Category Archives: Aviation

Qatar Airways partners with UnionPay

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Qatar Airways will now accept UnionPay credit and debit cards through its website for ticket and other sales, expanding payment options for customers around the world. With more than 5.8 billion cards issued globally, UnionPay is an international bankcard network and is the preferred method of payment for the Chinese market. The option to pay with UnionPay cards provides Qatar Airways travellers with a high quality and secure payment service worldwide, and is accepted in 160 countries and regions. Qatar Airways customers can now conveniently book via the airline’s website in currencies including Chinese yuan, Great British pound, euro, US dollar, Australian dollar, Hong Kong dollar, Japanese yen, South Korean won, Malaysian ringgit, New Zealand dollar, Singapore dollar and Thai baht using their UnionPay cards. The option to pay with UnionPay cards provides Qatar Airways travellers with a high quality and secure payment service worldwide. Customers across the globe can book Qatar Airways tickets using their UnionPay cards by selecting the UnionPay logo on the payment page. Customers will be re-directed to UPI’s website to fill out their payment credentials, with a successful completion of the payment resulting in a Qatar Airways’ confirmation page and booking reference number. Qatar Airways also recently launched Apple Pay; becoming the first Gulf carrier to offer the revolutionary ‘mobile wallet’ solution across the full list of countries where Apple Pay is available. Available on any iOS device, Apple Pay allows customers to conveniently and securely book their next journey on Qatar Airways with the tap or touch of a finger. Using passcode or finger-print technology, Apple Pay links directly to the subscribers’ nominated debit or credit cards, adding to yet another safe and secure …

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Krabi welcomes Qatar Airways

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The coastal gateway of Krabi, Thailand, welcomed the inaugural Qatar Airways flight to arrive at its international airport from Doha, Qatar. The Airbus A330-200 was greeted by a water salute to usher in the new four times weekly service to Southern Thailand’s west coast. On board the inaugural flight was Qatar Airways Senior Vice President of Asia Pacific, Marwan Koleilat, and Thailand’s Ambassador to Qatar, His Excellency Soonthorn Chaiyindeepum. With the launch of this new service Qatar Airways has become the first Middle Eastern airline to provide scheduled services to Krabi, providing fast and convenient access to one of the world’s most popular tourism regions. Travellers can now enjoy year-round services to the incredible islands of Phi Phi National Park, while also enjoying other cultural experiences in the Southern Thai province famous for stunning land and seascapes, world-class diving, national parks and eco-tours.

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Qatar adds 7 more destinations for 2017/18

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Qatar Airways has announced eight more destinations for 2017-18, in addition to seven previously announced new cities for a total of 15 new gateways. Joining the Qatar Airways’ route network are: Canberra, the airline’s fifth destination in Australia; Dublin, Ireland; Las Vegas, the airline’s 11th destination in the United States; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Medan, Kualanamu International Airport, the airline’s third destination in Indonesia; and Tabuk and Yanbu, the 9th and 10th destinations in Saudi Arabia. These newly-announced destinations join the already-announced list of new destinations to start in 2017: Auckland, New Zealand will start 5 February 2017, and will be the world’s longest commercial flight; Sarajevo, Bosnia; Skopje, Macedonia; Libreville, Gabon; Nice, France; Chiang Mai, the airline’s fourth destination in Thailand; and Douala, Cameroon. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “Qatar Airways offers the world the best network, the best on board experience and the best connecting experience at Hamad International Airport. We operate the world’s youngest fleet, averaging just five years old, and we fly the most technologically advanced aircraft that provide our passengers with an award-winning experience while also ensuring the most efficient and environmentally friendly operations. Our intention is to ensure our passengers can choose Qatar Airways for all of their travel needs – whether they are flying on business, for pleasure, or a combination of both. With today’s network announcement, we will be able to connect more people to more places than any other Gulf airline, and we will ensure our passengers will delight in the journey. At Qatar Airways, we are going places together with our passengers, and we look forward to welcoming these new destinations …

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Ras Al Khaimah Civil Aviation marks National Day

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Ras Al Khaimah’s Department of Civil Aviation (RAKDCA) held a celebratory event with great pomp and show to celebrate the 45th National Day of the UAE at the Civil Aviation Department premises. Presided over by His Excellency Engr. Sheikh Salem Bin Sultan Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman, Department of Civil Aviation, Ras Al Khaimah, the event was graced by top officials from the Civil Aviation Department, Airport, Police, Immigration, Customs, National Security, aviation industry and National carriers like Air Arabia and Qatar Airways. The celebratory event remembered with respect the great leadership and vision of the founding father of the nation His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The event also thanked His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,  Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for following the vision of the founding father and guiding the country to prosperity. The participants thanked His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah,  for the visionary leadership and support to the aviation sector. In order to pay respects to the Martyrs,  a band was played by the students of Al Bustan School, followed by 40-minute audiovisual show highlighting the progress of the country and the dedication and sacrifice of the martyrs, and a march past by the Military School, which evoked patriotism among the spectators. The school children performed an entertaining ayala (traditional local dance), which was enjoyed by all. The event ended with honouring senior employees and long-serving staff as well as outstanding employees.

