Category Archives: Aviation

Air Arabia introduces modification fee waiver policy

Air Arabia is providing its customers with more flexibility by introducing a new modification fee waiver policy in light of current travel restrictions and to allow customers the choice of changing travel dates. The customers can change their existing and new bookings made until March 31, 2020 for travel until December 31, 2020 with confidence up to 72 hours prior to departure. This applies to all flights across Air Arabia network from its four hubs in the UAE, Morocco and Egypt. The new waiver policy offers passengers the flexibility to modify their travel bookings without charge and reissuance fees, further underlining Air Arabia’s commitment to provide flexibility and prioritise the convenience of its customers. Customers will only need to pay fare difference if there is any at the time of rebooking their flights. Air Arabia’s dedicated call centres and sales offices available throughout their entire network will assist customers with their bookings and enquiries.

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Etihad Airways suspends flights to Saudi Arabia

Etihad Airways has temporarily suspended all flights between Abu Dhabi and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in response to a directive from the General Authority for Civil Aviation, Saudi Arabia, to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The airline operates up to 12 flights per day between Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia. It has cancelled a total of seven flights today between Abu Dhabi and the Saudi cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Medina, and is now advising passengers who were booked to travel today. Another four flights which were en-route to Saudi Arabia at the time of the directive were permitted to land. When flights arrived in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam, nationals of Saudi Arabi were permitted to disembark but all other passengers remained on the aircraft, which will return to Abu Dhabi. The fourth flight operated to Medina to repatriate Umrah passengers. In addition to the flight suspensions to and from the UAE, Saudi Arabia has also banned Saudi nationals and Saudi residents from travelling to countries including the UAE and on passengers travelling from or transiting through Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria, Italy, Egypt and Korea. Etihad Airways is working closely with regulatory authorities in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia and is continuing to monitor this situation closely. For passengers impacted by the flight cancellations, procedures are in place for fare refunds or for flight changes when services resume.

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Lufthansa Group airlines introduce flexible rebooking options

The Lufthansa Group airlines Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Air Dolomiti introduced more flexible rebooking options from March 31, 2020. The new extensive waiver policy for rebooking applies to both existing and future bookings worldwide. The airlines will waive the rebooking fees for all newly booked flights worldwide and offer a one-time rebooking – regardless of condition of the original booking fare purchased. Passengers can in future rebook to a new travel date until December 31, 2020 without rebooking fees. The new waiver policy for existing bookings applies worldwide for tickets purchased before March 5 with a travel date up to April 30, 2020. Passengers can rebook to a new date up to December 31, 2020 without any rebooking fee – regardless of condition of the original booking fare purchased. The departure and destination airports must be identical. If the original fare is no longer available, the corresponding difference must be paid. The rebooking must be made before the original travel date. With this new waiver policy, the Lufthansa Group Airlines are responding to the wish of many customers to help make their travel plans more flexible under the exceptional circumstances caused by the spread of the coronavirus.

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DXB opens new operations control centre for smooth passenger traffic

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports, inaugurated the Airport Operations Control Centre (AOCC), the nerve centre of Dubai International (DXB) – the world’s busiest international airport with 86.4 million international passengers in 2019. The state-of-the-art facility enables a collaborative approach to managing airport operations by providing information and analyses based on data collated from more than 50 systems fed by 7 billion data points. The AOCC allows operator Dubai Airports, government agencies, airlines and other service partners to monitor every aspect of the operation in real time as well as predict developing situations to respond to them more efficiently. Harnessing big data has helped Dubai Airports deliver a smooth experience to some 240,000 passengers daily and achieve breakthrough service improvements including 40 per cent reduction in queue time since 2018 and a record 99.96 per cent baggage delivery success rate in 2019.

