Category Archives: Aviation

Mauritius officially on Saudi Arabian Airlines’ network from September 14

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Jeddah-based national carrier of Saudi Arabia, Saudia (Saudi Arabian Airlines), will deploy its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, known for its two-class configuration of 24 fully flat seats in Business Class and 274 seats in Guest Class, on its new route from Riyadh and Jeddah to the Republic of Mauritius beginning September 14, 2017. For the first time, the two nations will have regular scheduled flights, providing a seamless link between Mauritius and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Flight SV481 will operate from Riyadh to Mauritius, with a brief one-hour stop in Jeddah, three times a week. The total flying time to Mauritius will be 9 hours from Riyadh and 7 hours 20 minutes from Jeddah. Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines, His Excellency Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser commented on the impending start of the new route, “The start of services to the island of Mauritius provides guests with a unique destination to visit. We thank the Government of the Republic of Mauritius and the civil authority for welcoming SAUDIA and extending their full support.”

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Riyadh Airports partners with Uber

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Riyadh Airports Company, the company responsible for managing and operating King Khalid International Airport (KKIA) in the Saudi capital,  and Uber have recently signed an agreement, putting the onus of transporting passengers to and from terminals 1, 2 and 5 of KKIA on Uber. CEO of Riyadh Airports, Saleh Al Rasheed, said,  “This agreement is in line with Riyadh Airports’ policy of developing strategic partnerships that can help them enhance the experience of the passengers travelling through King Khalid International Airport and ensure that their satisfaction is aided by the continued availability of reliable and efficient services”. Commenting on the announcement, Zeid Hreish, General Manager of Uber KSA said “This is a significant announcement for us, as the partnership reinforces Uber’s commitment to providing safe and reliable transportation everywhere and for everyone, and is in line with the Kingdom’s move towards working with progressive companies like Uber.” Riyadh Airports is also currently moving forward with plans to upgrade KKIA infrastructure and expand with new services and facilities.

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Etihad’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner introduced on Abu Dhabi-Seoul route

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Etihad Airways has introduced one of its 16 Boeing 787 carriers on its scheduled daily service from Abu Dhabi to Seoul. The aircraft touched down on August 2, 2017 at the South Korean capital’s space-age Incheon International Airport. The new two-class 787 Dreamliner replaces the Airbus A340-600 aircraft previously operated on this route and features Etihad Airways’ next-generation Business and Economy Class cabins, with a total of 299 seats—28 Business Studios and 271 Economy Smart Seats. On the Seoul route, these will be complemented by Food and Beverage Managers in the Business Class and a Norland-approved Flying Nanny in the Economy Class to provide specialised care for families with young children. Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways Executive Vice President Commercial, said, “This change has been brought about considering the fact that there has been a steady increase in the number of business and leisure travellers flying between South Korea and Abu Dhabi and the GCC region. Many Koreans now operate successfully and lead a flourishing life in UAE, contributing to the success of Etihad Airways’ Seoul Incheon service. Furthermore, many of our customers on the route transit onwards through Abu Dhabi to major destinations on the Etihad network across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.”

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Turkish Airlines introduces ‘healthy travel’ with Dr Oz

Dr. Oz and Mr. M. Ilker Ayci, Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee of Turkish Airlines

The airline with the largest network in the world, Turkish Airlines, has recently collaborated with Dr Mehmet Oz, the producer and host of ‘The Dr. Oz Show’, on its ‘Fly Good Feel Good’ project, to provide not only a comfortable but also a healthy travel experience to its passengers. Dr Oz would give advice to the passengers on healthy eating habits and exercises, through short videos that would be available on the Turkish Airlines official website, social media and in-flight entertainment systems. His advice will also be printed in newspapers to extend its reach to maximum number of people. “Making our passengers’ flight experience more comfortable and enjoyable by continuously improving our brand experience is one of our top priorities,” said M. Ilker Ayci, Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee of Turkish Airlines. How a person feels is just as important for us as our award-winning service quality.”

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Passenger growth at DWC exceeds 35 per cent in H1

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Passenger numbers at Dubai World Central (DWC), Dubai’s second airport, grew by more than 35 per cent in the first half of this year over the corresponding period of the last year, according to the traffic report issued by operator Dubai Airports. DWC welcomed 554,993 passengers in the first half of 2017 compared to 410,278 passengers during the first six months of the last year—a growth of 35.3 per cent. The regions that topped the list in terms of passenger volumes in this new growth were Eastern Europe (207,798 passengers), the GCC (170,424), Western Europe (61,459) and the Indian subcontinent (55,785 passengers). “Overall, DWC performed well in the first half of the year with both scheduled and chartered carriers contributing to traffic volumes at the airport. DWC’s continuing growth as an important travel and logistics hub is driven by advantages the facility offers to both airlines and passengers—from easy availability of slots to quick turnaround times, access to new catchment area, and quick transit times for passengers,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.

