Category Archives: Aviation

Four additional weekly flights by Emirates on Dubai-Cairo route from Oct 29

Emirates-Boeing-777-300ER-1 Cropped

Emirates will increase the capacity of its services to Egypt from October 29, 2017, with the launch of four additional scheduled flights from Dubai to Cairo every week. The four new flights will increase the number of frequencies between the two cities to three each day, and take the total number of weekly Emirates flights serving Cairo to 21. The carrier for the new services will be Emirates’ 360-seat Boeing 777-300ER, in a three-class configuration, with 8 private suites, 42 Business Class seats and 310 Economy Class seats. These services will add 1440 seats each way per week on the route as well as 23 tonnes of additional capacity for cargo per flight. Orhan Abbas, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Commercial Operations for Africa, says, “We will continue to invest in Egypt, empowering the local economy and helping it expand its business and tourism presence.” This addition is also a part of Emirates’ commitment to offer its customers numerous choices on all the routes, so that they are seamlessly connected to any point in the Middle East, Asia, Americas, Africa and Australia as per their convenience. The additional Dubai-Cairo flight, EK 925, will leave Dubai at 2050 hours and arrive in Cairo at 2305 hours. The return flight, EK 926, will take off from Cairo at 0045 hours and arrive at Dubai at 0615 hours.

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Abu Dhabi Airports receives UAE’s first Aerodrome Flight Information Services Certification

Saif Al Suwaidi final

Abu Dhabi Airports has been awarded the UAE’s first Aerodrome Flight Information Services (AFIS) certification from the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), for its Sir Bani Yas Airport. AFIS is provided at airfields where flight information is required but where the aircraft traffic does not warrant having a full Air Traffic Control service. AFIS can provide information to pilots about other known traffic that is landing, taking off, or flying in the vicinity of the airfield, as well as relevant meteorological information and status of the runway. To get the certification, Aerodrome Flight Information Service Officers (AFISOs) had to be trained as per the GCAA standards, new AFIS procedures were introduced, a watch tower was built and technical equipment, including communication and recording systems, were installed. H.E. Saif Al Suwaidi – Director General GCAA, commented, “The Aerodrome Flight Information Service Regulations are the first in this region, and in fact amongst the first in the world. Thus, the issue of a certificate for this service is a new concept, and it has taken a great deal of preparation in order to achieve the high standards necessary to attain the certification and the approval. Abu Dhabi Airports and GAL Air Navigation Services are congratulated for their accomplishment as the first unit in the region to receive this ground-breaking certification.”

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Air Arabia’s second-quarter net profit shows 21 per cent y-o-y increase


Air Arabia’s financial results for the second quarter of 2017, ending on June 30, exceeded analysts’ expectations as it declared a net profit of AED 158 million, an increase of 21 per cent over the AED 131 million reported for the same period last year. Further, Air Arabia’s net profit for the first six months of 2017 stood at AED 261 million, up by 7 per cent from the net profit of the corresponding period of 2016. The turnover for the first six months of this year reached AED 1.716 billion, out of which, the turnover for the second quarter alone registered AED 906 million. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia, said, “Air Arabia’s strong second-quarter financial performance is a testament to the carrier’s operational efficiency and robust growth strategy. Despite the continuous pressure on yield margins, which is driven by the market and the economic environment, Air Arabia managed to register a solid second quarter net profit backed by the carrier’s cost control measures, operational efficiency and combined with its momentum growth”.

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Mauritius officially on Saudi Arabian Airlines’ network from September 14


Jeddah-based national carrier of Saudi Arabia, Saudia (Saudi Arabian Airlines), will deploy its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, known for its two-class configuration of 24 fully flat seats in Business Class and 274 seats in Guest Class, on its new route from Riyadh and Jeddah to the Republic of Mauritius beginning September 14, 2017. For the first time, the two nations will have regular scheduled flights, providing a seamless link between Mauritius and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Flight SV481 will operate from Riyadh to Mauritius, with a brief one-hour stop in Jeddah, three times a week. The total flying time to Mauritius will be 9 hours from Riyadh and 7 hours 20 minutes from Jeddah. Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines, His Excellency Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser commented on the impending start of the new route, “The start of services to the island of Mauritius provides guests with a unique destination to visit. We thank the Government of the Republic of Mauritius and the civil authority for welcoming SAUDIA and extending their full support.”

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Riyadh Airports partners with Uber

Uber signing image

Riyadh Airports Company, the company responsible for managing and operating King Khalid International Airport (KKIA) in the Saudi capital,  and Uber have recently signed an agreement, putting the onus of transporting passengers to and from terminals 1, 2 and 5 of KKIA on Uber. CEO of Riyadh Airports, Saleh Al Rasheed, said,  “This agreement is in line with Riyadh Airports’ policy of developing strategic partnerships that can help them enhance the experience of the passengers travelling through King Khalid International Airport and ensure that their satisfaction is aided by the continued availability of reliable and efficient services”. Commenting on the announcement, Zeid Hreish, General Manager of Uber KSA said “This is a significant announcement for us, as the partnership reinforces Uber’s commitment to providing safe and reliable transportation everywhere and for everyone, and is in line with the Kingdom’s move towards working with progressive companies like Uber.” Riyadh Airports is also currently moving forward with plans to upgrade KKIA infrastructure and expand with new services and facilities.

