Category Archives: Aviation

Air Arabia expands fleet to 53 with delivery of two new Airbus A320 aircraft

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Taking two new Airbus A320 aircraft deliveries, Air Arabia has brought its total operating fleet to 53. The latest Airbus A320 arrived on schedule from the Airbus facility in Toulouse, France, marking the completion of all deliveries this year. The new A320 aircraft have gone straight into service across the airline’s over 150 destination networks served from the main carrier hubs in the UAE, Morocco and Egypt. Air Arabia added 12 new routes from its hubs in the first half of 2018. The next delivery will be Air Arabia’s first A321neo LR to join the fleet early next year. Adding the A321 to the fleet will enable the low-cost carrier to extend its fleet reach and therefore, enter new markets as well as better serve existing high-density routes. Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia, said, “The delivery of our last two aircraft for 2018 marks a significant step in the development of our fleet expansion strategy, especially as we added 12 new routes this year. We are proud to have created one of the industry’s most modern fleets through exceptional organic growth which helped us offer customers a wider range of destinations at great value.”

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Emirates A380 one-off to Islamabad on July 8

An Emirates Airbus A380

In an effort to launch a scheduled A380 service to Pakistan, Emirates will deploy a one-off A380 to Islamabad on July 8. The airline’s iconic double-decker will make its inaugural arrival in Islamabad on a special flight EK2524/EK2525. The A380 flight will depart Dubai on July 8 at 08:00 hrs and arrive in Islamabad at 12:10 hrs. The flight will depart Islamabad at 15:40 hrs and arrive in Dubai at 17:45 hrs on the same day. “We are proud to bring our flagship A380 aircraft to Islamabad, and we look forward to showcasing our innovative products on-board this iconic aircraft with the signature Emirates service. While this is a special flight, we are very keen to launch a scheduled A380 service to Pakistan and will continue to work with authorities to realise these plans,” said Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Divisional Senior Vice President – Commercial Operations Centre, Emirates. The Emirates A380 aircraft on this special one-off service will be in a two-class configuration offering spacious seats in Economy Class and fully flat-bed seats in Business Class as well as Emirates’ popular Onboard Lounge. Passengers in all classes enjoy free Wi-Fi to stay in touch with family and friends and Emirates’ multi-award winning ‘ice’ inflight entertainment with up to 3,500 channels of movies, TV programmes, music and podcasts on the industry’s biggest personal screens in each class of travel.

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flydubai integrates Emirates Skywards from August 1, 2018

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flydubai has announced that Emirates Skywards will now become the loyalty programme for both the airlines. The partnership, announced in July last year, goes beyond code-sharing to a number of initiatives spanning commercial, network planning, airport operations, customer journey. From August 1, 2018, OPEN members will be enrolled into Emirates Skywards to continue to be rewarded when travelling with flydubai. Members will be able to earn both Skywards Miles and Tier Miles every time they fly with Emirates or flydubai, enhancing collection and spending opportunities. During July, OPEN Gold members and Emirates Skywards Silver members and above, who are also OPEN members, can convert their OPEN reward points to Skywards Miles (2 OPEN reward points = 1 Skywards Mile). OPEN reward points held in existing accounts can be redeemed until July 31, 2018 for future flights with flydubai. Since the launch, more than 650,000 passengers have benefitted from the Emirates and flydubai partnership. The seamless approach to travel committed to by both airlines is further cemented with this collaboration, passing on the benefits to passengers who now have the choice to travel to over 200 unique destinations on the combined network of both airlines.

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Etihad Cargo launches ‘FlightValet’ to transport luxury vehicles

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Ahead of the seasonal surge in demand for luxury vehicle shipments to popular holiday destinations, Etihad Cargo celebrates the launch of ‘FlightValet’, its newly designed product aimed to ease the process of moving motor vehicles across the globe. Etihad Cargo transports hundreds of high-value vehicles annually on its passenger and freighter aircraft, and this new product will further simplify customers’ booking experience. Commenting on the launch, Abdulla Mohamed Shadid, Managing Director – Cargo and Logistics, Etihad Airways said, “We are delighted to introduce this new tailored product to the marketplace. Demand from our customers has grown significantly in recent years, and in an effort to improve our service offering, we have introduced vehicle handling capability at key new stations in 2018.” FlightValet is available to those who wish to transport their luxury vehicles immediately. Customers choosing the service will benefit from Etihad Cargo’s proven track record in handling some of the world’s most valuable cars. FlightValet is offered through a dedicated team that will oversee the swift, safe and secure delivery of the vehicle to its final destination. Throughout the year, it will also cater to racing enthusiasts worldwide wishing to take their cars around iconic racetracks such as Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit, home to the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since 2009.

