Category Archives: Aviation

Cebu Pacific to serve Halal-certified in-flight meals

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Passengers on-board Cebu Pacific will be served all Halal-certified in-flight meals in adherence to the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) system for international food safety. Moreover, these dishes come with nutritional and product information, as reference for an increasing number of health-conscious passengers on CEB. Cebu Pacific takes a step forward in enhancing passenger experience with the launch of its all-new in-flight meal selection, in partnership with Miascor Catering, a joint business venture between Miascor Holdings and  Gate Gourmet. Starting September 2017, all domestic and international flights of Cebu Pacific will be offering a fresh selection of pre-ordered meals, including 12 new dishes up for grabs. Ranging from rice meals, pasta and noodles, and premium sandwich packs, the new Cebu Pacific in-flight menu was created exclusively by Miascor Catering to the varied tastes and preferences of the CEB flier. “Guests can easily pre-order the new CEB Meals during booking, or up to 24 hours before their flights. These new inflight dishes are prepared only when pre-ordered, to provide guests with fresh and delectable meals at 35,000 feet,” said Candice Iyog, Vice President for Marketing and Distribution.

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Etihad Airways’ Dreamliner daily to Amsterdam

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Etihad Airways has introduced the Boeing 787-9 aircraft on its daily service from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam, delivering greater levels of comfort to its customers flying to and from Schiphol Airport. Etihad Airways previously operated the 787 Dreamliner on the Amsterdam service in the summer of 2016. The introduction of the ultra-modern, fuel-efficient aircraft heralds the start of a year-round service to the Netherlands. The 787 Dreamliner features Etihad Airways’ next generation Business and Economy Class cabins, configured with 299 seats – 28 Business Studios and 271 Economy Smart Seats. Peter Baumgartner, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, said: “The decision to upgrade our daily Amsterdam service to the 787 Dreamliner aircraft reflects the importance of the Netherlands market. We received great customer feedback when we first flew the ‎aircraft to the Dutch capital last summer, and I’m very pleased that more travellers will now be able to enjoy the superior levels of comfort and technology it offers, year-round.‎” The Business Studios offer an increase of 20 per cent in personal space and a fully-flat bed of up to 80.5 inches in length.  The airline’s Boeing 787 fleet is equipped with the latest in-flight entertainment system offering more than 750 hours of movies and television programmes, including live news and sports channels, as well as hundreds of music choices and a selection of games for both adults and children. Etihad Airways currently operates a fleet of 16 Boeing 787-9s from its home base, Abu Dhabi, to 14 destinations: Amman, Beijing, Beirut, Brisbane, Düsseldorf, Johannesburg, Perth, Riyadh, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Washington, D.C. and Zurich.

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Etihad Airways enters code share with Aerolíneas Argentinas

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Etihad Airways and Aerolíneas Argentinas have launched a new codeshare partnership. Under the agreement, Etihad Airways customers will enjoy convenient connections via Rome and Madrid to Buenos Aires (EZE) and onwards to nine other popular Argentinian destinations – Córdoba (COR), Mendoza (MDZ), Rosario (ROS), Iguazú (IGR), Salta (SLA), Mar del Plata (MDQ), Bariloche (BRC), Trelew (REL) and Ushuaia (USH). In turn, Aerolíneas Argentinas guests can have access to Etihad Airways’ network of over 100 destinations from its Abu Dhabi hub via the Italian and Spanish capitals. Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways Executive Vice President Commercial, said: “This codeshare demonstrates the importance of Argentina as a vital travel market for Etihad Airways in Latin America given the growing tourism, cultural and business opportunities that exist between the UAE and Argentina. We wish to give travellers flying Aerolíneas Argentinas the opportunity to enjoy the acclaimed service and hospitality for which Etihad Airways is renowned throughout the world. This codeshare will make the experience that much easier.” Diego Garcia, Aerolíneas Argentinas Chief Commercial Officer, said: “This is a very good opportunity to consolidate and increase our offer to one of the most important hubs in the Middle East. It also allows us to improve our load factors, optimise the use of the fleet and strengthen the image of Aerolíneas Argentinas in the Asian market. We hope that this agreement will also be the gateway for many tourists to visit some of the most attractive landmarks in our country.”

