Category Archives: Aviation

6.6% increase in DXB passenger traffic in Aug y-o-y

Passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport reached 8,233,311 in August 2017 compared to 7,727,105 recorded in the same month last year, an increase of 6.6 per cent. As per the monthly traffic report of Dubai Airports, the year-to-date traffic totalled 59,353,368 passengers up 6.3 per cent compared to 55,851,148* recorded during the first eight months of 2016. During August, in terms of passenger volumes, India remained the top destination country with 1,044,730 passengers in August, followed by the UK (611,254 passengers) and Saudi Arabia (610,434 passengers). South America (27.4%) was the fastest expanding market in terms of percentage growth followed by Asia (21.9%), and Eastern Europe (18.8%). London was the top destination city with 377,130 passengers followed closely by Kuwait (284,151 passengers) and Mumbai (211,564 passengers). The average number of passengers per flight during the month remained high at 246, up 7.2% compared to 229 recorded in August 2016. Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports, said, “We are very pleased with the way things are shaping up this year, not only in terms of growth, which has been robust with passenger numbers exceeding the 8-million mark three times – in January, July and August, but also with our success in significantly enhancing the airport experience with initiatives such as the launch of the world’s fastest free airport Wi-Fi, streaming entertainment service ICFlix, quicker passport control and shorter wait times in queues thanks to cutting edge technology.”

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Emirates to increase frequency to Tunis from Oct 30

Emirates

Emirates is increasing its flight frequency between Dubai and Tunis from six to seven times a week starting October 30, 2017. The additional Dubai-Tunis flight, an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, will operate every Monday. The aircraft offers eight luxurious private suites in First Class, 42 lie-flat seats in Business Class and 310 seats in Economy Class. The added flight will give passengers in Tunis greater access to Emirates’ global route network, particularly destinations in the Middle East, GCC, West Asia, Asia Pacific region and the US, with just one stop in Dubai. The added frequency will also offer importers and exporters an additional 23 tonnes of cargo capacity in each direction.

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65% increase in Abu Dhabi Airports’ operating profit from Jan-Aug

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Abu Dhabi Airports has achieved 65 per cent increase in earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation (EBIDA)/ operating profit during the January-August period this year compared to the same period in 2016. This was announced after the company’s executive team weekly meeting that took place at Al Ain International Airport last week, led by Abdul Majeed Al Khoori, Acting CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports. The company grew its operating revenue by 26 per cent, which impacted the 65 per cent EBIDA increase for 2017. One of the key contributors to this increase is the passenger facilitation charge introduced in July 2016. Previously, UAE airports were some of the few around the world that didn’t implement transfer passenger fees. In response to market change, the government approved the charges and hence these were implemented across all airports in the second half of 2016. Abu Dhabi Duty Free and Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone were other key contributors to the revenue increase through the growth trend registered in passenger spend, and the addition of new retailers and concessionaires, as well as the increase in property and space rentals across Abu Dhabi Airports. On this achievement, Abdul Majeed Al Khoori commented, “We are very proud of our performance this year. Abu Dhabi Airports’ mission and goals revolve around a highly effective and efficient management of resources and manpower to maintain positive trend in profit growth. Supported by planning a smart and versatile strategy, we were able to turn challenges into opportunities and register record achievements in all aspects of our business.”

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GCAA to develop next-gen air traffic management system in UAE

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General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) in collaboration with Spanish company Indra Sistemas (Indra) will develop a new air traffic management system for Sheikh Zayed Air Navigation Centre. The new system will enhance and modernise its capabilities in order to cater for the growth of the air traffic management sector in the country. The Sheikh Zayed Air Navigation Center provides air traffic control services to more than 2,500 air traffic movements per day. The new system which has been characterized as a “Next Generation Air Traffic Management System”, will be one of the most advanced systems in the world. It’s specifications and functions are being applied for the first time in the world, ahead of the timelines set forth by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to meet the Aviation System Block Upgrade modules as identified in the Global Air Navigation Plan. Once implemented, which is expected to be completed in mid-2020, the project will be a strong pillar of the country’s infrastructure and will represent a significant contribution to the advancement of the aviation sector and the country’s economy for the next 20 years. The system will include functions to support and enhance safety and efficiency, with a clear focus on the automation of many processes. It will also include the potential to enhance airport operations and will be environmentally friendly.  The system will help to save fuel and create an eco-friendly aviation system in the county through the exchange of flight information from pre-departure phase until the arrival gate at the destination airport. His Excellency Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, the Director General of the General Civil Aviation Authority of the UAE, said, “We believe in continuous and sustainable investment in …

