Category Archives: Aviation

Etihad partners with Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai

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Etihad Airways teamed up with renowned Indian fashion designer Manish Malhotra to showcase the artiste’s latest collection at the Lakmé Fashion Week in Mumbai. Known for designing lavish costumes for Bollywood film stars and Indian cinema for more than two decades, Manish Malhotra has captured the imagination of fashionistas around the world. His opening night show on August 24, ‘Etihad Airways Presents Manish Malhotra’, was shot in virtual reality allowing viewers to feel the excitement of being present at the show, whether backstage, front row or at the post-show party. It comes just months after Etihad Airways used the pioneering technology to give viewers unprecedented access to the airline’s award-winning Airbus A380 by immersing them in the aircraft cabins in a virtual reality film ‘Reimagine’ featuring Hollywood actress Nicole Kidman. The collaboration with Manish Malhotra is the latest initiative by the Abu Dhabi-based airline following its recently-announced sponsorship efforts to become the fashion industry’s preferred airline. This will help further elevate the airline’s premium brand positioning alongside the world’s most revered luxury brands. Earlier this year, Etihad Airways struck a comprehensive global agreement with WME | IMG as a long-term partner of the fashion industry, connecting the airline with the fashion capitals of the world. The agreement is the first multinational, multi-year airline sponsorship supporting the fashion industry. Mumbai is the latest stop in Etihad Airways’ global fashion sponsorship, supporting 17 fashion week events in London, Milan, Sydney, New York and Mumbai, worldwide every year. It follows on from the airline’s recent participation at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia.

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Qatar signs deal with VFS for visa


In a move to step up efforts to attract and welcome more visitors to the destination, Qatar Airways and Qatar Tourism Authority have signed an agreement with VFS Global in the presence of Qatar’s Ministry of Interior. The agreement paves the way for an efficient and transparent tourist visa application system. The agreement will enable Qatar to identify and implement the ideal visa solutions for its visitors, while capitalising on VFS Global’s expertise in developing multi-platform visa services, and Qatar Airways’ extensive international footprint. Qatar Airways and QTA will be working with VFS Global and MOI over the next months to establish the new tourist visa application process, after which full details of the new system will be announced. The steps taken are expected to increase Qatar’s openness ranking on the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, H.E. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Qatar Airways has been bringing tourists to Qatar for nearly two decades and today’s announcement marks another milestone in our commitment to making Doha a world-class tourist destination. Qatar’s tourism industry is experiencing exponential growth and the visa advancements announced today will further support our country’s vision to invite and welcome visitors from around the world to experience all that Qatar has to offer. We look forward to welcoming more passengers on-board, at Hamad International Airport and into Qatar, as a result of today’s initiative. “I would like to sincerely thank the Ministry of Interior’s General Directorate of Nationality, Borders and Expatriates Affairs, and Qatar Tourism Authority for their partnership in making today’s announcement possible. This initiative is a great example of what we can accomplish by working together, and we have other initiatives …

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Etihad celebrates Emirati Women’s Day


Etihad Airways has marked Emirati Women’s Day by announcing that more than half the UAE nationals employed by the airline are women, including almost 50 pilots. Of the more than 3,200 Emiratis employed by the airline, 1,661 are women – or 51 per cent. This includes the 137 at the all-female Al Ain Contact Centre, reflecting the appeal of Etihad as an employer of Emirati women. Aisha Al Mansoori recalls being mesmerised by the aerial activity at Al Ain Air Show in 2007. Nowadays, she is one of those pilots, flying the largest passenger jet in the world. “I fell in love with aviation during the 2007 Al Ain Air Show and joined Etihad the following year as a cadet. After qualifying, I started as a Second Officer on the Airbus A320 and now I’m a First Officer on the A380. I hope to become Captain so I can train other aviators,” she said.   A total of 11 Emirati women are fully operational as pilots with the airline, while 38 others are navigating their way through cadet pilot training. Etihad has been holding a series of events to mark the second year of Emirati Women’s day, a government-led initiative now held annually on 28 August to recognise the role of Emirati women in the development of the UAE. This year’s theme is Emirati Women and Innovation. The most symbolic of the events was a visit to Etihad Airways’ Training Academy by ten longstanding members of the UAE General Women’s Union (GWU). The delegation met some of the airline’s Emirati female pilots, engineers and business leaders – bringing two generations together in a powerful illustration of the journey of Emirati …

