Category Archives: Aviation

Qatar adds special weekend Doha-Dubai flights

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Qatar Airways has announced the addition of special weekend getaway flights, to make quick weekend trips easier for people of Doha and Dubai. These new flights are effective from October 3, 2016. The flights are timed to make the most of the weekend, with a Thursday afternoon departure from Doha at 15:50, arriving Dubai International Airport at 18:00 local time, and the Dubai flight leaving at 19:00, arriving in Doha at 19:10 local time. For the Saturday return, weekend revelers can depart Doha at 14:50 and arrive in Dubai at 17:00, or leave Dubai at 18:00 and arrive in Doha at 18:10. These special weekend flights are in addition to Qatar Airways’ 19 other daily flights serving Dubai International Airport and Dubai World Central. Qatar Airways currently offers 15 daily flights to Dubai International Airport, and four daily flights to Dubai World Central.

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Etihad code shares with kulula.com

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The national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways has signed a new code-share agreement with kulula, the award-winning low-cost carrier from South Africa. The code-share deal offers Etihad Airways customers flight options to a number of key cities in South Africa that include Cape Town, Durban, George and East London via Johannesburg. Etihad Airways will place its EY code on kulula’s scheduled flights between Johannesburg and these popular coastal cities. This agreement allows guests access to through-check-in and baggage transfer to their final destination. The new code-share services went on sale from October 3, 2016, with travel from the start of the Northern Winter schedule on 30 October. The agreement with kulula strengthens Etihad Airways’ commitment to Africa and brings the total number of destinations that it serves across the continent to 23 through its existing code-share partnerships with Kenya Airways, Royal Air Maroc, and strategic equity partner Air Seychelles. Etihad Airways currently operates scheduled services to 10 destinations in Africa, namely Johannesburg, Nairobi, Entebbe, Dar es Salaam, Khartoum, Casablanca, Rabat, Lagos, Cairo and Mahé in the Seychelles.

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7.7 million passengers recorded at Dubai Airport in August

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Dubai International (DXB) welcomed a record 7.7 million passengers in August, eclipsing its previous record achieved in July, according to the monthly traffic report issued by operator Dubai Airports. Passenger traffic at DXB passengers reached 7,727,105 compared to 7,282,256 recorded in the corresponding month last year, an increase of 6.1 per cent. The year to date traffic totalled 55,850,353 passengers up 6.9 per cent compared to 52,264,223 recorded during the first eight months of 2015. The seasonal rush of travellers, in particular UAE residents returning for the start of the academic year, boosted the traffic leading to a bumper month. Spurred by additional capacity and new services launched by a number of carriers including Emirates and flydubai, Eastern Europe was the fastest-expanding market in terms of percentage growth (67.9 per cent), followed by Asia (13 per cent), South America (11.7 per cent), and the Indian Subcontinent (11.7 per cent). India remained the top destination country (924,256 passengers), followed by the UK (584,508 passengers) and Saudi Arabia (535,280 passengers). London was the top destination city with 371,320 passengers followed closely by Doha (252,616 passengers) and Kuwait (240,712 passengers). Baku (+284.5 per cent) topped the list of cities in terms of percentage growth, followed by Mashhad (118.6 per cent) and Boston (88.2 per cent) – growth on the routes boosted by increased capacity.The average number of passengers per flight during the month was 237 – one of the highest DXB has ever seen. Aircraft movements totalled 33,827 during the month under review compared to 34,773 movements recorded in August 2015, marginally down by 2.7 per cent. Year to date aircraft movement totalled 276,233 up 2.9 per cent compared to 268,360, recorded during …

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Sharjah Airport records 1 million passengers in August

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Sharjah International Airport has recorded its first million-passenger month, handling 1,041,870 inbound, outbound, transfer and transit passengers during the month of August, a 12 per cent increase on the 928,897 passengers handled during August 2015, according to the airport’s latest statistics. Sharjah airport surpassed 10 million passengers per annum for the first time during 2015, registering an annual passenger growth rate of 5.5 percent compared with 2014. Meanwhile, the airport has had a healthy average monthly passenger growth rate of 12 percent during 2016, compared with last year’s passenger numbers. Overall, 7,349,333 passengers were handled by Sharjah International Airport during the first eight months of 2016. In another first, 7,001 aircraft movements were recorded during August, 10.5 percent more aircraft movements than during the same month in 2015. (Source Shurooq)

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Etihad deploys Dreamliner on Riyadh route

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Etihad Airways will deploy its Boeing 787 Dreamliner on one of its twice-daily scheduled flights between Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, with effect from October 30, 2016. Flight EY317 will be operated with a B787, departing Abu Dhabi at 10:15 hrs, arriving into Riyadh at 11:15 hrs. The return flight EY318 departs Riyadh at 16:25 hrs, arriving into Abu Dhabi at 19:10 hrs. The flights will provide optimal timings for guests in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, and convenient connections to and from destinations across key markets in Europe, Indian subcontinent, Asia and Australia. The 299-seat aircraft, configured in two classes, with 28 seats in Business and 271 in Economy. The upgrade from a single aisle Airbus A321 aircraft will cater to strong demand to and from the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, offering guests more seats on a wide-body aircraft. Together with the other daily Riyadh service operated by a Boeing 777, Etihad Airways will have more than 8,700 weekly seats on the route.