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Etihad first to offer automated credit card payments

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Etihad Airways is the first airline in the region to offer fully-automated credit card installment plans in partnership with PayFort, an online payment service provider in the Arab region. The initiative allows Etihad Airways to offer consumers who book directly via Etihad.com that range from three to 60 months. 17 of the region’s leading banks are taking part in the programme. Justin Warby, Vice President Digital Strategy and Innovation, Etihad Airways, said: “Etihad is committed to continually enhancing the travel experience by providing greater choice and flexibility to our guests while ensuring we make it as easy and secure as possible to transact through our direct channels, including Etihad.com. By partnering with PayFort we’re able to offer fully automated, best in class technology solutions provided by the industry leaders. We’re taking a global outlook and bringing best practice to the region. ” With over 20 payment methods available on its website, Etihad Airways offers diverse payment solutions to meet both global and local needs. Warby said this initiative was designed to assist low to medium income travellers and families by empowering them with the ability to book travel without the burden of having to pay for it up front. Etihad Airways created its specialised Digital Transformation & Innovation team as an in-house research, development solution delivery programme to lead the airline’s digital transformation. Its mission is to turn Etihad Airways into the industry’s leading, integrated airline capable of harnessing emerging technologies and capabilities, big data and innovation to create a product and service offering unique to the individual passenger.

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Flydubai to operate 40 flights a week to Russia in winter

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flydubai will double its operations to Russia for the upcoming winter season. From the end of October, flydubai will operate 40 weekly flights to 10 points in Russia. This year the airline will add Makhachkala, Voronezh and Ufa to its existing network in the country that includes Kazan, Krasnodar, Mineralnye Vody, Moscow, Rostov-on-Don, Samara and Yekaterinburg. Jeyhun Efendi, Senior Vice President Commercial (UAE, EU, ME, CIS), flydubai, said, “We are pleased to increase our services to Russia as Dubai increases in popularity among Russian travellers. Since 2010, flydubai has been committed to connecting previously underserved points in Russia with Dubai. With three more routes and our additional flights, we look forward to offering tourists from Russia more choice and flexibility when travelling to Dubai.” The airline presented its seasonal offering at the Leisure 2017 Exhibition that opened in Moscow where it is participating for the third time in partnership with Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). This year, the UAE has seen a growing demand from Russia after changes to visa requirements enabled passengers to get a free 30-day visa on arrival to the country. Travel from Russia to Dubai grew by 97 per cent in the first six months of 2017, according to Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). flydubai operates flights to 97 destinations in 44 countries, including popular routes among Russian travellers, such as Dubai (UAE), Bangkok (Thailand), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Kathmandu (Nepal) and Zanzibar (Tanzania). Passengers can also benefit from flydubai’s interline agreements with other carriers, providing opportunities for onward travel to more than 200 destinations.

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Abu Dhabi Airports partners with Al Hilal Bank

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Abu Dhabi Airports and Al Hilal Bank entered a joint agreement to offer exclusive VIP terminal access to top ranking customers of Al Hilal Bank at the Abu Dhabi International Airport. Abdul Majeed Al Khoori, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Abu Dhabi Airports, commented, “The VIP Terminal has been built and operated with one ambition; to extend a luxury service to all our customers and ensure they receive an exceptional travel experience that mirrors what Abu Dhabi has on offer. Therefore, partnerships like this are instrumental to achieve this ambition, and we look forward to the success it will deliver to Abu Dhabi Airports and all its partners.” Alex Coelho, CEO, Al Hilal Bank, commented, “At Al Hilal Bank, we always strive to go the extra mile when it comes to entering new partnerships. Our partnership with National Aviation Services is our latest client-centric endeavour; focusing on improving the lifestyle of our customers by making the travel experience more rewarding. Through this partnership, Al Hilal Bank customers can now enjoy complimentary access to the VIP Terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport. We are happy to be part of this fruitful collaboration; offering our customers an easier and better travel experience, and we will continue to provide our customers with similar offerings that improve their quality of life.”

