Category Archives: Aviation

Wizz Air returns to Istanbul, Antalya and Dalaman from March

Wizz Air  announced resumption of its direct flights to Istanbul, Antalya and Dalaman. The routes will commence as of March 2023 connecting Türkiye with Hungary, Romania, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.  Wizz Air returns to Istanbul after 7 years, and adds four point to point services to Budapest, London Gatwick, London Luton, and Iasi, the earliest flight departing in March already. With these services the airline will be the first ultra-low cost carrier flying from Istanbul airport, providing over 400,000 high quality, but low fare seats to cities around Europe. Wizz Air’s industry leading low emissions and highly sustainable operations will support Istanbul Airport to reach its sustainability goals by operating the modern and sustainable Airbus A321neo aircraft. Besides the new all year round routes to Istanbul, WIZZ launches seasonal point to point services to the Turkish seaside, Dalaman and Antalya, supporting the ramp up of local tourism. Over 300,000 passengers from Abu Dhabi, Bucharest, Budapest, Cluj, Debrecen and London will be able to enjoy the airline’s low fares and high quality direct connections to these amazing resorts. Together with today’s announcement Wizz Air will operate flights to four Turkish airports, providing over 800,000 low-fare seats in 2023. Evelin Jeckel,  Network Officer of Wizz Air, said: “We’re excited to be finally returning to Istanbul with our point to point services and strengthening our presence in Türkiye with the new connections to Dalaman and Antalya, while bringing sustainable, low-cost aviation to Istanbul and to the pearls of the Turkish seaside. We can’t wait to welcome our passengers back onboard our brand-new Airbus A321neo aircraft, as they travel on their long-awaited new routes connecting Türkiye with some of the …

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Singapore Airlines and Singapore tourism board conducts first agent interaction event in the desert

Last weekend, Singapore Airlines and Singapore Tourism Board hosted 126 travel trade partners from the UAE for a special desert safari as their first trade engagement for the year. Travel trade partners were able to enjoy from dune bashing, sand boarding, riding the camel and other memorable experiences amidst being with so many partners whom some met after many years. The event was graced by Consul General of the Republic of Singapore in Dubai Raziff Aljunied. Addressing the trade partners HE Consul General, “first of all I would like to thank all of you for the support that you have rendered to us and for accepting the invitation to attend today’s event put together by Singapore Airlines and Singapore Tourism Board. I would also like to inform that now Singapore is fully open and we are ready for business, it was a trying time for us with covid, but now we are coming back with a vengeance and you can also capitalise with revenge travel as we say, so continue to have Singapore as the top of the mind destination for your travellers.” “It is a pleasure to be back for a trade engagement activity which is of a very unique kind, this is the first time that we are conducting a desert safari trade engagement activity for the past six years, I have never done a trade engagement activity in such a setting. First of all a big thank you to all of you for bringing travellers from the UAE to Singapore. In 2022, Singapore opened in April for international vaccinated travellers without quarantine. So overall in 2022, we have received 6.3million visitors which is above our forecast.” Ashwin …

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Emirates adds two more Australia services as demand soars

Emirates has taken yet another significant step in the resumption of its Australia capacity by increasing its service to two major cities – Sydney and Melbourne. The airline will also restart services to Christchurch, New Zealand via Sydney, offering a new path for Australians across the trans-Tasman route. From 26 March, Melbourne will increase from two to three daily services between Emirates’ Dubai hub via Singapore, with a third direct service to also begin to Sydney from 1 May. The service increase follows the airline’s recent announcement around double daily flights to Brisbane, starting from 1 June. The huge boost comes amidst another busy period for air travel and as the airline continues to reaffirm its ongoing commitment to growing its services to and from Australia. The two services will operate on a three-class Boeing-777 300ER offering passengers Economy, Business and First Class seats. By mid-year, Emirates will be operating 63 weekly services to Australia with the capacity to transport more than 55,000 passengers per week to and from its major cities. Melbourne and Sydney will be restored to flying at pre-pandemic levels, a significant milestone in the airline’s reinstatement of Australia services. The uplift in capacity supports the revival of tourism by providing travellers with even more access to and from Australia, as well as bolstering trade and business opportunities with the large 22-tonne freight capacity offered by the Boeing 777-300ER. The newly restored third Dubai-Melbourne service means Emirates is providing a new connectivity option between Singapore and Melbourne to serve strong demand between both cities, as well as offering customers its signature, differentiated product and service experience. The Christchurch service via Sydney, beginning 26 March, will offer the …

