Category Archives: Aviation

Ethiopian Airlines focus on seven new destinations in first five months

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Africa’s largest airline group Ethiopian Airlines will begin the first five months of the new year with a rapid network expansion plan to launch seven new destinations from February to June 2017. They envisage to reach 120 international destinations worldwide by 2025. The new destinations from February to June, will launch new service to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe), Antananarivo (Madagascar), Conakry (Guinea), Oslo (Norway), Chengdu (China), Jakarta (Indonesia) and Singapore (Singapore). With the addition of these stations, Ethiopian will have service from Addis Ababa to 98 different international cities located across the world and just 22 to reach their goal of 120. Group CEO Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde GebreMariam, said: “Africa’s share of the Global Aviation is the smallest which is only around 3%. As the largest airline group in the continent, we are highly concerned on the low base of air connectivity in the continent and we are setting record expansion to enable Africans enjoy safe, reliable and economical air connectivity both within the continent and between the continent and the rest of the world. Looking beyond the current economic slowdown especially in the oil export dependent economies of Africa, we firmly believe that the continent will become the magnet for foreign direct investment, trade and tourism, which are the engines of air travel growth and in turn efficient air connectivity also drives socio economic development and we are happy to contribute our share in the 21st Century African Transformation. In the just ended calendar year alone, new flights to Moroni (Comoros), WindHoek (Namibia) and Newark (United States) were launched, as well as three cities in Ethiopia: Hawassa, Kebridahar and Dembidolo. Ethiopian is one of the fastest growing airlines in the …

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Sharjah airport hits 11 million passenger marks in 2016

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Sharjah International Airport registered a 10 percent year-on-year increase in passengers, handling 11 million passengers from January to December 2016. The airport passed the 10 million passenger mark for the first time in 2015, showing 5.5 percent growth. Since then, the airport has continued to show strong growth. Airport passengers increased 12 percent during the first quarter of 2016, 11 percent during Q2 and 13 percent during Q3, reaching one million passengers per month for the first time in August 2016. Aircraft movements at Sharjah International Airport increased by 6 percent to 75,900 scheduled and non-scheduled movements in 2016 compared with 71,426 in 2015. 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.Whilst Air Arabia hasn’t yet announced overall figures for 2016, the airline served over 2.27 million passengers during the first nine months of 2016, a 14 percent increase compared to the 2 million passengers during the same period of 2015. The airline currently operates a fleet of 46 Airbus A320 aircraft offering flights to over 120 destinations in 33 countries from five hubs across the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

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Flynas orders 60 A320neo aircraft

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Flynas, Saudi Arabia’s leading low-cost carrier, has signed an agreement with Airbus for 60 A320neo family aircraft. In addition to the 60 aircraft, Flynas has converted 20 A320ceo from a previous order to A320neo bringing the airline’s total firm order to 80 A320neo. The deliveries are scheduled to take place during 2018-2026. The agreement was announced in Riyadh in the presence of Ayed Al Jeaid, Chairman, NAS Holding, Bander Al Mohanna, Chief Executive Officer, NAS Holding Group and Fouad Attar, Managing Director, Airbus Middle East. Flynas, an all Airbus operator, currently has 26 A320ceo in service. Ayed Al Jeaid, Chairman, NAS Holding Group said, “Flynas has come a long way to establish itself as a highly reputed airline in Saudi Arabia. With the introduction of the new aircraft technology, we are confident of our ability to provide best services to our customers. We also look forward to being the first airline in the Kingdom to be successfully listed on the Saudi Stock exchange, which will offer equity ownership to the public and be a part of a great journey.”

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Turkish adds Kharkiv, in Ukraine, to its network

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Turkish Airlines will now add Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine, to its extensive flight network from March 30, 2017. Kharkiv flights will be operated 4 times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and will increase to 7 times per week as of May 30th. Round trip fares are available from Istanbul to Kharkiv starting from $109 (including taxes and fees). Additionally, for the first six months of operation to the new destinations, there is a special offer for Miles&Smiles members, with a 25% reduction in the miles needed to redeem either award tickets or upgrades.

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Qatar to land in Las Vegas in 2018

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Qatar Airways has announced it will commence four times weekly, non-stop service to Las Vegas, Nevada, starting 8 January 2018. The new route will be the airline’s 11th to the United States, connecting McCarran International Airport to Hamad International Airport in Doha, making Qatar Airways the first Gulf carrier to provide regular scheduled service to Las Vegas. “Las Vegas is a thriving leisure destination and adding the city to our route map has been long overdue. Growing our western United States network is important to the airline as we are seeing exponential growth in passenger demand from the East via our state of the art hub in Doha,” said Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker. “Our passengers appreciate the glamour, style and allure of Las Vegas and beginning in 2018, we are going to give our passengers from around the world direct and convenient access to this unique capital of entertainment.” The new route also provides US-based flyers with an additional point of departure, when travelling abroad to Qatar Airways’ global network of over 150 destinations. It will be Qatar Airways’ second route from the American west, after the airline launched their popular Los Angeles to Doha route, in January 2016.This year, Qatar Airways is celebrating its 10th anniversary of serving the United States, having started serving New York/Newark in 2007. Qatar Airways currently serves 10 American cities. Las Vegas will join Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City/JFK International Airport, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. The new route will operate with a Boeing 777-200LR.

