Category Archives: Aviation

Emirates signs three MoUs to support Vietnam tourism

Badr Abbas JPG

Emirates has signed three Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate tourism and trade in Vietnam’s largest and most visited city. The airline will mutually collaborate with the Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Promotion Center (HTPC), Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism and Investment and Trade promotion Centre of Ho Chi Minh City (ITPC) to promote Ho Chi Minh City as a tourist destination and trade hub. HE Nguyen Thanh Phong, Chairman, People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, led a high-level delegation and working visit to the UAE from October 22 to 25, 2018. Further, Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, Department of Tourism, Department of External Relations and Investment and Trade Promotion Centre of Ho Chi Minh City (ITPC), Embassy of Vietnam in the UAE, in cooperation with partners in Dubai, held a conference on “Trade, Investment and Tourism Promotion into Ho Chi Minh City.” At the conference, the agreements were signed by Badr Abbas, Senior Vice President – Commercial Operations for Far East, Emirates; Haitham Al Battawy, Country Manager – Vietnam, Emirates and Nabil Sultan, Divisional Senior Vice President, Emirates SkyCargo in the presence of HE Nguyen Thanh Phong, Chairman, People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City; HE Trinh Vinh Quang, Vietnam’s Ambassador to the UAE; Le Phuong, Commercial Counsellor – Head, Vietnam Trade Office, Dubai; Omar Khan, Director, International Offices, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Aldulrahman Mohamed Al Hosani, Director, Exporter Services Department, Dubai Export. Commenting on the signing of the MoUs, Badr Abbas, SVP – Commercial Operations for Far East, Emirates said, “Vietnam is an important destination within Emirates’ network and we are pleased to collaborate on joint promotional activities that will leverage the route’s …

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Etihad and Saudia sign codeshare deal

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Etihad Airways and Saudia have announced a new codeshare partnership, providing customers with access to more than 40 leisure and business destinations in the home markets and across the world. The two carriers also announced plans for greater commercial cooperation in other fields, including frequent flyer programme benefits, cargo and engineering, and maintenance. The codeshare agreement was signed at Saudia headquarters in Jeddah by HE Eng Saleh bin Naser Al Jasser, Director General Saudi Arabian Airlines; Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group. They were joined by Jaan Albercht, Chief Executive Officer, Saudia; Ahmed Al Qubaisi, Senior Vice President – Government & International Affairs, Etihad Aviation Group and Ali Saleh, Vice President Alliances & Partnerships, Etihad Aviation Group. HE Al Jasser said, “The new partnership broadens aviation and transport links with the United Arab Emirates, building on the extensive aviation investment and strong foundation in the sector. The added network coverage enables our guests to benefit from added flexibility and convenience, as well as increase the benefits for members of both airlines’ frequent flyer plans.” The codeshare agreement will see Etihad Airways place its ‘EY’ code on Saudia’s flights to Abha, Al-Baha, Alula, Arar, Bisha, Dammam, Dawadmi, Gassim, Gizan, Gurayat, Hail, Hofuf, Jeddah, Jouf, Madinah, Qaisumah, Rafha, Riyadh, Sharurah, Tabuk, Taif, Turaif, Wadi-Ad-Dawasir, Wedjh, Yanbo and Abu Dhabi. Port Sudan, Tunis, Alexandria, Sharm el-Sheikh, Multan and Peshawar are subject to government approval. At the same time, Saudia will place its ‘SV’ code on Etihad flights to Baku, Chengdu, Ahmedabad, Nagoya, Tokyo-Narita, Dammam, Jeddah, Madinah, Riyadh, Belgrade, Seychelles,  Chicago-O’Hare and Abu Dhabi.  

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Oman Air launches Whatsapp service

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Oman Air has introduced a new WhatsApp service which enables its guests to communicate instantly. Clients who opt for this service can now receive their booking confirmations, check-in notifications, boarding passes, flight status updates, in addition to other requested information, directly through the messaging app. The service offers secure, efficient and personalised customer interaction between the airline and the customer, with no third-party interference. Eng Abdulaziz Al Raisi, CEO, Oman Air, said, “Oman Air is increasingly using technology to boost its operations and make the travel experience more stress-free for its guests. This move once again demonstrates our continued commitment to offer our guests with added value and an enhanced travel experience.” Dr Khalid Abdulwahab Al Balushi, Senior Manager, Call Centers, commented, “This Business solution will enable us to reach out to more passengers as it is one of the most popular messaging applications worldwide. The new service will go a long way towards enhancing the customer experience for today’s always-connected customers. Furthermore, the WhatsApp feature is in line with the Oman Air’s journey to digitalisation.”

