Rossiya Airlines represents a significant step forward in the airport’s phased expansion strategy, opening up as it does nine direct flights into and out of Russia,” said H.E. Engr. Salem Bin Sultan Al-Qasimi, Chairman of Department of Civil Aviation and Ras Al Khaimah International Airport, and Board member of General Civil Aviation Authority and Ras Al Khaimah Executive Council. “This new service will be instrumental in bringing in a greater number of Russian visitors to experience the unique attractions of Ras Al Khaimah, with an increase in guests – an important part of the emirate’s diversification strategy. Russia is one of the UAE’s top source countries for tourism, where business between the two countries is also important for bi-lateral growth and development. The new direct connections between Ras Al Khaimah and nine industrial and cultural conurbations in Russia will help meet current tourist and business requirements in both the countries, as well as fuel up the new demand for capacity building,” His Excellency added. “With the start of Rossiya Airlines’ commercial operations from Ras Al …

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airBaltic to resume flights from Riga to Dubai in September

airBaltic announces its plans to launch new scheduled flights between Riga and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates from September 1. airBaltic has scheduled to connect both cities with four weekly flights. Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic: “Dubai for years has been one of the most significant unserved destinations from Riga. Now, with Expo 2020 starting in October, we will offer a direct connection from Riga, which will be appreciated by many passengers across the Baltic region and Scandinavia. Additionally, the new route will provide excellent connectivity further from Dubai International (DXB) to the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Africa.” H.E. Hanan Al Aleeli, Ambassador of the UAE to Latvia, “Expo 2020 Dubai will be the first in-person global mega-event since the pandemic began, which will be welcoming millions of visitors from all over the world. Therefore, the timing of these convenient and fast flights between Riga and Dubai before the event is exceptional and will contribute not only to economic development, but also in creating further opportunities for political, cultural, and people-to-people ties between the UAE and Latvia. Emiratis and Latvians themselves are what has created the demand for these flights, a direct result of the close relationship between our two nations.​” Flights between Riga and Dubai will be operated by the Airbus A220-300 aircraft. A complete schedule of airBaltic flights and tickets for the new destinations are already available on the company’s homepage at www.airbaltic.com. The safety and health of our passengers is airBaltic’s top priority. airBaltic has introduced strong health measures and the flight operations follow the recommendations issued by authorities.

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Shurooq announces family destination breaks across Sharjah

Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) unveils a host of exciting and safe spring break activities for children and families, already underway at across four family-friendly destinations in Sharjah. Keeping the health and safety of the children paramount, and in adherence to all precautionary COVID-19 protocols enforced in the UAE, Shurooq has designed a range of creative activities, both paid and free-to-attend sessions, to keep kids engaged throughout the annual spring break. Until April 10, four of Shurooq’s leisure and entertainment destinations including Al Qasba, Al Majaz Waterfront, Khorfakkan Beach and Al Montazah Parks, will welcome children and families with an exciting range of workshops and fun activities that stimulate the imagination and nurture creativity. Announcing the launch of the spring campaign across four destinations, Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, COO of Shurooq, said: “In line with its commitment to delivering quality experiences for all visitors, tourists, and residents in Sharjah and across the UAE, Shurooq is launching a series of spring break activities for children and families in strictly safe and secure environments. We are keenly monitoring the pandemic situation, and to ensure the health and safety of everyone on our premises, all activities will be held in full adherence to the health and safety protocols followed in the UAE.” He added, “To maintain healthy environments to reduce risk of COVID-19, sanitisation measures implemented at each of the venues will be of the highest hygiene standards. A dedicated team will work round-the-clock to ensure that safety measures are implemented across the venues efficiently. In addition, all children’s facilities and play areas will be sanitised on an hourly and daily basis.”

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IATA urges ME govts to develop roadmap to restart aviation

IATA called on governments in the Middle East to develop re-start plans to safely re-link their citizens, businesses, and economies to global markets when the COVID-19 epidemiological situation permits. IATA also called for regional coordination to ensure that the plans can be efficiently implemented and urged governments to remain vigilant about the industry’s financial situation. “Re-establishing air connectivity will energize the economic recovery from COVID-19. With millions of jobs at risk from the prolonged shutdown, not a day should be lost once the epidemiological situation enables a re-opening. Restarting safely after a year or more in lockdown will need careful preparations. At the national level it is important that governments work with industry, so everyone understands the benchmarks that need to be achieved to facilitate the lifting of travel restrictions. And at the regional level, where traffic is expected to ramp-up first, it is critical that governments are talking to each other so that all parties are aligned and ready for a restart,” said Kamil Al Awadhi, IATA Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East. “This is a unique situation. But we have good practices to rely on. Safety is the top priority for anything associated with aviation. That is because governments have long-established global best practices for working together with industry and with each other. This same approach will help the re-start. There are two ends to every route. Both must be prepared or the restart cannot happen,” said Al Awadhi. “A financially viable air transport sector will be needed to energize the recovery. Government relief for airlines has avoided massive failures that would jeopardize a restart. This has not been uniform across the region. With no …

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