Category Archives: Aviation

Emirates celebrates HH Sheikh Zayed’s birthday with 6 special ‘livery’ landings

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Emirates recently landed six of its special ‘livery aircraft’ on six continents on the occassion of centennial birthday of the UAE’s Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman & Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group, said, “Today, we celebrate the centennial anniversary of the birth of the UAE’s founding father, His Highness Sheikh Zayed, who dedicated his life to building a thriving and vibrant UAE. The principles and initiatives he set in motion have become the foundations for the UAE’s progress. We hope through our special liveries we honour his memory and legacy and help spread his inspirational messages around the world as our aircraft continue to circle the globe in 2018.” This tribute to the late His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was first unveiled in November 2017 on the fuselage of Emirates’ 100th A380 aircraft, commemorating the 100th year of HH Sheikh Zayed’s birth. A total of 10 Emirates aircraft carry the special livery for 2018. The ‘Year of Zayed’ Emirates aircraft have circled the globe to over 90 cities on over 1,800 flights.

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Dammam Airports Company signs 2 agreements with Vanderlande & Serco

Turki Abdullah Al-Jawini, CEO, Dammam Airports Company and David Greer, CEO, Serco Middle East during the signing of the agreement

Dammam Airports Company (DACO) has signed two strategic agreements with Vanderlande and Serco Middle East at the 18th Airport Show in Dubai. The agreements are  as part of DACO’s agreement with Vanderlande, the global market leader for value-added logistic process automation at airports. The two entities will work on introducing a state-of-the-art Baggage Handling System (BHS) at KFIA that will help make travel procedures smoother for airport personnel, passengers and airlines. “Guided by our vision to transform airports and redefine the travel experience, our efforts in the last 10 months have focussed on expanding the airport’s operational efficiency, as it witnesses a steady growth in passenger traffic and an increased demand for commercial services. We are pleased to partner with global leaders like Vanderlande and Serco Middle East to execute our long-term plans for the airport, and transform it into a major hub for air transportation within the region and beyond,” said Turki Abdullah Al-Jawini, Chief Executive Officer, Dammam Airports Company. The agreement with Serco Middle East, is to to install cutting-edge fire and rescue services at the airport. The contract, which makes KFIA the first Saudi airport to leverage an international service provider’s expertise in firefighting systems, will help raise the airport’s safety standards in line with its existing firefighting protocols.

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Dubai Parks & Resorts, Dubai Airports sign agreement for unparalled airport experience

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Dubai Parks and Resorts and Dubai Airports have announced a strategic partnership with the aim of creating an unparalleled airport experience while showcasing Dubai’s position as the ultimate tourist and family entertainment destination in the region. The partnership will showcase Dubai Airports’ efforts to make Dubai International (DXB) a destination in its own while promoting the breadth of offer at Dubai Parks and Resorts to the over 88 million passengers travelling through Dubai Airport annually. The agreement will see Dubai Parks and Resorts promoted at all DXB concourses with access to over 65 airlines flying to and from over 240 destinations in 170 countries around the globe. Dubai Parks and Resorts will engage and delight airport passengers by providing branded family zones and dedicated retail locations selling Dubai Parks and Resorts products while enticing them to experience the full offer by conducting direct marketing and immersive advertising. Dubai International (DXB), the world’s busiest international airport, recorded a 10% average passenger growth over the past 10 years with 88.2 million passengers passing through it in 2017, and some 90 million passengers are expected in 2018. 2018 is the first full year of operations for Dubai Parks and Resorts and the Company aims to continue growing international tourist visitor numbers to the destination in line with the Dubai Tourism Vision 2020. The first quarter of 2018, set a new record for Dubai Parks and Resorts, with over 850,000 visits to the destination, a 45% increase compared to the same period last year.  

