Category Archives: Aviation

Travelport renews contract with Lebanon’s First Diana Travel

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Travelport announced a multi-year contract renewal with travel agency, First Diana Travel. The agreement with Travelport will see First Diana Travel continue to benefit from intelligent, fast, and accurate searching and booking of travel content from more than 400 airlines, including low cost and network carriers, more than 650,000 hotel properties and more than 37,000 car rental locations around the world. Consultants at the leading leisure and corporate travel agency will continue to use Travelport Smartpoint as their desktop tool to search beyond rate and availability, enabling them to create and deliver personalised and tailored travel itineraries. Solidifying the fruitful relationship between First Diana Travel and Travelport, Elcheikh Mohamed Ghouzayel, President and Owner of First Diana Travel, said, “We are thrilled to extend our long-term agreement with Travelport. Using its innovative technology has enabled us to exceed our annual targets ahead of time, while delivering an exceptional service to our customers. Our collaboration with Travelport will continue to play an essential role in enabling us to push the boundaries of success for our business.” Kerry Koutsikos, Managing Director, Middle East and Africa at Travelport, said, “As a key customer in Lebanon, we are delighted that First Diana Travel has extended its agreement with Travelport. We look forward to continuing to support its success and evolving needs in today’s highly competitive environment.”

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Emirates urges passengers to avoid delays during spring break

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER

Emirates anticipates high passenger traffic this spring break weekend with visitors travelling to and from Dubai. The busiest time for departures in Terminal 3 will be on  March 29 with more than 42,000 passengers travelling abroad. Customers are reminded to arrive at the airport at least three hours before their flight departure to avoid any delays. Peak travel is expected to continue until April 2, 2019 with more than 205,000 Emirates passengers travelling from Dubai to destinations beyond. During this time, Emirates will also be welcoming more than 160,000 passengers to and through Dubai. With road works continuing to cause delays around main airport highways and roads during this time, Emirates urges customers to build in extra time for their journeys to avoid potential delays. Passengers can physically check in at the airport as early as 24 hours before flight departure, and are requested to check in no later than two hours prior to departure, regardless of class of travel. Customers who check in less than 60 minutes prior to their scheduled flight departure will not be accepted for travel. Customers can also check in online on both their desktops and mobile devices from 48 hours to 90 minutes before flight departure. After checking in, passengers are also advised to make sure they get to their boarding gate on time. Gates open 90 minutes before departure, boarding starts 45 minutes before each flight and gates close 20 minutes before departure. If passengers report late Emirates will not be able to accept them for travel.

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Travelport renews multi-year contract with Kuwait operator

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In an aim to cement the longstanding relationship between the two companies, Travelport has renewed a multi-year contract with its Kuwait operator, Travel Technology Services (TTS). TTS will continue to distribute Travelport’s industry-leading products and services in Kuwait as well as content from over 400 airlines, 650,000 hotel properties, 37,000 car rental locations and 14 rail networks worldwide. Raj Krishnan, General Manager, TTS, said, “We are pleased to extend our agreement with Travelport as distributors of its exceptional and innovative technology solutions. We have a highly successful 10-year collaboration with the company and look forward to reaching new heights in the future, which not only benefit both our businesses but the local travel industry in Kuwait.” Kerry Koutsikos, Managing Director, Middle East and Africa at Travelport, said, “We are delighted to extend our highly successful, long-term agreement with TTS. We look forward to continuing to work closely together over the coming years to ensure we not only meet but exceed the expectations of the travel industry in Kuwait, as well as travellers in the country.”

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Etihad Airways signs codeshare agreement with Gulf Air to enhance guest experience

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Etihad Airways and Gulf Air have signed a codeshare partnership for travel commencing with the summer schedule. The announcement follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two carriers at the Bahrain International Airshow in November last year and will further strengthen the strong ties between the two countries and carriers. The agreement will see Etihad place its ‘EY’ code on Gulf Air flights from Bahrain to and from Abu Dhabi, Baghdad, Casablanca, Dhaka, Faisalabad, Larnaca, Malaga, Multan, Najaf, Peshawar, Sailkot and Tbilisi. Gulf Air will place its ‘GF’ code on Etihad flights from Abu Dhabi to and from Bahrain, Brisbane, Chicago O’Hare, Jakarta, Lagos, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York JFK, Sydney and Washington. The announcement was made at a signing ceremony held at Etihad Airways Headquarters in Abu Dhabi, attended by Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Aviation Group, and Krešimir Kučko, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Air. Douglas said, “We are thrilled to be signing this codeshare agreement today with our long-time partner, Gulf Air. The signing today is a great example of how two flag carriers can enhance the experience of our guests by providing a greater choice of destinations and world-leading inflight service and Arabian hospitality.” Kučko added, “This is a remarkable event for both Gulf Air and Etihad Airways and we take pride in elevating this relationship further with the signing of this codeshare agreement.”

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Etihad and Elenium to revolutionise travel experience with facial recognition technology

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Etihad Airways and Elenium, a leading provider of automation technology solutions, will together demonstrate how a newly developed voice activated self-service kiosk, bag drop and boarding gate facility will revolutionise the travel experience by taking facial recognition technology to new heights. The demonstration will take place at Passenger Terminal Expo (PTE) in London between March 26 – 28. Using cloud technology, artificial intelligence (AI), computer vision and natural human interfacing, Etihad Airways and Elenium will demonstrate how they will change the way consumers travel by showcasing the airport experience of the future. Jorg Oppermann, VP Hub and Midfield Operations, Etihad Airways, said, “With biometric installations increasing across airports globally, Etihad is recognising the growing demand to streamline not just the passenger verification process but to also decrease passenger queues and to increase operational efficiency.” A key area of cooperation involves the use of technologies from Elenium, Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing subsidiary of Amazon Inc, and Etihad Airways. Together at PTE, the three entities will demonstrate a test concept for a seamless travel experience across the entire customer journey from booking to arrival at the final destination. Mike Papamichael, VP Technology and Innovation, Etihad Airways said, “The technological vision and strategy is to make the guest journey a frictionless and digitally enabled experience across all channels and touch points at the airport. Etihad’s relationship with Elenium builds on this vision and along with our micro services strategy, allows us to co-create and develop innovative self-service and biometric solutions for greater flexibility and a seamless guest experience.”

