Category Archives: Aviation

Air Arabia to connect Sharjah-Baku from Mar 23

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Beginning March 23, 2017, Air Arabia will operate four weekly flights from its main hub at Sharjah International Airport to Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku, also expected to be the airline’s first route launch of the year. The addition of the new route follows an agreement between Air Arabia, Azerbaijan Airlines and Azerbaijan authorities aimed at promoting connections between Baku and Sharjah. Located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Azerbaijan’s largest city is also the largest city on the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus region. Famed for its medieval walled old city and cultural status, Baku is the scientific, industrial and financial centre of Azerbaijan. The city recently received global attention after hosting the European Grand Prix (now renamed the Azerbaijan Grand Prix). Air Arabia added 9 new routes to its global network in 2016 from its five operating hubs in the UAE, Morocco, Egypt and Jordan. The airline added new services from its main Sharjah hub to Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to Batumi in Georgia. Air Arabia currently serves over 120 routes from its five operational hubs.

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Emirates to unveil enhanced A380 Onboard Lounge at ITB Berlin

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Emirates will launch a series of new cabin products and enhancements in 2017 for both its A380 and Boeing 777 fleet. The multi-million dollar cabin interiors upgrade programme includes an enhanced Onboard Lounge for its flagship Airbus A380 aircraft. The new Emirates A380 Onboard Lounge will make its first public appearance at the Emirates Infinite Possibilities stand during ITB Berlin, one of the world’s largest tourism trade fairs. It is currently being installed onto one of Emirates’ brand new A380 aircraft at Airbus’ facilities, and will make its operational debut in July 2017. Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “The A380 Onboard Lounge is hugely popular with our customers, and has become an iconic feature of Emirates’ A380 offering.  Particularly on long-haul flights, our customers tell us they appreciate the opportunity to stretch their legs and mingle in the relaxed, yet classy lounge area. “Since we first launched the product in 2008, our A380 Onboard Lounge has gone through small but successive enhancements in line with customer feedback to increase the amount of space for our customers to interact in the lounge. In our latest revamp, we have taken inspiration from private yacht cabins, and amongst other thoughtful touches, we have increased the seating space, and also made it more intimate and conducive for our passengers to socialise or enjoy our lounge service.” Enhanced Emirates A380 Onboard Lounge Features while retaining the trademark horseshoe-shaped bar, Emirates’ latest A380 Onboard Lounge will offer more seating space with a new seating arrangement along the windows on both sides of the bar. Inspired by private yacht cabins, each seating area will have a table and window view. Overall, the lounge can comfortably …

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Cebu Pacific offers 25kg baggage allowance for ME

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Starting February 13 to March 15, 2017, all passengers originating from Doha, Dubai, Kuwait and Riyadh travelling to Manila with pre-purchased baggage allowance of 40 kilograms will be receiving additional 25 kilograms baggage allowance, free-of-charge on the Philippine carrier, Cebu Pacific. The extra baggage allowance will be given upon check-in of the guest at the airport. For those guests with connecting flights to other domestic destinations, the additional 25kg will be carried over up to their next flight, given that their flight itineraries were booked under one reference number only. This promotion is not valid on return flights from the Philippines to the Middle East and on bookings with Cebgo connecting flights. “With the launch of this special promotion, CEB opens up more opportunities for its travelers across the Middle East region, most especially the Filipinos, to maximize their trip to the Philippines by allowing them to bring more items for their families and friends back home. Not only is CEB able to continuously make travel accessible and affordable to everyone through our  trademark low fares, but now providing another avenue for them to get the best out of their travel,” Atty. JR Mantaring, CEB Vice President for Corporate Affairs. CEB currently offers flights to a total of 37 domestic and 29 international destinations, operating an extensive network across Asia, Australia, USA, and the Middle East. Its 58-strong fleet is comprised of four Airbus A319, 36 Airbus A320, seven Airbus A330, eight ATR 72-500, and three ATR 72-600 aircraft. Between 2017 and 2021, CEB expects delivery of one more brand-new Airbus A330, 32 Airbus A321neo, and 13 ATR 72-600 aircraft.

