Category Archives: Aviation

Turkish Airlines flies direct to Algeria

Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300ER photographed on 6 April 2015 from Wolfe Air Aviation Learjet 25B by Chad Slattery.

Turkish Airlines has added an Antalya-Algeria and vice-versa route to its expanding flight network during summer season. The airline will operate these flights three times a week between Antalya and Algeria. With these direct flights, it is now much easier to reach the country’s tourism center, Antalya from Algeria. Flights will be operated on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday starting from July 8, 2017, from Algeria to Antalya.

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Travelport extends partnership with Emirates

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Travelport and Emirates have launched Emirates Fare Brand chosen — available for the first time to book on Travelport’s Travel Commerce Platform. The program gives the ability to select and pay for seats in advance. The launch of advanced paid seating options for certain economy fares on Travelport continues to promote Emirates’ ongoing investment in inflight customer experience which includes numerous new and innovative products.  Previously only available on Emirates’ website, the enhancement allows over 68,000 Travelport-connected online and offline travel agencies and travel management companies operating in over 180 countries across the globe an even more personalised and enhanced service to travellers. Derek Sharp, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Air Commerce, Travelport, commented: “This is an exciting development in Travelport’s longstanding and deep relationship with Emirates. Their decision to launch advanced paid seating through Travelport – in an industry-first move – is testament to how we are able to help Emirates market their unique offerings to the global travel trade and end travelers.  Emirates has made some significant investments in its inflight customer experience and it’s essential that we are able to fully explain this to travel bookers around the world.”

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$400 million expansion for Sharjah Airport

sharjah airport

The Government of Sharjah has approved a $400 million (AED 1.46b) budget for the expansion of Sharjah International Airport, according to MEED (Middle East Economic Digest), quoting Adel Abdullah Ali, Air Arabia’s Chief Executive Officer. According to the airline CEO, the expansion project is expected to begin this summer and will increase airport capacity from 8 to 18 million passengers a year. A master plan for the expansion of the airport was submitted by American engineering firm Bechtel in 2013, recommending a new terminal, construction of new roads around the airport, plus additional services such as a new hotel and a shopping mall. In 2014, Sharjah International Airport opened a new AED 500 million (US$ 136m) airport runway, significantly expanding the airport’s aircraft capacity. The new runway allows large and new-generation ICAO Code F aircraft such as the Airbus A380 and Boeings B747-8 Intercontinental and B747-8 freighter. The old runway now serves as a taxiway. The airport handled 11 million passengers from January to December 2016, registering a 10 percent year-on-year increase on 2015. In January 2017, the airport handled 969,633 passengers, showing a 4 percent increase on January last year. Sharjah International Airport’s growth has been driven by its strategic location, the success of Sharjah’s in-bound tourism industry and the expansion of Sharjah-headquartered Air Arabia. The airport’s ideal location, close to Sharjah city, Dubai city and the main highways connecting the country’s seven emirates, has made it a convenient hub for both business and leisure travelers.

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Oman Air increases weekly capacity to India

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Oman Air, the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman is growing its capacity to India whereby it will increase its weekly frequencies from 126 to 161 flights per week between Oman and its 11 destinations in India. Effective February onward, Bombay, Delhi, Calicut and Hyderabad will be operated with 21 weekly flights each, and Lucknow with 14 weekly flights. The growth in capacity follows the recently signed agreement between the Governments of Oman and India, where both sides agreed to increase the weekly seats. Chief Executive Officer of Oman Air, Paul Gregorowitsch, commented: “India is a key destination for Oman Air and we are delighted to be offering thousands more guests the opportunity to travel between Oman and India (and beyond). The demand for all 11 of our Indian destinations has always been high and the increased frequencies offer yet more choice and convenience to our guests. Oman Air first launched flights to India in the 1990s and the demand for seats has grown exponentially amongst both business and leisure travellers, not only increasing tourism traffic and revenue but also promoting vital trade agreements between the two countries. The extended traffic entitlements will give a further boost to the tourism sector, prompting many discerning tourists to visit magnificent Oman as well as India’s beautiful touristic spots. The bilateral trade and investment opportunities between the two countries are even further encouraged. This growing commitment in India is part of Oman Air’s ambitious and dynamic programme of fleet and network expansion. This has included the delivery of new aircraft and the introduction of a range of exciting new destinations and new products and services which contribute to a seamless passenger experience. …

