Category Archives: Aviation

Airbus signs MoU with Emirates Airline to deliver 20 A380 aircraft by 2020

Emirates Airline and Airbus have signed a memorandum of understanding to deliver an additional 20 A380 aircraft by 2020. The MoU was signed on the sidelines of the World Government Summit, in the presence of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai and Edouard Philippe, Prime Minister of France, between HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group; and Mikail Houari, President Airbus Africa Middle East. During the event, Sheikh Ahmed and French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe also discussed the strong aviation ties between the UAE and France, and the expansion of air services between both countries. Together with the airline’s 101-strong A380 fleet and its current order backlog for 41 aircraft, this new order brings Emirates’ commitment to the A380 programme to 178 aircraft, worth over US$ 60 billion. Emirates’ A380 fleet operates both Engine Alliance and Rolls-Royce engines, and the airline is evaluating engine options for its latest A380 order. Sheikh Ahmed said: “This agreement underscores our commitment to the A380 programme, providing stability to the A380 production line and supporting tens of thousands of high-value jobs across the aviation supply chain. For Emirates, the A380 has been a successful aircraft for our customers, our operations, and our brand. We look forward to continue working with Airbus to further enhance the aircraft and onboard product.” “We thank Emirates, HH Sheikh Ahmed, Tim Clark and Adel Al-Redha for their continued confidence in the A380, which has so successfully transformed air travel in the 21st century,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President Commercial Aircraft and Chief Operating Officer. “This latest agreement further demonstrates …

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flydubai adds Kinshasa to its African network

Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) will be the latest addition to flydubai’s network from April 15. The daily flights will operate with an enroute stop in nearby Entebbe and will also be available for booking through the Emirates codeshare agreement. flydubai becomes the first UAE carrier to operate flights to Kinshasa International Airport and provide links from the UAE and the region to a new gateway in Central Africa. Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer, flydubai, said, “Africa is fast emerging as one of the most important markets for the United Arab Emirates. With the proximity to the continent and rising demand to more direct links to Africa, we see this new service to Kinshasa playing an instrumental role in further supporting the growing trade and tourism flows in the coming years.” Passengers travelling to and from Kinshasa will have the option of a Business Class experience, benefitting from priority check-in service, spacious seats and a range of dining options. Passengers travelling in Economy Class will have access to comfortable seating and a convenient way to travel.

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Thai Airways opens office in Abu Dhabi

Thai Airways International Public Company (THAI) has opened its new branch office under GSA-Majestic Travel & Tours LLC in Abu Dhabi at Al Falah Street. The office was inaugurated by His Excellency Komate Kamalanavin, Ambassador of Thailand along with Chantouch Srinilta, General Manager—UAE & Middle East, Henry Boutros, Area Sales Manager—UAE & Middle East, Kumar Jagadeesan, General Manager, Anta Travel and Vinit Singh, Manager, Majestic Travel & Tours. THAI flies daily from Dubai to Bangkok with smooth connections through its home base Suvarnabhumi International Airport to domestic Thailand destinations and beyond to the Far East, Asia and Australia. As the first contact point in the Kingdom of Thailand, THAI offers passengers a sublime experience and economy cabins amongst the best in the industry, with generous legroom and plush wide seats. Royal silk Business Class cabin inspired by the rich culture and heritage of Thailand offers a personal lounge-office in the clouds with customisable configurations. THAI continues to focus on the importance of consistent product development based on customer satisfaction with state-of-art services that meets customers’ needs.

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Dubai’s aviation sector pledges to go green

Dubai Airports has joined Dubai’s aviation community in signing a pledge to purchase only ‘green vehicles’ in the future. The pledge was signed by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports; President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority; Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group, and representatives from Emirates airline, flydubai, dnata, Dubai Police, Dubai Customs and Dubai’s General Directory of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). “This commitment is fully aligned with the Dubai government’s aggressive goals to reduce energy consumption by 30 per cent by 2030 as well as our sector’s strategy to limit our environmental footprint while continuing our significant contributions to Dubai’s employment and GDP,” said Al Maktoum. DXB is home to a fleet of over 6,345 ground service vehicles comprising various types ranging from water tankers to tow tractors to fork lifts operated by a number of companies that operate on the airfield including airlines, control authorities and ground handling services provider dnata. Of these DXB features a variety of green vehicles including BMW hybrid limousines for VIP services and RTA’s fleet of Tesla taxis but wants to scale up efforts to convert the fleet to top hybrid or electric models.

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20 smart gates at DXB’s Terminal 1 for quick passport control

Dubai Airports, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) and Emaratech marked the completion of the installation of 20 smart gates at Dubai International’s (DXB) Terminal 1. The new smart gates are now fully operational in the arrivals area of Terminal 1 in addition to the 10 installed last year in departures. In total, some 127 smart gates are available across the entire airport reducing average transaction times from minutes to under 10-15 seconds. The launch of the new smart gates coincides with the start of UAE’s Month of Innovation, which is being observed from February 1 to 28 in response to a call last year by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, to promote a culture of innovation. “Smart gates make customers’ journey smoother by slashing transaction times to just 10-15 seconds and shortening queues,” said Michael Ibbitson, Executive Vice President—Technology & Infrastructure, Dubai Airports. “What’s surprising is that only 17 per cent of our passengers take advantage of the service. If you have a UAE residency card, don’t wait in line, use it.”