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Turkish Airlines flies direct to Algeria

Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300ER photographed on 6 April 2015 from Wolfe Air Aviation Learjet 25B by Chad Slattery.

Turkish Airlines has added an Antalya-Algeria and vice-versa route to its expanding flight network during summer season. The airline will operate these flights three times a week between Antalya and Algeria. With these direct flights, it is now much easier to reach the country’s tourism center, Antalya from Algeria. Flights will be operated on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday starting from July 8, 2017, from Algeria to Antalya.

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Travelport extends partnership with Emirates

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Travelport and Emirates have launched Emirates Fare Brand chosen — available for the first time to book on Travelport’s Travel Commerce Platform. The program gives the ability to select and pay for seats in advance. The launch of advanced paid seating options for certain economy fares on Travelport continues to promote Emirates’ ongoing investment in inflight customer experience which includes numerous new and innovative products.  Previously only available on Emirates’ website, the enhancement allows over 68,000 Travelport-connected online and offline travel agencies and travel management companies operating in over 180 countries across the globe an even more personalised and enhanced service to travellers. Derek Sharp, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Air Commerce, Travelport, commented: “This is an exciting development in Travelport’s longstanding and deep relationship with Emirates. Their decision to launch advanced paid seating through Travelport – in an industry-first move – is testament to how we are able to help Emirates market their unique offerings to the global travel trade and end travelers.  Emirates has made some significant investments in its inflight customer experience and it’s essential that we are able to fully explain this to travel bookers around the world.”

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$400 million expansion for Sharjah Airport

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The Government of Sharjah has approved a $400 million (AED 1.46b) budget for the expansion of Sharjah International Airport, according to MEED (Middle East Economic Digest), quoting Adel Abdullah Ali, Air Arabia’s Chief Executive Officer. According to the airline CEO, the expansion project is expected to begin this summer and will increase airport capacity from 8 to 18 million passengers a year. A master plan for the expansion of the airport was submitted by American engineering firm Bechtel in 2013, recommending a new terminal, construction of new roads around the airport, plus additional services such as a new hotel and a shopping mall. In 2014, Sharjah International Airport opened a new AED 500 million (US$ 136m) airport runway, significantly expanding the airport’s aircraft capacity. The new runway allows large and new-generation ICAO Code F aircraft such as the Airbus A380 and Boeings B747-8 Intercontinental and B747-8 freighter. The old runway now serves as a taxiway. The airport handled 11 million passengers from January to December 2016, registering a 10 percent year-on-year increase on 2015. In January 2017, the airport handled 969,633 passengers, showing a 4 percent increase on January last year. Sharjah International Airport’s growth has been driven by its strategic location, the success of Sharjah’s in-bound tourism industry and the expansion of Sharjah-headquartered Air Arabia. The airport’s ideal location, close to Sharjah city, Dubai city and the main highways connecting the country’s seven emirates, has made it a convenient hub for both business and leisure travelers.

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Oman Air increases weekly capacity to India

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Oman Air, the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman is growing its capacity to India whereby it will increase its weekly frequencies from 126 to 161 flights per week between Oman and its 11 destinations in India. Effective February onward, Bombay, Delhi, Calicut and Hyderabad will be operated with 21 weekly flights each, and Lucknow with 14 weekly flights. The growth in capacity follows the recently signed agreement between the Governments of Oman and India, where both sides agreed to increase the weekly seats. Chief Executive Officer of Oman Air, Paul Gregorowitsch, commented: “India is a key destination for Oman Air and we are delighted to be offering thousands more guests the opportunity to travel between Oman and India (and beyond). The demand for all 11 of our Indian destinations has always been high and the increased frequencies offer yet more choice and convenience to our guests. Oman Air first launched flights to India in the 1990s and the demand for seats has grown exponentially amongst both business and leisure travellers, not only increasing tourism traffic and revenue but also promoting vital trade agreements between the two countries. The extended traffic entitlements will give a further boost to the tourism sector, prompting many discerning tourists to visit magnificent Oman as well as India’s beautiful touristic spots. The bilateral trade and investment opportunities between the two countries are even further encouraged. This growing commitment in India is part of Oman Air’s ambitious and dynamic programme of fleet and network expansion. This has included the delivery of new aircraft and the introduction of a range of exciting new destinations and new products and services which contribute to a seamless passenger experience. …

