Category Archives: Aviation

Dubai’s aviation sector pledges to go green

GreenVehiclePledge

Dubai Airports has joined Dubai’s aviation community in signing a pledge to purchase only ‘green vehicles’ in the future. The pledge was signed by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports; President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority; Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group, and representatives from Emirates airline, flydubai, dnata, Dubai Police, Dubai Customs and Dubai’s General Directory of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). “This commitment is fully aligned with the Dubai government’s aggressive goals to reduce energy consumption by 30 per cent by 2030 as well as our sector’s strategy to limit our environmental footprint while continuing our significant contributions to Dubai’s employment and GDP,” said Al Maktoum. DXB is home to a fleet of over 6,345 ground service vehicles comprising various types ranging from water tankers to tow tractors to fork lifts operated by a number of companies that operate on the airfield including airlines, control authorities and ground handling services provider dnata. Of these DXB features a variety of green vehicles including BMW hybrid limousines for VIP services and RTA’s fleet of Tesla taxis but wants to scale up efforts to convert the fleet to top hybrid or electric models.

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20 smart gates at DXB’s Terminal 1 for quick passport control

Majed-Brig Tala-Michael-Thani

Dubai Airports, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) and Emaratech marked the completion of the installation of 20 smart gates at Dubai International’s (DXB) Terminal 1. The new smart gates are now fully operational in the arrivals area of Terminal 1 in addition to the 10 installed last year in departures. In total, some 127 smart gates are available across the entire airport reducing average transaction times from minutes to under 10-15 seconds. The launch of the new smart gates coincides with the start of UAE’s Month of Innovation, which is being observed from February 1 to 28 in response to a call last year by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, to promote a culture of innovation. “Smart gates make customers’ journey smoother by slashing transaction times to just 10-15 seconds and shortening queues,” said Michael Ibbitson, Executive Vice President—Technology & Infrastructure, Dubai Airports. “What’s surprising is that only 17 per cent of our passengers take advantage of the service. If you have a UAE residency card, don’t wait in line, use it.”

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Dubai Airports maintains number one ranking for international traffic

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Dubai International (DXB) retained its position as the world’s number one airport for international passengers for the fourth consecutive year with annual traffic for 2017 reaching 88.2 million passengers, according to the annual traffic report issued by Dubai Airports. Propelled by high traffic volumes averaging 7.35 million passengers per month throughout the year, including the record months of January, July and August when traffic breached the 8-million passenger mark, DXB’s traffic reached 88,242,099 passengers for the full year, up 5.5 per cent compared to 83,654,250 passengers recorded during 2016. The airport welcomed 7,854,657 passengers in December, up 1.9 per cent compared to 7,706,351 recorded in the same month in 2016. India continued its domination run as the single largest destination country for DXB with 12,060,435 passengers in 2017, up 5.4 per cent compared to 11,440,215 passengers recorded in 2016. The UK claimed the second spot with 6,466,404 passengers (+6.7 per cent), overtaking Saudi Arabia which recorded 6,364,598 passengers (4.6 per cent). Top regions in terms of percentage growth in 2017 were South America (36.1 per cent), Eastern Europe (25.3 per cent) and Asia (17.9 per cent)–mainly spurred by network expansion by Emirates, flydubai and other carriers.

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Emirates to fly to Chile via Sao Paulo from July 5

Emirates FLL Route Launch at Airport

Emirates has launched a new, five times a week, service from Dubai to Santiago International Airport (SCL), via the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, starting July 5, 2018. The new service will see Emirates fly an additional five times a week to Sao Paulo, complementing the airline’s existing daily A380 flight between Dubai and Sao Paulo. In total, Emirates will now fly 12 times a week to Sao Paulo. Emirates’ Santiago flight will be a linked service with Sao Paulo, meaning that customers in South America can now travel between the two cities in unprecedented style and comfort. Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates, said “The start of our operations to Chile underlines our commitment to South America with our fourth destination on the continent and another five flights to Sao Paulo. We are pleased to add a destination that has been in strong demand from our customers and look forward to working with stakeholders in Chile to provide our unique product and service to passengers there.” The new route will be operated with a two-class configured Boeing 777-200LR which offers 38 Business Class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration and 264 seats in Economy Class.

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Wego partners with Gulf Air

Gulf air 1

Wego, the largest online travel marketplace in the MENA region, announced their partnership with Gulf Air which will provide Wego users online access to the airline’s flight-related information and booking capabilities. “Our agreement with Gulf Air reinforces Wego’s leading position in the Middle East,” commented Dean Wicks, Chief Flights Officer, Wego. “Wego will distribute Gulf Air flights, pricing and schedule information across our extensive marketing channels, allowing travellers easy access to flights with an airline that is famous for its traditional Arabian hospitality and renowned for being family and business friendly,” Wicks continued. “Wego’s business is crucial to helping key industry providers extend into new markets in what’s become a fast paced and highly competitive business,” he added. As Gulf Air prepares to welcome 39 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft, greater network expansion is anticipated alongside significant product and service enhancements. In 2017, Wego introduced Progressive Web App (PWA) technology combined with Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), to become the fastest loading mobile marketplace in the world.