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Qatar Executive announces record year reflected by a growth in fleet, increase for departures and arrivals and sustainable advancement

‎Qatar Executive (QE), the private jet charter division of the Qatar Airways Group, experienced significant year-over-year (YOY) growth in flight arrivals and departures at their exclusive Premium Terminal FBO during the completion of a historic FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. Qatar Executive’s FBO, located at Doha International Airport (DIA), saw a record-first YOY increase of 595 per cent for arrivals and 574 per cent for departures between November and December in 2022. Between 18-19 December, after the FIFA World Cup Qatar™ Final, 296 jets departed from DIA. In the lead up to the first FIFA World Cup™ in the Middle East, QE renovated the existing terminal in Doha, revitalising the FBO and thus offering customers a seamless journey both on the ground and on-board. This included upgrading their F&B and baggage handling services, training additional staff members and renovating on-site facilities. Qatar Executive also deployed the latest Wi-Fi and streaming capabilities both within the terminal and onboard their fleet, providing football fans great connectivity to stream the World Cup matches uninterrupted. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Qatar Executive’s operations grew significantly during the World Cup period, demonstrating the division’s robust FBO services, while offering the most advanced flying solutions to valued customers. Qatar Executive’s continuous growth trajectory reflects the trust of our clients and is also a testament to our commitment to innovation and excellence.” In addition, Qatar Executive added 3 more Gulfstream G650ER, with the aircraft type making up 15 of their 19 strong fleet resulting in a 25 per cent growth. This makes QE the world’s largest owner and single commercial operator of the G650ER. The Gulfstream G650ER features a state-of-the-art …

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SAUDIA kicks off 2023 by increasing seat capacity for international flights by 40% to serve tourism, Hajj and umrah sectors

SAUDIA Group is continuing to implement its operational plan for 2023 by boosting its international presence and market share by increase its seating capacity by 40% on high-demand destinations. The ambitious plan aims to expand SAUDIA’s network, connect international visitors with the Kingdom, and strengthen Saudi’s tourism, Hajj, and Umrah sectors. The plan also includes an increase in domestic flights and seating capacity. SAUDIA has allocated over 25.3m seats for international flights in 2023 across almost 90,000 flights, up 40% from 2022. Similarly, seating capacity on domestic flights for 2023 has been increased by about half a million seats to reach over 17.8m seats, with the total number of domestic flights exceeding 102,100. The update to the company’s flight schedule and operations are designed to meet growing customer demand and further increase convenience in flight schedules throughout the year, and in particular during demand-peak seasons. Captain Ibrahim Koshy, CEO of SAUDIA, said: “We plan to build on SAUDIA’s operational success of last year with a strategic plan that further enhances SAUDIA’s reputation for meeting our guests’ needs and delivering performance excellence. Since the beginning of the new year, we have seen steadily increasing demand on already-popular routes. By expanding capacity and enhancing flight schedules SAUDIA is able to offer increased flexibility to customers and better manage its operational requirements in light of the significant challenges facing the aviation industry.” SAUDIA’s operational plan also features a number of new additions to its fleet. New Boeing B787 Dreamliner aircraft, with 24 business class seats and 333 economy class seats, will join SAUDIA’s fleet in 2023, along with the latest Airbus A321NX aircraft, that offer 20 business class seats and 168 economy class …