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Malaysia Airlines and Travelport sign content agreement

Travelport announced signing a new multi-year content agreement with Malaysia Airlines. The agreement also includes the use of Travelport’s leading merchandising tool, Travelport Rich Content and Branding, as well as Travelport’s Digital Media Solutions. With the agreement, over 68,000 agencies servicing hundreds of millions of travellers worldwide will have real-time access to search, book and sell the content and inventory of Malaysia Airlines. It will also join over 300 other airlines using Travelport’s Rich Content and Branding merchandising tool, which gives agencies a graphically rich experience when searching for and booking branded fares. Additionally, Travelport Digital Media Solutions, including Travelport sponsored flights and destination banners, will be used by Malaysia Airlines to promote its flight options through highly targeted advertising tool kits and campaigns. Commenting on the new deal, Lau Yin May, Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer of Malaysia Airlines said, “We fly to over 1,000 destinations around the world and Travelport’s edge in technology innovations, air merchandising and digital marketing will help Malaysia Airlines better fulfill the demands of travellers and seize growth opportunities in today’s highly competitive environment.” Chris Ramm, Vice President Asia Pacific, Air Partners at Travelport, said, “Following the airline’s launch of new flexible fare options last year, I believe Travelport Rich Content and Branding will further empower Malaysia Airlines to offer more flexibility to travellers who increasingly demand personalised travel experience. Our Digital Media Solutions will also support Malaysia Airlines in global and tactical sales campaigns to promote its product offerings.”

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Wizz Air and ADDH to launch LCC this Fall – Wizz Air Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company (ADDH) announced signing agreement with Wizz Air to jointly establish Wizz Air Abu Dhabi. The LCC plans to start operations in the second half of the year, to a range of destinations across Europe, ME, Asia and Africa. The airline is set to launch its operations at Abu Dhabi International Airport in Fall 2020. The agreement is a major milestone in the launch of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, a new emirati low-cost airline based in the UAE’s capital. His Excellency Mohamed Hassan Al Suwaidi, CEO of ADDH, said, “Significant investment is going not only into our airports but also the tourist infrastructure, including hotels, resorts and cultural attractions. Last year the emirate achieved a record high of 11.35 million visitors and a key driver for this is the connectivity that enables people to visit Abu Dhabi easily and affordably. Our partnerships with Wizz Air and others will help elevate the UAE’s capital as a highly competitive regional and international destination for leisure and business travellers alike.” József Váradi, CEO of Wizz Air Holdings, said, “The joint venture agreement underpins our long-term dedication to bringing an economically and operationally highly efficient as well as environmentally most sustainable airline business model to boost Abu Dhabi’s aviation development. Wizz Air’s mission feeds into Abu Dhabi’s diversified economic strategy as we aim to stimulate traffic by creating demand to the benefit of growing Abu Dhabi’s touristic and economic diversity. We look forward to welcoming passengers on board our young, green and ultra-efficient fleet.”

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Turkish Airlines ups international flights to local tourist spots

Turkish Airlines will be operating 98 flights every week from 26 international destinations to Turkey’s favourite tourism spots such as Antalya, İzmir, Dalaman and Bodum during the Summer 2020. Turkish Airlines which contributed greatly to the record number of tourists coming to Turkey during 2019 will increase its support during 2020 as well. In line with this support and direct tourism endeavor, the weekly frequency of direct flights from international destinations to Turkey’s tourism centres will be increased by 18 per cent this year compared to 2019. Commenting on the ‘Direct Tourism Endeavor’ protocol that was signed between Turkish Airlines and Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism back in 2018, M. İlker Aycı, Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, Turkish Airlines stated; “The direct tourism protocol we signed with our Ministry of Culture and Tourism two years ago opened new ways for our international guests to discover these wonders as well. We carry our guests to heavenly holiday spots in a few hours especially if they are coming from Europe or Middle East. The demand for these flights has been steadily increasing over the course of last two years. With the contributions of our new strategy, our country hosted a record number of tourists last year.” Turkish Airlines will be operating 74 weekly flights from 20 destinations to Antalya. The 7 weekly flights from Moscow to Antalya during 2019 will be increased by 100 per cent to 14 weekly flights following market research and increase in demand. Another important change will be for Dalaman. Last year, there was only a single flight per week to Dalaman from Amman. This year flag carrier will operate direct flights from 4 …

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AnadoluJet to start its international flights from March 29, 2020