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Gulf Air is the official airline of ‘Shop Bahrain’

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Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, is onboard once again, supporting ‘Shop Bahrain’ for the fourth consecutive year as official airline of the nationwide shopping festival. As a strategic partner of ‘Shop Bahrain’, Gulf Air is providing more than 6,000 airline tickets at discounted prices as raffle prizes. In addition, Gulf Air customers will receive 4 points for every 1BHD spent when purchasing flights throughout the festival period which runs until February 10, 2018. Captain Waleed Abdulhameed Al Alawi, Deputy CEO, Gulf Air, said, “We are delighted to partner with ‘Shop Bahrain’ once again. This strategic partnership is in line with Gulf Air’s ongoing commitment to support initiatives that help drive the growth of the tourism, retail and hospitality sectors in the Kingdom of Bahrain. It is fitting that we collaborate in this regard, further strengthening Bahrain’s positioning as an attractive destination regionally, while helping to showcase the Kingdom’s tourist attractions and encourage visitors to experience the trademark Arabian hospitality.” Yousef Al Khan, Director, ‘Shop Bahrain’, stated, “This year, we have been coordinating with Gulf Air and various hotels in the Kingdom to develop attractive tourist packages. We aim to offer visitors an unforgettable shopping experience packed with fun-filled events and promotions.”.

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Etihad Airways launches two weekly flights to Lagos, Nigeria

Etihad Airways Expands Services to Nigeria JPG

Reaffirming its commitment to Nigeria, Etihad Airways has announced two additional weekly flights on the popular Abu Dhabi–Lagos route, taking it to a daily service. The new Tuesday and Thursday services will start on May 1, 2018. The route will continue to be operated by a two-class Airbus A330, with 22 Business Class seats and 240 in Economy. Mohammad Al Bulooki, Executive Vice President Commercial, Etihad Airways, said: “Nigeria is an important market for Etihad and our home of Abu Dhabi. Since launching the Lagos route in July 2012, Etihad has carried almost 600,000 passengers between our hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport and the commercial heart of Nigeria. It is pleased to be able to support the high demand for our service by soon operating the route on a daily basis.” Guests travelling to Lagos on Etihad Airways will experience the airline’s award-winning service by multinational cabin crew and onboard nannies, extensive inflight entertainment selections and a choice of complimentary international meals and beverages. Depending on the class of travel, passengers can enjoy a generous baggage allowance of two bags of up to 23 kg each in Economy Class and up to 32 kg each in Business Class.

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Emirates to launch non-stop Dubai-Newark flights from June 1

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Emirates is set to launch a new non-stop service between Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and Dubai from June 1, 2018, adding to its existing daily flight which operates with a stop in Athens, Greece. The new non-stop service will be operated with an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER, offering eight suites in First Class, 42 seats in Business, 306 in Economy Class, and 19 tonnes of belly-hold cargo capacity. Flight EK223 will depart Dubai at 03:00 am and arrive in Newark at 09:00 am. The return flight EK224 departs Newark at 11:50 am, arriving in Dubai at 08: 20am on the following day. This new timing complements the existing Emirates service, as it provides travellers with a new option of a morning arrival in Newark, and a morning departure. Emirates’ non-stop service to Newark will offer travellers in northern New Jersey enhanced global connectivity, particularly those heading to Africa, the Far East and the Indian sub-continent. This is a boon for ethnic communities such as the nearly 700,000 Indian Americans residing in the greater New York area, who will have one-stop access to nine Indian cities on Emirates’ global network.

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flydubai adds Aqaba and Thessaloniki to its network

flydubai Boeing 737-800

The latest destinations added to flydubai’s network are Thessaloniki in Greece and Aqaba in Jordan, starting June 2018. Flights to Thessaloniki will operate thrice a week starting from June 15, while flights to Aqaba will operate four times a week from June 16. Commenting on the launch, Ghaith Al Ghaith Chief Executive Officer, flydubai, said, “With the addition of Aqaba and Thessaloniki to our network, we increase the number of underserved markets served by flydubai with direct flights from the UAE to 71 destinations. We are committed to create free flows of trade and tourism, and strengthen direct air links with the UAE.” flydubai earlier announced the launch of several new routes for 2018 including Tivat, Krakow, Dubrovnik, Catania, Kutaisi, Qabala and Batumi from March onwards. This brings the number of destinations served by the carrier in Eastern and Southern Europe to 27, Caucasus and Central Asia to 11 and GCC and Middle East to 30.

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Royal Jordanian to fly to Copenhagen from June 3

Royal Jordanian

Royal Jordanian (RJ) is set to launch a new direct service to Copenhagen as of June 3, 2018. The three weekly flights will give RJ a strong presence in the Scandinavian market. This addition is in line with RJ’s turnaround plan that includes continuous assessment of the route network to enhance traffic to Jordan and improve connectivity via the base, Amman. The new route will attract more tourists to Jordan, facilitate travel for businessmen, and enhance trade between Jordan and the Scandinavian market. Royal Jordanian will operate three weekly flights with Airbus 320 family planes on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The plane departs Queen Alia International Airport, Amman at 10:45, and arrives at Copenhagen International Airport at 14:30. Return flights depart Copenhagen Airport at 15:25 and arrive at QAIA at 21:00. Stefan Pichler, President/CEO, RJ said, “RJ will continue to review its network and look for new markets to enhance traffic and connect Jordan to the world, in line with our vision to become the airline of choice in the Middle East and the Levant.”  

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