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Emirates introduces Home Check-in in Dubai

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Emirates has introduced Home Check-in, a new service which will allow its customers to check in for their flights from anywhere in Dubai. The service is available for customers across all classes travelling on Emirates flights. The new service enables Emirates passengers to complete the security check and check-in from the comfort of their home, hotel or office and have their luggage transported to the airport prior to their flight. An Emirates check-in agent will arrive at the preferred location to weigh and tag the bags as well as check-in the customers and issue boarding passes. Customers can then make their own way to the airport and head directly to immigration, bypassing the check-in desks at the airport. The service is available for AED 350 per trip for up to 7 pieces of luggage. AED 35 will be charged for each additional piece of luggage. Customers can book the service on emirates.com up to 12 hours before flight departure time. Emirates has been running trials for its Home Check-in service since October to ensure that the customer experience and security checks are faultless. The service seals each bag and stores them in a separate hold in the van. Emirates Home Check-in will be operated with a new fleet of vans. The new Home Check-in offering complements other luggage handling services already available for Emirates flights in Dubai.

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Muscat International Airport gets a new facelift

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The first phase of Oman’s brand new Muscat International Airport is operational now and has increased the passenger capacity to 20 million, up from the previous 12 million passengers recorded in 2017. The state-of-the-art airport has been designed to be the shining symbol of the Sultanate of Oman. The new airport is designed as International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) category 4F airports which will be able to accommodate the world`s largest aircraft, Airbus A380 and the runway will enable independent parallel operations. The passenger terminals built with the latest technology are aligned with IATA Service Level A standards. The total gross area for the new Muscat International terminal building is 580,000 m2 with an overall airport land area of 21 km2. Salim Al-Mamari, Ministry of Tourism, Oman said, “The government of Oman is focusing on Travel and Tourism as a part of its economic diversification strategy. The newly opened Muscat International Airport, brand new Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, revised visa rules along with other infrastructure developments seen in the recent times determine some of the efforts to increase tourism in Oman. India is one of the key markets for Oman and we are certain that this proactive initiative by the Ministry will drive a lot of visitors from India. Since 2014, Oman has witnessed over 23% growth in Indian arrivals. In 2016, Oman received 297,628 Indian arrivals as compared to 256,210 arrivals in 2014 that is over 16% growth within 2 years. In 2017, Oman received 321,161 Indian arrivals which is remarkably higher, showcasing growth of over 7.90 % in just one year.”

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Emirates signs MoU with Mauritius to renew support

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An MoU was signed at the Arabian Travel Market between Emirates and Mauritius to strengthen their partnership in future. It was signed by Orhan Abbas, Senior Vice President – Commercial Operations for Africa, Emirates’ and Devi Seewooruthun, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, in the presence of Anil Gayan, Minister of Tourism, Republic of Mauritius, . “Mauritius has always been an important destination on the Emirates network, and we are pleased to be continuing our long standing commitment with them. We will look to develop a series of joint activities together with the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, to highlight the destination and its appeal throughout our network”, said Abbas. “The partnership between Mauritius and Emirates has stood the test of time. The signing of this fresh MoU is a strong signal to strengthening that partnership even more in the years to come”, said Gayan. The agreement will see marketing activities such as attendance of tourism trade shows and fairs, trade familiarisation trips, product presentations and workshops, amongst others, be undertaken jointly by Emirates and the Tourism Board. In 2017, Mauritius welcomed 1,341,860 tourists. The destinations’ main markets are France, UK, Germany, South Africa, India, Italy, China, the Russian Federation and Reunion Island.

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Etihad introduces humanoid robot Sophia at ATM 2018

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Etihad Airways has introduced Humanoid Robot Sophia backed by AI technology at the Arabian Travel Market 2018. Sophia is the AI-powered robot famous for speaking at the UN and interviewing celebrities and world leaders alike. She was named the United Nations Development Programme’s first ever Innovation Champion for Asia and the Pacific, and is also the first robot in the world to have a nationality, after being granted citizenship by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Sophia took part in a one-on-one interview with host Damian Watson, Head of Station at Abu Dhabi Media Company, discussed the future of innovation and technology in aviation, as well as about her experiences and impressions of the Capital, at the Etihad Theatre. The Etihad Theatre also featured presentations and Question and Answer sessions with the airline’s executives and guests including Special Olympics and Manchester City Football Club, covering the areas of guest experience, marketing partnerships, environment and sustainability. Peter Baumgartner, CEO, Etihad Airways took part in a one-on-one CEO interview as part of the main ATM programming on the ATM Global Stage.

