Category Archives: Aviation

SimplyGo and SITA create COVID-19 focused health data platform

As part of the trial project, SimplyGo is partnering with technology provider SITA. SITA’s advanced technology platforms and experience in border management, airport, and airline operations were crucial in distributing the SimplyGo platform across continents. For the first time, a small group of air travelers flying from Germany and Estonia to the United Arab Emirates has tested the health data platform and app SimplyGo in a live environment. Peter Bauer, founder of SimplyGo, said, “The trial demonstrated that SimplyGo technology supports travelers and airlines in adhering to health requirements and secure systems. The app is extremely simple for travelers to use. Just a few clicks and users securely store their COVID-19 test or vaccination information, making it accessible for airlines and border officials. There’s no paperwork or bar code at the check-in needed, all data is managed securely and highly protected from fraud. This trial is the first step in rolling out SimplyGo, to help restore confidence in air travel and to ensure a safer and more efficient air travel for all.” Jeremy Springall, Vice-President SITA AT BORDERS, said, “As the technology provider for the air transport industry we are working closely with governments, industry bodies, and border organizations globally to mitigate health risks of travel during the pandemic. SITA’s Health Protect ecosystem enables interoperability and acts as a bridge between health passport schemes, airlines, airports, and governments. It comprises a suite of solutions, including SITA Health ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization), SITA APP, and SITA Flex for in-airport passenger flow monitoring. Selecting the right combination of products and integrating with a health pass system like SimplyGo, ensures governments are aware of who is intending to travel and their health status. …

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Emirates restricts carriage of non-nationals on flights to Kuwait & KSA

Emirates announced that on the directives by the governments of the State of Kuwait and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, temporary restrictions are in place as follows: for State of Kuwait – Emirates will not accept non‑Kuwaiti national passengers on flights from Dubai to Kuwait, from 7 to 20 February 2021. Customers holding tickets with Kuwait as a final destination will not be accepted for travel at their point of origin. Exemptions are first‑degree relatives of Kuwaitis, domestic workers travelling with Kuwaiti sponsors, and domestic workers registered on Belsalamah platform. For Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – Emirates will not accept non‑Saudi national passengers on flights from Dubai to Saudi Arabia, until further notice. Customers holding tickets with final destinations in Saudi Arabia will not be accepted for travel at their point of origin. Exemptions are Diplomatic passport holders and Health Practitioners and their families. They regret the inconvenience caused, and affected customers should contact their booking agent or Emirates call centre for rebooking options. To receive update notifications, customers are requested to ensure their contact details are correct by visiting Manage Your Booking.

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15below partners with Etihad Airways to enhance guest communications

15below has partnered with Etihad Airways to upgrade the airline’s communication system to address the ever-changing travel requirements caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 15below platform links directly to Etihad’s reservations system, allowing the airline to automatically communicate with its passengers using personalised, real-time data from the booking. With all the information they need on hand, customers are promised a smooth, stress-free travel experience without unnecessary delays, queues, and human interaction at the airport. Talking about the partnership, 15below’s CEO Nicholas Key said, “A lack of relevant information has always been a huge contributor to the stress that many associate with travel, so at a time when the rules are constantly changing, effective communication is absolutely key to passenger wellness. The work that we have done with Etihad gives the passenger much greater control, promoting a smooth, risk-free travel experience where currently there is more to think about than ever before.” Frank Meyer, Chief Digital Officer, Etihad Aviation Group said, “Etihad is a global player in driving digital transformation within the aviation industry. As travel restrictions ease, it’s our responsibility to pursue innovative solutions that will enhance the travel experience for our guests. Ensuring wellness is part of the redefined customer journey has become an integral part of our business and our partnership with 15below has been instrumental in making this a reality.” Research by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) shows that 72% of travellers want to be kept up to date on their mobile device throughout their journey and three in five want real-time updates during disruption. Acknowledging that a passenger’s experience starts during the booking process and ends when they arrive at their destination, Etihad’s partnership with …

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DXB welcomes US-Bangla Airlines’ inaugural flight from Dhaka

Dubai International (DXB) further bolstered its connectivity to the subcontinent with the launch of the US-Bangla Airlines flights between the Bangladeshi capital city of Dhaka and Dubai. The inaugural flight from Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport arrived at DXB’s Terminal 2 at 2240 hours on Monday with 140 passengers. The airline will operate daily flights between the two destinations on a 164-seat capacity Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The Dhaka-Dubai route recorded a traffic of 850,000 passengers in 2019.