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Oman Air’s coach service for Al Ain fliers

Oman Air 787 Artwork

Oman Air has launched a new free bus service between Al Ain and airports in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The service will enable customers to easily access the airline’s international network by simply selecting Al Ain as their origin or destination whilst booking their tickets. Tickets can be purchased online at, or through the nearest Oman Air office. The new bus service has been introduced to offer enhanced convenience for passengers from Al Ain, and to ensure that they start and end their journeys in style and comfort. Oman Air’s buses seat 33 passengers and are equipped with climate-control systems and reclining seats. Externally, their unique Oman Air liveries will make a distinctive impression on the busy roads of the UAE, as they make their non-stop journeys between Al Ain and the two airports.The services will run double-daily between Al Ain and Dubai, and between Al Ain and Abu Dhabi, with a single journey time of approximately two hours. This double daily bus service to each Abu Dhabi & Dubai has a seating capacity of 33 passengers.  

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Qatar offers pilgrimage kits for Hajj travellers


Qatar Airways is embracing the spirit of Hajj by providing pilgrims with exclusive Hajj kits designed and assembled with items to assist them during their spiritual journey. The Hajj kits will be offered to all passengers travelling for pilgrimage on the airline’s flights to Jeddah and Medina during the Hajj season that started from August 26, 2016. The Hajj kits were first launched by Qatar Airways in 2015 and each Hajj kit includes items that are beneficial to pilgrims as they make their journey through the Holy sites. The kit contains a prayer counter, prayer beads, prayer mat, stone bag, socks and wet wipes, conveniently packaged in a bag that can also be used to carry shoes. Qatar Airways, Senior Vice President, Customer Experience, Rossen Dimitrov, said: “Qatar Airways’ flights to Jeddah and Madina offer convenient travel for those passengers who wish to make their Hajj pilgrimage. Qatar Airways introduced the Hajj kits as a way to provide pilgrims with items that would be of value to them during their religious journey and in recognition of the importance of this spiritual time. Providing our passengers with an exceptional journey is a priority for Qatar Airways, and we are delighted to be able to offer them a gift tailored to their specific needs while experiencing Hajj.” Qatar Airways operates four flights a day to Jeddah, and three flights a day to Medina starting from 1 September, from Hamad International Airport in Doha. Through its home base at the state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport, Qatar Airways connects passengers to more than 150 places around the world, providing pilgrims from across the globe with easy, convenient access to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Holy …

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Air Arabia sees 14% rise in passengers in H1 2016


Sharjah-headquartered Air Arabia has reported a 14 percent increase in passenger numbers, carrying 4.1 million passengers during the first six months of 2016, compared with 3.6 million during the same period of 2015. The airline also announced a 3.5 percent increase in net profit, compared with a 4 percent drop in net profit in H1 2015. Despite regional economic uncertainties resulting from lower oil prices, the airlines turnover for the first six months of 2016 grew 5.5 percent, reaching AED 1.84 billion (US$ 0.5b), compared to AED 1.75 billion (US$ 0.48b) in the corresponding period last year. Air Arabia had a strong start to 2016, checking in more than 2.1 million passengers during the first quarter of the year, up 17 percent on the first quarter of 2015. In the second quarter of 2016, the airline flew over 2 million passengers, increasing 12 per cent on Q2 2015. The airline’s average seat load factor (passengers carried as a percentage of available seats) stood at 81 percent in the first quarter, 78 per cent in the second quarter and 79 percent overall during the first half of the year. The budget carrier’s home base, Sharjah International Airport, registered a 12 percent increase in overall passenger traffic over the first six months of 2016, with a total of 5.35 million passengers passed through the airport from January to June 2016, compared to 4.79 million in the same period last year. Passenger numbers handled by Sharjah airport exceeded 10 million for the first time during 2015. Air Arabia added five new international routes since the beginning of 2016, now operating flights to over 120 destinations in 33 countries across the Middle East, Africa, …

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Air India Express adds more routes to Sharjah


