Category Archives: Aviation

Etihad & Air Arabia launch Abu Dhabi’s first low-cost carrier – Air Arabia Abu Dhabi

Etihad Aviation Group, owner of the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, and Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier, announced the signing of an agreement to launch ‘Air Arabia Abu Dhabi’, the capital’s first low-cost carrier. Etihad and Air Arabia will establish an independent joint venture company that will operate as a low-cost passenger airline with its hub in Abu Dhabi International Airport. The new carrier will complement Etihad Airways’ services from Abu Dhabi and will cater to the growing low-cost travel market segment in the region. Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said, “With the emirate’s diverse attractions and hospitality offerings, travel and tourism plays a vital role in the economic growth of the capital and the UAE. By partnering with Air Arabia and launching Abu Dhabi’s first low-cost carrier, we are serving this long-term vision”. Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia, said, “Home to the first low-cost carrier in the MENA region, the UAE has developed over the years to become a world-leading travel and tourism hub. We are thrilled to partner with Etihad to establish Air Arabia Abu Dhabi that will further serve the growing low-cost travel segment locally and regionally while capitalising on the expertise that Air Arabia and Etihad will be providing”.

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Abu Dhabi Airports signs MoU with Beijing Daxing International for sharing best practices

In the presence of His Excellency Sheikh Mohammad Bin Hamad Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports, Bryan Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Yao Yabo, President of Beijing Daxing International Airport (BDIA), establishing a framework for the sharing of best practices and the exploration of potential opportunities for future collaboration. Speaking after the signing, Thompson commented, “This agreement is the result of the close social and economic ties between the UAE and China, and we look forward to working with our Chinese colleagues to enhance our partnership at all levels. We are the first airport to sign an agreement with Beijing Daxing International Airport, highlighting Abu Dhabi International Airports status as a regional aviation hub and commitment to collaborating with partners from across the globe.” Yao Yabo commented, “On September 25, 2019, the Chinese President Xi Jinping officially announced the opening of Beijing Daxing International Airport. We believe on the basis of long-term and win-win cooperation with Abu Dhabi Airports, the two sides will jointly make more contributions to China’s civil aviation and the world’s civil aviation.”

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Over 500 travel professionals attend Turkish Airlines’ corporate conference

Over 500 travel professionals from around the world met in Istanbul to celebrate this year’s theme ’10 years of Turkish Airlines Corporate Club’ as the airline enters a new era from its new home at Istanbul Airport, the world’s biggest airport terminal built from scratch. M. İlker Aycı, Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, Turkish Airlines, opened the conference on October 8, 2019 and the programme featured leading figures in the travel industry. M. İlker Aycı said, “Turkish Airlines continues to grow its operations and the products and services offered to its corporate passengers and eagerly embrace the opportunities that our new home at Istanbul Airport offers. We are committed to providing our guests an elevated travel experience and welcome them on our journey from the World’s Meeting Point.” Turkish Airlines Corporate Club is dedicated to serving the best of Turkish hospitality to its corporate customers and is committed to offer a range of advantages through its loyalty programme. Appreciating that time is of the utmost importance to its guests, the Turkish Airlines Corporate Club provides maximum flexibility of ticket booking, use of Istanbul Airport’s exclusive lounges and pre-boarding advantages such as a generous baggage allowance.  Once onboard, valued members are invited to enjoy excellent products and services. Business Class guests have exclusive use of flatbeds to stay refreshed, free WiFi to stay connected and Flying Chefs who serve top class catering.

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Accor partners with Oman Air to enrich members’ travel experiences

Accor and Oman Air have announced a new partnership for members of their respective loyalty programmes, Le Club AccorHotels and Sindbad, with a range of benefits to make their travel experiences richer and more rewarding. This new partnership enables Le Club AccorHotels (LCAH) members to earn rewards points when flying with Oman Air by converting 1,500 Sindbad miles into 500 LCAH rewards points.  At the same time, it will enhance the experience of Le Club AccorHotels members as they will have the opportunity to redeem their rewards points into Sindbad miles to benefit from awards tickets and upgrades with Oman Air. Every 4,000 LCAH points equals to 1,500 Sindbad miles. This is an exciting partnership for frequent travellers who are members of both programmes because it allows them to purchase stays and discounts for their next trip at more than 3,500 hotels ranging from luxury to economy in joint destinations. They can also benefit from premium experiences and exclusive themed packages curated by Accor, which include access to live music concerts, food festivals and sporting venues such as Paris Saint-Germain VIP box and tickets. These assets will be available through the new Accor rebranded loyalty programme ALL – Accor Live Limitless to be launched in Q4 2019. The partnership allows elevated reward value for Accor’s loyalty customers throughout a network of more than 50 destinations serviced by Oman Air. Paul Starrs, Chief Commercial Officer at Oman Air, commented, “Our aim is to make Sindbad one of the most attractive and rewarding frequent flyer programmes. The addition of AccorHotels and Le Club AccorHotels will further enhance benefits offered to our members by allowing them even more options to earn and redeem miles …

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Bahrain Tourism resumes charter flights for new season

The Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) continues to adopt initiatives with an aim to attract more tourists to the Kingdom of Bahrain and increase the tourism sector’s contribution to the national economy. In light of this, BTEA welcomed passengers who arrived on the first charter flight of the new season from Moscow on October 7, 2019. The first flight commissioned by Coral Travel within the charter programme from Moscow to Bahrain took place in October 2018 with two flights scheduled per week. This will be increased to three weekly flights until May 2020, carrying 220 passengers that will be staying in 30 different hotels across Bahrain. “The BTEA has strengthened its presence, bilaterial relations and partnerships with travel and tourism organisations, tour operators, travel agents and airlines across the world through its representative offices located in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), India, France, Germany, Russia, Kuwait and the United Kingdom. We will continue to work closely with all our representative offices to bring in tourist groups from around the world, further developing the tourism sector and increasing the contribution of non-oil based sectors of the national economy,” said Dr. Ali Follad, Tourism Advisor at BTEA. Receiving charter flights comes as part of the BTEA’s long term strategy to bring in large tourist groups, further developing the Kingdom’s tourism sector on a regional and international level under the slogan of ‘Ours.Yours.’, which contributes towards the Kingdom’s economy and the 2030 Economic Vision.

