Category Archives: Aviation

Surge in first and business class passengers on Gulf carriers

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Between 2014 and 2015, first class passenger volumes for Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways on the top 10 Origins & Destinations between Europe and Asia Pacific increased 67%, whilst business class traffic increased by 47%. This staggering growth in premium classes was complemented by healthy overall growth, with a 7% increase in passenger volumes across all cabin classes for these routes.Airports in the Middle East also noticed a shift in traveller habits: passenger traffic for flights between Europe and APAC going through Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai increased by 8%. This data was analysed by Amadeus IT Group’s Travel Intelligence team, and takes into account all bookings in the Amadeus system made via traditional and online travel agencies from across the globe. The figures come on the heels of Emirates and Etihad Airways both renewing their distribution agreements to sell their full range of fares to travellers worldwide through travel agents using Amadeus. Qatar Airways has had such an agreement in place since 2014. While the Amadeus distribution channel supports airline growth by providing the technology for them to partner with the world’s largest travel community, Amadeus Travel Intelligence enables airlines and other travel players to make effective use of data and analytics to improve the profitability of their business. Amadeus Travel Intelligence combines the latest big data technologies with rich data sources and a dedicated team of talented data scientists, to deliver unique and actionable insights into each airline’s business. This intelligence provides in-depth information for airlines to gain real insights into overall market dynamics, their own performance and growth opportunities.The top ten most popular Origins & Destinations between Europe and APAC are Frankfurt – Bangkok,  London– Bangkok, …

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Dubai Airport resumes all operations following Emirates incident

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After resuming departure operations at 18.30 hours UAE local time on August 3, Dubai Airports commenced arrival operations at Dubai International Airport (DXB) under restricted capacity following an operational incident involving an Emirates flight EK521 from Trivandrum (India). According to a Dubai Aiports spokesperson, DXB is operating with one runway, with arriving flights being given priority over departures. While all 282 passengers and 18 crew on board were brought to safety, one member of Dubai Airports’ firefighting team succumbed to injuries sustained whilst responding to the incident. Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports, said, “I am deeply saddened to confirm that a member of Dubai Airports’ firefighting team succumbed to injuries sustained whilst responding to the accident of flight EK 521 earlier this afternoon [August 3]. We are doing all we can to support the family of this member of our team and others affected by the incident.” The Emirates Airline confirmed a network wide delay and cancellation of 21 flights from Dubai on August 3 to various destinations such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Medina, Doha, Geneva, Tehran, Muscat, Multan, Bahrain, Dammam, Basra, Karachi, Kuwait, Amman, Riyadh, and Hong Kong. Emirates flight EK521 travelling from Trivandrum International Airport in Thiruvananthapuram, India to Dubai on August 3 was involved in an operational incident upon landing at DXB. The Boeing 777 aircraft, departed at 10.19 AM from Trivandrum International Airport and was scheduled to land at 12.50 PM at DXB. A Dubai Airports spokesperson said, “Operational teams across the terminals at DXB and DWC are doing their best to assist arriving and departing passengers. To ensure the comfort of passengers waiting for their flights, all food outlets across DXB and DWC are providing free …

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Qatar Airways increases stake in IAG to 20.01%

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Qatar Airways has announced that it held a 15.67 per cent shareholding in International Airlines Group (IAG) and reiterated that it may consider increasing its stake further within the allowable limits. Non-EU shareholders of IAG including Qatar Airways are subject to an overall cap on non-EU ownership as a result of the requirement for EU airlines to be majority owned by EU shareholders. As of July 28, Qatar Airways now holds 20.01 per cent of IAG. While Qatar Airways’ interest in IAG is purely financial, the increased shareholding reflects the strength of commercial and strategic ties between the companies and evidences the continued support for the ongoing strategy of IAG.

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Novus acquires 3 Boeing 737-900ER from Lion Air

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Novus Aviation Capital (Novus), a leading global aircraft leasing platform based in Dubai, has announced the acquisition of three Boeing 737-900ER aircraft from PT Lion Mentari Airlines (Lion Air), which have been placed on long operating leases with the airline. The successful conclusion of the sale and leaseback transaction with the Indonesian low-cost carrier further expands Novus’ aircraft management fleet. Novus is an independent, privately-held aircraft leasing platform, focused on investing in commercial aircraft assets. Established over 22 years ago, the Novus team operates out of its four global offices in the Middle East, Europe and Asia. The company currently co-owns and manages aircraft-related projects worth about USD 3 billion.