Air India Express, the Kochi-headquartered budget arm of Air India, is expected to add two new routes to Sharjah International Airport next month, bringing the total number of its routes between Sharjah and Indian destinations up to seven. The airline will introduce three non-stop flights per week each from Chandigarh (IXC), the state capital of Punjab and Haryana, and from Tiruchirapalli (TRZ) in Tamil Nadu state. India is one of the United Arab Emirates’ leading trade partners, accounting for some 9.8 percent of the country’s total non-oil trade, buying 14.9 percent of the Emirates’ exports and 8.7 percent of its re-exports. The total volume of bilateral trade between India and the UAE is expected to increase from $60 billion in 2014 to $100 billion by the year 2020. India is also the largest single origin of investors for Sharjah’s Hamriyah Free Zone and Sharjah International Airport Free Zone (SAIF Zone). Air India Express has been expanding its services to destinations in the UAE, including daily Mumbai-Dubai, Mumbai-Sharjah, New Delhi-Dubai and New Delhi-Abu Dhabi routes, which it added earlier this year. According to the airline, the number of its weekly flights between India and the UAE increased from 107 flights to 146 flights per week before the summer. The low-cost airline currently operates five routes with a total of 15 weekly flights to Sharjah International Airport. Air India Express now flies direct to Sharjah from Kochi (COK), Kozhikode (CCJ), Mumbai (SAHAR), New Delhi (DEL), Thiruvananthapuram (TRV) and Varanasi (VNS. India is well connected to Sharjah, with Sharjah-headquartered Air Arabia operating flights between Sharjah and 13 Indian destinations. Jet Airways, India’s second largest airline, operates direct daily flights on Sharjah-Kochi and Sharjah-Mangaluru …

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Dubai airports welcome Nepal Airlines

Nepal Airlines

Dubai International (DXB), the world’s number one airport for international passengers welcomed the inaugural flight of Nepal Airlines from Kathmandu to Dubai on August 19. The airline now offers three direct flights per week from the Nepalese capital to DXB’s Terminal 2, onboard an Airbus A320 aircraft. The new service adds more choice for the expatriate Nepalese community in the UAE as well as for the thousands of visitors looking to experience the cultural heritage, colour, and general milieu of Kathmandu’s packed streets, not to mention the many who visit the city to tackle the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest.

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Etihad expands services to Italy


Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will expand its services to Italy with a daily flight to Venice Marco Polo Airport, effective October 30, 2016. The new service will be served by an Airbus A319, offering 16 seats in Business and 90 in Economy. Together with Alitalia, its code-share and equity partner, Etihad Airways will offer 35 weekly flights in and out of Italy, including double daily services to Rome and Milan. Etihad’s Venice flight will offer convenient travel times for guests travelling between the UAE and the Italian city. In addition, the new service will offer seamless connections through Abu Dhabi’s hub to the popular Australia routes of Sydney and Melbourne, as well as key destinations in the GCC, Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and Northeast Asia. Etihad Airways started flights to Milan in 2007 before Rome was added to the network in 2014, contributing to a strong trade relationship between the United Arab Emirates and Italy. Bilateral trade was valued at $6.14 billion in 2015 and the UAE Ministry of Economy has registered more than 90 Italian companies.

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July passenger traffic rises at AUH by 7.9%

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Airports marked an increase in passenger traffic by 7.9 per cent at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) for July 2016 compared to the same month last year. The month recorded 2,267,572 passengers travelling through the airport, exceeding last July’s figure of 2,100,929. Total arrivals at the airport were up by 10.4 per cent at a figure of 1,074,022 in July, with departure numbers also increasing by 6.1 per cent at a total figure of 1,180,504. As for the local arrivals, specifically arrivals to Abu Dhabi excluding transfer and transit, July witnessed numbers rise by 15.9 per cent whilst local departures grew by 1.8 per cent. Arrival and departure transfers have both shown an increase of 8.0 per cent and 8.6 per cent respectively compared to July 2015. Eid and summer holidays were important factors in the increase in these figures. The top city destinations from Abu Dhabi were London, Bangkok, Doha, Bombay and Manila respectively, representing 16 per cent of the total traffic registered at the airport in July. Traffic to India has recorded a significant increase of 15.6 per cent in July, whilst traffic to the UK grew by 7.7 per cent. The traffic to Australia has risen by 28.1 per cent, while traffic to the USA has also gone up by 17.2 per cent. The US pre-clearance facility available at AUH has been a significant contributor to that growth.

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