Category Archives: Aviation

DXB and DWC ready for 45-day runway closure

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Dubai Airports confirmed operations teams at both airports are ‘good to go’ for the commencement of the 45-day long refurbishment of the southern runway at Dubai International (DXB). The runway is nearing the end of its design life and requires a complete upgrade to accommodate future traffic growth. “Planning and preparations have been underway for almost two years in close coordination with Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, airlines, dnata, the regulator and a host of other service partners to make sure this massive project goes off without a hitch. We’re confident we are fully prepared and good to go for April 16. We are encouraging passengers to confirm their airport of departure before they set out to take their flights but otherwise they can expect smooth operations and great service ,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports. The main visible difference for passengers will be a potential change in airports, although scheduling experts have optimised DXB’s one runway operation to the point where there will be only a 29% reduction in the number of available seats. Thanks to the additional capacity provided by DWC, the number of flights across the Dubai Airport system will see a reduction of just 19% and a seat reduction of just 20%. Many customers will get to experience the speed and convenience of Dubai’s second airport Dubai World Central (DWC) for the first time during the closure as it takes on additional traffic from affected scheduled, charter, cargo and general aviation operations. DWC will handle an average of 145 passenger flights per day operated during the period by airlines including flydubai, Wizz Air, Aeroflot, Indigo, SpiceJet, Gulf Air, Ukraine International Airlines, Ural Airlines, Nepal Airlines, Kuwait Airways …

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Emirates deploys fully-enclosed First Class private suites in the GCC

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER

In a move to offer a range of experiences and greater choice for its customers travelling for business and leisure, Emirates will be operating its latest Boeing 777-300ER aircraft fitted with the ‘Game Changer’ First Class suites from Dubai to Riyadh starting from April 16, 2019 and Kuwait starting from June 1, 2019. Adil Al Ghaith, Senior Vice President Commercial Operations Gulf, Middle East & Iran said, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will be the first countries in the Middle East and GCC to be served by the latest Emirates Boeing 777 aircraft featuring fully-enclosed private suites inspired by luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz. Deploying the newest Boeing 777 to both Riyadh and Kuwait will cater to the significant premium demand we see on these routes, and is in line with our commitment to provide our customers across all classes with outstanding service and industry-leading onboard products for a better flying experience. The unique First Class suites onboard the Boeing 777 will offer our premium passengers unparalleled privacy, comfort and luxury, with experiences tailored to their individual needs.” Travellers to/from Saudi Arabia can experience the new Boeing 777 product on flight EK 819 departing Dubai at 06:55hrs, arriving in Riyadh at 07:50hrs. The return flight EK 820 leaves Riyadh at 09:35hrs, arriving in Dubai at 12:30hrs. The new Boeing 777 aircraft will begin operating the route five times a week, and from June 1, 2019 will begin flying on a daily basis. Emirates will be expanding its premium Boeing 777 experience to/from Kuwait on EK 855, which departs Dubai at 07:45hrs, arriving in Kuwait at 08:25hrs. The return flight EK 856 leaves Kuwait at 09:50hrs, arriving in Dubai at 12:40hrs. …

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New libraries opened across Terminals 1 and 3 of Abu Dhabi International Airport

abu dhabi international airport

Abu Dhabi Airports, with the support of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has opened a series of new ‘AUH Libraries’ at Abu Dhabi International Airport, following the UAE’s Month of Reading in March 2019. Located across Terminals 1 and 3, passengers are welcome to visit the Main Library near gates 14-18 in the T1-Transit area, as well as three ‘mini libraries’ along the airside corridor between T1 and T3 and an additional three mini libraries at the departure pier in T3 (Gates 33-35). The Main Library accommodates up to ten people at a time, while the smaller units can host six people. During 2016’s Year of Reading, Abu Dhabi Airports had launched its inaugural airport library, which was the first amongst the region’s airports, and has since then continued to promote a culture of reading throughout its facilities. The new libraries that are launched today are a step further towards enhancing customer experience at the Capital’s airport. With around 200 books provided by DCT Abu Dhabi, passengers from across the globe can now enjoy an array of novels, as well as a selection of books related to the Founding Father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Speaking about the opening of the libraries, Bryan Thompson, Chief Executive Officer at Abu Dhabi Airports, said, “We are delighted to welcome travellers to take a minute to dive into a novel or learn about the UAE’s rich heritage at our new libraries across Abu Dhabi International Airport. Much like travel, reading opens our minds to new experiences and places and Abu Dhabi Airports is committed to fostering a culture of reading …

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Etihad to deploy Dreamliner on its Johannesburg, Lagos and Milan routes

