Category Archives: Aviation

Emirates offers access to its premium lounges at DXB

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Emirates has launched an additional privilege to extend the usage of its luxury lounges at Dubai International Airport to its Loyalty Programme members and their guests at a minimal fee regardless of their class of travel. The pay-per-visit access will be available to Emirates Skywards members and their guests travelling on Emirates. Business Class travellers now also have the option to pay an upgrade fee to access the First Class lounges. Dubai International Airport is home to seven Emirates lounges spread over three concourses – A, B and C. In each of the concourses there is a dedicated Emirates First Class and Business Class lounge. Eligible guests can access the Emirates Business Class lounges in Dubai for a fee of $100 and the Emirates First Class lounges for a fee of $200. Business Class customers can also upgrade to First Class lounge access for a fee of $100. Guests who have paid a fee for entry can stay for up to four hours. Currently, First and Business Class customers as well as Silver, Gold and Platinum Skywards members receive complimentary access to the lounges in Dubai. “Our premium lounges here at our hub in Dubai are some of the best in the world and we are pleased that more of our customers can now experience them. We made the decision to expand access to our lounges in Dubai based on our customer feedback, and after a careful review to ensure that the same quality experience can be maintained. We are pleased to see many of our customers appreciate the opportunity to be able to pay for their additional guests and access the lounge which enables them to enjoy a relaxing …

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flydubai reports AED31.6 million in profit

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Flydubai has announced its Full-Year Results for 2016 reporting a profit of AED 31.6 million ($8.6 million). It has reported total revenue of AED 5 billion ($1.37 billion) an increase of 2.4 per cent compared to the same period last year. The stronger second half, driven by increased passenger numbers, was impacted by downward pressure on yield leading to lower overall revenue growth reflecting a continuation of the same adverse factors reported in the first half. His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman, flydubai, said: “These results see flydubai report its fifth consecutive full-year of profitability.  In 2012, our third year of operation, we carried 5.1 million passengers. This year, we have carried 10.4 million passengers demonstrating that flydubai continues to help change the way both business and leisure passengers travel around the region.  An established tourism destination and global centre for business together with the UAE’s geographic location has supported the need for increased connectivity.” Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO, flydubai, reviewing the Annual Results for 2016, commented: “Over the last two years we have seen passenger traffic grow cumulatively by 52 per cent in terms of RPKM.  We continue to demonstrate that we gain loyal customers across our network who recognise the benefits of direct air links and enjoy our onboard offering.  The continuation of mainly lower fuel prices and ongoing cost management efforts are reflected in the 16% improvement in terms of ASKM over the last two years. We have however seen a difficult pricing and operating environment.” During 2017, flydubai will be the first airline in the Middle East to receive the new model Boeing 737 MAX 8 and the first of these aircraft will …

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MEA’s first IATA NDC-based search engine by Q2 2017

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The first dual International Air Transport Association (IATA) New Distribution Capability (NDC) Certified travel technology provider unveiled that it will be launching ihlah.com – Middle East and Africa’s first Travel Search Engine, by the second quarter of 2017.  ihlah.com is a travel search website accompanied by top-ranked mobile Apps for travellers living in the Middle East & Africa region. “Ihlah.com is Africa & Middle East’s Region’s first Travel Search Site targeting a market of 482 million Internet users in the region and 232 million passengers who travelled by air. We help travellers with a comprehensive browsing experience to compare flight and hotel options and pricing from various suppliers while keeping shoppers engaged in a single tab. Ihlah.com presents an unbiased comparison of all travel products and prices offered in the marketplace by merchants both local and global and enables shoppers to quickly find the best deal and place to book, whether from airline, hotel direct or with a third party aggregator website. Ihlah.com harnesses powerful yet simple to use technology based on IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) that automates the process of searching and comparing results from hundreds of airline, hotel and online travel agency websites,” said Praveen Kumar, Chief Technology Officer of TPConnects. For registered users, to search and compare travel products on ihlah.com will be offered as free of cost, while it works on a Cost Per Acquisition and/or Cost Per Click business model with airlines, hotels and online travel agencies.