AnadoluJet goes global on March 29, 2020 with the launch of new international flights from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport and Ankara Esenboğa Airport. The expansion was announced during the pre-launch event held at Swissotel Al Ghurair, Dubai, with attendance of over 50 representatives from 25 agencies, including Dnata Travel, Kanoo Travel, BCD Travel, and Orient Travel Services. 10 weekly flights from Istanbul to Dubai will offer fliers affordability and ideal connectivity to the world. Set to carry its service quality abroad, the airline’s expanded flight network will include ten weekly flights to Dubai at affordable fares. The service will be available from AED 890 between Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport and Dubai respectively. Speaking at the pre-launch event, Said Samil Karakas, Senior Vice President of Regional Flights at Turkish Airlines and Head of AnadoluJet, stated, “From March 29 onwards, AnadoluJet will continue to share the quality of its parent brand and open its doors to the UAE alongside many international destinations. This expansion will allow us to offer our warm and welcoming Turkish hospitality to many more passengers while providing them with comfortable travel options at affordable prices.” “As the sub brand of Turkish Airlines, the 87 years-old national flag carrier of Turkey that became the potent symbol of the world-renowned Turkish hospitality in years, we aim to strengthen this position with AnadoluJets’ new international flights. Operating at the Anatolian side of Istanbul, and offering an alternative to Turkish Airlines’ flights operated at its hub at Istanbul Airport which is located at the European side of the city, AnadoluJet is set to become a meeting point of worldwide passengers with its new international expansion, just like its namesake Anatolia, the land …

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SalamAir and Tune Protect ink deal for travel protection benefits

SalamAir has announced a strategic tie-up with Tune Protect Commercial Brokerage LLC (Tune Protect EMEIA), to offer an array of travel protection benefits for its passengers. The agreement encompasses travel protection for travel-related uncertainty of the airline’s domestic and international passengers. The travel protection products offered are specially designed for SalamAir travellers. The travel protection programme provides travellers with a host of benefits such as overseas medical expenses, travel cancellation, missed departure, baggage delays, travel delay, emergency medical evacuation, repatriation, personal accident and many more. Captain Mohamed Ahmed, CEO of SalamAir said, “As part of this agreement, we will offer comprehensive travel protection provisions for our customers that will allow them to be assured in case of any travel-related eventuality. Having a travel protection plan enables travellers to travel with peace of mind. Travel Protection is very popular in all markets across the world and we believe that our passengers will benefit from what Tune Protect is offering. Tune Protect offers comprehensive and affordable protection plans to meet the needs of travellers.” Arijit Munshi, General Manager of Tune Protect EMEIA said, “SalamAir is in the midst of its most exciting growth phase and I am sure that the technology provided by Tune Protect EMEIA to facilitate the travel protection programme across its network will provide ease and convenience, as well as a memorable travel experience to SalamAir’s customers.”

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Etihad Holidays to offer easy payment plans

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) and Al Hilal Bank signed an agreement with Etihad Holidays, which will provide customers of both banks an easy payment plan when booking an Etihad Holiday.  The signing ceremony took place at the Etihad Aviation Group headquarters in Abu Dhabi, between Mr. Hareb Almuhairy, Senior Vice President Destination and Leisure Management at Etihad Airways and Omran Taimour, Regional Head – Branch Banking from ADCB in the presence of senior officials from ADCB and Etihad Airways. Deepak Rochlani, Head – Retail Banking at ADCB, said, “The collaboration between ADCB and Etihad Holidays to introduce an easy payment plan for ADCB credit cardholders echoes our commitment to provide our customers with the most rewarding travel experiences.” Ian Hodges, Head – Personal Banking at Al Hilal Bank, said, “At Al Hilal Bank, the customer need is always first and with this new proposition we hope that we are inspiring and enabling people to travel more and explore the world while enjoying rewards and benefits that go beyond their expectations.” Hareb Almuhairy, Senior Vice President Destination and Leisure Management at Etihad Airways, said, “Etihad Holidays offers our guests the ability to enjoy rich travel experiences, and we strive to make this as accessible as possible for everyone. We are pleased to extend our partnership with ADCB and Al Hilal Bank to offer convenient payment solutions.”

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