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Qatar to fly Doha-Skopje in July

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Qatar Airways confirmed the start date of its direct service to Skopje, the capital of the Republic of Macedonia, with four-weekly flights beginning July 17, 2017. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker said: “Our new four-weekly service to Skopje is a much anticipated addition to our global route map, connecting leisure and business passengers to and from the Republic of Macedonia. Those travelling on Qatar Airways from this destination onwards to our global network will be able to connect seamlessly through the state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport to destinations such as our recently launched gateways of Auckland, Sydney, Krabi and Windhoek.” Qatar Airways to fly four-weekly flights between Doha and Skopje beginning 17 July. The airline will fly the A320 aircraft direct to and from Skopje on the four-weekly schedule, featuring a two-class cabin configuration with 12 seats in Business Class and 132 Economy Class seats. Passengers can relax with individual television screens with up to 3,000 entertainment options, while those in Business Class will be treated to the World’s Best Business Class service, as nominated by the prestigious Skytrax awards. As the capital of the Republic of Macedonia, Skopje provides a gateway to a country of dramatic scenery, including lakes, mountains and historic towns, while the city itself is home to both Ottoman and European architecture. Visitors to the city can enjoy the National Gallery of Macedonia, while those venturing further afield can visit the lakeside city of Ohrid, which features its own picturesque castle.

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3 new destinations for summer by flydubai

Flydubai Boeing 737-800

Batumi in Georgia, Qabala in Azerbaijan and Tivat in Montenegro are the latest destinations to join flydubai’s growing network and will operate from June to September 2017. flydubai will be the first carrier to offer direct flights from the UAE to Qabala and Tivat, and the first from Dubai to Batumi. GCC nationals will not need a visa to any of these three new destinations, while UAE residence will receive visa on arrival. Following the launch of its latest popular destination, Bangkok, at the end of 2016, flydubai continues to diversify its network with the addition of more popular summer destinations for passengers from Dubai and across the region. The decision to launch these seasonal routes is in direct response to customer feedback and demand for more leisure destinations on the flydubai network. “We would like to thank the authorities in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Montenegro for making it easier for the residents of the UAE and GCC to visit these countries by facilitating their visa requirements,” said Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai, commenting on the announcement. “We continue to look for opportunities to further expand our network and offer our passengers more options to travel especially for the summer holiday season. These popular new routes in will complement our existing comprehensive network and will be a gateway to explore this part of the region,” added Al Ghaith. Supported by new aircraft deliveries in 2017, flydubai continues to widen its network which comprises 93 destinations in 44 countries spanning from Yekaterinburg in the north, Bangkok in the east, Zanzibar in the south and Prague in the west. Batumi, which will be served by three flights a week, will …

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PIA and Turkish Airlines expand code share

PIA-Turkish

Turkish Airlines and Pakistan International Airlines have expanded their code-share cooperation, w.e.f from February 1, 2017. Inclusion of the new routes will enable both airlines a step into a new market while offering passengers various possibilities to travel. Turkish Airlines currently operates 7 frequencies each on the Istanbul – Karachi/Islamabad/Lahore vv. routes. The expanded code-share cooperation provides passengers with more feasible connections as well as seamless travel opportunities between and beyond destinations of Turkey and Pakistan. Pakistan International Airlines’ Jeddah and Madinah flights and as well as 8 domestic routes from Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore are appended to the renewed SPA in force since January 1st, 2017, which abled Turkish Airlines to reach Pakistan domestic destinations. The new SPA also involves Turkish Airlines’ all American destinations besides most of the European points. With the expansion of the existing code-share agreement, Pakistan International Airlines will be able to sell Turkish Airlines’ beyond Istanbul points of Atlanta, Johannesburg, Atina, Amsterdam, Tashkent, Moskova, Miami, Boston, Houston, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago with its own airline code and flight number in addition to the already existing cooperation on Istanbul – Karachi/ Islamabad/ Lahore vv. routes; while Turkish Airlines will market Pakistan International Airlines operating flights from Karachi and Islamabad to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Muscat and from Lahore to Dubai and Abu Dhabi with its own airline code and flight number.