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Thales ensures security & comfort for Bahrain Airport passengers

Thales has successfully delivered the phase 1 of the new Bahrain International Airport as part of this important modernization project. Built in two phases, the Bahrain International Airport expansion covers 210,000 square meters, quadrupling the size of the existing terminal and increasing its capacity to 14 million passengers a year. The project is in an important step in achieving Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030 and aims to cement Bahrain’s reputation as a leading aviation hub in the region. Through centralizing the management of Airport operations, Bahrain International Airport is guaranteed a high level of business continuity and traffic flow within the airport. This will also lead to reduced waiting times while ensuring the best possible safety conditions, improving passenger experience and increasing infrastructure performance. Thales solutions also enable the production of relevant performance indicators (KPIs) to inform decision-makers in real time and make the organization more efficient. “We have ensured that Bahrain International Airport has been equipped with the latest smart and innovative solutions. This guarantees optimum protection for passengers, staff and facilities, and meets the demand for enhanced security at the new airport by Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications and Bahrain Airport Company. Thales’s strength in innovation and digital technologies perfectly positions the group to become a preferred partner for aerospace, transportation and public security, the pillars of Bahrain’s smart city ambition,” Alain Correia, Managing Director, Thales Bahrain.

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Emirates enhances smart contactless journey

Emirates’ self-check-in and bag drop kiosks at Dubai International (DXB), which made its debut in September last year, have now gone touchless further enhancing the smart contactless journey for passengers travelling from Dubai. The 32 self-service bag drop machines and 16 check-in kiosks can be controlled completely by personal mobile devices without touching the screens; providing a safe and convenient airport experience. The kiosks allow customers to check-in, receive their boarding pass, choose seats on board, and drop off their bags. New services have also been added to allow passengers to make payments for ancillary purchases, such as additional baggage allowance, directly at the kiosks. The self check-in kiosks, placed at the Economy check-in area in Terminal 3, complement the desks manned by Emirates check-in agents to reduce waiting time for customers during peak periods and improve the experience in Dubai. The service is now available to customers travelling to all destinations except to the US, Canada, China, India and Hong Kong due to additional requirements from these destinations. More kiosks are planned for the First and Business Class check-in area. Emirates has spared no effort in creating a smart contactless journey for its customers. Travellers can also choose to use its integrated biometric path to breeze through DXB. Utilising the latest facial biometric technology, Emirates passengers check in for their flight, complete immigration formalities, enter the Emirates Lounge, and board their flights, simply by strolling through the airport. The smart contactless experience continues on board with digital menus available on the Emirates app allowing customers to browse the menus on their personal devices both online and offline; as well as on Emirates’ Wi-Fi portal without needing to purchase a …

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flydubai launches flights to Minsk

flydubai announced the launch of flights to Minsk, the capital of Belarus. The airline will operate three flights a week between Dubai International (DXB) and Minsk National Airport (MSQ) starting from 20 February 2021. flydubai will be the first Dubai-based carrier to offer direct flights on this route.With the addition of Minsk, flydubai will grow its network to more than 70 destinations. The airline has been steadily increasing its operations and has recently announced the start of flights to a number of destinations including Colombo, Doha, Istanbul and the Maldives as well as new routes such as Grozny, Malta, Salzburg and Tel Aviv. Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai, said: “Minsk is a new destination to join our network and highlights our commitment to open previously underserved markets.  We now operate flights to 72 destinations, more than 40 of which did not previously have direct air links to Dubai or were not served by a UAE national carrier from Dubai.” Jeyhun Efendi, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations and E-commerce at flydubai, added,  “flydubai offers passengers convenient connections and an opportunity to travel to 155 destinations through Dubai’s international travel hub.  We offer convenient and reliable travel services to our passengers whether they choose to travel in Business Class or Economy Class. All our passengers can expect a comfortable onboard travel experience. We look forward to welcoming our first passengers on our flights to Minsk.”