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Emirates debuts new fully enclosed first-class private suite at ATM

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Emirates has unveiled its new Boeing 777-300ER First Class Private Suite at the ongoing Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. The airline is also showcasing its latest Boeing 777 Business Class seat, the A380 onboard lounge, along with other products such as the First Class Shower Spa and the latest version of its Economy Class seats. Visitors can experience the Emirates network through an interactive 60 second challenge played on a touchscreen route map. Last year, the airline launched new passenger routes to Newark via Athens, Zagreb and Phnom Penh, and later this year, Emirates will begin services to London Stanstead and Santiago de Chile. This year marks Emirates’ 25th year of partnership and commitment to ATM. When the exhibition first opened its doors in 1993, Emirates flew 15 aircraft to 32 destinations and carried 2 million passengers. The Emirates stand at ATM will offer visitors a chance to experience the airline’s recently-launched products and service enhancements. The game changing, fully enclosed first-class private suites on exhibit have floor to ceiling sliding doors, soft leather seating, high-tech control panels and mood lighting. Incorporating cutting-edge technology, the suites also feature several world-firsts, including ‘virtual windows’ using real-time fibre-optic camera technology, a NASA inspired ‘zero-gravity’ seating position and a personal video-call service.

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Travelport reveals fastest-growing international destinations for KSA travellers

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Egypt, UAE and Turkey have seen the greatest growth in flight bookings from travellers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in the last 12 months, according to analysis conducted by Travelport. Fastest-growing international destinations for KSA travellers booked through global distribution systems. This data is derived from Travelport’s interpretation of relevant MIDT data. It reflects bookings made in the KSA through GDS only. Additional booking will have been made directly with airlines, which may or may not also have a GDS presence. From April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, bookings made in the KSA through all global distribution systems (GDS) to Egypt increased by nearly 190,000, up 17% on the previous 12 months. Bookings to the UAE rose by over 70,000, up 13%, and to Turkey by just over 65,000, up 31%.  Global distribution systems (GDS) are vast hi-tech reservation networks that allow travel agents, travel management companies, and large corporations, among others, to search and book airline seats, hotel rooms, rental cars, and other travel-related items. Matthew Powell, Travelport’s Managing Director  for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, said, “Growth in flight bookings tends to be driven by increased airline capacity, rises in demand from leisure trave”llers, economic and political advances, which attract more interest in trade and investment, and major construction projects that require large international labour forces. The results we’re seeing here cut across all of these.”

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Etihad partners with Abu Dhabi Cultural Summit 2018

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Held in Abu Dhabi’s Manarat Al Saadiyat from April 8-12, CultureSummit brought together global leaders from the fields of arts, media, public policy and technology to discuss the role of culture in building bridges and promoting positive change in society. Steering Committee member HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said, “As the world’s first high-level summit of leaders across the arts, technology and policy, convening figures from every corner of the world is no small feat. It wouldn’t be possible without the support and global reach of Etihad Airways, which in this case truly lives up to its mission of ‘Bringing the world together.'” Mohammad Al Bulooki, Executive Vice President – Commercial, Etihad Airways, said, “With the recent opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi, in addition to a number of major events held throughout the year, Abu Dhabi is quickly establishing itself as a vibrant hub for the arts and culture. The CultureSummit Abu Dhabi 2018, which is set to welcome approximately 500 participants from 80 countries, is a unique opportunity to showcase Abu Dhabi to the world, and Etihad Airways is honoured to play a role in bringing the world together for this inspiring event.” The theme for CultureSummit Abu Dhabi 2018 is ‘Unexpected Collaborations: Forging New Connections Between Heritage and Innovation, Near and Far, Creativity and Purpose.’

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