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‘Fantastic Fridays’ by Jazeera Airways

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Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways has announced an exclusive weekly offer to reward its online customers, named ‘Fantastic Fridays’, starting August 25, 2017. A first for Jazeera Airways and for all those travelling from Kuwait, the special offer is valid every Friday, providing opportunities to book discounted tickets to select popular destinations through Jazeera’s newly redesigned website. The offer would remain valid from 12:01 am until 11:59 pm. The new Jazeera website has been designed to the highest e-commerce standards, providing a more personalized experience with every click, easy navigation options, a simple four-step booking process, enhanced browsing, online check-in services and several add-ons.

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Cebu Pacific waives fee on booking corrections

Effective August, Cebu Pacific Air guests who make booking changes within 24 hours from the time of ticket purchase will no longer be charged a rebooking or cancellation fee. Previously, passengers who made changes to their bookings such as flight dates and sequences were required to pay for the PHP1500 rebooking fee for domestic flights, or PHP2300 and PHP2800 for short haul and long haul international flights, respectively. Now, penalty fees are waived for booking corrections on flight sequence of city pairs, e.g., from Manila-Cebu to Cebu-Manila; and for changes on Sum of Sectors (SOS) bookings or connecting flights treated as one, e.g., Virac-Manila-Cebu to Cebu-Manila-Virac. Rebooking fees will also be waived for direct flights changed to SOS booking and vice-versa. While the rebooking and cancellation fees are waived, however, passengers who make such flight changes will still need to shoulder the fare difference. The waiver on the rebooking and cancellations fees is applicable across all booking channels of Cebu Pacific—whether through a travel agent, ticket office and call center. Ancillary services, such as seat selection, baggage allowance and pre-ordered meals, are also fully transferrable to other guests and flights at no extra cost.

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RAK Airport movements soar over 18%

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After a record-breaking 2016, this year is looking just as promising for Ras Al Khaimah International Airport. Passenger volume to date has increased 6% over 2016. On the cargo front, volumes are up 30.2% on prior year as the long-term strategy for the sector, which included additional routes coming on stream, comes to fruition. This growth has also impacted overall aircraft movements which are up 17.6% year-on-year. Mohammed Qazi, CEO, RAK International Airport, who has been driving the strategy, noted, “Year 2017 started strongly as we continued our focus on promoting Ras Al Khaimah as the fastest-growing tourist destination regionally as well as the specialist cargo centre in the regional market, but summer was something we wanted to target this year as an indicator of our growing success. Even though the summer success has seen us breaking previous records, we have already finalised our winter charters schedules and are introducing further new scheduled routes, such as Romania, starting from December.” The continuing growth that’s been experienced means that all passenger, movements and cargo tonnage records since the airport’s original inauguration have now been surpassed. Charter flights have been running throughout the summer for the first time as Ras Al Khaimah moves towards being a year round destination for tourists. In addition the airport’s first scheduled direct service to Europe kicked off with a connection to Prague. “While the commercial performance has been at its strongest in our history, we have also invested in infrastructure with a new departures terminal and we’ll be completing our cargo expansion by the end of the year,” Qazi added. Technological innovation has also been at the heart of this year’s success. For smaller airports such as …

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Emirates adds flights to KSA for Hajj

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Emirates will be operating 45 additional flights to Jeddah and 12 additional flights to Medina from August 17 until September 11 to help serve 2 million pilgrims expected to travel to the Holy City of Mecca during Hajj this year. These services will run in parallel with Emirates’ regularly scheduled services to Jeddah. The airline will also be operating its A380 to Medina which will also support the increased demand during this period. The additional services are available to travellers holding a valid Hajj visa. This year, top inbound destinations Emirates is expecting Hajj pilgrims to come from are Yangon, Manchester, Mauritius, Jakarta, Karachi, Lagos and Nairobi. Adil Al Ghaith, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Gulf, Middle East and Iran, Emirates, said, “With a sizeable increase in demand for air travel during this period, Emirates is helping to make the journey more seamless for the scores of pilgrims making their way to the Holy City of Mecca. Whether it’s in the air or on the ground, Emirates aims to provide all its customers with the best experience in line with their faith, particularly at this significant time and important journey.” On the ground, Emirates has appointed a dedicated group of airport staff to seamlessly facilitate the passenger ground experience for Hajj. In addition, dedicated check-in counters have been set up for Hajj passengers in Dubai. In the air, several initiatives have been planned in keeping with the values and traditions that pilgrims uphold when travelling for Hajj. Extra provisions will be made to accommodate Hajj traveller needs such as performing ablutions, advising passengers about Al Miqat and Ihram (the phase when pilgrims enter a state of sanctity) and other arrangements …

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

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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

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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

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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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