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Qatar to fly Doha-Skopje in July

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Qatar Airways confirmed the start date of its direct service to Skopje, the capital of the Republic of Macedonia, with four-weekly flights beginning July 17, 2017. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker said: “Our new four-weekly service to Skopje is a much anticipated addition to our global route map, connecting leisure and business passengers to and from the Republic of Macedonia. Those travelling on Qatar Airways from this destination onwards to our global network will be able to connect seamlessly through the state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport to destinations such as our recently launched gateways of Auckland, Sydney, Krabi and Windhoek.” Qatar Airways to fly four-weekly flights between Doha and Skopje beginning 17 July. The airline will fly the A320 aircraft direct to and from Skopje on the four-weekly schedule, featuring a two-class cabin configuration with 12 seats in Business Class and 132 Economy Class seats. Passengers can relax with individual television screens with up to 3,000 entertainment options, while those in Business Class will be treated to the World’s Best Business Class service, as nominated by the prestigious Skytrax awards. As the capital of the Republic of Macedonia, Skopje provides a gateway to a country of dramatic scenery, including lakes, mountains and historic towns, while the city itself is home to both Ottoman and European architecture. Visitors to the city can enjoy the National Gallery of Macedonia, while those venturing further afield can visit the lakeside city of Ohrid, which features its own picturesque castle.

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3 new destinations for summer by flydubai

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Batumi in Georgia, Qabala in Azerbaijan and Tivat in Montenegro are the latest destinations to join flydubai’s growing network and will operate from June to September 2017. flydubai will be the first carrier to offer direct flights from the UAE to Qabala and Tivat, and the first from Dubai to Batumi. GCC nationals will not need a visa to any of these three new destinations, while UAE residence will receive visa on arrival. Following the launch of its latest popular destination, Bangkok, at the end of 2016, flydubai continues to diversify its network with the addition of more popular summer destinations for passengers from Dubai and across the region. The decision to launch these seasonal routes is in direct response to customer feedback and demand for more leisure destinations on the flydubai network. “We would like to thank the authorities in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Montenegro for making it easier for the residents of the UAE and GCC to visit these countries by facilitating their visa requirements,” said Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai, commenting on the announcement. “We continue to look for opportunities to further expand our network and offer our passengers more options to travel especially for the summer holiday season. These popular new routes in will complement our existing comprehensive network and will be a gateway to explore this part of the region,” added Al Ghaith. Supported by new aircraft deliveries in 2017, flydubai continues to widen its network which comprises 93 destinations in 44 countries spanning from Yekaterinburg in the north, Bangkok in the east, Zanzibar in the south and Prague in the west. Batumi, which will be served by three flights a week, will …

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PIA and Turkish Airlines expand code share

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Turkish Airlines and Pakistan International Airlines have expanded their code-share cooperation, w.e.f from February 1, 2017. Inclusion of the new routes will enable both airlines a step into a new market while offering passengers various possibilities to travel. Turkish Airlines currently operates 7 frequencies each on the Istanbul – Karachi/Islamabad/Lahore vv. routes. The expanded code-share cooperation provides passengers with more feasible connections as well as seamless travel opportunities between and beyond destinations of Turkey and Pakistan. Pakistan International Airlines’ Jeddah and Madinah flights and as well as 8 domestic routes from Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore are appended to the renewed SPA in force since January 1st, 2017, which abled Turkish Airlines to reach Pakistan domestic destinations. The new SPA also involves Turkish Airlines’ all American destinations besides most of the European points. With the expansion of the existing code-share agreement, Pakistan International Airlines will be able to sell Turkish Airlines’ beyond Istanbul points of Atlanta, Johannesburg, Atina, Amsterdam, Tashkent, Moskova, Miami, Boston, Houston, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago with its own airline code and flight number in addition to the already existing cooperation on Istanbul – Karachi/ Islamabad/ Lahore vv. routes; while Turkish Airlines will market Pakistan International Airlines operating flights from Karachi and Islamabad to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Muscat and from Lahore to Dubai and Abu Dhabi with its own airline code and flight number.

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