Category Archives: Aviation

Etihad unveils fully customised Economy experience at ATM

A320 A321 new Economy 2 LR

Revolutionising the aviation sector once again, Etihad Airways unveiled a major Economy transformation programme starting with the cabin upgrade and refurbishment of 23 narrow-body Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft. The retrofit programme, which includes new personalised wireless streaming entertainment to smartphone and tablet devices, is scheduled for completion in August this year. The airline is also introducing a new and improved Economy dining concept on all its flights as part of a wider programme of enhancements to its inflight catering. Etihad introduced the new developments at Arabian Travel Market, together with a new advertising campaign, ‘Go Your Own Way’, using Fleetwood Mac’s anthemic classic as its soundtrack. As part of the airline’s overall ‘Choose Well’ brand platform, the campaign will drive greater awareness of Etihad’s commitment to providing its guests with greater control, choice and value by personalising their travel experiences. Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said, “Etihad has always been a challenger brand, shaping the future of travel as the market constantly changes. We are bringing the leadership and innovation to Economy travel which we have long established in our award-winning Business, First and The Residence cabins. As part of our ‘Choose Well’ promise, we are empowering our guests with more control of their travel experiences, through onboard digital transformation, improved choice and redesigned cabins and products.” Etihad is progressively upgrading the Economy cabins of its narrow-body fleet of Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft. These are used mainly on short-haul regional services, and further afield to 38 Etihad gateways within five hours of flight from Abu Dhabi. The airline is installing modern and refreshed cabins featuring ergonomic Extra-spatial Design seats by UK based Acro, a …

Read More »

dnata invests in US catering operations; opens five new catering facilities in 2019

Robin Padgett

dnata, one of the world’s largest air services providers, continues to invest in its catering operations in the United States.  The company has opened a new, 4,700 m² (51,000 ft2) facility at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and now offers quality catering services in Houston with a capacity of more than 10,000 meals a day.  dnata’s latest expansion will create more than 150 new jobs with the company. The launch customer is British Airways, which operates two daily flights from Houston. Robin Padgett, Divisional Senior Vice President for dnata’s catering division, said, “We are delighted to open another best-in-class catering facility at a major US airport. Our expansion into Houston once again underlines our commitment to the United States, where we see excellent business opportunities for dnata. In 2019 we will continue to enhance our operations in the country by investing in new facilities and growing our team with highly-skilled, local catering professionals. We look forward to providing quality services and products to an increasing number of airlines in the US ensuring an exceptional dining experience for their passengers on each flight.” dnata expanded in the US catering market in 2018 through the acquisition of 121 Inflight Catering. Besides Houston, dnata currently operates catering facilities at three US airports, in New York (JFK), Nashville (BNA) and Orlando (SFB), serving commercial, VIP and private aviation companies, fixed base operators and charter aircraft operators. In 2019, dnata will further enhance its operations in the country opening four additional catering facilities at the airports of Boston (BOS), Los Angeles (LAX), Newark (EWR) and San Francisco (SFO). By year-end, dnata will provide quality catering services at eight US airports. Over the past two years …

Read More »

Emirates to deploy its latest Boeing 777-300ER to Malé from June 1

??????????

