Category Archives: Aviation

Turkish adds Havana and Caracas to its network

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Turkish Airlines has just added flights to Havana and Caracas as its 16th and 17th destinations in the Americas. Its existing services are Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Bogota, Panama, Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Miami and Atlanta . The inaugural flight from Istanbul got water cannon salutes in both airports with a ceremony graced by  Mehmet Büyükekşi, Member of the Board of Turkish Airlines and the senior bureaucrats both from Republic of Cuba and Republic of Venezuela, in the presence of diplomatic, protocol and media representatives as well as Turkish Airlines’ officials. Beginning from December 20, Havana and Caracas flights will be operated 3 times per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays in both directions.  Introductory round trip fares are available from Istanbul to Havana – the capital and largest city of Cuba – and to the Caracas -the capital and largest city of Venezuela. Additionally, for the first 6 months of operation to these new destinations, there is a special offer for Miles&Smiles members, with a 25% reduction in the miles needed to redeem either award tickets or upgrades.* Also launching with the new destinations, the “Bridging Youth” project, a corporate responsibility initiative by Turkish Airlines, kicked off with a fast start, as four university students from Turkey from varying backgrounds were given free tickets to Havana for a series of cultural activities including guided tours of the city with their Cuban hosts. The visiting youths will share their memorable moments and photographs of their trip on Turkish Airlines’ social media accounts.

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RAK Airport sees 68% y-o-y growth in 2016

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Ras Al Khaimah International Airport has enjoyed a highly successful 2016, according to its Chairman Engr. H.E. Sheikh Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi. In terms of passenger numbers Ras Al Khaimah’s tourism industry has also contributed to figures that show 68 per cent growth over 2015 on a like-for-like basis. That marker alone makes 2016 one of the most successful years for the airport in its recent history, but cargo tonnage climbed an even more impressive 98 per cent and aircraft movements increased by a handsome 37 per cent. Sheikh Salem believes that this shall be the airport’s most positive year, with a host of landmarks passed and records broken during its course. Sheikh Salem explained, “A lot of hard work has been put in over recent years and we have now started to reap some of the rewards. In February, Qatar Airways inaugurated their flights from Doha to Ras Al Khaimah, connecting RAK to long haul routes in Europe, China and beyond. In April Air India Express gave us an Indian connection that goes some way to satisfying the still under-served Indian sector from RAK. In May Sun MRO started their setup at RAK to establish a narrow body repair and maintenance centre and in September we had the inauguration of Egypt Air Cargo flights, the first flag carrier freighter operating to RAK. The beginning of October saw an early start of winter tourism season with ten charters coming from various parts of Europe, CIS and Russia. The latter was a result of joint efforts by RAK Airport and RAK Tourism Development Authority.” Mohammed Qazi, the airport’s CEO, also noted that in addition to these key moments Ras Al …

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VIP terminal opens in Dubai South

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His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline Group inaugurated the largest purpose built facility in the world poised to be a game changer in the business aviation sector, offering VIP customers seamless travel experience coupled with time and cost efficiencies within a thriving aviation eco-system. The launch of the VIP terminal is a significant step towards realising Dubai’s vision of becoming the Aviation capital of the world. Dubai South has raised the bar on luxury travel redefining the passenger experience. The 5600-square-metre VIP terminal will cater to heads of states, ministerial portfolios and the business travellers. It currently hosts two FBOs including Falcon aviation, Jetex and Jet Aviation. The VIP terminal saw its first private jet take off in April this year, since then the terminal has witnessed 1000 flight movements and anticipates that in 2017 it would grow up to 4000. It offers a wide range of products from the arts, culture, paintings, sculptures, priceless artefacts to cars, watches, real estate, super bikes, etc., to make it a more immersive experience.

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Turkish Airlines flies direct to Zanzibar

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Turkish Airlines has added Zanzibar to its network in Africa taking the total number of destinations to 293 worldwide and 50 in Africa. These include the east African city hubs of Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Nairobi, Mogadishu, Djibouti, Asmara, Addis Ababa, Kigali, Entebbe and Zanzibar. The Zanzibar flights will be operated 3 times per week as Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays in both directions. Introductory round trip fares are available from Istanbul to Zanzibar starting at $636  (including taxes and fees). Additionally, for the operations to Zanzibar –till 12th June 2017-, Miles&Smiles members will be able to earn 25% extra status miles. Flight TK567 will also provide a direct link to Istanbul Atatürk Airport, from where passengers will be able to conveniently reach top global destinations including Frankfurt, Muscat, Munchen, Dubai, Paris, London, Milano, Amsterdam, Zurich, Bombay, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Rome, Brussels, Berlin, Vienna, Hamburg, Tel-Aviv, Düsseldorf, and Prague.

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Qatar adds Seychelles to its network

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Qatar Airways has rounded off its 2016 global route expansion on a high note with the launch of daily flights to the idyllic islands of the Seychelles – the 14th new destination on the airline’s route map this year and the third in Africa. The destination comprises 115 tropical islands in the western Indian Ocean, located off the east coast of Africa. Its airport is located on the island of Mahé near the city of Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles. Visitors can experience the Vallée de Mai Nature Preserve on the island of Praslin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens on Mahé, or, of course, enjoy the white sand beaches the islands are known for. The Seychelles is key to Qatar Airways’ global network expansion strategy and its continuing growth in Africa. The airline currently operates to 23 African gateways, including the recently launched service to the Namibian capital of Windhoek, which joined the airline’s route map in September 2016. The Doha to Seychelles flight schedule offers an attractive 08:50 morning arrival and 19:25 evening departure so travellers can take full advantage of their time on the islands. Passengers planning a getaway to the Seychelles are encouraged to plan a stopover in Doha, with a new transit visa scheme offering visitors a free transit visa for up to 96 hours on your way to or from your final destination.