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Seamless passenger journey in DXB via Emirates

The latest project implemented by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs Dubai (GDRFA) under the Federal Authority for identity and citizenship is the seamless passenger experience with the aid of biometrics via Emirates airline. Major Ghalib Abdulla Hassan Al Majed Al Marri – Director Business Management Department Smart Services, stated, “Our latest project from GDRFA is the passenger journey incorporation with Emirates airline. Three days prior to the passenger starting the journey, details about the passenger will be sent form the airline to the GDRFA for confirmation. Hence when the passenger arrives on the day of departure, all he or she should do is walk through the smart tunnel with no boarding pass, biometrics prior will obtain access not only through the gates but also to the lounge and the flight so that the customer has a much better passenger experience.” According to Major Al Marri, this will be introduced very soon for all the classes – Economy, Business and First Class. You will not need the boarding pass anymore to access the lounge or even the flight. Biometrics will be updated 72 hours prior to the departure of the traveller, which will enable the traveller to pass through or walk through a biometric tunnel with no documents in hand. Facial recognition will be the way forward, passing through customs, stay at the lounge; if you are not travelling in Business Class you can still enjoy the lounge by paying a nominal fee, at this point you can actually do so with no papers. 

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Abu Dhabi International Airport closes City Terminal

As a result of its continuous efforts to deliver a smooth and seamless passenger experience, Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) will close its City Terminal, effective from 06:00 am GST time on October 3, 2019. The closure of the terminal falls in line with Abu Dhabi International Airport’s commitment to providing passengers with a streamlined and comfortable experience that allows passengers departing from the airport easy access to their flights and onward destinations. All passengers travelling from AUH are encouraged to depart directly from the airport, where they will be able to enjoy the full comfort and amenities offered to them by Abu Dhabi Airports’ staff, or to visit the conveniently located Abu Dhabi International Airport Expo Check-In, located at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC), open seven days a week from 09:00 to 20:00 local time.

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Emirates to operate its first A380 service to Cairo

Emirates will be operating its A380 service to Cairo International Airport on October 2, 2019, making it the first scheduled commercial airline to operate an A380 flight into Egypt. With the intent to make the world’s largest commercial passenger jet a part of the airline’s scheduled service to Cairo, this inaugural flight will re-affirm the airport’s infrastructure readiness ahead of regular A380 operations. The Emirates A380 service will operate as EK 927 and EK 928, departing Dubai at 08:15 hrs and arriving in Cairo at 10:00 hrs. The flight will depart Cairo at 13:15 hrs arriving in Dubai at 18:45 hrs on the same day. All timings are local. Adel Al Redha, Chief Operating Officer, Emirates, said, “Our close relationship with Egypt spans over 30 years and we reaffirm our commitment to the country by operating our iconic A380 to Cairo. We are setting the stage to make the popular A380 experience a part of our scheduled service to Cairo. We are confident that Egyptian travellers will enjoy the Emirates A380 experience, especially our innovative products such as the onboard lounge and shower spa.”

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Cebu Pacific celebrates World Tourism Day with flights for less than AED300

The largest carrier in the Philippines, Cebu Pacific, has rolled out some exciting fares to celebrate this year’s  World Tourism Day. Cebu Pacific gives away Dubai-Philippines seats for less than AED300 base fare from September 26 to 30, 2019. It will cover the travel period of January 1 to March 31, 2020. Those planning to visit their loved ones and friends in the city can get deals as low as AED200 base fare for Dubai-Manila flights. Those who want to explore the Queen City of the South may also get Dubai-Cebu flights (via Manila) with a base fare of only AED279. Filipinos and UAE residents who want to discover Mindanao, meanwhile, can get exciting deals too. Dubai-Cagayan de Oro flights and Dubai-Davao flights (both via Manila) are offered for as low as AED289 base fare.

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Emirates partners with Emaar to roll out new aviation experiences at Dubai Mall

Emirates is partnering with Emaar and enhancing its presence at The Dubai Mall to connect to a broad local and international audience through interactive brand experiences like the Emirates A380 Simulator Experience and KidZania, and new Emirates Official Store retail experiences across different visitor touchpoints and shopping environments. Ultimately, the larger goal is to excite visitors across all ages by delivering a memorable, tangible piece of Emirates and tell the brand story through unique experiences and innovative travel products. The Emirates A380 Experience, the region’s only public A380 flight simulator has now been relocated to the second floor of The Dubai Mall, adjacent to the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. Aviation enthusiasts, amateurs testing their flying abilities and those curious about the full experience of flying an A380, can take command of the cockpit for take-off, cruising and landing at thousands of international airports, including every airport in Emirates’ global network. A qualified instructor will be on hand to guide customers through the full experience. A variety of packages are available, starting from 15 minute sessions all the way to 45 minute experiences. Shoppers at The Dubai Mall will soon also be able to find Emirates Official Store products at multiple locations popular with visitors looking to discover the Mall’s iconic attractions. Families coming to KidZania will be able to shop Emirates Official Store products at the venue’s entrance, with a range of kids and toddlers Arsenal and Real Madrid kits, cabin crew uniforms and wooden airport sets. Emirates’ best-selling A380 aircraft model in the Expo Dubai 2020 livery will also be available for purchase.

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