Emirates announced the deployment of its latest Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft fitted with the ‘Game Changer’ First Class suites on its Dubai-Malé route from June 1, 2019. The Maldivian capital will become the first destination in the South Asian region to be served on a regular basis by the new aircraft. Passengers travelling to and from the idyllic archipelago on Emirates flights EK658 and EK659, one of three daily non-stop services connecting Malé, with Emirates’ hub in Dubai, will be able to experience the fully-enclosed First Class private suites inspired by luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz. “The Maldives has become an increasingly popular destination for Emirates, attracting premium travellers, honeymooners and families from around the world. Introducing the new Boeing 777 with the state-of-the-art First Class suites on this route reaffirms our longstanding commitment to Malé,” said Ahmed Khoory, Senior Vice President, West Asia & Indian Ocean, Emirates. Travellers to and from the Maldives can experience the new Emirates Boeing 777 product on flight EK658 departing Dubai daily at 04:20hrs and arriving in Malé at 09:30hrs. The return flight EK659 leaves Malé at 11:00hrs, arriving in Dubai at 14:00hrs. From First Class through to the Business and Economy Class cabins, the latest Emirates Boeing 777 aircraft features ergonomically designed seats, multi-million dollar upgrades and the latest version of the ice inflight entertainment system across all cabins. Designed with an emphasis on exceptional customer comfort and ultimate privacy, Emirates ‘Game-Changing’ Boeing 777 private suites feature floor-to-ceiling sliding doors and ultra-modern design features against cool grey colourscapes. Offering up to 40 square feet of personal space each, the spacious, fully-enclosed private suites are laid out in a 1-1-1 configuration, for a total of six …

Read More »

Emirates introduces Airbus A380 service to Riyadh

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER

Emirates will be providing more options for its customers in Riyadh with the introduction of the first scheduled Airbus A380 service to the capital city, effective from April 21, 2019. Riyadh will be the 51st destination to join the Emirates A380 network. Flight EK 817/818, currently operated by a Boeing 777-300ER, will now be operated by the iconic and highly popular Emirates A380. The Emirates A380 aircraft will be operating on the route five times a week. Emirates flight EK 817 will depart Dubai at 18:50hrs, arriving in Riyadh at 19:35hrs. The return flight EK 818 leaves Riyadh at 21:25hrs, arriving in Dubai at 00:35hrs the next day. The deployment of the iconic double-decker aircraft will offer business and leisure travellers from Riyadh even more connection opportunities for a seamless ‘all A380’ journey to business hubs such as New York, London and Hong Kong as well a leisure centres like Mauritius and Barcelona. Adil Al Ghaith, Senior Vice President Commercial Operations Gulf, Middle East & Iran, said, “With the introduction of a regularly scheduled A380 service to Riyadh, Emirates is once again reaffirming its ongoing commitment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by catering to growing passenger demand.  This A380 service complements the newly introduced Game Changer Boeing 777-300ER on the route, which means that customers travelling to and from Riyadh can enjoy our latest flagship products. The introduction of the A380 to Riyadh also supports Saudi Vision 2030 by helping to grow the Kingdom’s aviation sector through stimulating robust traffic growth, increasing connectivity and deepening its global footprint.” The Emirates A380 aircraft that will serve the Dubai-Riyadh route will be set  in a three-class configuration, with 429 spacious seats …

Read More »

Tracking at key points drives 66% improvement in baggage delivery

Baggage awaiting loading

Airlines that are adding tracking at more points of the baggage journey are enjoying a huge improvement in bag delivery globally. The SITA 2019 Baggage IT Insights – officially launched at an event in Abu Dhabi International Airport – shows that where tracking is done at check-in and loading onto the aircraft, the rate of improvement is as high as 66%. These results come as the record drop in the baggage mishandling rate achieved globally over the past decade plateaus, with the rate steady at around 5.7 bags per thousand passengers over the past three years. In 2018, the rate was 5.69 per thousand passengers. Over the past year, an increasing number of airlines and airports have started to introduce tracking at key points in the journey – check-in, loading onto the aircraft, transfers and arrival – to improve baggage management and further reduce the chances of a bag being mishandled. SITA’s research provides the first glimpse of the success of this tracking. It reveals that where bags were being tracked when loaded onto the aircraft, the rate of improvement ranged between 38% and 66% depending on the level of tracking introduced. Peter Drummond, Director of Baggage at SITA, said, “While the mishandling rate has started to plateau over the past few years, this comes against a continued growth in passenger numbers and their bags. In 2018, 4.36 billion travellers checked in more than 4.27 billion bags. More bags makes things more challenging. Everyone across the industry needs to look beyond the process and technology improvements made in the past decade and adopt the latest technology such as tracking to make the next big cut in the rate of mishandled …

