Category Archives: Aviation

Ethiopian Airlines places repeat order for 10 A350-900 aircraft

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Ethiopian Airlines has placed an order for 10 additional Airbus A350-900 aircraft, enabling further development to its fast expanding long-haul route network. Last June, Ethiopian Airlines became the first African carrier to operate the A350 when it took delivery of the first of 12 aircrafts in order. Today the carrier operates a fleet of four A350s. Ethiopian Airlines’ A350-900s are configured in a two class layout, seating 30 passengers in Business Class and 313 in Economy Class. The spacious, quiet interior and mood lighting in the cabin contribute to superior levels of passenger comfort and well-being. “Operating the youngest fleet in the industry with modern and comfortable customer features in cabin is one of the four pillars in our 15 years strategic road map and this order placement for additional A-350s is one component of this strategy. The performance, operational and cost efficiencies we have achieved with our initial A350-900s have resulted in these additional ten aircraft order placement and thereby suffice our ever-expanding global network. We will deploy the additional aircraft on our long haul routes connecting Addis Ababa with destinations in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia,” explained Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines.

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Arrive Early for Summer Rush, says Emirates

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Emirates reminds customers to arrive at the airport at least three hours before flight departure because of ongoing heavy road works, construction around the main airport highways and summer rush. Passengers can physically check in at the airport as early as six hours before departing on their flight. They are requested to check in no later than 90 minutes prior to departure and those who check in less than 60 minutes prior to departure will not be accepted for travel. Customers can also check in online on both their desktops and mobile devices from 48 hours to 90 minutes before flight departure or use the facilities near its car park area to check in and drop off luggage 24 hours to six hours prior to departure. Along with checked in baggage, passengers are strongly advised to adhere to carry-on baggage weight limits, which are 7kg for Economy Class and 14kg for Business and First Class. Alternatively, customers heading to Emirates Terminal 3 can choose to drop their luggage at one of the 46 dedicated bag drop counters. Passengers on US-bound flights starting their journeys in Dubai are encouraged to pack their electronic devices into their check-in luggage to avoid delays.

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Etihad Airways doubles A380 service to New York JFK

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Etihad Airways has introduced its flagship Airbus A380 on its second daily service between Abu Dhabi and New York JFK. All 14 weekly flights between the two cities are now operated by the double-decker aircraft. The superjumbo has replaced a three-class Boeing 777-300ER previously operating one of the airline’s twice-daily flights. The new deployment means New York will join London and Sydney as an all-A380 operation. Etihad Airways launched daily non-stop flights to New York JFK on October 26, 2006 and introduced a second daily service in March 2014. It subsequently upgraded one of the daily flights to an A-380 aircraft in November 2015. Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer, said, “The response we have received from our guests travelling between Abu Dhabi and New York since we first launched the A380 service two years ago has been phenomenal. We are delighted to further expand our world-leading product to all guests flying to and from the Big Apple.

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Etihad terminates negotiations with TUI AG; Air Berlin to continue with NIKI

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Etihad Aviation Group confirms that it has terminated negotiations with TUI AG in relation to a potential joint venture involving the leisure operations of the Air Berlin group and the German TUIfly company. Etihad has taken this decision following many months of negotiations, in good faith, during which time the parties have been unable to reach agreement on the final nature of such a joint venture. The leisure operations of the Air Berlin group will now continue to operate as a separate business unit, under the NIKI brand. Further details of this structure will be announced in due course by Air Berlin. NIKI’s operating schedule remains unchanged with all the bookings being honoured. Customers should contact NIKI directly for any further information.

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Kilimanjaro added to flydubai’s African network

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flydubai is set to commence flights to Kilimanjaro from October 29. The re-launched service to the carrier’s third point in Tanzania, along with Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, will see flydubai’s network in Africa expand to 12 destinations. Kilimanjaro will be served with six flights a week, three of which are via a stop in the capital, Dar es Salaam. In addition, the carrier will increase direct flights to Zanzibar from three to eight flights a week. Commenting on the launch of flights, Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer of flydubai, said, “With the addition of the service to Kilimanjaro and more direct flights to Zanzibar, flydubai will operate 14 flights a week, marking a 133% increase in capacity to the market compared to the previous year. This is a healthy indication of the rising popularity of Tanzania as a preferred tourist destination and we are happy to be connecting the market to Dubai.” “flydubai’s service to Kilimanjaro will introduce more options for travel with a Business and Economy Class service, together with added cargo capacity available through our Cargo Division. We expect to see healthy flows of trade and tourism on this route from the GCC and Eastern Europe via our hub in Dubai,” said Sudhir Sreedharan, Senior Vice President Commercial – GCC, Subcontinent and Africa.

