Category Archives: Aviation

dnata doubles operations in Canada

GTA dnata 2

GTA dnata expands operations at Toronto Pearson International Airport with the start of a new, long-term partnership with Air Transat. Starting from November, GTA dnata provides ground and passenger services to the airline, more than doubling the number of flights handled by its operations. To support the growth, GTA dnata has hired more than 200 additional staff to its team, which now consists of 450 customer-oriented aviation professionals. Mario D’Urso, Chairman, GTA dnata, said, “We are proud to have been selected the ground handling partner of Air Transat at Toronto Pearson International Airport. This long-term contract is a vote of confidence in our quality services and we look forward to supporting the extensive operations of Canada’s largest leisure carrier. It is our aim to exceed our customers’ expectations, and we will continue to work hard to deliver excellent service for all our airline partners in Toronto with our expanded team.” dnata entered the Canadian market by establishing GTA dnata through the acquisition of 50 per cent stake in GTA Aviation’s cargo and ground-handling operations at Toronto Pearson International Airport in 2016. GTA dnata now serves 12 airlines in Toronto, assisting 4,800 passengers and moving two tons of cargo every day. Underlining its commitment to the Canadian aviation market, dnata will also establish flight-catering operations and open a new, state-of-the art facility in Vancouver in January 2019.

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Emirates’ first class suite to debut on Vienna route from December 1, 2018

Business Class Cabin on Boeing 777 - 300ER (2) (1)

Emirates’ latest Boeing 777-300ER aircraft fitted with the ‘Game Changer’ First Class product will operate between Dubai and Vienna on a daily basis from December 1, 2018. Austria will be one of the first few countries in the world to be served by Emirates’ Boeing 777 aircraft with fully-enclosed private suites inspired by Mercedes-Benz. Emirates will fly to Vienna twice daily and both flights will be operated by its flagship products – the iconic A380 and Game Changer Boeing 777 product – underscoring its commitment to the market since 2004. Travelling to or from Vienna can enjoy the latest Emirates products regardless of which of the two daily flights they opt for. The new private suites offer up to 40 square feet of personal space each, laid out in a 1-1-1 configuration. The new suites were designed with customer comfort in mind as the seats recline into a fully flat bed and can be placed in a “zero-gravity” position. The aircraft also boasts the industry’s first virtual windows for suites located in the middle aisle. These virtual windows project the view from outside the aircraft using real-time camera technology. In the other suites, binoculars are available for customers who want to explore the sky outside their windows. Customers in each suite can easily communicate with the cabin crew or request for room service through a new video call function. From first class through to the business and economy class cabins, the latest Emirates 777 aircraft boasts multi-million dollar features that include newly-designed seats and upgraded inflight entertainment systems in all cabins, giving customers an unmatched travel experience regardless of which cabin they are in. It has touchscreen controls for the seat and …

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Etihad Airways to introduce economy-spaced seating

Etihad Airways - Economy Space

Etihad Airways is introducing economy space, a new seating option, across its wide-body fleet, to provide more choice to its customers on longer flights. By December 2018, the airline will have retrofitted its 10 Airbus A380s with economy space seats, which feature an increased seat pitch of up to 36 inches. The redesign increases the number of extra legroom seats in economy from 20 to 80 on this aircraft type. In addition to modifying its A380s, Etihad Airways will also have added additional economy space seats to 12 Boeing 777s and 21 Boeing 787 Dreamliners by the end of 2019, increasing the total number of extra legroom seats by 560 per cent. Families with small children, elderly travellers and those requiring wheelchair assistance can now purchase and benefit from the extra room available in economy space. Economy space complements Etihad Airways’ existing ancillary products to provide customers with greater opportunities to personalise their journey, including the neighbour-free seating option in economy and a range of ‘buy-on-board’ products. Irrespective of which seating option is selected, customers will continue to receive the Etihad’s complimentary core dining service and inflight entertainment. Jamal Ahmed Al Awadhi, Head – Guest Experience, Etihad Airways, said, “We recognise that no two travellers are alike, and today’s customers demand more choice and personalisation during their travels. In response to the popularity and demand for extra legroom seats, we have reconfigured our economy cabin to allow travellers to enhance their overall travel experience. While many airlines have been squeezing more seats into economy class, we continue to focus on providing our guests with exceptional products and services that meet and exceed the demands and budgets of different types of …