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New private aviation terminal to open at Sharjah International Airport

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Gama Support Services, a division of global business aviation services company Gama Aviation, has signed commercial agreements with Sharjah Airport Authority for the development and operation of a private aviation terminal at Sharjah International Airport. Estimated to cost AED 110 million ($30 million) to get built, this purpose-built, integrated business aviation complex would provide ground handling services to business jet owners, business jets, and crew members. The terminal would be spread over an area of 40,000 square metres and will include two aircraft hangars that would be able to accommodate business aircraft up to the size of Airbus ACJ & Boeing BBJ (ACJ aircraft are based on the Airbus A320 family, while BBJ are based on Boeing 737 commercial aircraft frames). Further, it will also be complemented with rest areas, lounges, duty-free shops, passport control and customs. The development will also include an aircraft fueling unit, an aircraft parking apron for business jets and ample car parking adjacent to the terminal.

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Special offers for British Airways First-Class travellers from UAE

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Customers flying First in British Airways from Dubai can now enjoy special rates if they book 60 days in advance, with fares starting from as little as AED 21,270. They will also be able to access British Airways’ new Concorde Lounge concept at Concourse D at Dubai International Airport that provides a dedicated area for First customers and their guests to relax and unwind in a private environment before boarding their flight. Further, all passengers who are flying First Class from Abu Dhabi to Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport in British Airways and are booking 60 days in advance can experience the newly designed luxury cabins on board the 787-9 Dreamliner for as little as AED 20,550. British Airways is continuing to invest in other improvements in its First Class amenities, including a similar refresh of its flagship Concorde Room at Heathrow Terminal 5, with an updated look and feel as well as improvements to the terrace area, which is to be unveiled in October 2017.

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Etihad launches Boeing 787-9 on Abu Dhabi-Beirut route

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Etihad Airways recently introduced Boeing 787-9 on its scheduled daily route from Abu Dhabi, UAE to Beirut, Lebanon. The new 787 Dreamliner service replaces the Airbus A321 aircraft that was previously used for the airline’s EY535/EY538 flights to and from the Lebanese capital. The Boeing 787-9 features Etihad Airways’ next-generation Business and Economy Class cabins and is configured with 299 seats – 28 Business Studios and 271 Economy Smart Seats. Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways Executive Vice President Commercial, said: “Beirut was the first international destination served by Etihad Airways in 2003 and it is fitting that we introduce the state-of-the-art 787 Dreamliner to this key market today. The new two-class 787-9 provides an increase of 125 seats per flight, with 4,186 weekly seats now offered in both directions. This reflects the strong demand to Lebanon from Abu Dhabi and the entire UAE, where a large Lebanese expatriate community resides.”

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Passenger traffic at DXB up by 6.3% in H1

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Passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport (DXB) surpassed 43 million in the first half of 2017, according to the traffic report issued by operator Dubai Airports. DXB handled a total of 43,054,268 passengers during the first half, up by 6.3 per cent from the corresponding period in 2016 when the airport welcomed 40,507,251 passengers. The traffic in June alone reached 6,084,674, up by 3.9 per cent from the 5,857,503 travellers that accessed the airport during the same month last year. The relatively modest growth was the outcome of the holy month of Ramadan falling in June, a traditionally slow month. The top country destination in terms of total passenger volumes at DXB in these six months was India with 5,943,359 Indian travellers, on its heels was Saudi Arabia with 3,108,492 travellers accessing the airport in H1. The maximum percentage growth in the number of travellers from a particular region was seen by South America, which had 36.4 per cent more of its travellers transiting at DXB in H1 of 2017. Top cities by passenger volumes include London (1,893,038 passengers), followed by Mumbai (1,205,504 passengers), then Bangkok (1,037,606 passengers) and thereafter New Delhi (1,016,183 passengers). While passenger traffic increased, flight movements at DXB saw a slight decrease in the first half of this year with a total of 205,996, against 207,970 recorded during the same period in 2016, a marginal contraction of 0.9 per cent.

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Gulf Air showcases its latest in Abu Dhabi

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Gulf Air recently hosted key travel industry representatives in Abu Dhabi at an event that showcased the airline’s latest developments and customer-focused initiatives. The event was hosted by Gulf Air’s Country Manager in Abu Dhabi, Madina Abdulla Albalushi. Most recently, Gulf Air launched passenger-oriented facilities like prepaid seat selection, excess baggage permit and lounge access, all aimed at making travel more comfortable for passengers while giving them greater control to manage various add-ons pre-travel. It also rolled out options for their travellers to know the flight status as well as do group bookings online. Amongst its most highly anticipated upcoming initiatives is the rolling out of its dedicated holiday unit ‘Gulf Air Holidays’, which would offer travellers a wide range of holiday packages and tailor-made travel solutions to destinations worldwide. The airline is also preparing to launch an online visa facility this summer that will support its longstanding efforts to promote the Kingdom of Bahrain as a destination to a broad spectrum of travellers, while making the process of obtaining a short-term-visit visa to Bahrain more convenient.

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