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Etihad and TAT sign $1mn deal to boost tourism

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Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, and The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) signed a landmark $1 million agreement to increase tourism to Thailand. Under the new agreement, the Abu Dhabi-based airline and TAT will jointly promote travel to Thailand from priority markets including the United Arab Emirates, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Egypt and Kuwait. The agreement was signed by Etihad Airways Vice President Marketing,  Tim Burnell, and TAT’s Deputy Governor Tanes Petsuwan at a commemorative event in Bangkok at the Executive Lounge, Grande Centre Point Terminal 21. They were joined by Etihad Airways Senior Manager Marketing, Lamya Al Nuaimi. Burnell said: “Etihad Airways has a long and proud association with Thailand – in fact Bangkok was one of our first international routes. It continues to be one of the busiest in our network enjoying strong year-round demand, particularly from the UAE, GCC, Middle East, Africa and Europe. “With five daily flights to Thailand – four to Bangkok and one to Phuket – Etihad Airways has a significant investment in Thai tourism and the new agreement with Tourism Authority of Thailand supports and extends that commitment.Through innovative joint marketing campaigns, we aim to bring hundreds of thousands of first-time and repeat travellers from Europe and the Middle East to Thailand to enjoy this beautiful country and to experience the warm, friendly hospitality for which the Thai people are world-renowned.” Bangkok continues to be one of Etihad Airways’ busiest routes – around 800,000 guests travelled to and from Bangkok in 2016 alone. In all, more than 6 million guests have flown on the airline’s Thailand routes since 2007 and further growth is expected. Tanes Petsuwan said: “Europe …

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Flynas on Travelport platform

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Travelport and Flynas, a low-cost carrier from Saudi Arabia, have announced the signing of a multi-year, full content agreement. Launched in 2007, Flynas operates nearly 1,000 weekly flights to 30 destinations within and outside Saudi Arabia. The new agreement will see Flynas’ full content and inventory, including its branded fares and ancillaries become available to over 68,000 travel agencies, across 180 countries through Travelport’s Travel Commerce Platform. Furthermore, the airline now joins over 180 airlines which are currently live on Travelport’s merchandising technology solution for airlines, Travelport Rich Content and Branding. Through Travelport, the airline will be able to effectively promote Flynas’ products and services, including its dedicated Business Class Cabin, which has seen a significant investment from Flynas since 2013. Agents will also be able to access naSmiles, the frequent flyer program of Flynas, through which travellers can earn SMILE Points when booking flights and ancillaries. Also, Rich Content and Branding will enable the airline’s content to appear on travel agents’ screens, with rich, graphical product descriptions, boosting upselling opportunities for the travel agent community at the time of booking. Paul Byrne, Chief Executive Officer at Flynas, commented: “This new agreement with Travelport will provide the platform for our business to further improve our customer service, expand our presence across the globe and grow our revenues. Travelport’s industry leading Travel Commerce Platform has impressive capabilities and we are pleased to have signed this partnership. “ Matthew Powell, Managing Director, Middle East and South Asia, Travelport said: “We are delighted that Flynas has seen the value in our innovative Travel Commerce Platform. Our platform enables travel providers and their evolving technologies to deliver the widest choice of relevant content for …

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Qatar Executive launches new interactive website

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Qatar Executive has revamped its website www.qatarexec.com.qa where clients can explore the world’s most luxurious private jets via 360 degree interactive panoramic photography, discover flight availability, and access VIP online enquiry and charter management services from any mobile device anywhere in the world. The newly enhanced website reflects Qatar Executive’s boundless commitment to excellence and utilizes the latest online technology to provide clients with fast and convenient access to booking information, including real-time worldwide flight availability of return leg charters. Reflecting the refined and elegant style of Qatar Executive, the new website has been designed to provide an intuitive online experience offering clients a virtual tour on board any one of its exceptional 11 aircraft, including the fastest ultra-long-range business jet in the world, the Gulfstream G650ER, which is one of the most coveted aircraft among the global travelling elite. The Qatar Executive G650ER aircraft can easily fly a group of up to 13 guests non-stop from the Middle East to North America or from destinations in Asia to Africa. It can fly further, faster than any other jet of its kind, and is perfectly suited for those whose travel needs include flights halfway around the globe. The Qatar Executive fleet comprises four Global 5000s, one Global XRS, three Challenger 605s and three brand new Gulfstream G650ERs, each offering the highest levels of personalised service comfort, privacy and convenience, through flexible and individual travel to any place in the world.