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Oman Air unveils new schemes for agents

Oman Air 787 Artwork
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Oman Air’s new loyalty scheme for travel agents was unveiled by Senior Vice President – Network Planning & Revenue Management, Aboudy Nasser. As per the new scheme, the best-selling travel agent staff of every quarter will receive a grand prize of a Mini Cooper, apart from other attractive cash support to the agency for training and joint marketing. The new scheme announcement was followed by a Question and Answer session by Senior Vice President Sales Mahfood Saleem Al Harthy who answered the questions by the travel agents present. Appreciating the efforts of many people in the travel industry, from agents to managers to those in the executive offices, across many levels, who work daily to turn the concept of traveling into reality, Oman Air brought the focus to awarding the efforts of the best performing travel agents for their contribution during 2016. The awards distribution was followed by a modest gala dinner. The event named, Together we Succeed, Oman Air welcomed one of its most important stakeholder segment in Oman, the travel agents.

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Air Arabia delivers strong 2016 net profit of AED 509 million

air-arabia

Air Arabia announced full-year financial results for 2016 as the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier continued to deliver healthy growth and strong levels of profitability despite challenging market conditions.  Air Arabia’s net profit for the full year ending December 31, 2016 was AED 509 million, a 4 per cent lower than 2015 figure of AED 531 million. Turnover for the full year 2016 was in line with the preceding 12 months reaching AED 3.8 billion. More than 8.4 million passengers flew with Air Arabia in 2016, a 12 per cent year-on-year increase. The average seat load factor – or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats – in 2016 stood at an impressive 79 per cent. Following its solid full year 2016 performance, Air Arabia’s Board of Directors proposed a dividend distribution of 7 per cent of share capital, which is equivalent to 7 fils per share. This proposal was made following a meeting of the board of directors of Air Arabia and is subject to ratification by Air Arabia’s shareholders at the company’s upcoming Annual General Meeting. Air Arabia added 9 new routes to its global network in 2016 from its five operating hubs in the UAE, Morocco, Egypt and Jordan. The carrier took delivery of 7 new aircraft and ended the year with a fleet of 46 Airbus A320 aircraft operating to 124 routes across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe.

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Gulf Air inks deal with Sabre

Sabre and Gulf Air (640x388)

Sabre Corporation has signed a new agreement with the Kingdom of Bahrain’s national carrier, Gulf Air, to provide an expanded portfolio of core passenger services technology covering reservations, departure controls and all other aspects that touch passengers directly. For the past two decades, Gulf Air has been using SabreSonic core reservations and departure control systems to conduct the most critical services ranging from sales of tickets to checking in passengers on flights. “It is clearly evident that Gulf Air is enjoying much greater success and has a clear path for continued growth over the coming years,” said Dino Gelmetti, vice president Airline Solutions EMEA, at Sabre. “Sabre is proud to have played an integral role in its turn-around strategy by providing robust, reliable and flexible technology that forms an essential foundation for streamlining its operations, reducing costs and increasing revenue. We look forward to continuing to support Gulf Air in what continues to be an important and exciting period of change and growth.” Under this new agreement, Sabre will continue providing the latest developments and trends through its technology solutions to Gulf Air, giving the airline access to an expanded portfolio of progressive technologies including passenger re-accommodation, mobile concierge services, ancillary inventory and real time revenue integrity software. “We continue to invest in and focus on enhancing the passenger experience, and are doing so via a multi-faceted approach that includes cutting edge technology solutions to make the entire travel experience more convenient and comfortable for Gulf Air passengers,” said Gulf Air Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Ahmed Janahi. “We are pleased to utilise an expanded range of solutions provided by Sabre, geared towards increasing passenger satisfaction and giving them greater control …

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