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IndiGo begins operations from Abu Dhabi airport

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Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) welcomed the IndiGo’s inaugural flight to and from India, commencing daily flights that connect the UAE capital with Cochin International Airport (COK) and Calicut International Airport (CCJ). With its fleet of 189 Airbus A320 and 12 ATR aircraft, the airline offers over 1200 daily flights and connects 48 domestic destinations and 11 international destinations. The inaugural IndiGo flights from Cochin and Calicut touched down on October 15 and October 16, respectively. A daily non-stop flight from Cochin will depart at 13:30 and arrive at 16:30. The IndiGo service to Cochin will leave Abu Dhabi at 04:30, and will arrive at 10:30. IndiGo will fly out of Calicut at 00:40 and will arrive into Abu Dhabi at 03:30. The return IndiGo flight departs at 17:30 and arrives in Calicut at 23:30. All time slots incorporated above are according to the local time of respective geographies. Bryan Thompson, CEO, Abu Dhabi Airports, commented, “This new addition expands further the network of the capital’s airport to provide our passengers with enhanced connectivity. It also reflects further on the strong global confidence in the Abu Dhabi market, and we hope to continue to build on such partnerships over the coming months and years.” William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo, said, “We are delighted to receive a heartening welcome from Abu Dhabi International Airport this morning. IndiGo has operated its inaugural flights from Calicut-Abu Dhabi and Cochin-Abu Dhabi. The airline has completed 12 years of successful operations in the India market as a low-cost carrier, and adding Abu Dhabi to its network will further augment the regional connectivity that we aspire to provide to our customers.”

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Travelport inks long-term deal with Jet Airways

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Travelport has signed a long-term supplier agreement with Jet Airways that will be effective from April 2019 and enable online and offline travel agencies around the world to shop, book and manage itineraries for leisure and business travellers. Jet Airways will also deploy Travelport’s Rich content and Branding, from which over 270 airlines now benefit by displaying graphical content, their fares families and a full range of ancillary products. Damian Hickey, Head, Air-Travel Partners, Travelport, commented, “Travelport’s commitment to the Indian travel market and the provision of the widest range of content has been further evidenced today with the announcement of this new mutual commitment between Jet Airways and our company beginning April 2019. Furthermore, our position in the rest of Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas means that we are able to deliver to them a wide mix of international travellers. This is in addition to the millions of outbound and domestic Indian travellers they serve.”

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Etihad Airways and Tadweer partner to turn waste into jet fuel

Etihad-Tadweer MoU signing

Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi Waste Management Center (Tadweer) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore how municipal waste can be converted into jet fuel. Representing a major development in the adoption of sustainable fuel, the project would aim to use the final jet fuel on Etihad Airways’ flights. The MoU mandates the two entities to undertake an initial feasibility study towards developing a flagship waste-to-fuel facility in Abu Dhabi. Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said, “Waste-to-biofuel is a cutting-edge technology – one that Etihad Airways believes will have a profoundly positive impact on the aviation industry, while also providing waste management solutions and a cleaner environment. The adoption and upscaling of sustainable energy supplies is a crucial step towards reducing Etihad Airways’ dependency on fossil fuels, allowing the airline to grow sustainably and offset carbon emissions. This landmark agreement signed with Tadweer today reflects Etihad Airways’ mutual commitment to sustainability, and the airline hopes that it can bring about lasting change to the sustainable energy landscape in the UAE.” Dr Salem Al Kaabi, Acting General Manager, Tadweer, said, “The MoU aligns with our mandate to deliver highly innovative industrial and municipal waste management solutions, as well as our commitment to the National Agenda of the UAE Vision 2021 and Abu Dhabi Waste Master Plan 2040 that aims to divert 75 per cent of municipal solid waste away from landfills.”  

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Air India Express gets new home at Abu Dhabi Terminal 1

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Air India Express flights are now arriving and departing from Terminal 1 at Abu Dhabi International Airport. Originally, the airline departed from Terminal 1, and arrived at Terminal 2. The transition from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 for the arrivals occurred on September 30 and is in line with Abu Dhabi Airports’ commitment to ensuring quality service and a seamless passenger experience. The Indian subcontinent remains one of the most popular destinations for travellers departing from AUH, reflecting the close cultural and economic ties between the UAE and India. The Indian flag carrier operates seven daily flights between Abu Dhabi and six destinations in India, including New Delhi, Cochin, Kannur, Mangalore, Trivandrum and Calicut. Ahmed Al Shamsi, Acting Chief Operations Officer, Abu Dhabi Airports, said, “At Abu Dhabi Airports, we are committed to enriching passenger experiences and providing world-class services. As one of our closest partners, we are pleased to announce Air India Express’ relocation to Terminal 1 and look forward to ensuring its guests enjoy a convenient and entertaining travel experience through Abu Dhabi International Airport.” PA Umadevi, Airport Manager, Air India & Air India Express operations, said, “Air India Express is pleased to announce the transition of its arriving flights to Terminal 1 at Abu Dhabi International Airport, which reflects our commitment to providing exceptional services to our passengers. The level of services offered to us by Abu Dhabi Airports helps us ensure our customers’ satisfaction and meet the rising demand in the Abu Dhabi market.”