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Emirates launches second daily flight to Prague

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Emirates has launched a second daily flight between Dubai and Prague to meet the increasing demand for travel on the route. The airline has been serving the Czech market since 2010 and has carried some 1.7 million passengers on the route during this time. To meet the rising demand for both inbound and outbound travel, Emirates has added this new daily flight operated by a Boeing 777-300 ER with a capacity of 360 seats, boosting tourism into the Czech Republic by 262,800 seats a year. The new flight will accommodate three classes on board, with eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie-flat seats in Business Class and 310 spacious seats in Economy. Flight EK137 leaves Dubai at 15:30 and arrives in Prague at 19:55. The return flight EK138 leaves Prague at 21:35 and arrives in Dubai at 05:30 the following day, giving travellers the full day in Dubai to kick-start their holiday, short break or business trip, and take advantage of the wealth of activity and dining options the cosmopolitan city has to offer.

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National Aviation Services opens Luxury Pearl Lounge at Cairo International Airport

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National Aviation Services (NAS) has inaugurated its Pearl Lounge at the Cairo International Airport recently. The development of this new lounge follows a five year agreement between the National Logistics Services (NLS), a wholly owned NAS subsidiary and the Cairo Airport Authority to develop and operate the lounge. The inaugural was held in the presence of Mohamed Galal, NAS Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Ahab Abd Elaziz, General Manager, NAS Egypt, key airport officials, dignitaries and media. The new Pearl Lounge, located at Terminal 2 in Departures, covers an area of 540 square meters and offers the ultimate in comfort and luxury to all passengers. This includes complimentary Wi-Fi, tablets, charging power points, food, beverages, comfortable seating and a kids entertainment area to relax and unwind or catch up on work. NAS has been operating in Egypt since 2013. The Pearl Lounge at Cairo International Airport is the fifth NAS lounge in the country with two each at Sham Al Sheikh and Marsa Alam airports. NAS also provides Meet and Assist services that allow passengers to maneuver airport queues faster and helps get them to their flights or destinations quicker. General Ahab Abd Elaziz, General Manager, NAS Egypt, said, “The Cairo International Airport is the busiest in Egypt and second busiest in Africa with a total capacity of 30 million passengers annually. At the Pearl Lounge, NAS offers world class facilities combined with its lounge management expertise to offer passengers premium hospitality in a comfortable and luxurious environment.”

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Emirates Airlines expects over 220,000 passengers in the upcoming two weekends

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Emirates expects high passenger traffic on its flights this upcoming weekend, as travellers journey out for their summer holidays and long breaks. Over 220,000 travellers will be passing through Emirates Terminal 3 during the upcoming two weekends. Emirates reminds customers to arrive at the airport at least three hours before flight departure, and customers are encouraged to plan extra time to avoid potential delays. Passengers can physically check in at the airport as early as six hours before departing on their flight. They are requested to check in no later than 90 minutes prior to departure, regardless of class of travel. Customers who check in less than 60 minutes prior to their scheduled flight departure will not be accepted for travel. Customers can also check in online on both their desktops and mobile devices from 48 hours to 90 minutes before flight departure. In addition to these online check-in services, Emirates also offers check-in facilities near its car park area. Customers can use these to check in and drop off their luggage from 24 hours to six hours prior to departure. Along with checked in baggage, passengers are strongly advised to adhere to carry-on baggage weight limits, which are 7kg for Economy Class and 14kg for Business and First Class. Staff will be checking the weight of carry-on bags at various touch points before passengers board their flights. For a more convenient way to check-in, especially for families, groups and passengers with tight schedules, Emirates also offers home-check in, allowing customers travelling across all classes to check in for their flights from anywhere in Dubai.