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Emergency exercise at Abu Dhabi International Airport on Dec 14

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Abu Dhabi Airports will conduct a full scale emergency exercise at Abu Dhabi International Airport on December 14, 2016. The exercise is expected to run for approximately two hours from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. During this time, Abu Dhabi International Airport will continue to operate as normal. The exercise is being conducted in accordance with Civil Aviation Regulations issued by the General Civil Aviation Authority, and in compliance with standards and recommendations as stipulated by the International Civil Aviation Organization. Response teams from various units including airport operations, security, fire and rescue, police, and medical services, will test their coordinated response to an emergency situation.

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Emirates adds festive cheer with special Christmas offering

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Emirates has ramped up its product offering both on board and on the ground in view of the upcoming festive season. A new Christmas menu has been introduced for the first time across all cabin classes featuring traditional festive meals. The special menu will be in addition to the wide variety of cuisine available on board and features holiday favourites such as roast turkey and yule log cakes. These Christmas meals are available for customers travelling from Dubai to Australia, Europe, the United States or the United Kingdom and will be served throughout December. The festive offering reflects Emirates’ commitment to providing regional and seasonal menus using fresh ingredients of the highest quality across its network. As a special treat, First Class Customers, can look out for luxury hot chocolate handmade with 100% Valrhona Chocolate and blended to perfection by chocolatier David Franco. Emirates has also pulled out all the stops to ensure young flyers get the most of their holiday travel experience. A special kid’s festive menu is available for the second year with roast turkey, sweet potato mash, carrots and peas, as well as a candy cane and Emirates’ Little Travellers chocolate buttons as an added treat.

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Emirates lands in Doha with world’s shortest A380 flight

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Emirates launched the world’s shortest scheduled A380 service, flying a distance of 379 kilometres with a total travel time of 1 hour and 20 minutes from Dubai to Doha, and 1 hour 10 minutes on the return journey. Outbound flight EK 841 departs Dubai at 0745hrs, arriving in Doha at 0805hrs. The return flight, EK 842, departs Doha at 0950hrs, arriving in Dubai at 1200hrs. The timing of the A380 service means customers from Doha flying to popular destinations like New York, London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Manchester, Dusseldorf, Milan, Paris, Rome and Amsterdam, can now enjoy a seamless A380 experience and also have a wider choice of “all A380” flight itineraries for their journeys. Emirates has steadily grown its presence in Doha and now operates with nine daily flights, making it the most served destination in the airline’s network. Demand between Dubai and Doha is strong, and in the last five years Emirates has carried over 3.7 million passengers between the two cities. The Emirates A380 serving Doha operates in a three-class configuration, with 429 generously pitched seats in Economy Class on the main deck, 76 flat-bed seats in Business Class and 14 First Class Private Suites on the upper deck. Passengers in all classes can enjoy Emirates’ exceptional hospitality as well as its multi-awarded Ice Digital Widescreen in-flight entertainment system with a choice of over 2,500 channels on-demand, including a wide selection of Arabic programming. The double-decker A380 is the world’s largest commercial aircraft in service, and has been tremendously popular with travellers across the globe with its spacious cabins and quiet journeys. Emirates is the largest operator of this aircraft and currently has 87 A380s in service and 55 …

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Qatar Airways partners with UnionPay

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Qatar Airways will now accept UnionPay credit and debit cards through its website for ticket and other sales, expanding payment options for customers around the world. With more than 5.8 billion cards issued globally, UnionPay is an international bankcard network and is the preferred method of payment for the Chinese market. The option to pay with UnionPay cards provides Qatar Airways travellers with a high quality and secure payment service worldwide, and is accepted in 160 countries and regions. Qatar Airways customers can now conveniently book via the airline’s website in currencies including Chinese yuan, Great British pound, euro, US dollar, Australian dollar, Hong Kong dollar, Japanese yen, South Korean won, Malaysian ringgit, New Zealand dollar, Singapore dollar and Thai baht using their UnionPay cards. The option to pay with UnionPay cards provides Qatar Airways travellers with a high quality and secure payment service worldwide. Customers across the globe can book Qatar Airways tickets using their UnionPay cards by selecting the UnionPay logo on the payment page. Customers will be re-directed to UPI’s website to fill out their payment credentials, with a successful completion of the payment resulting in a Qatar Airways’ confirmation page and booking reference number. Qatar Airways also recently launched Apple Pay; becoming the first Gulf carrier to offer the revolutionary ‘mobile wallet’ solution across the full list of countries where Apple Pay is available. Available on any iOS device, Apple Pay allows customers to conveniently and securely book their next journey on Qatar Airways with the tap or touch of a finger. Using passcode or finger-print technology, Apple Pay links directly to the subscribers’ nominated debit or credit cards, adding to yet another safe and secure …

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Krabi welcomes Qatar Airways

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The coastal gateway of Krabi, Thailand, welcomed the inaugural Qatar Airways flight to arrive at its international airport from Doha, Qatar. The Airbus A330-200 was greeted by a water salute to usher in the new four times weekly service to Southern Thailand’s west coast. On board the inaugural flight was Qatar Airways Senior Vice President of Asia Pacific, Marwan Koleilat, and Thailand’s Ambassador to Qatar, His Excellency Soonthorn Chaiyindeepum. With the launch of this new service Qatar Airways has become the first Middle Eastern airline to provide scheduled services to Krabi, providing fast and convenient access to one of the world’s most popular tourism regions. Travellers can now enjoy year-round services to the incredible islands of Phi Phi National Park, while also enjoying other cultural experiences in the Southern Thai province famous for stunning land and seascapes, world-class diving, national parks and eco-tours.

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