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Qatar strengthens ASEAN network with Malindo Air partnership

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Qatar Airways has partnered with Malaysian based airline Malindo Air to offer passengers seamless travel and greater connectivity when travelling between Southeast Asia and over 100 destinations in Qatar Airways’ network. This bilateral agreement enables Qatar Airways to tap into Malindo Air’s growing short haul regional network currently serving 40 cities in 12 countries which includes 13 major airports in Malaysia. Passengers can now travel to over 140 destinations in the world. Malindo Air passengers travelling from cities such as Langkawi, Penang, Kota Kinabalu, Johor Bahru and Kuching can also easily book interline itineraries using one of Qatar Airways’ thrice-daily flights departing from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and seamlessly connecting to more than 100 onwards destinations within the Qatar Airways global network.

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Emirates’ A380 on Dubai-Johannesburg route

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Emirates has announced that it will be upgrading one of its four daily flights between Dubai and Johannesburg to an Airbus A380-800 from 1st February 2017. Emirates currently uses Boeing 777 aircraft for each of the four daily flights between the two cities, making it the busiest route in the airline’s African network with over three million passengers carried in the last five years. Once launched, Johannesburg will join more than 40 destinations in Emirates’ extensive global network that is served by its flagship A380 aircraft. The A380 will offer a total of 516 seats in a three class cabin configuration, with 14 private suites in First Class, 76 mini-pods with lie-flat seats in Business Class and 426 spacious seats in Economy Class. It will be deployed on the first flight of the day, EK761, and will depart Dubai at 04h40 and arrive in Johannesburg at 10h55. The return flight, EK762, will depart Johannesburg at 13h25 and arrive in Dubai at 23h45.

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Etihad increases flights to New York’s JFK

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Etihad Airways has announced plans to increase Airbus A380 service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport in response to heightened demand from guests traveling between the two destinations.  Beginning on June 1, 2017, the airline will upgrade its second flight between Abu Dhabi and New York JFK to its award-winning A380 aircraft which features The Residence, the only three-room suite available in commercial airline operation, and its award-winning First Apartment cabins. The new service will join the airline’s existing daily A380 service, replacing the current daily Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. Etihad Airways first began welcoming guests on board its first A380 flight between New York JFK and Abu Dhabi in November 2015.

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Emirates’ second daily between Dubai-Milan from Oct 1

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In a bid to increase capacity between Dubai and Milan, Emirates will deploy a second daily A380 on the route from October 1, 2016. The shift from a Boeing 777-300ER to the double decker represents a capacity increase of 1,834 seats per week between the two cities; enabling more A380 to A380 connections to and from key destinations in Australia, China, South Korea and South East Asia with just one stop in Dubai. Emirates flights EK91/92 will be operated by an Airbus A380 aircraft in a 3-class configuration with 14 Private Suites in First Class, 76 flat-bed seats in Business Class and 401 seats in Economy Class. Passengers in all classes will enjoy access to free Wi-Fi. Emirates’ flight EK91 departs from Dubai at 15:45hrs and arrives in Milan at 20:30hrs. The outbound flight EK92 departs from Milan at 22:20hrs and arrives in Dubai at 06:25hrs the following day. The airline currently operates three daily services between Dubai and Milan, as well as a daily flight from Milan to New York JFK.

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Qatar ramps up Muscat flights to 35 a week

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Starting 1st August 2016, Qatar Airways will increase the number of flights from Doha to Muscat to enable more passenger traffic between the two destinations. Now with 35 flights a week from Hamad International Airport travellers can easily explore the popular Omani capital city. Passengers travelling from Muscat will now also have increased access to the rest of the world, with the ability to connect through Hamad International Airport and enjoy award-winning facilities, such as Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge while connecting to more than 150 destinations. Qatar Airways’ new flight to Muscat will depart from Doha at 2.20 am, arriving in Muscat at 5am, with the return flight departing from Muscat at 6.45am and landing in Doha at 7:25am. The airline operates services to Muscat with its A320 aircraft, offering both its award-winning Business and Economy Class options to passengers. Qatar Airways was announced as the World’s Best Business Class in the 2016 World Airline Awards this week, as voted for by global travellers. The Skytrax awards recognised the airline for its commitment to offering passengers an unrivalled travelling experience announcing Qatar Airways as also offering the Best Business Class Airline Lounge and the Best Airline Staff Service in the Middle East.  

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6th Arab Aviation Summit in Jordan

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Jordan has been announced as the official host for the 6th edition of the Arab Aviation Summit which will take place at the Dead Sea in Jordan on 5th and 6th December 2016. The theme of the forthcoming summit will be ‘Linking Cultures, Driving Economies’ to draw attention to the interdependent roles the Aviation and Tourism sectors play in contributing to the greater economic development of the region. It is the most prominent aviation and tourism event within the region focusing on trends, insights and opportunities driving the continuous growth and development of the avia-tourism industry in the Arab world. Described as the ‘voice of the industry,’ the summit is an industry initiative launched in 2011 and is organised on an annual basis in collaboration with aviation and tourism leaders, government entities, media heavy-weights and other well-entrenched organisations, to lead the discussion on a variety of topics relevant to key stakeholders and aviation commentators.

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