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RAKTDA partners with Scat Airlines

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) announces a strategic partnership with SCAT Airlines that will see the Emirate welcome commercial flights from eight cities in Kazakhstan starting from March 2021. The move strengthens Ras Al Khaimah’s recovery strategy, following its initial focus on domestic tourism before opening up to international markets as travel corridors are established. Raki Phillips, Chief Executive Officer of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, commented, “Our partnership with SCAT Airlines is a key milestone in Ras Al Khaimah’s tourism strategy, especially as we co-create a viable tourism vision for ‘new normal’ and post pandemic travel. Visitors from Kazakhstan have enjoyed the genuine hospitality of Ras Al Khaimah for many years and we are thrilled to continue welcoming our valued guests in ways that are meaningful to their travel experience – direct commercial flights from a number of cities in Kazakhstan to our Emirate.” He added, “Aligned with this approach is our commitment to ensure the safety and security of all our guests as they enjoy the warmer weather and take full advantage of Ras Al Khaimah’s many great outdoor attractions from beaches to mountains; culture to adventure and much more.” Vladimir Sytnik, Vice President, SCAT Airlines, commented: SCAT Airlines is excited to commence direct flights once a week to Ras Al Khaimah on 5 March from eight cities of Kazakhstan, including Nur-Sultan, Almaty, Aktobe, Aktau, Atyrau, Uralsk, Karaganda and Shymkent on our Boeing 737-700 NG aircraft.  Our mutual collaboration with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority provides citizens of Kazakhstan with a service that satisfies not only the needs of residents of larger cities but also makes it possible to travel to Ras Al Khaimah …

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Qatar Airways enhances the travel experience with its Dreamliner

Qatar Airways has a steadfast vision to provide the best in-flight experience to its passengers. The airline has been eager to replicate the innovative AVANT experience on their Boeing B787-8 aircraft without disrupting the utilization of the fleet and minimizing down time during the retrofit installation. To achieve this ambition, Thales has developed an upgrade program to adapt the existing legacy system to incorporate new AVANT screens and servers into the existing seats and aircraft infrastructure. This turnkey approach includes delivery of full seat modification, hardware and all required certifications, as well as the ability to leverage media integration commonality across the Qatar Airways’ fleet equipped with AVANT. Salam Al Shawa, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Qatar Airways said, “As a leader of innovation within the global aviation industry, we are always looking for ways to further enrich our already exceptional 5-Star on board experience for passengers. With the latest in-flight technology, including lightweight screens, greater content storage and full HD touch screens, we are delighted to work with Thales in bringing the most advanced AVANT IFE system on board our Boeing 787-8 fleet.” Upgrading to AVANT IFE on the Boeing B787-8 fleet introduces the latest High Definition (HD), capacitive touch screen technology enabling passengers to seamlessly navigate the graphical user interface (GUI) using familiar gestures from their smartphone or tablet. The lightweight screens are two to three times brighter than the former technology, featuring more than 16 million colors for a brilliant viewing experience.

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Cebu Pacific introduces new Baggage Policy

Cebu Pacific (CEB) has has implemented a new policy setting a size limit for check-in baggage at 39 inches. Luggage with this dimension will be easier to fit in the conveyor belt, and will in turn, result in smoother operations, making the journey faster and more convenient for all passengers. Guests checking in baggage that exceed the 39-inch limit on any one side will be classified as an oversized bag, and will be charged approximately AED62 (PHP800) for domestic flights, and AED100 (PHP1,300) for international flights. This additional fee is brought about by the manual process required to transport the bag to the baggage loading area. Some examples of oversized baggage are music equipment, motorcycles, and televisions. CEB reminds everyone to properly pack their bags according to their availed prepaid baggage allowance to avoid any other additional fees at the airport. In addition, CEB offers an early anniversary treat for everyone with its ongoing free 25-kilogram baggage allowance until June 30, 2021, exclusive for travellers from Dubai to Manila. Passengers with a pre-purchased 40-kilogram prepaid baggage will automatically receive extra 25 kilograms on their booking, free-of-charge. CEB has been rated 7/7 stars by airlineratings.com for its COVID-19 compliance, as it continues to implement a multi-layered approach to safety, in accordance with global aviation standards. These include daily extensive cleaning and disinfection protocols for all aircraft and facilities, antigen testing before duty for all frontliners and crew members, and contactless flight procedures. These are all in accordance with global best practises and the highest safety standards, so everyone can travel safely and responsibly. Aircraft are equipped with hospital-grade HEPA air filters, which make inflight transmission of COVID-19 low or virtually non-existent.

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