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

This summer, Etihad Airways will introduce the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its scheduled services from Abu Dhabi to Johannesburg, effective August 1, Lagos, effective August 2, and Milan, effective  September 1, replacing the Airbus A330s currently operating the routes. All three destinations will feature Etihad Airways’ next-generation Business and Economy cabins, configured with 299 seats — 28 Business Studios and 271 Economy Smart Seats. Etihad Airways extensive global network to and from Abu Dhabi will see more 787 Dreamliners introduced on key destinations as the airline takes delivery of more of the type. Boeing 787 schedule to Johannesburg, effective August 1, 2019 will leave Abu Dhabi at 10:05 and reach Johannesburg by 16:30 daily and return from Johannesburg at 20:05 to Abu Dhabi at 06:00 daily (Next day arrival). For Lagos, effective August 2, 2019 from Abu Dhabi at 02:35 to Lagos and 07:10 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Return from Lagos at 08:30 to Abu Dhabi at 19:10 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. To Milan, effective September 1, 2019 from Abu Dhabi at 02:20 to Milan at 06:50 daily and return from Milan at 10:40 to  Abu Dhabi at 18:55 daily.

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British Airways introduces flights to Dammam from December

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British Airways is set to fly from Dammam to London Heathrow from December 1, 2019. The route is the first ever direct flight from Dammam to London Heathrow, with flights departing daily. The service will launch as a daily ‘tag’ service via Bahrain. Flights will be operated by a four-class Boeing 777-200 departing year-round from Dammam’s King Fahd International Airport and landing in Terminal 5 at London Heathrow. Dammam will be the third city in Saudi Arabia that British Airways flies to, with the airline already serving Riyadh and Jeddah with non-stop daily flights. This daily direct flight between Dammam and London Heathrow will cut journey times by three hours or more because passengers will no longer need to either drive to Bahrain or transit through Riyadh for a connecting flight. Moran Birger, Head of Sales for The Middle East and Asia Pacific, said, “This new link between Dammam and London underlines the importance of the Eastern province and the need for smooth onward connections to Europe and the United States. Direct flights will hugely benefit executives travelling between the Eastern Province and Europe’s premier financial capital and business hub, while also bringing London within an even easier reach for an extended weekend getaway.” Return fares start from SR2,480 for World Traveller, SR3,000 for World Traveller Plus, SR11,310 for Club World and SR18,900 in First. Dammam is one of five long-haul routes being launched by British Airways in 2019, its centenary year. The airline is also launching non-stop flights to Pittsburgh and Charleston in the US, Osaka in Japan and Islamabad in Pakistan, alongside several short-haul routes.  

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Travelport inks deal with Pakistan International Airlines

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Travelport has reached a full content agreement with Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) under which the former will expand availability of PIA’s content to Travelport-connected agencies in the Americas and Asia Pacific, as well as continue to provide access across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In doing so, over 68,000 agencies globally servicing hundreds of millions of travellers will now have real-time access to search, sell, and book the airlines’ full content and inventory. As the first global distribution system (GDS) to manage the live booking of flights using the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) New Distribution Capability (NDC) technical standard, Travelport will soon further help PIA by giving it the opportunity to create NDC connections and display NDC-based airline content on its platform. Commenting on the new deal, Ali Tahir, Chief Commercial Officer at Pakistan International Airlines, said, “Travelport has been a valued partner to PIA for a number of years. By expanding our relationship with the company to cover the Americas and Asia-Pacific, two strategically important regions for us, we will provide our loyal customers with greater access to our flights and open up significant new growth opportunities for our business.” David Gomes, Head of Middle East, Africa, Turkey and Pakistan, Air – Travel Partners, Travelport, added, “PIA is highly valued by travel agencies in all corners of the world due it its vast international network, high quality service and large customer base. We are delighted the airline has chosen to expand its partnership with us. We are fully committed to supporting the company in achieving its international growth objectives and look forward to continuing to work with its world-class team.”

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Himalaya Airlines connects Nepal and Abu Dhabi with three weekly flights

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Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) welcomed Himalaya Airlines’ inaugural flight from Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM), an international airport in Kathmandu, Nepal on March 31, 2019. Maarten De Groof, Chief Commercial Officer, Abu Dhabi Airports, said, “We are delighted to add Himalaya Airlines to our growing list of carriers operating at Abu Dhabi International Airport. Nepal has always been a sought-after destination for UAE residents, and the UAE is also home to many Nepali expatriates. We look forward to ensuring passengers departing for or arriving from Nepal enjoy a seamless travel experience. We are eager to introduce new flights and routes to and from Abu Dhabi International Airport, in line with our efforts to expand Abu Dhabi’s connectivity and support commerce and tourism within the UAE.” Himalaya Airlines will operate the route using its Airbus 320 aircraft, which includes eight Premium Economy seats and 150 Economy Class seats in its current configuration. On Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, flights are scheduled to depart from Kathmandu at 20:45 and arrive at Abu Dhabi at 23:45. Returning flights to Kathmandu are scheduled to depart from Abu Dhabi on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 01:45 and arrive at Kathmandu at 08:00. “Commercial and cultural links between the UAE and Nepal are flourishing and Himalaya is honoured to play a pivotal role in facilitating and enhancing the growth of trade and tourism between the two countries. We hope this new connectivity will further boost traffic from the UAE. Himalaya Airlines is on the verge of completing its third year of successful commercial operations soon and we are pleased to add Abu Dhabi into our network,” said Vijay Shrestha, Vice President – Administration, Himalaya Airlines.