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Emirates redeploys A380 on Dubai-Narita route

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Emirates will resume its flagship A380 service between Dubai and Narita from March 26, 2017. This follows the airline’s recent A380 deployment to Moscow, and will take place after the upcoming launch of A380 services to Johannesburg. It will also coincide with the launch of A380 services between Dubai and Casablanca. Emirates will deploy its three-class A380 on the Narita route, offering a total of 489 seats, with 14 private suites in First Class, 76 mini pods with lie-flat seats in Business Class and 399 spacious seats in Economy Class, increasing capacity per flight by more than 135 passengers compared to the current Boeing 777-300ER. Flight EK318 will depart Dubai at 02:40 and arrive in Narita at 17:35 daily. Return flight EK319 will depart Narita on Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 22:00 and arrive in Dubai at 04:15 the next day, while on Tuesday and Wednesday, it will depart Narita at 21:20 and arrive in Dubai at 03:35 the next day. All times are local. Narita will join more than 40 destinations on Emirates’ extensive global network served by its A380 aircraft, including Paris, Rome, Milan, Madrid, London and Mauritius. Emirates currently operates a three-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on its daily flights between Narita and Dubai. The resumption of Emirates’ A380 service to Narita makes it possible for Japanese travellers to fly only on A380s to their final destinations, particularly when travelling to European cities, via Dubai.

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Dubai Airports signs MOU for Expo 2020

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Dubai Airports, operator of Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Bureau Dubai Expo 2020 to ensure a world-class experience for the millions of guests that will visit Dubai during the event. Following the signing of the MoU the airport operator is now an official supporter of Dubai Expo 2020. As part of the agreement, Dubai Airports will engage with the Expo 2020 team and airport stakeholders to create an ‘expo experience’ inside the airport which will set the tone for visitors and entice transfer passengers to return or stopover. Additionally, as part of its DXB Plus programme and service strategy, Dubai Airports will work with airport stakeholders to ensure minimal queuing and fast and convenient passage through both airports. Dubai Airports recently launched two major projects that will provide the capacity required for Expo 2020 and onwards. The first, DXB Plus, is designed to deliver a consistent and differentiated customer experience while boosting capacity to 118 million by 2023 without adding any additional significant infrastructure. Capacity gains and service enhancements will be achieved through streamline, customer-centric processes and new technology. The second, also currently underway, will see DWC’s passenger terminal building expanded from the current 5 million passengers per year to 26 million by the end of next year.  As part of the DWC expansion programme the check-in area, baggage and immigration halls, as well as security screening areas, will be substantially expanded while the forecourt will be improved to ensure easier access to the parking and drop-off areas. Once complete the passenger terminal will provide a total of 24 boarding gates, 7 baggage reclaim carousels and 104 check-in desks.

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Emirates Airlines’ Festival of Literature from March 3-11

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The 2017 edition of Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature will be held from March 3-11, and will see 160 authors from more than 30 countries conducting 250 sessions. The Festival is held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and in partnership with Emirates Airline and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated Authority for heritage, arts, and culture. The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is the Middle East’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word. In nine short years the Festival has grown into the UAE’s premier literary festival, hosting international and regional writers, poets, thinkers and speakers from around the world.

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Hamad International Airport wins 5-star status

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Hamad International Airport (HIA) has joined the top tier of global airports becoming the sixth airport in the world to receive the ‘5-Star Airport’ designation by Skytrax, the London-based aviation institute and the gold standard for conveying the passenger’s voice in airport and airline rankings. This makes HIA the first ever airport in the Middle East to earn this acclaimed title. The prestigious 5-Star Airport rating is awarded to airports achieving the highest, overall Quality Performance. The 5-Star Airport rating recognises those airports providing excellent facilities for customers combined with high quality airport staff service. Airport Quality ranking covers front-line areas for departures, arrival and transfer, including airport facilities, customer service, security, immigration, shop outlets and food and beverage facilities. The highest rating – five stars – has previously only been awarded to five other airports worldwide: Singapore, Seoul, Hong Kong, Tokyo-Haneda and Munich.

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Dubai airports record 100,000+ passengers in one day

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Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director-General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs in Dubai, revealed that Dubai International airports received 105, 326 passengers in one day for the first time. Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri expressed his happiness about this achievement consisting of receiving this huge number of passengers to UAE, which reflects UAE’s vision to make of Dubai a place where the world’s cultures meet and interact. Major General Al Marri made this statement as he presented statistics about the numbers of passengers coming and traveling from Dubai on New Year’s Eve. He stated that the total number of passengers during the period from December 28th to December 31st 2016 reached 669,093 passengers, noting that the numbers of travelers coming to Dubai reached 389,290 while the travelers from Dubai reached 288,803. He said that Dubai seeks to accomplish the entry and departure procedures for travelers according to the best standards to guarantee their satisfaction. He also noted that a special team was assigned to facilitate these procedures during holiday’s period to guarantee speeding the process.

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