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Emirates to launch daily service to Newark via Athens

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Emirates announced it will launch a new daily service from Dubai to Newark Liberty International Airport, via the Greek capital city of Athens, starting March 12, 2017. The new route complements Emirates’ existing four daily flights between Dubai and New York’s JFK airport, by offering global travellers with another convenient access point to the popular New York Metropolitan area. Emirates’ new Dubai-Athens-Newark flight will also provide a year-round non-stop daily service between the United States and Greece – a service that does not exist today and has not existed since 2012. The airline will operate a wide-body Boeing 777-300ER powered by General Electric GE90 engines on the route, offering 8 seats in First, 42 seats in Business and 304 seats in Economy class, as well as 19 tonnes of belly-hold cargo capacity. Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, said: “The Greek Government and Athens International Airport approached Emirates some time ago to consider serving the route between Athens and New York.  After careful review, Emirates concluded that extending one of our Dubai-Athens flights to Newark would be commercially and operationally feasible. We are pleased to be able to help meet a strong consumer need long neglected by other airlines, and we would like to thank the authorities and our partners in both the US and Greece for their support of the new route. The availability of high quality, daily international air services is essential for the development of business and cultural ties. Trade, especially in high-value and time-sensitive products, will be facilitated by the ample cargo capacity on Emirates’ Boeing 777 aircraft. We also expect tourism to receive a major boost from the availability of daily flights year-round.” Elena …

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Turkish Airlines adds new route to its African network

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Conakry (Republic of Guinea) will be the 296th destination across 120 countries currently being served by Turkish Airlines. The capital city of Republic of Guinea, Conakry will be joining the network on January 30 and become the 51st destination served in the continent. Roundtrip flights between Istanbul and Conakry will be operated 2 times per week on Mondays, and Thursdays in both directions. Introductory round trip fares are available from Istanbul to Conakry starting at $699 (including taxes and fees).  Additionally, for the first 6 months of operation to Conakry, Miles&Smiles members will be able to earn 25% extra status miles. Conakry flight times as scheduled from January 30 — TK 537 on Monday, Thursday at IST              12:30 and CKY by 19:35 with TK 537 on Monday, Thursday at CKY 20:30 and IST 08:40 +1.

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Air India launches 2nd Dreamliner from Dubai to Kochi

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The national flag carrier of India, Air India announced the launch of the second Dreamliner from Dubai to Kochi from February 1, 2017. AI 934 will be a daily operation with departure from Dubai at 1330 hours arriving in to Kochi at 1850 hours. The return from Kochi will be AI 933 departing at 0915 hours from Kochi and arrive in Dubai at 1200 hours. The press briefing took place at the Consulate of India presided by Consul General of India H.E. Anurag Bhushan and Melvin D’Silva, Regional Manager Air India Middle East and Africa. The Consul General reiterated that last year the national carrier has seen an increase in capacity and the regional connectivity has improved quite well. H.E. acknowledged the services rendered by Air India especially at the hour of need to evacuate at emergencies or to carry the mortal remains free of cost etc. Melvin D’Silva, Regional Manager Air India Middle East and Africa stated the reason to conduct the press briefing at the Consulate is due to the reason that His Excellency and the consulate has rendered unstinted support. “When one of the aircrafts had to land in Travzone Turkey in the middle of the night, I contacted the Consul General H.E.Anurag Bhushan at 3am and he very quickly provided the necessary arrangements through the Embassy of Turkey. Therefore, we continue to work very closely with the Consul and the team,” stated D’Silva. He further reiterated that Air India is on a very aggressive growth trajectory to become number 3 in the world after US and China with a young strong fleet of 107 aircrafts and their aim is to “fly more and fill more”. Kerala …

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Sabre supports Emirates’ vision to enhance traveller experience

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Sabre Corporation is supporting Emirates airline with industry-leading technology that personalises the travel experience for consumers by enabling them to easily purchase a range of customised fares. Sabre and Emirates have also signed a new long-term global distribution agreement to make the airline’s fares available to travel agents globally who use Sabre. Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, operates more than 3,600 flights per week to over 150 destinations across six continents. Sabre’s technology will enable the airline to effectively market and sell its expansive roster of fares globally through the Sabre Travel Marketplace, reaching more than 425,000 travel agents across the world. Sabre’s technology enables travel agents to meet a growing demand and expectation from consumers for more personalised products and services. Using Sabre’s enhanced solution, travel agents can now provide travellers with Emirates’ range of branded fares, which enable passengers to choose fares based on what is most important to them – such as purchasing a budget fare, earning the most air miles or having the greatest degree of flexibility. “Emirates airline is a brand that invests significantly in differentiating the traveller experience, and personalisation plays a central role in this strategy,” said Dean Bibb, interim senior vice president EMEA at Sabre. “The airline’s new range of branded fares offers passengers more choices and greater control over their travel experience, which often means happier travellers and higher satisfaction. Helping our airline customers put travellers at the heart of their operation is a major focus for Sabre and our investment efforts.” Travel agents using Sabre can now offer clients more informed choices and a higher level of customer service, while also driving upsell opportunities based on enhanced visibility to …

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