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Qatar Airways launches digital privilege membership card

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Qatar Airways has launched a digital membership card for its Privilege Club members, providing them with an option to redeem Qmiles when travelling across the airline’s global network. Available to all Privilege Club membership tiers — Burgundy, Silver, Gold and Platinum — the new digital membership card provides travellers with the same level of service as the physical card using their smartphones or tablets. Members can continue earning and redeeming Qmiles on products and services, priority check-in, extra baggage allowance, special discounts at Qatar Duty Free, accessing Qatar Airways’ lounges and using partner airline services, award fee waivers for Gold and Platinum members, Flexi Awards and online redemption discounts. Travellers can now present their membership card on a smartphone or tablet via the Qatar Airways App, mobile website, Apple Wallet, email or as a saved image on a portable device. The digital membership card will now supersede the physical card for all new Burgundy Privilege Club members and their nominated family members, providing them with immediate access to the many benefits of the Privilege Club programme.

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Air Canada taps new markets in the Middle East

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Air Canada is expanding its reach within the Middle East and aims to tap new markets such as Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman. The only four star international network carrier in North America, Air Canada celebrated one year of their operations in Dubai recently in the presence of Margaret Skinner, Director Sales EMEAI, Air Canada. Skinner says that the Dreamliner is a game changer for them, but now they have upgraded it to a Boeing 777 for the convenience of the passengers travelling from Dubai – Toronto route and vice versa. Deepu Cyriac, Country Manager for UAE/GCC, Air Canada, stated that they recently opened BSP in Kuwait. They are further expanding their services to have SPA partnerships with Qatar Airways, Kuwait Airways, Oman Air and Saudi Arabian Airline to travel via Dubai and London to more destinations in Canada. This flexibility has seen a very good growth from the region. They are currently serving a very good mix of markets around the region.

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Dubai-Mangalore by SpiceJet

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The budget carrier SpiceJet has launched direct daily flights from Dubai to Mangalore. The airline will operate a daily direct flight SG 59 on the Mangalore-Dubai route departing at 0.20 am. Whereas SG 60 will be operational on the Dubai-Mangalore route departing at 12.55 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday and at 3.40 am on Monday and Saturday respectively. SpiceJet will deploy its Boeing 737 fleet for the newly devised schedule. Dubai is one of SpiceJet’s six international destinations and with the launch, SpiceJet now serves non-stop flights to Dubai from 10 Indian cities — Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Delhi, Jaipur, Kochi, Kozhikode, Madurai, Mumbai, Pune and Mangalore and with connections from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, besides Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata.

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Gulf Air adds Colombo to its network

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Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, has announced the addition of the Sri Lankan capital city, Colombo, to its network of destinations with the upcoming launch of five weekly flights to/from Bandaranaike International Airport from 19th January, 2017. This latest addition to Gulf Air’s network is in line with the airline’s business strategy which sees it strengthening its position as one of the Middle East’s largest network carriers, while serving key global destinations that provide strong business and tourism links to the Kingdom of Bahrain and the region. With this addition, Gulf Air’s network will serve 41 cities in 24 countries spanning three continents.

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Air Arabia 3Q revenue touches AED 1.12 billion

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Air Arabia’s net profit for the third quarter of 2016 was AED297 million, up 26 per cent compared to AED 235 million reported in the corresponding period of 2015. For the three months ending September 30, 2016, the airline posted a turnover of AED1.12 billion, in line with the revenue generated in the same period of 2015. Air Arabia served over 2.27 million passengers in the third quarter of 2016, a 14 per cent increase compared to 2 million passengers in the same period of last year. The average seat load factor — or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats — for the same quarter stood at an impressive 81 per cent. Air Arabia’s net profit for the first nine months of 2016 stood at AED 542 million, up 15 per cent compared to AED 472 million reported in the corresponding period of 2015. For the nine months ending September 30, 2016, the airline posted a turnover of AED 2.96 billion, an increase of 3 per cent compared to AED 2.86 billion in the same period of 2015. The low-cost aviation pioneer served over 6.3 million passengers in the first nine month of 2016, a 14 per cent year-on-year increase. The average seat load factor — or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats — for the same period stood at an impressive 80 per cent.

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Qatar in talks for 49% stake in Italy’s Meridana

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Qatar Airways is in negotiations to purchase a 49 per cent stake in Italy’s Meridiana Fly, revealed Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive His Excellency Akbar Al Baker during a press briefing in Tuscany. H.E. Al Baker said that Italy is an incredibly important destination in their network and they will keep investing in new routes and increase services in this market. Once the runway extension at Florence Airport is complete, they intend to start a service to this historic city. They also committed to upgrade the aircraft type currently flying to Pisa from an A320 to a wide body model as soon as they receive more aircraft in their fleet. Celebrating the launch of the airline’s flights to Pisa in August 2016, the press briefing was also attended by His Excellency Abdulaziz Bin Ahmed Al Malki Al Jehani, Qatar’s Ambassador to Italy.  

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