Category Archives: Aviation

Etihad Airways launches flights to Baku

PHOTO 1 Etihad Airways inaugural flight to Baku arrives to a water cannon salute

Etihad Airways has launched its first flight to Baku, capital of Azerbaijan from Abu Dhabi. The inaugural flight, EY297, departed Abu Dhabi with a special delegation including diplomats, dignitaries, media representatives and senior members of Etihad Airways’ management team. On arrival in Baku, the aircraft was greeted with a traditional water cannon salute, followed by the customary display of the Emirati and Azerbaijani national flags from the cockpit windows. Flying three times a week using a 136-seat Airbus A320, configured with 16 seats in Business Class and 120 in Economy Class, the new flights will operate every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, providing optimal daylight timings for guests departing and arriving in Abu Dhabi and Baku. The schedule provides convenient connections to and from the airline’s global network and has been timed evenly throughout the week to provide a mix of weekend, short stay and business travel options. Etihad Airways and Azerbaijan Airlines recently announced a codeshare partnership which now sees Azerbaijan Airlines place its ‘J2’ code on Etihad Airways services between Baku and Abu Dhabi. Under this partnership, Azerbaijan Airlines guests will be able to book codeshare flights to and from Abu Dhabi and connect onto Etihad Airways’ extensive global network.

Read More »

Emirates Skywards hits milestone with 20 million members

Emirates-SkyWards-

Emirates Skywards, a loyalty programme popular for its unique offerings has reached 20 million members. Those travelling from Dubai on Emirates flights during the week beginning March 4, 2018 can look forward to surprises at check-in, onboard and in the lounges for some of its longest-standing members. In an average month, Emirates Skywards welcomes 220,000 new members across the globe. The top five countries with the largest member bases are spread across four continents reflecting Emirates’ six-continent global network. UK has the biggest membership base at 2.6 million, followed by the US with 1.8 million members, Australia with 1.7 million members and India and the UAE following closely with 1.4 million members each. “The programme has evolved in the 17 years since its inception in line with changing travel and lifestyle habits. Emirates Skywards is focused on delivering ever more personalised experiences for its members. We provide a wide array of earn and redeem options across a number of categories – travel, retail and lifestyle and across geographies, leveraging more than 100 partners worldwide,” explains Dr Nejib Ben Khedher, Senior Vice President, Emirates Skywards.

Read More »

Dubai Airports to close one runway for 45 days in 2019

dubaiairports

Dubai Airports has confirmed plans to close Dubai International’s (DXB) southern runway for a 45-day period in 2019 to conduct a comprehensive upgrade designed to boost safety, service and capacity levels. The upgrade work is scheduled to take place from April 16 to May 30 when passenger traffic historically ebbs due to a seasonal lull. The southern runway refurbishment project will involve the placement of approximately 60,000 tonnes of asphalt and 8,000m3 of concrete to strengthen and resurface the runway and the adjacent taxiways. While ongoing runway maintenance is scheduled on a weekly basis, more extensive upgrades require a complete closure of the runway. Dubai Airports will also use the opportunity to install 800 km of primary cables and replace over 5,500 runway lights with more modern, economic and environment friendly technology. Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports said, “In the months ahead, we will be working closely with Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, airlines and other stakeholders to ensure we optimise service and capacity during this period next year and minimise the impact on our customers. While we regret any inconvenience this may cause to our airline customers and passengers, these upgrades are absolutely necessary to heighten safety, boost capacity and pave the way for future growth.”

Read More »

Turkish Airlines launches flights to Freetown in Africa

Turkish Airlines Freetown inauguration 6

In its efforts towards international expansion, Turkish Airlines has introduced flights to Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone. With existing services to city hubs of Accra, Lagos, Bamako, Conakry, Dakar, Abidjan, Cape Town, Johannesburg and a lot more, the airline now adds Freetown as its 52nd destination in Africa. The flights will operate twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The services will provide a link between Istanbul Atatürk International Airport and the Lungi International Airport via Ouagadougou.

Read More »

Dubai Airports welcomes 7.9 million passengers this January

paul-griffiths-ceo1

According to the latest report issued by Dubai Airports, passenger traffic at Dubai International (DXB) exceeded 7.9 million in January. DXB welcomed a total of 7,960,146 passengers in January, a small reduction of 1 per cent compared to 8,037,008 recorded in January 2017 when passenger volumes were boosted due to Chinese New Year which fell in February this year. South America was the top region in terms of percentage growth during the month (22.6%), followed by CIS (19.7%) – with a bulk of the increase resulting from the surge on routes like Moscow, Baku, and Kazan among others, and Africa (6.4%) propelled by the launch of new services by Med View and Emirates on routes to Abuja and doubling of Emirates’ services to Lagos. “With passenger numbers nearing 8 million during the first month of the year, we’ve had a very encouraging start to 2018,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports. “What’s even more encouraging is that processes and technologies we have implemented recently are creating a smoother experience for our customers despite the high traffic volumes.” In terms of passenger numbers, routes to the Indian subcontinent topped the list with 1,100,477 passengers followed by Saudi Arabia (650,822 passengers), and the UK (547,286 passengers). London was the top destination city with 333,286 passengers, followed by Kuwait (231,956 passengers) and Mumbai (225,776 passengers).

