Category Archives: Aviation

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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Turkish starts direct service to Seychelles

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Seychelles becomes Turkish Airlines’ third island in the Vanilla Islands Group, with the addition of three weekly return flights to Mahé, Seychelles. Turkish Airlines has celebrated the addition of a tourist favourite, Seychelles, to its global route map with the airline’s inaugural flight landing at Mahé International Airport and opening up a world of 114 countries to passengers travelling from the land of perpetual summer. Flying directly from Mahé International Airport, the brand new service will connect passengers departing from Seychelles to 88 worldwide destinations including Paris, Dubai, Frankfurt, London, Milano, Bombay, Abu Dhabi, Vienna, Munich, Zurich, Rome, Moscow, Dusseldorf, Colombo and Hong Kong. The flight is already available for booking at www.turkishairlines.com. This service brings the total number of destinations the airline flies to in Africa to 42, as it keeps its status as the carrier that flies to more countries and international destinations than any other airline by serving its services to 114 countries across Europe, Russia, Central Asia, Far East Asia, the Middle East, Africa, North and South America. The inaugural flight from Istanbul got a water cannon salute at Mahe International airport at a ceremony graced by Ahmet Olmuştur, Chief Marketing Officer of Turkish Airlines;  Alain St. Ange, Minister for Tourism and Culture of the Republic of Seychelles; and  Joel Morgan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport of the Republic of Seychelles, in the presence of diplomatic, protocol and media representatives as well as Turkish Airlines’ officials.

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Qatar code shares with Air Botswana

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Qatar Airways has announced a code-share partnership with Air Botswana, offering Qatar Airways travellers access to three key destinations in Botswana, Africa. The partnership with Air Botswana, the national airline of Botswana, will provide Qatar Airways passengers with connections to the Botswana cities of Gaborone, Francistown and Maun via Qatar Airways’ South Africa gateway Johannesburg. Qatar Airways operates double-daily flights between Johannesburg and its state-of-the-art hub, Hamad International Airport in Doha, with onward flights to more than 150 destinations worldwide. The new code-share agreement allows business and leisure travellers fast and convenient access to the home of Botswana’s rich mineral industry, abundant game reserves, and luxury safari lodges. Botswana’s luxurious tourism experiences are complemented by Qatar Airways’ ultra-modern fleet of aircraft featuring the world’s best Business Class on services to South Africa.

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13% increase in passengers at Sharjah airport this summer

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Sharjah International Airport handled 2,996,433 passengers during July, August and September this year, a 13 percent increase over the same period in 2015. Overall, the number of inbound, outbound, transit and transfer passengers handled during the first nine months of the year increased by 12 percent, compared to the same period last year, to total 8,344,293. Sharjah airport recorded its first million-passenger month in August, with the months of July and September falling just slightly short of the million passenger mark. Meanwhile, 20,362 aircraft take-offs and landings were handled during the July to September period, 8 percent more than the equivalent period during 2015. Airlines have added a number of new connections from Sharjah International Airport this year, including new Air Arabia routes from Sharjah to Batumi (Georgia) and to Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Indian international airlines Air India Express and Jet Airways have both launched new Sharjah routes this year catering to business travellers and tourists, plus Indian expatriates working in the UAE. Jet Airways added new daily routes to Mangaluru (IXE) and Kozhikode (CCJ), while Air India Express has introduced new flights to Mumbai (SAHAR), Chandigarh (IXC) and Tiruchirapalli (TRZ) airports. Turkish airline, AtlasGlobal, also launched a new Sharjah route in April, adding a three-times-weekly service to Istanbul Atatürk International Airport. More new airline routes are planned for the next few months including the addition of a Hyderabad to Sharjah service from Jet Airways in December 2016 and a new Sharjah to Baku service from Air Arabia scheduled for 23 March 2017. Sharjah International Airport surpassed 10 million passengers per annum for the first time during 2015 and plans to handle 25 million passengers per annum by the …

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British Airways’ direct flight to Muscat

A mock-up of the British Airways Airbus A380.

British Airways has launched a direct flight between Muscat and London, further adding convenience to customers travelling between the two regions. Customers, who previously flew between the two cities via Abu Dhabi, can now experience an uninterrupted service, and a reduced flying time of seven hours and 15 minutes, two and a half hours shorter than the previous nine hours and 45 minutes’ journey. The service is operated by the airline’s Boeing 777, five times per week, featuring four cabins of travel – First, Club World (British Airways’ business cabin), World Traveller Plus and World Traveller (British Airways’ economy cabin). The UK carrier, which first began flying to Oman in 1972, inaugurated the new service with a water cannon salute as it landed at Muscat International Airport a few days ago. Anjulika Dutton, Commercial Manager UAE, Oman, Egypt and Central Asia, said that British Airways has successfully served the Omani market for more than four decades. During this period, they have witnessed a strong growth in passengers travelling between these two regions, and anticipate that this new direct service will further enhance connectivity for business and leisure travellers between Oman and the UK. Departing Muscat International Airport at 10.55am, the flight lands at London Heathrow’s Terminal 5 at 2.55pm on the same day, with the return journey departing the British capital at 7.50pm and arriving in Muscat at 7.05am the following morning. A full timetable of British Airways flights is available online here where customers can find the lowest fares and book, pay and check-in online for their flights.  

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Qatar commences A350 to Heathrow

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Qatar Airways’ first daily regularly-scheduled Airbus A350 service to London Heathrow arrived in the United Kingdom on Sunday October 30, as the airline introduced the state-of-the-art aircraft on the route, complementing the existing ‘best of fleet’ on its six daily flights from Hamad International Airport. To mark the occasion Qatar Airways followers on social media were able to follow a live tour of the interior cabin of the A350 while on the ground at London Heathrow. The video can is now available at https://www.facebook.com/qatarairways/ The landing of the A350 on Sunday 30 October also marked another milestone for the airline as it took place on the same day as the start of a new joint business agreement between Qatar Airways and British Airways. The agreement benefits customers by offering a wider choice of flights by code sharing on all seven Qatar Airways and British Airways direct daily flights between London and Doha. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said that Qatar Airways Airbus A350 is one of the most advanced aircraft in their fleet, offering passengers an unrivalled level of comfort while experiencing our award-winning hospitality. It is only right that such an aircraft serves one of their six daily scheduled flights from Doha to London, a route further strengthened by their continued partnership with British Airways.

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96 hour complimentary transit visa by Qatar

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A new free entry transit visa effective from November 1, 2016 was announced by Qatar Airways and Qatar Tourism Authority for travellers to explore the destination within 96 hours.  This scheme allows passengers with layovers of five hours or more in Hamad International Airport to request a complimentary transit visa. The new system will allow transiting passengers of all nationalities to enter Qatar for up to 96 hours in between flights. All visas are granted at the sole discretion of the Qatari Ministry of Interior. Passengers can apply for their free transit visa through any of Qatar Airways’ offices, or online. To be eligible for the transit visa, passengers must have a confirmed ticket for a journey into Qatar, with a confirmed onward journey out of Qatar on a Qatar Airways-operated flight. Terms and conditions apply, which can be found at qatarairways.com/transitvisa

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