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Qatar Airways & British Airways enter code share

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Qatar Airways and British Airways’ parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG), have announced a joint business agreement that will come into effect on October 30, 2016. The joint business will see the two airlines code-sharing on all non-stop flights between the UK and Doha, to offer customers a combined route network that will serve more than 70 destinations. Between the airlines’ hubs of London and Doha the new partnership will offer seven daily non-stop services in both directions. The will benefit customers by offering a wider choice of flights, an enhanced network, greater choice of fares and superior benefits for members of their frequent flyer programmes. This partnership will allow the carriers to provide passengers with better links and an even more seamless travel experience between the UK, Asia, Middle East and Africa.  

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Emirates and Tourism Ireland launch UAE Sales mission

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Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons has unveiled the Emirates Airline and Tourism Ireland Sales Mission at Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Dubai. The Sales Mission is part of Tourism Ireland’s continued efforts to drive tourism from the UAE to the island of Ireland and provides unique networking opportunity for Irish suppliers and the UAE travel trade community. With six speakers, five presentations and a networking session followed by a series of one to one sessions with Irish suppliers, the mission was attended by 90 tour operators and included a key note speech from Gerald Lawless, Head of Tourism and Hospitality at Dubai Holding. Nine Irish suppliers attended the mission, including DMC’s, hotels, retail outlets and attractions. The Sales Mission showcased the island of Ireland’s filming locations of hit TV series Game of Thrones and blockbuster movie, Star Wars. During his visit to the UAE, Gibbons also met with Mohammed Al Rais, CEO of Al Rais Travels. Tourism Ireland and Al Rais Travel have recently joined together to bring one of the region’s top bloggers, Taim Al Falasi, to tour the island of Ireland. During the Sales Mission, Al Rais Travel launched a new seven day itinerary ‘Taim’s Ireland Experience’, allowing fans of the blogger to follow in her footsteps and experience the island of Ireland.  As part of the destination’s focus on innovation to attract new audiences, Tourism Ireland also invited agents and partners to view a series of Virtual Reality Films during the roadshow which brought stunning itineraries to life including The Wild Atlantic Way and Belfast City through personal VR viewers made available to attendees.

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Qatar unveils new transit visa rules

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A new transit visa structure unveiled by Qatar will now allow passengers with a minimum transit time of five hours in Hamad International Airport, to stay in Qatar for up to 96 hours (four days), without the requirement to apply ahead of time for an entry visa. Qatar Airways, Qatar Tourism Authority and Qatar’s Ministry of Interior recently announced this revised tourism visa scheme in a move to promote Qatar as a world-class stopover destination. This is a significant increase from the previous transit visa scheme, which allowed travellers with a minimum layover of eight hours to spend a maximum of 48 hours (two days) in Qatar. This increase is designed to make stopovers easier and more attractive to Qatar Airways’ global passengers, and aims to deliver additional value to the local economy while strengthening Qatar’s position as an attractive tourist destination. The Qatar transit visa is free of charge and available on arrival at Hamad International Airport to passengers of all nationalities, upon confirmation of onward journey and completion of passport control procedures. All visas are approved and issued at the sole discretion of the Ministry of Interior. The development, announced on the eve of World Tourism Day, is the third in a series of enhancements that Qatar has made to facilitate entry into the country for visitors. Last week, officials announced a new process to quicken the entry of tourists arriving on board cruise ships, and earlier, representatives signed an agreement with VFS Global, which will see the development of a new, faster and more transparent tourist visa application mechanism.

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Emirates accords incentive for corporate travellers

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Emirates has revamped its corporate loyalty programme, Emirates Business Rewards, to provide greater value and added features for customers. The new programme has been simplified and made more competitive to allow upgrades on last minute bookings. One of the biggest features is the ability to use Business Rewards Points to book any commercially available seat at any time giving members cash-like convenience. Emirates is the first and only airline in the region to offer such flexibility as part of its corporate loyalty programme – improving cost-effectiveness for business travel. Emirates Business Rewards has enhanced its user-experience with easy-to-use customer dashboards. These include tools to manage and book services for employees, and monitor the savings accumulated so far on the programme.

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Qatar Airways increase capacity to Brazil and Argentina

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Qatar Airways will introduce additional capacity to its two South American gateways from December 1, 2016, when the airline upgrades its existing aircraft operating on the route, a Boeing 777-200LR, to a Boeing 777-300ER. The upgrade to the Extended Range aircraft will provide an additional 99 seats per day from the airline’s capital in Doha to Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires. Qatar Airways’ existing aircraft operating on the route is the Boeing 777-200LR with 259 seats, which will increase to 358 seats. Commercial passenger traffic from the two cities to Qatar Airways’ network of more than 150 destinations via Doha provides travellers with some of the  shortest travel times from South America to popular destinations such as Bangkok, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Beirut, Singapore, Delhi and Maldives, and many other places can be conveniently reached via Qatar Airways’ Doha hub. All flights to South America feature three full meal services with three cuisine options in Economy Class, including vegetarian meals and complimentary beverages. In Business Class, Qatar Airways offers a bespoke dine-on-demand service where premium passengers can select a five course meal at their leisure. Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777 offers 42 seats in Business Class and 316 in Economy Class. The airline was recently voted World’s Best Business Class and features a state-of-the-art inflight entertainment system, Oryx One, with up to 3,000 options including the latest movies, TV series, music and games.

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