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Etihad’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner introduced on Abu Dhabi-Seoul route

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Etihad Airways has introduced one of its 16 Boeing 787 carriers on its scheduled daily service from Abu Dhabi to Seoul. The aircraft touched down on August 2, 2017 at the South Korean capital’s space-age Incheon International Airport. The new two-class 787 Dreamliner replaces the Airbus A340-600 aircraft previously operated on this route and features Etihad Airways’ next-generation Business and Economy Class cabins, with a total of 299 seats—28 Business Studios and 271 Economy Smart Seats. On the Seoul route, these will be complemented by Food and Beverage Managers in the Business Class and a Norland-approved Flying Nanny in the Economy Class to provide specialised care for families with young children. Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways Executive Vice President Commercial, said, “This change has been brought about considering the fact that there has been a steady increase in the number of business and leisure travellers flying between South Korea and Abu Dhabi and the GCC region. Many Koreans now operate successfully and lead a flourishing life in UAE, contributing to the success of Etihad Airways’ Seoul Incheon service. Furthermore, many of our customers on the route transit onwards through Abu Dhabi to major destinations on the Etihad network across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.”

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Turkish Airlines introduces ‘healthy travel’ with Dr Oz

Dr. Oz and Mr. M. Ilker Ayci, Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee of Turkish Airlines

The airline with the largest network in the world, Turkish Airlines, has recently collaborated with Dr Mehmet Oz, the producer and host of ‘The Dr. Oz Show’, on its ‘Fly Good Feel Good’ project, to provide not only a comfortable but also a healthy travel experience to its passengers. Dr Oz would give advice to the passengers on healthy eating habits and exercises, through short videos that would be available on the Turkish Airlines official website, social media and in-flight entertainment systems. His advice will also be printed in newspapers to extend its reach to maximum number of people. “Making our passengers’ flight experience more comfortable and enjoyable by continuously improving our brand experience is one of our top priorities,” said M. Ilker Ayci, Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee of Turkish Airlines. How a person feels is just as important for us as our award-winning service quality.”

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Passenger growth at DWC exceeds 35 per cent in H1


Passenger numbers at Dubai World Central (DWC), Dubai’s second airport, grew by more than 35 per cent in the first half of this year over the corresponding period of the last year, according to the traffic report issued by operator Dubai Airports. DWC welcomed 554,993 passengers in the first half of 2017 compared to 410,278 passengers during the first six months of the last year—a growth of 35.3 per cent. The regions that topped the list in terms of passenger volumes in this new growth were Eastern Europe (207,798 passengers), the GCC (170,424), Western Europe (61,459) and the Indian subcontinent (55,785 passengers). “Overall, DWC performed well in the first half of the year with both scheduled and chartered carriers contributing to traffic volumes at the airport. DWC’s continuing growth as an important travel and logistics hub is driven by advantages the facility offers to both airlines and passengers—from easy availability of slots to quick turnaround times, access to new catchment area, and quick transit times for passengers,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.

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New private aviation terminal to open at Sharjah International Airport


Gama Support Services, a division of global business aviation services company Gama Aviation, has signed commercial agreements with Sharjah Airport Authority for the development and operation of a private aviation terminal at Sharjah International Airport. Estimated to cost AED 110 million ($30 million) to get built, this purpose-built, integrated business aviation complex would provide ground handling services to business jet owners, business jets, and crew members. The terminal would be spread over an area of 40,000 square metres and will include two aircraft hangars that would be able to accommodate business aircraft up to the size of Airbus ACJ & Boeing BBJ (ACJ aircraft are based on the Airbus A320 family, while BBJ are based on Boeing 737 commercial aircraft frames). Further, it will also be complemented with rest areas, lounges, duty-free shops, passport control and customs. The development will also include an aircraft fueling unit, an aircraft parking apron for business jets and ample car parking adjacent to the terminal.

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Special offers for British Airways First-Class travellers from UAE


Customers flying First in British Airways from Dubai can now enjoy special rates if they book 60 days in advance, with fares starting from as little as AED 21,270. They will also be able to access British Airways’ new Concorde Lounge concept at Concourse D at Dubai International Airport that provides a dedicated area for First customers and their guests to relax and unwind in a private environment before boarding their flight. Further, all passengers who are flying First Class from Abu Dhabi to Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport in British Airways and are booking 60 days in advance can experience the newly designed luxury cabins on board the 787-9 Dreamliner for as little as AED 20,550. British Airways is continuing to invest in other improvements in its First Class amenities, including a similar refresh of its flagship Concorde Room at Heathrow Terminal 5, with an updated look and feel as well as improvements to the terrace area, which is to be unveiled in October 2017.

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