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Travelport wins tender for sole distribution supplier to Air India

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Travelport has won a competitive tender process undertaken by Air India for the sole provision of distribution of its domestic flight content. The contract will begin to come into effect from November 2018 and be fully implemented by the end of 2019. The agreement confirms Air India’s continued deployment of Travelport Rich Content and Branding, now used by over 270 airlines. This displays airlines’ graphical content, their fares families and a full range of ancillary products. Travelport has seen a rapid expansion in India in recent years following the acquisition of business from the largest online travel agencies like MakeMyTrip, Ibibo, Yatra, EaseMyTrip and ClearTrip as well as working with corporate travel agencies and new entrants to the travel sector such as Paytm. Pradeep Singh Kharola, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India, said, “Air India is pleased to award this important contract to Travelport. In written submissions and in discussion with their team, the company demonstrated a clear understanding of our needs and displayed impressive technological and financial capability. As we make the switch to Travelport, we hope to be able to deliver even better value for money and a superior distribution to our customers in India and abroad.” Gordon Wilson, President and CEO, Travelport, commented, “Travelport is delighted to have been selected by Air India to provide these services. It is another welcome endorsement of our technology and our services in India. We look forward to implementing the agreement and delivering a world-class service to the airline.”

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Abu Dhabi Airports celebrated Customer Service Week

Bryan Thompson Abu Dhabi Airports

Abu Dhabi Airports recently celebrated Customer Service Week from October 1 to 5, in recognition of the crucial role played by its customer services agents in ensuring the highest standards of excellence and customer happiness across Abu Dhabi Airports’ facilities and terminals. Marking the occasion with a number of activities and events, every day of the week, a senior member of Abu Dhabi Airports’ leadership team took on the role of a customer service agent at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH), serving passengers and airport visitors alongside fellow employees at the Capital’s airport. The participating executives included the company’s CEO, DCEO, and CCO. The week-long celebration is the result of Abu Dhabi Airports’ commitment to enhancing employee engagement and the National Programme for Happiness and Positivity. In addition to the participation of the senior executive team, all customer service agents across Abu Dhabi Airports’ facilities and terminals received personalised letters of appreciation for their hard work and continued service and dedication to bringing positivity and happiness to travellers across Abu Dhabi. Bryan Thompson, CEO, Abu Dhabi Airports, said, “At Abu Dhabi Airports we seek to embody the renowned Arabian hospitality, and our focus on customer service this week comes in recognition of the fact that our customer service agents are the face of our business. From the moment travellers arrive, to the moment they depart, our customer service agents work hard to ensure everyone’s needs are met with positivity and happiness.”

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Uni-top Airlines to start operations between Kunming and Dubai

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Uni-top Airlines is planning to operate B747 freighter flight between Kunming in China and Dubai, according to Yang Fan, Vice President, Uni-top Airlines. Addressing an air transport cooperation promotion conference held by Chinese Yunnan provincial delegation in Kempinski Hotel Mall of Emirates in Dubai, Fan said, “In order to support the development of civil aviation and trade between China and the UAE, Uni-top Airlines is planning to operate B747 freighter flight with three flights per week between Kunming and Dubai.” The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and the Yunnan Provincial Government have jointly signed ‘The Kunming International Aviation Hub Strategic Planning’, in order to build Kunming Changshui international airport into an international hub that is safe, efficient, accessible, integrated, green and intelligent.  It is planned that by 2030, there will be 500 air routes, including 200 international and regional ones with 120 million passengers and 1.78 million tonnes cargo by running five runways in Kunming Changshui international airport. Zhang Changsheng, Deputy Director, Yunnan Provincial Development & Reform Commission and Director General, Yunnan Provincial Civil Aviation Development Administration, said, “Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the UAE in July, and the leaders of the two countries unanimously decided to upgrade bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership. We expect to strengthen joint marketing promotion for airline flights, tourism market and especially air cargo market in order to push the development of bilateral economy and trade, and we also expect to promote abundant green agricultural products with Yunnan plateau characteristics to the UAE for sharing.” Khalil Lamrabet, Director – Aviation Business Management, Dubai Airports, said, “Strengthening the tourism, trade and commercial links between China and Dubai is a key strategy for Dubai Airports. We …

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