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Istanbul’s New Airport opens in Turkey

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Turkish Airlines welcomes a new era of Turkish aviation with the opening of Istanbul Airport. The world’s largest international hub will be home to Turkey’s national flag carrier and establish Istanbul’s place as the centre of the globe for aviation and travel. Upon final completion, the airport will welcome 200 million passengers per year. Coinciding with the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey, the Istanbul New Airport was officially opened by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President, Republic of Turkey. Passengers on the first Turkish Airlines flights to the new airport that was specially operated for the opening ceremony received souvenir tickets. Following the official opening of the New Istanbul Airport on October 29, 2018, Turkish Airlines is operating a limited number of domestic and international routes from the new airport, while all operations and existing flight schedule will run as usual from Istanbul Atatürk Airport. New, additional flights will be operated from Istanbul New Airport to Ankara, Antalya, Izmir, Azerbaijan (Baku) and TRNC (Ercan) until December 30. Pursuant to existing planning, on December 31, all operations will move from Istanbul Atatürk Airport, after which, all flights will operate from Istanbul New Airport. Turkish Airlines will be able to increase its network extension capacity and opportunities for new routes and timings with more slots available, allowing growth for both passenger and cargo transportation. The megaproject will be launched in four phases with the final phase set to be complete in 2028. The complex will boast six runways, four terminals and 233 aircraft parking positions, with the capacity to serve up to 200 million passengers a year with 500+ check in desks and 225,000 employees. Upon completion of the …

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Amadeus expands airline business unit in Dubai regional hub

Amadeus image

Amadeus has expanded its airline business unit capabilities at its Dubai regional hub covering Middle East, Turkey and Africa region. Following the regionalisation of all business units to get closer to their customers, teams in the Dubai regional hub now include those of airlines, travel agencies, airport IT, payments, mobile and legal. Sabine Hansen Peck, SVP, People & Culture, Communication and Brand, Amadeus, opened the new office of the Dubai-based Amadeus Regional Hub. Further, commenting on the occasion, she said, “The Middle East, Turkey and Africa regions are relevant and growing markets for Amadeus. This expansion reflects our commitment to the region.”

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Jet Airways launches fourth daily from Dubai to Delhi

jet airways

Jet Airways has launched a fourth daily service from Dubai to Delhi, and has also rescheduled the flight to Mangalore from Dubai. The new schedule provides a more convenient night flight, arriving early in the morning in Mangalore. Shakir Kantawala, Vice President, Gulf, Middle East and Africa, Jet Airways, said, “The new service will further enhance the strong economic ties between the UAE and India and support the increase in demand for tourism for both the cities. The new flight timings are also of interest for business travellers, who now have the convenience of day return flights. We look forward to providing greater convenience and choice to our guests travelling to Delhi.”

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DXB welcomes 7.2 million visitors in September

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Dubai International (DXB) saw 7.2 million passengers in September as traffic rose to 67.5 million for the year. Traffic was down slightly (-0.2%) in September due to the Eid Al Adha holidays that fell in September 2017. It was the sixth time this year that DXB’s monthly traffic surpassed the 7 million mark, helping finish off the third quarter with 23.8 million customers, up 1%. A total of 7,197,866 customers were served in September (- 0.2%) and 6 million bags (+1.12%) were passed through the airport’s sophisticated 175 km long baggage system during the month. Smart Gate technology at DXB helps speed customers through immigration while state-of-the-art operations centre leverages real-time information to improve service and efficiency, leading to a reduction of 28% in wait times during September. India remained DXB’s top destination country by customer volume, with total traffic reaching 957,748 during the month. The United Kingdom was the was second with 538,199 customers, followed by Saudi Arabia with 454,929 customers. Other markets of note include Australia (256,848), the US (252,264) and China (208,822). The top three cities were London (329,778), Mumbai (199,829) and New Delhi (170,122). The fastest-growing regions were North America,(up by 15.2%,) Africa (up 10.9%) and CIS growing at 6.8%.