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Oman Air and Kenya Airways on code share

Kenya-Oman Air

Oman Air has implemented a code share agreement with Kenya Airways (KQ) covering services between Muscat and Nairobi. The new partnership will allow seamless connectivity to Kenya Airways customers in accessing Muscat directly from Nairobi. Oman Air launched its flights to Nairobi in March this year. On the Nairobi – Muscat route, KQ will place its code share flight numbers on the Oman Air flights operating on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Through this partnership, Kenya Airways extends its services to tourists as well as to those who are visiting friends and families, in Oman – through the cultural links that Oman shares with the coastal parts of East Africa – especially Kenya and Tanzania. Commenting on the new code share agreement, Paul Gregorowitsch, CEO, Oman Air, said, “Oman Air is very happy with the implementation of this code share agreement with Kenya Airways. Through this partnership, Oman Air extends its exemplary services to guests of Kenya Airways. Trade between Kenya and Oman has been growing steadily over the years and this latest agreement with Kenya Airways is a natural progression, following the launch of our new flight from Muscat to Nairobi in March this year.” Sebastian Mikosz, Managing Director and CEO, Kenya Airways Group, commented, “This new code share agreement represents an important element of our strategy to increase the choice, convenience and connectivity that Kenya Airways offers its customers. The code share partnerships and airline alliances continue to play an important role for Kenya Airways in improving the airlines competitive offering.”

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Emirates’ 4th daily from Sydney-Dubai in March’18

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Emirates will commence a fourth daily service from Dubai to Sydney, Australia, on its iconic A380 aircraft from March 25, 2018. The new daily service will complement Emirate’s existing three daily A380 services and improve connections globally. The move will provide passengers travelling from Europe and North Africa greater connectivity to Australia. It also builds on Emirates’ partnership with Qantas, meeting continued demand for services to Dubai and complementing Qantas’ re-routing of its current Sydney to London service via Singapore (instead of Dubai). Emirates’ new service will offer passengers an afternoon departure from Sydney and a convenient arrival in main European cities the following morning. It also introduces a new option for passengers to depart London and main European cities in the morning with an afternoon arrival in Sydney the next day with a short connection in Dubai. Between March 25 -30, 2018, the inbound service EK416 will depart Dubai at 20:40 hours, arriving in Sydney at 17:20 hours, the following day. Due to daylight savings from March 31, 2018, the arrival time changes to 16:30 hours, the following day. Between March 26-31, 2018, the outbound service EK417 will depart Sydney at 17:05 hours, arriving in Dubai at 00:25 hours the following day. Due to daylight savings from April 1, the outbound service EK417 will depart Sydney 16:15 hours, arriving the same time the following day. All services will be operated by an A380 aircraft. The A380 aircraft offers 489 seats in a three-class cabin configuration with 14 private suites in First Class, 76 flat-bed seats in Business Class and 399 spacious seats in Economy.

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Marhaba lounge opens in Australia

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Having recently completed 25 years of operations in Dubai, Marhaba, the provider of premium airport passenger services, launched its first airport lounge in Australia. In addition to its new facility in Australia, Marhaba also opened a new lounge at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport in July this year. Marhaba offers a meet and assist service and operates lounges in Dubai (DXB and DWC) and Bahrain. The spacious Melbourne lounge features seating for 200 guests, a quiet zone for relaxation, shower facilities and buffet cuisine from around the globe. Speaking at the official opening of the lounge, Gary Chapman, President, dnata, said, “Australia is a very important market for us and we continue to look for opportunities to bring more of our services to customers here.” “We already operate Australia’s leading in-flight catering company, Alpha Flight Services, and are delighted to add the Marhaba brand of airport hospitality to serve Melbourne and those passing through Melbourne Airport.” Melbourne Airport is the second busiest in Australia and one of the most important travel gateways in the country with more than 33 million passengers in 2016. International passenger traffic is expected to reach 64 million by 2033.

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