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Emirates to resume flights to Zagreb for summer season

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER

Emirates has resumed its operations to Zagreb for summer, serving the route until October 26, 2019. Its partner airline, flydubai will then begin to operate during the winter season. The strategic partnership between both airlines ensures capacity is deployed to best serve customer demand. Flight EK 129 will depart Dubai at 8:30 and arrive in Zagreb at 12:35 local time, utilising a Boeing 777-300ER. The return flight, EK 130 will depart Zagreb at 15:25 and arrive in Dubai at 23:00 local time. Due to the planned upgrade works on the southern runway at DXB from April 16 until May 30, 2019, Emirates’ flights to Zagreb will operate four times weekly on Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. From May 31, 2019 onwards, the route will be operated as a daily service. Emirates’ daily service to Zagreb will operate in a three-class configuration with eight lie-flat seats in First Class, 42 seats in Business Class and 304 spacious seats in Economy Class. Passengers across all cabins can enjoy the airline’s 4,000 channels of in-flight entertainment, complimentary beverages and regionally inspired meals. They can also stay connected to family and friends during the flight with up to 20MB of complementary Wi-Fi. Known for its impressive 18th century architecture, Zagreb is a city with an extremely rich history and culture. Located in the northwest of the country – visitors can discover the upper and lower town areas that hold some of the world’s most iconic cathedrals and museums. Travellers can also discover popular Croatian cities located on the Dalmatian Coast, such as Split and Dubrovnik. Emirates’ partner airline, flydubai, offers travellers flight options to Dubrovnik twice a week on Sunday and Thursday. Flight FZ 719 …

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Emirates launches an Africa-focused brand campaign

Emirates African brand campaign image

Emirates has launched a pan-African brand campaign that celebrates the talent and achievements of young Africans, taking the message of ‘New Africa’ to the world. The campaign also features an original music video produced by Kenyan musician and DJ Blinky Bill, inspired by contemporary African electronic club music. Paying tribute to a new generation of African disrupters who are making their mark globally across music, fashion, literature and the arts, the campaign celebrates the cultural renaissance taking over Africa. The short films produced by the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) for Emirates, tells the stories of unique individuals from different parts of the continent. Poised to become cultural ambassadors for Africa to the world, they share a common passion to bring their global exposure and influences to their own local journeys, as they discover what it means to be ‘home’. “It is impossible to ignore the energy and talent coming out of Africa today, whether in music, fashion, sport or art. We’re seeing a greater awareness of a strong, proud African identity – while being very connected to a broad, global culture. We wanted to join the conversation and celebrate amazing, inspiring stories of people constantly pushing boundaries and challenging African stereotypes. To us, that is what travel is about, to find a common ground that helps us connect, to question, to be curious, and I believe this campaign does just that in taking Emirates closer to the heart of our audience in a way that is authentic,” said Boutros Boutros, Divisional Senior Vice President – Corporate Communications, Marketing and Brand, Emirates.      

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dnata expands into Belgium with state-of-the-art cargo facility at Brussels Airport

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dnata continues to increase its global footprint and launches operations in Belgium by opening a new cargo centre at Brussels Airport. dnata’s expansion into the Belgian capital represents an investment of EUR 8 million and creates up to 100 local jobs with the company. dnata’s new facility, which covers an area of 14,000 m², substantially increases the cargo capacity in the Benelux states allowing airline customers to enhance their operations in the region. The state-of-the-art facility includes 4,500 m² warehouse space and is capable of processing 125,000 tonnes of cargo annually. dnata has been already providing cargo and ground handling services to 25 cargo and eight passenger airlines at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. dnata will ensure a close cooperation between its Amsterdam and Brussels teams to leverage synergies and deliver the highest possible value for its customers at both airports. Erik de Goeij, Chief Executive Officer, dnata The Netherlands and Belgium, said, “We are thrilled to establish operations at another important cargo hub. Our best-in-class facility at Brussels Airport significantly increases our cargo handling capacity in the region, which we expect to stimulate the local cargo industry.” “We are most pleased to welcome dnata at Brussels Airport as our third cargo handler”, said Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company. “dnata has already positioned itself as a key cargo player at our airport with a dedicated infrastructure for pharmaceuticals and an active participation in our cargo community Air Cargo Belgium, consistent with Brussels Airport’s strategy to provide specialised infrastructure for vital sectors in our country, and to work towards mutual goals through collaboration.”

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