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Singapore welcomed 42k visitors from the UAE – 35% of 2019 in 2022

At a special gathering hosted by Singapore tourism board and Singapore Airlines recently it was shared by GB Srithar – Regional Director, India, Middle East & South Asia – Singapore Tourism Board that international visitor numbers had exceeded their own forecast. Srithar shared, “I’m happy to say that Singapore tourism board remains engaged in this market.  Singapore international visitor numbers reached 6.3 million in 2022, which is 33% of 2019, exceeding our own forecast of last year, which was between 4 to 6million. So at 6.3 million we have exceeded out own forecast. Tourism receipts estimated to have reached 13.8 to 14.3 billion dollars which is above 50 to 52% of 2019 TR. Looking at Middle East market, overall GCC, we welcomed 79,630 which is about 61% of 2019’s IVA and UAE specifically we welcomed 42,970 which is about 35% of 2019 IVA so those are the numbers and the peak months have been July and August last year which registered very strong visitor arrivals and the average length of stay was about 3 to 5 days. In terms of importance of the market, UAE is our number one source market in the region.” He further reiterated, “We continue to welcome visitors from the Middle East, the good thing is that Singapore is very much open, it is quarantine free and you can come to the country and moving around in various places like in Dubai is the same as before. My key overarching message is that Singapore is not only welcoming leisure travellers, as Singapore continues to be a family holiday destination, the Middle East travellers when they come to Singapore learn that its very easy to enjoy in …

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Qatar Airways and Air Serbia sign comprehensive codeshare agreement

‎Qatar Airways announced it has signed a comprehensive codeshare agreement with Air Serbia, the flag carrier of Serbia, allowing passengers seamless travel to over 40 destinations when travelling on each other’s networks effective 01 February 2023. Qatar Airways currently operates five weekly flights between its hub in Doha, Qatar and Belgrade, the Serbian capital. The codeshare agreement opens up a host of new exciting destinations for its passengers to use a single booking to continue their journey to European countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Slovenia among others served by Air Serbia. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “This partnership will allow us to expand our footprint in the Central and Eastern European markets where we are looking forward to offering additional travel choices for our customers. We are extremely proud to unveil this partnership with Air Serbia, the leading airline in this region since it was founded in 1927 and we look forward to working effortlessly together.” From its hub at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, Air Serbia serves more than 70 destinations in Europe, the Mediterranean, North America, Asia and Africa. As a part of this collaboration, Air Serbia will add its marketing code on Qatar Airways direct flights between Belgrade and Doha, as well as various points beyond Doha including Adelaide, Baku, Brisbane, Tbilisi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Muscat, Nairobi, Perth, Seychelles, Singapore and Sydney. Additionally, subject to obtaining all necessary government approvals and once all conditions are fulfilled, Air Serbia plans to extend its coverage to Bangkok, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Phuket, Seoul, Tokyo, Yerevan, Zanzibar and many more. Air Serbia, Chief Executive Officer, Jiří Marek, said: “It …

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Emirates to resume daily non-stop Dubai-Hong Kong service