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Hargeisa joins Air Arabia’s growing network from July 4, 2017

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Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC), announced that starting July 4, 2017, Hargeisa will be the newest African destination to be added to its growing international network. Air Arabia entered the African market in 2004 and currently serves six destinations across Egypt, Sudan and Kenya from its main hub. The new flights to Hargeisa, Somaliland will operate twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, departing Sharjah International Airport (SHJ) at 03:45 hours and arriving at Hargeisa Egal International Airport (HGA) at 06:15 local time. The return flight will depart from Hargeisa at 06:55, landing in Sharjah at 11:25 local time.

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Philippine Airlines re-launches business class in Dubai

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Philippine Airlines (PAL) will re-launch its business class service in Dubai on 16 June 2017 at an introductory rate of Dh2850. This is a move brought about by the increased demand for premium leisure and the corporate travel market among locals and expatriates in the region. Features and benefits include a 20.6-inch-wide seat which converts into fully flat bed, access to airport business class lounges, a 64-kilo baggage allowance (32kg x 2 pcs), a seven-kilo hand carry allowance, inflight entertainment, free-on-board Wi-Fi (MyPAL Player, myPAL Mobile and myPAL Wifi enabled) and a business travel kit. PAL will fly its 368-seater, A330 aircraft with 18 seats for business class. The flights will leave Dubai at 05:25 hours and arrive in Manila at 18:25 hours. Genaro “Bong” C. Velasquez, PAL Senior Asst Vice President and Regional Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said, “The UAE is home to more than 200 nationalities and more and more residents are looking at either vacationing or doing business travels in the Philippines. PAL’s re-launch of business class service is in response to the growing international holiday makers and corporate travellers in the Gulf region.”

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DFF and OnBoard join hands to spread knowledge in the sky

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Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) and OnBoard International, one of the top entertainment providers for major airlines across the region, have joined hands to provide in-flight TV reports, broadcast by DFF’s Future Monitor, onboard major Arab and other international flights, flying to destinations like London, Istanbul, New York City, Paris, Shanghai, Stockholm, Tokyo, Toronto, Vienna and Singapore. A major step forward for the aviation industry, the initiative goes beyond spreading knowledge and looks to encourage people to read in Arabic. “Mass media is one of the most effective means to develop people’s knowledge and increase their familiarity with scientific concepts,” his Excellency Abdulla bin Touq, Acting CEO of DFF, noted, reiterating the Foundation’s commitment to working with various government and non-governmental organisations to amplify its reach among the youth in the region.

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Smartphones to replace passports and gate cards at DXB

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Dubai has reportedly introduced a scheme that enables travellers to use their smartphones instead of their passport or express gate cards at Dubai International Airport. Known as “Emirates Smart Wallet” and considered as the first of its kind in the world, the scheme is meant to further streamline movement across DXB. The scheme was launched at the airport’s departure terminal by Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Dubai’s Deputy Chief of Police and Public Security and Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Head of Dubai’s Naturalisation and Residency Department. Right now in its first phase, the scheme, which requires a traveller’s personal data, Emirates ID and passport information as well as e-gate card data, is a stepping stone for a large-scale project which aims to reduce travel clearing procedures at DXB to the minimum. Source: WAM

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Cebgo becomes travellers’ preferred choice in Jan-Apr ‘17

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In the first four months of 2017, Cebgo, the leading low-cost airline of Cebu Pacific, has carried a total of 6.63 million passengers. Its Seat Load Factor reached 88.6% in April 2017, bringing the four-month total to 85.1%. Based on this increasing number of passengers, Cebu Pacific has ramped up the number of its carriers this year to support more domestic destinations, such as Siargao, Masbate and Tablas in Romblon. They are also planning to increase the frequency and capacity of selected domestic and international flights to places such as Cebu, Davao and Hong Kong starting July 4, 2017, following the delivery of two brand new aircrafts and upgradation of the existing flights on these routes from Airbus A320 to A330. “To reach our goal of flying 20 million passengers this year, we remain committed to expanding our domestic route network, where we lead with 37 destinations, and are looking at opportunities to grow our international market as well, meeting rising demands and sustaining our year-round low-fare proposition,” said Atty JR Mantaring, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Cebu Pacific.

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