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Dubai Airports maintains number one ranking for international traffic

Dubai International (DXB) retained its position as the world’s number one airport for international passengers for the fourth consecutive year with annual traffic for 2017 reaching 88.2 million passengers, according to the annual traffic report issued by Dubai Airports. Propelled by high traffic volumes averaging 7.35 million passengers per month throughout the year, including the record months of January, July and August when traffic breached the 8-million passenger mark, DXB’s traffic reached 88,242,099 passengers for the full year, up 5.5 per cent compared to 83,654,250 passengers recorded during 2016. The airport welcomed 7,854,657 passengers in December, up 1.9 per cent compared to 7,706,351 recorded in the same month in 2016. India continued its domination run as the single largest destination country for DXB with 12,060,435 passengers in 2017, up 5.4 per cent compared to 11,440,215 passengers recorded in 2016. The UK claimed the second spot with 6,466,404 passengers (+6.7 per cent), overtaking Saudi Arabia which recorded 6,364,598 passengers (4.6 per cent). Top regions in terms of percentage growth in 2017 were South America (36.1 per cent), Eastern Europe (25.3 per cent) and Asia (17.9 per cent)–mainly spurred by network expansion by Emirates, flydubai and other carriers.

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Emirates to fly to Chile via Sao Paulo from July 5

Emirates has launched a new, five times a week, service from Dubai to Santiago International Airport (SCL), via the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, starting July 5, 2018. The new service will see Emirates fly an additional five times a week to Sao Paulo, complementing the airline’s existing daily A380 flight between Dubai and Sao Paulo. In total, Emirates will now fly 12 times a week to Sao Paulo. Emirates’ Santiago flight will be a linked service with Sao Paulo, meaning that customers in South America can now travel between the two cities in unprecedented style and comfort. Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates, said “The start of our operations to Chile underlines our commitment to South America with our fourth destination on the continent and another five flights to Sao Paulo. We are pleased to add a destination that has been in strong demand from our customers and look forward to working with stakeholders in Chile to provide our unique product and service to passengers there.” The new route will be operated with a two-class configured Boeing 777-200LR which offers 38 Business Class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration and 264 seats in Economy Class.

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Wego partners with Gulf Air

Wego, the largest online travel marketplace in the MENA region, announced their partnership with Gulf Air which will provide Wego users online access to the airline’s flight-related information and booking capabilities. “Our agreement with Gulf Air reinforces Wego’s leading position in the Middle East,” commented Dean Wicks, Chief Flights Officer, Wego. “Wego will distribute Gulf Air flights, pricing and schedule information across our extensive marketing channels, allowing travellers easy access to flights with an airline that is famous for its traditional Arabian hospitality and renowned for being family and business friendly,” Wicks continued. “Wego’s business is crucial to helping key industry providers extend into new markets in what’s become a fast paced and highly competitive business,” he added. As Gulf Air prepares to welcome 39 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft, greater network expansion is anticipated alongside significant product and service enhancements. In 2017, Wego introduced Progressive Web App (PWA) technology combined with Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), to become the fastest loading mobile marketplace in the world.

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Gulf Air is the official airline of ‘Shop Bahrain’

Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, is onboard once again, supporting ‘Shop Bahrain’ for the fourth consecutive year as official airline of the nationwide shopping festival. As a strategic partner of ‘Shop Bahrain’, Gulf Air is providing more than 6,000 airline tickets at discounted prices as raffle prizes. In addition, Gulf Air customers will receive 4 points for every 1BHD spent when purchasing flights throughout the festival period which runs until February 10, 2018. Captain Waleed Abdulhameed Al Alawi, Deputy CEO, Gulf Air, said, “We are delighted to partner with ‘Shop Bahrain’ once again. This strategic partnership is in line with Gulf Air’s ongoing commitment to support initiatives that help drive the growth of the tourism, retail and hospitality sectors in the Kingdom of Bahrain. It is fitting that we collaborate in this regard, further strengthening Bahrain’s positioning as an attractive destination regionally, while helping to showcase the Kingdom’s tourist attractions and encourage visitors to experience the trademark Arabian hospitality.” Yousef Al Khan, Director, ‘Shop Bahrain’, stated, “This year, we have been coordinating with Gulf Air and various hotels in the Kingdom to develop attractive tourist packages. We aim to offer visitors an unforgettable shopping experience packed with fun-filled events and promotions.”.

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Etihad Airways launches two weekly flights to Lagos, Nigeria

Reaffirming its commitment to Nigeria, Etihad Airways has announced two additional weekly flights on the popular Abu Dhabi–Lagos route, taking it to a daily service. The new Tuesday and Thursday services will start on May 1, 2018. The route will continue to be operated by a two-class Airbus A330, with 22 Business Class seats and 240 in Economy. Mohammad Al Bulooki, Executive Vice President Commercial, Etihad Airways, said: “Nigeria is an important market for Etihad and our home of Abu Dhabi. Since launching the Lagos route in July 2012, Etihad has carried almost 600,000 passengers between our hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport and the commercial heart of Nigeria. It is pleased to be able to support the high demand for our service by soon operating the route on a daily basis.” Guests travelling to Lagos on Etihad Airways will experience the airline’s award-winning service by multinational cabin crew and onboard nannies, extensive inflight entertainment selections and a choice of complimentary international meals and beverages. Depending on the class of travel, passengers can enjoy a generous baggage allowance of two bags of up to 23 kg each in Economy Class and up to 32 kg each in Business Class.

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