Emirates will ramp up frequencies to Hong Kong with a daily non-stop service from its Dubai hub, starting from 29 March 2023, adding to its existing daily flight from Dubai to Hong Kong via Bangkok and increasing the airline’s operations in the market up to 14 weekly flights. The resumed service will provide more capacity, choice and flexibility for travellers, as the airline continues to expand its global operations in line with sustained demand for international travel. Operated by an Airbus A380 aircraft, Emirates’ flight EK380 will depart Dubai at 10:45hrs and arrive in Hong Kong at 22:00hrs. The return flight EK381 will depart from Hong Kong at 00:35hrs and arrive in Dubai at 05:00hrs. All times are local. By bringing back its Dubai-Hong Kong flight EK380/EK381, Emirates is responding to the growing demand on the route and offering travellers the choice to fly non-stop or break their journeys in Bangkok. Tickets can be booked on emirates.com, the Emirates App, or via travel agents. Travellers are also encouraged to check the latest entry requirements. As one of Emirates’ key Asian destinations, the airline reaffirms its commitment to supporting Hong Kong’s post-pandemic recovery, increasing capacity to serve travellers originating from Dubai or connecting in Dubai from other cities in its global network. Throughout the pandemic, Emirates has supported the market’s local community by maintaining the trade links between Hong Kong and other strategic markets within its network, successfully transporting imports and exports through its airfreight division, Emirates SkyCargo. Emirates also provides increased connectivity for travellers to additional destinations beyond Hong Kong through its interline agreements with Cathay Pacific and HongKong Airlines, among others. The Emirates A380 experience remains highly sought after …

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SAUDIA and ADHLAL announce SAUDIA design program

SAUDIA participated in the second edition of the Saudi Design Festival (SDF) – an annual festival that aims to provide a platform to showcase local designers and talents- through “Design to Progress” panel discussion attended by HRH Princess Nourah Al-Faisal, Founder and CEO of Adhlal, and Group Chief Marketing Officer, Khaled Tash. The panel session witnessed the announcement of Adhlal as an “Advisory Partner” for SAUDIA to launch “SAUDIA Design Program” initiative. The initiative aims to create new opportunities for the Saudi design community to contribute to creating exceptional experiences for airline’s guests, and providing creative solutions to various challenges in the travel & tourism sector. The panel discussed several topics and highlighted the importance that SAUDIA places on creative designs, and its efforts to support all initiatives that would enable the creative and talented people in the Saudi community to help in providing exceptional experiences for SAUDIA’s guests that reflect the culture and values of the Kingdom. The collaboration between the two ends will result in developing and supporting the design sector and promote it as a means to inspiration and innovation. Khaled Tash also shed the light on the upcoming period which will witness the launch of “SAUDIA Design Program” initiative, demonstrating SAUDIA’s commitment to and ambassadorship of the Saudi design community, which in turn will contribute to developing design as a driving force in promoting the key values of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The first cycle of SAUDIA Design Program is expected to take place during Quarter 4, 2023. This initiative will provide opportunities for design students and professionals to contribute to providing inspiring solutions to various challenges in the travel industry. The second edition of …

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Etihad introduces double daily flights to Jakarta

Etihad Airways is ramping up flights between Abu Dhabi and Jakarta from daily to double-daily. From 1 October 2023, business and leisure travellers can look forward to 14 weekly non-stop flights between Abu Dhabi and the Indonesian capital, providing more choice, flexibility and convenience. The flights will be operated using Etihad’s fleet of modern Boeing B787 and B777 aircraft, offering guests comfortable seats, personal inflight entertainment systems, and an award-winning and attentive service. “Etihad Airways is delighted to boost air connectivity between Abu Dhabi and Indonesia, one of the fastest-growing economies in the world,” said Arik De, Chief Revenue Officer at Etihad Airways. “Our new flight has been optimised to arrive in Abu Dhabi in the morning, giving travellers from Indonesia a head-start to explore the attractions of our vibrant capital city. “At the same time, our new service leverages our recently-expanded relationship with Garuda Indonesia to make it even more convenient for UAE residents to visit Jakarta, or one of 20 other destinations throughout Indonesia.” The strengthened air links will support the growth of trade and tourism on both sides and reaffirm Etihad’s commitment to supporting inbound tourism. Abu Dhabi offers visitors an abundance of things to do, from family days out at modern museums and theme parks such as Louvre Abu Dhabi, Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi to beautiful golden beaches and unforgettable desert experiences. Home to over 10 million people and the largest city in Southeast Asia, Jakarta is a bustling metropolis that provides plenty of opportunities to enjoy Indonesia’s rich history, culture and nature.

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