Read More »

flydubai launches flights twice a week to Sochi in Russia

Flydubai Boeing 737 MAX 8

Dubai-based flydubai announced the start of flights to Sochi, Russia. Flights between Dubai and Sochi will operate twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays, starting from  June 7, 2019. flydubai will be the first carrier to offer direct flights on this route from the UAE and the GCC. Commenting on the occasion, Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer of flydubai, said, “Russia is an important market for flydubai and we are pleased to announce the new direct flights to Sochi which will support the growing flow of travel, trade and tourism between the two countries.” flydubai has been operating in the Russian market since 2010 and offers passengers from the UAE and the combined flydubai and Emirates network, easier access to Moscow and other major Russian cities like Yekaterinburg. Jeyhun Efendi, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations and E-commerce at flydubai, added, “We are confident that our high quality and reliable service and the convenience of these direct flights, together with the recent changes in visa requirements for Russians and UAE nationals visiting both countries, will make this resort city located on Russia’s Black Sea Coast a popular choice for passengers.” Sochi is one of the major touristic hubs in Russia located on the Black Sea, popular for its beaches, forests and Caucasus Mountains, as well as for hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics and being home to some of the best facilities for winter sports. Asiet Zhukova, Vice President of Tour Operator Group WOWSOCHI, said, “The new flydubai service offers travellers from the UAE and around the world a more convenient option to reach Sochi and get a chance to explore this year long popular destination in Russia.” flydubai will operate …

Read More »

Six Indian cities served by SpiceJet will join the Emirates network

Emirates Spice Jet JPG

Emirates and SpiceJet have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enter into a reciprocal codeshare agreement, which is set to open new routes and destinations for passengers travelling between India and popular destinations across Africa, America, Europe and the Middle East. Subject to necessary government approvals, the partnership will enable Emirates’ passengers to enjoy seamless connectivity on flights to India, leveraging SpiceJet’s strong domestic presence and adding six new destinations: Amritsar, Jaipur, Pune, Mangalore, Madurai and Calicut — to the nine existing cities in India served by Emirates. This will bolster Emirates’ already-extensive network adding a total of 67 weekly connections between Emirates’ hub in Dubai to these six fast growing destinations in India. This includes increased domestic connectivity from Emirates’ nine Indian gateways to points such as Goa, Hubli, Guwahati, Vishakhapatnam and Tuticorin which would allow for a greater variety of travel options between both Emirates and SpiceJet flights. “Our journey in India has been defined by progressive investment, partnership and growth. We constantly try to improve and provide our customers with greater flexibility and travel choices,” said Adnan Kazim, Divisional Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning, Revenue Optimisation and Aeropolitical Affairs at Emirates. Passengers travelling from India will have more choice to travel seamlessly with minimum connection times, when flying to destinations in Emirates’ Europe network such as London, Paris, Frankfurt, Manchester and Amsterdam. The codeshare agreement will also open up flights for Indian travellers to North and South American destinations such as New York, Washington, Toronto, and Sao Paulo as well as Middle Eastern destinations such as Jeddah, Kuwait and Amman, operated by Emirates.

Read More »