Read More »

Priority Pass at Dubai Airports with enhanced lounge experience

PP Airport _DSC4905

Collinson Group in partnership with LocusLabs is set to enhance the lounge experience and airport services available to the former’s customers, including those of Priority Pass program. LocusLabs’ location-as-a-service technology will be incorporated into the Priority Pass app, making it easier for users to locate lounges in addition to seeking out other benefits inside terminals. Additionally, those with push notifications enabled on their smart phones can receive recommendations of services when entering an airport to help them navigate to lounges and exclusive discounts. Priority Pass will be the first lounge membership program to integrate LocusLabs’ indoor mapping and way finding features within its app, through an update due in the coming weeks. Initially, key major airports will be covered including Dubai, Hong Kong, London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Singapore, Manchester, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Mexico City and Istanbul Ataturk airports, with more locations due to follow in the coming months. Christopher Evans, Joint CEO, Collinson Group, said: “Feedback from Priority Pass members highlights the opportunities that contextually-aware mobile technologies can create as we look at smart ways to help an increasingly choice-rich traveller to make the very best use of their time at airports and other transportation hubs.”

Read More »

SaudiGulf Airlines to start double daily to Dubai from March 1

Saudi Gulf image 2

SaudiGulf Airlines will launch its maiden international operations to Dubai as a double daily flight catering to the corporate and leisure travellers between the two nations from March 1, 2018. The flight will departure Riyadh at 07:50 and arrive Dubai at 10:55, and commence departure from Dubai at 12:10 with arrival at 13:05 in Riyadh. The other flight timings will be 16:00 departing Riyadh and reaching Dubai by 18:55, and departing Dubai at 20:55 and reaching Riyadh by 21:50 with a starting all inclusive fare of AED 999. It will be a two configuration A320 with 16 Business First class seats and 120 seats in economy, an in-flight entertainment system, Wi-Fi service onboard along with a dedicated chauffeur service in Riyadh. Samer Majali, President and Chief Executive Officer, SaudiGulf Airlines stated that after just one year and two months of domestic operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, they found the niche in Dubai in the international market to serve a destination with the most amount of traffic. This strategic decision was taken by SaudiGulf Airlines considering the strong affairs between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, supported by Dubai Tourism to provide greater varieties to travellers from both countries.

Read More »

Emirates A380 to resume services to Houston from June 1

Emirates A380

Emirates will once again begin operations with its flagship A380 service between Houston (IAH) and Dubai (DXB) from June 1, 2018. Houston will join more than 40 destinations on Emirates’ extensive global network served by its popular A380 aircraft, including Mumbai, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Kuwait. Emirates will deploy its three-class A380 on the Houston route, offering a total of  516 seats with 14 private suites in First Class, 76 flatbed seats in Business Class seats and 426 spacious seats in Economy Class, increasing capacity per flight by more than 160 passengers compared to the current Boeing 777-300ER. Services to Houston were upgraded to an A380 in December 2014, but as part of Emirates’ fleet optimisation, the decision was made in July 2016 to operate the route with a Boeing 777-300ER. Flight EK211 will depart Dubai at 09:35 and arrive in Houston at 16:50 daily. Return flight EK212 will depart Houston at 20:00 and arrive in Dubai at 20:00 the next day. Passengers from Houston can enjoy convenient connections in Dubai when travelling to destinations in India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore or South Africa.

Read More »

Etihad to launch second daily services to Rome from March 25

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Etihad Airways has added a second daily direct flight from Abu Dhabi to Rome, effective March 25, 2018. The new service will take the total number of Etihad Airways’ flights on the route to 14 a week. The additional frequencies will be introduced in phases, beginning March 25, with five extra weekly flights, rising to a twice-a-day service from May 1. The new early morning departure from Abu Dhabi and midday return service from Rome will offer links to popular cities across Australia, China, Japan and Korea. With the additional service, Etihad Airways’ frequency between Abu Dhabi and its two Italian gateways of Rome and Milan will increase to three flights a day. Peter Baumgartner, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways said, “Ensuring our guests have greater flexibility and more travel options is a focus for Etihad Airways. Since we launched the Abu Dhabi-Rome route in 2014, it has become one of our most popular services for business and leisure travellers. We are therefore delighted to further develop the route with additional services.” Etihad Airways’ codeshare partner Alitalia has announced that it will discontinue the operation of its daily flight between Rome and Abu Dhabi from March 25.

Read More »

Emirates A380 one-off to Beirut on March 29

Emirates A380

For the first time in Rafic Al Hariri International Airport’s history, Emirates will operate a special one-off A380 service to Beirut on March 29. The airline’s flagship double-decker will become the first-ever scheduled A380 service to Beirut. Emirates A380 will depart Dubai at 07:25hrs and arrive in Beirut at 10:30hrs. The flight will depart Beirut at 14:15hrs and arrive in Dubai at 19:05hrs on the same day. Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Divisional Senior Vice President—Commercial Operations, Centre at Emirates, said, “We are proud to fly our A380 for a one-off test service to Beirut. Bringing this popular aircraft to Lebanon represents a significant milestone in our operations to Beirut after 27 years of serving the country. This year also marks the Emirates A380’s 10th anniversary since joining our fleet, and the iconic aircraft has brought flying to the next level for over 90 million customers. We would like to thank the Lebanese government and in particular the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Lebanese Civil Aviation Authorities, who have made it possible for us to bring our flagship A380 to this city.”

Read More »