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flydubai launches direct flight between Dubai and Sicily

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flydubai has launched its first service to the Italian city of Catania, marking the start of direct flights between Dubai and Sicily. A senior delegation from Dubai, including HE Liborio Stellino, the Ambassador of Italy in the UAE, Jeyhun Efendi, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations for flydubai, Thierry Aucoc, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations (Europe & Russian Federation) for Emirates, arrived at Catania International Airport (CTA) for the launch event. The delegation was met on the ground by Muhannad Alnaqbi, Deputy Head of the UAE Mission to Italy, and by Nico Torrisi, Chief Executive Officer for Società Aeroporto Catania (SAC). On arrival, the flight was met with a traditional water cannon salute. flydubai offers direct flights to Catania and through its partnership with Emirates this service will operate as part of its codeshare offering unmatched travel options. flydubai’s route network in Europe includes 27 points in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland (from October), Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine. Stellino, Italy’s Ambassador to the UAE, said, “The new flydubai connection with Catania will enable, in an effective way, for the South of Italy to be directly linked to Dubai’s extensive air network. It is therefore favourably perceived as part and parcel of the multifaceted and comprehensive Italy-UAE partnership. Such a positive development in connectivity is going to become immediately a very useful tool for both countries, a win-win approach, creating enhanced results and a successful impact on the tourism and trade sector.”

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Emirates and Crop One Holdings to invest US$40 mn to build vertical farming facility

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Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC) and Crop One will co-invest US$40 million to build the world’s largest vertical farming facility near Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central. The project is a joint venture with US-based Crop One Holdings, the world’s leading vertical farm operator. The construction of the facility is scheduled to start in November 2018 and will take approximately one year to complete. The first products are expected to be delivered to Emirates Flight Catering’s customers, including 105 airlines and 25 airport lounges, in December 2019. When complete, the vertical farm facility will cover 130,000 square feet, but have a production output equivalent to 900 acres of farmland. At full production, the facility will harvest three US tons (2,700 kg) of high-quality, herbicide-free and pesticide-free leafy greens daily, using 99 per cent less water than outdoor fields. The proximity of the farm to the point of consumption also substantially reduces carbon emissions associated with transportation. It will also ensure the quick delivery of the fresh products, reaching customers within hours of harvest, maintaining high nutritional value. His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group said: “Today’s announcement is an important milestone for the Emirates Group, for Dubai, and for the UAE. This investment to build and operate the world’s largest vertical farming facility aligns with the UAE’s drive for more agricultural self-sufficiency, a vision which began with the late HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE’s founding father. The introduction of ground-breaking technology at the facility also enhances Dubai’s position as a global innovation hub.”

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Etihad issues travel advisory for hassle-free journey this summer

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Etihad Airways has issued travel advice for summer holidays to ensure that the airline’s guests enjoy a convenient travel experience during the period. It has a number of travel tips and reminders to save time: Early Check-in; for the convenience of those guests who live downtown, early check-in is available at the Abu Dhabi City Terminal for AED30 per guest. Guests should arrive at Abu Dhabi International Airport at least three hours before take-off, accounting for extra road traffic. Moonlight Check-in will be available for guests to check-in early at Abu Dhabi Airport. Guests using Etihad’s Moonlight Check-in will receive 2,500 Etihad Guest miles per guest, 5kg additional baggage per guest, as well as an Abu Dhabi Airports discount and offers voucher on Duty Free and Food & Beverage. Moonlight Check-in guests will have the option to purchase access to one of the Etihad Business Class lounges at Abu Dhabi Airport with a special 50 per cent discount offer. Moonlight check-in will operate at Abu Dhabi Airport Terminal 3, counters 75 to 80, between 4am and 6am, and again between 4pm and 6pm during the following periods: 4pm-6pm Wednesday, June 27 to 4am-6am Monday July 9 and 4pm-6pm Thursday, July 12 to 4am-6am Sunday July 14. Check-in and Boarding Times – Economy Class check-in for non-US flights opens three hours before departure and closes one hour before departure. Economy Class check-in for US flights opens five hours before departure and will close two hours before departure.

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