Africa’s growing aviation sector sees more potential for new routes to GCC

IATA LOGO

Africa’s vast aviation potential as the continent continues to increase airline frequency to the GCC will be explored at the Inaugural CONNECT Middle East, India and Africa – co-located with Arabian Travel Market 2019 and taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre on April 30 and May 1. With up to 300 delegates, the forum will include a packed conference programme, panel discussion and airline and industry briefings as well as unlimited one-to-one meetings pre-scheduled for airlines, airports and suppliers – all combined with endless informal opportunities for networking throughout the two days. The potential for the aviation sector in Africa is immense. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) projects that the African continent will become one of the fastest growing aviation regions within the next 20 years, with an average annual expansion rate of almost 5 per cent. Currently, there are 731 airports and 419 airlines on the African continent, with the aviation sector supporting around 7 million jobs and generating $80 billion in economic activity. In terms of passenger numbers, 47 million passengers departed from Africa’s top five airports, which included Cairo, Addis Ababa and Marrakesh in 2018, according to the latest ANKER report. “Emirates and Saudia were only responsible for 8 million of those passengers, highlighting the potential for new routes throughout the continent and between the Middle East and Africa. Furthermore, IATA reckons if just 12 key Africa countries opened their markets and increased connectivity, an extra 155,000 jobs and US$1.3 billion in annual GDP would be created in those countries,” said Nick Pilbeam, Divisional Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions. The international aviation industry has been monitoring developments in Africa closely, especially since the Single African Air …

Read More »

Turkish Airlines adds Marrakech to its flight network

d9b13098-c366-44ec-9e67-932e43b302b8

Successfully completing its “Great Move” process and transferring all of its passenger operations to its new hub, Istanbul Airport, Turkish Airlines now adds Marrakech, the tourist city of Morocco, to its flight network. As the national flag carrier’s first inaugural flight from its new home, Marrakech became Turkish Airlines’ second destination in Morocco while becoming its 308th destination globally. Started from April 15, Istanbul – Marrakech – Istanbul direct flights will be commenced five days of a week as Turkish Airlines reinforces its title of flying to more international destinations than any other airline. The inaugural flight from Istanbul Airport, landed in Marrakech Menara Airport, was welcomed by the customary water cannon salute in a formal ceremony, and was attended by the executives both from the global carrier and Marrakech Menara Airport, and press members as well. Commenting on this inaugural flight, Ahmet Olmuştur, Chief Marketing Officer, Turkish Airlines, stated, “With Istanbul Airport, a new era has begun in global aviation. Our new operation centre offers an important opportunity for us to develop our globally unparalleled flight network performance even further. Thus, we are working on new strategies to capitalise on this opportunity. Marrakech will always hold a special place for us as it is the first destination we added from our new home. We are happy to carry our passengers to this crimson city with our privileged travel experience.” Passengers travelling to Marrakech with the privileged travel experience of Turkish Airlines, will be able to visit various significant locations for cultural tourism while experiencing different activities such as nature and wildlife tours. Istanbul – Marrakech – Istanbul scheduled flight times beginning from April 15, 2019 will include Monday, Wednesday, …

Read More »

Emirates inks deal with Africa World Airlines

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER

Emirates and Africa World Airlines (AWA), the Ghanaian airline, announced a one-way interline agreement whereby Emirates customers can connect onto selected routes of Africa World Airlines’ network, opening up new African destinations for Emirates customers from May 2019. “The agreement between Emirates and Africa World Airlines underpins our commitment to provide greater connectivity across West Africa. This partnership will allow us to further extend West Africa via the selected domestic and regional routes of Africa World Airlines,” said Orhan Abbas, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Africa, Emirates. “Africa World Airlines is proud to partner with Emirates in order to connect passengers through our hub at the new Terminal 3 in Accra. Customers will enjoy seamless connections at the premier gateway to the West African region as a result of this new agreement,” said Sean Mendis, Chief Operations Officer for Africa World Airlines. Passengers on Emirates’ network can now benefit from greater connectivity to West Africa, especially those travelling from popular inbound markets such as Dubai, China, India and Australia who can now connect from Accra onto AWA flights to Kumasi, Tamale and Sekondi-Takoradi in Ghana; and regional destinations Monrovia in Liberia and Freetown in Sierra Leone. Emirates passengers can choose from seven weekly flights from Dubai to Accra until June 2, 2019, when Emirates will increase services on the route to 11 weekly flights. The agreement with AWA will further extend Emirates’ connectivity from Accra with up to ten flights daily to Kumasi, four flights daily each to Tamale and Takoradi and six weekly flights to Monrovia and Freetown.

Read More »