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AirArabia unveils new livery on Airbus fleet

AirArabia flight

Reaching its milestone of 15 years, AirArabia has unveiled a new brand, including the new aircraft livery and interior through a live display of one of AirArabia’s newly-branded Airbus A320 aircraft, to attract the younger millennial travellers during a launch ceremony at the AirArabia hangar in Sharjah International Airport. Commenting on the occasion, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohamed Al Thani, Chairman, AirArabia said, “It was 15 years ago that AirArabia and the low-cost airline concept were just an idea in the region, an idea of connecting people at affordable cost. Today, we are gathered to celebrate the great success story that AirArabia has become, redefining air travel in the region and providing great travel experience for over 80 million passengers to date. We commemorate 15 years of success with the launch of AirArabia’s new brand identity that reflects the carrier’s successful journey and echoes the future with a fresh perspective while mirroring its ambitions and the next phase of international growth.” Since its launch on October 28, 2003, AirArabia has experienced solid and sustained growth. From the earliest days of serving just five routes with two aircraft, the airline has grown to currently serving over 155 routes from multiple hubs spreads across the UAE, Morocco and Egypt, served by a fleet of 53 aircraft, with plans for further expansion in 2019.

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Emirates set to unveil world’s first integrated ‘biometric path’

Emirates biometric image-4X3

Emirates is gearing up to launch the world’s first “biometric path” that will offer its customers a smooth and truly seamless airport journey at the airline’s hub in Dubai International airport. Utilising the latest biometric technology – a mix of facial and iris recognition, Emirates passengers can soon check in for their flight, complete immigration formalities, enter the Emirates lounge and board their flights, simply by strolling through the airport. The latest biometric equipment has already been installed at Emirates Terminal 3, Dubai International airport. It can be found at select check-in counters, at the Emirates Lounge in Concourse B for premium passengers, and at select boarding gates. Areas where biometric equipment are installed will be clearly marked.  Adel Al Redha, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Emirates, said, “Guided by our chairman His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Emirates continuously innovates and strives to improve our day-to-day business. After extensive research and evaluation of numerous technologies and new approaches to enhance our passenger journey, we are now satisfied with the preliminary work we have carried out and are ready to commence live trials of the world’s first biometric path at Emirates Terminal 3. These ground-breaking initiatives are a result of close collaboration with our stakeholders – particularly GDRFA who have been instrumental in the programme to bring the biometric path to fruition.” Major General Mohammed Ahmed Almarri, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), Dubai,  said, “We are pleased to roll-out these new initiatives at Terminal 3 in collaboration with Emirates and our airport stakeholders. The Smart Tunnel tests are running smoothly, and we are now preparing to mobilise the other biometric systems at the other areas …

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Etihad Airways to introduce Boeing 787-9 to Kuala Lumpur and Brussels routes

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Etihad Airways will introduce Boeing 787-9 on its daily scheduled services from Abu Dhabi to Kuala Lumpur, effective December 20, 2018 and to Brussels, effective January 3, 2019. The new two-class 787 Dreamliner service features Etihad Airways’ next-generation Business and Economy Class cabins, configured with 299 seats – 28 Business Studios and 271 Economy Smart Seats. Etihad Airways’ modern fleet of 21 Boeing 787-9 aircraft feature innovative, award-winning cabin designs and products, complemented by the airline’s acclaimed service and hospitality offering. Flights include Food and Beverage Managers in Business Class and a Flying Nanny in Economy Class to provide specialised care for families with young children. Robin Kamark, Chief Commercial Officer, Etihad Aviation Group said, “Kuala Lumpur and Brussels are two very important destinations on the Etihad network, popular with both business and leisure customers and we are delighted to be introducing the 787-9 Dreamliner on these routes. Our customers can expect the quietest cabins and our latest in-flight products and technology, one of the world’s most technologically advanced and fuel-efficient aircraft. Our customers flying between Abu Dhabi and these capitals continue to benefit from convenient departure and arrival times at both ends, and those transiting through Abu Dhabi enjoy seamless connections onto Etihad’s global route network.”

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