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Emirates launches four flights a week to Cairo

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER

Emirates will increase the frequency of flights between Dubai and Cairo, adding four additional flights a week to its existing thrice-daily service, starting 28 October, 2019. The four new flights operating on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, will take the total number of weekly Emirates flights serving Cairo to 25. The additional Dubai–Cairo flight EK 921 will leave Dubai at 12:00 hrs and will arrive in Cairo at 14:15 hrs. The return flight, EK922, will depart Cairo at 16:15 hrs and will arrive in Dubai at 21:35 hrs. The new flights will enhance connectivity to most cities in the Asia, the Americas and Australia including Beijing, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Sydney, Shanghai, New Delhi, Mumbai, New York and Washington DC. “Cairo is a very popular destination for both business and leisure travellers, and the additional flights will provide our customers with greater flexibility in their travel choices, and allow seamless connectivity to Emirates’ vast global network,” said Orhan Abbas, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Africa, Emirates. Similar to the current service, the new flights will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER in a three-class configuration featuring 8 private suites, 42 Business Class and 304 Economy Class seats; adding 1,416 seats each way per week on the route. The flight increase will bring about an additional 160 tonnes of cargo capacity per week to and from Cairo on top of the more than 800 tonnes of cargo capacity already provided on Emirates’ flights. Premium customers, and Platinum and Gold Skywards members can additionally enjoy the dedicated Emirates lounge in Cairo airport which opened in 2018.

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Emirates to launch four additional flights a week to Cairo from October 28, 2019

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER

Emirates will increase the frequency of flights between Dubai and Cairo, adding four additional flights a week to its existing thrice-daily service, starting from October 28, 2019. The four new flights operating on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday will take the total number of weekly Emirates flights serving Cairo to 25. The additional Dubai–Cairo flight EK 921 will leave Dubai at 12:00 hrs and arrive in Cairo at 14:15 hrs. The return flight, EK922, will depart Cairo at 16:15 hrs and will arrive in Dubai at 21:35 hrs. The new flights will enhance connectivity to most cities in the Asia, the Americas and Australia including Beijing, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Sydney, Shanghai, Delhi, Mumbai, New York and Washington DC. “The additional flights will provide our customers with greater flexibility in their travel choices, and allow seamless connectivity to Emirates’ vast global network,” said Orhan Abbas, Senior Vice President—Commercial Operations Africa, Emirates. Similar to the current service, the new flights will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER in a three-class configuration featuring eight private suites, 42 Business Class and 304 Economy Class seats; adding 1,416 seats each way per week on the route. For the calendar year 2018, Emirates SkyCargo transported over 35,750 tonnes of cargo including both exports of close to 19,750 tonnes and imports of 16,000 tonnes. Close to 90% of the commodities exported from Cairo are fruits and vegetables. The flight increase will bring about an additional 160 tonnes of cargo capacity per week to and from Cairo on top of the more than 800 tonnes of cargo capacity already provided on Emirates’ flights.

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Japan Airlines and Travelport to form joint venture to operate GDS for Japanese agents

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Japan Airlines and Travelport have agreed to form a joint venture to take ownership of Travelport Japan K K (Travelport Japan) and JAL’s 100 per cent owned subsidiary, Axess International Network. Under the unified Travelport Axess brand, the joint venture will operate a Global Distribution System (GDS) tailored to the needs of the Japanese travel industry. The proposed joint venture, which will operate under the brand name Travelport Axess, will combine Axess’ expertise in Japan and Travelport’s global technology leadership. Yoriyuki Kashiwagi, Executive Officer of International Passenger Sales, Japan Airlines, said, “We believe that the future of travel will be transformed by technological innovation. I am confident that Travelport Axess will be able to help Japanese travel agents to respond to growing global demands by offering services based on state-of-the-art technology.” Travelport Axess will continue to offer travel agents services through Axess’ GDS platform, and enable access to Travelport’s GDS platforms, Apollo and Galileo. The proposed joint venture will provide online, mobile and corporate travel propositions including global booking and expense management tools as well as access to New Distribution Capability (NDC) content, offering Japanese travel agencies and their customers the best of locally developed products with best-in-class global connectivity and capabilities. Gordon Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Travelport, commented, “This announcement and our ongoing partnership with Japan Airlines is a significant advance in the provision of state-of-the-art technology for the Japanese travel industry.”

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Abu Dhabi Airports extends city check-in facilities to IndiGo to ease customer experience

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As part of its drive to continuously enhance customer experience, Abu Dhabi Airports is extending city check-in facilities to Indian airline IndiGo. This new service is in line with the airline’s commitment to provide courteous and hassle-free travel experience to its customers. This new feature will enable passengers flying out of Abu Dhabi airport to check-in 24 hours before reaching the airport. Maarten De Groof, Chief Commercial Officer, Abu Dhabi Airports, said, “We are delighted to welcome IndiGo passengers to stop by our easily accessible and conveniently located remote check-in facilities. Ensuring a seamless and efficient customer is one of our top priorities at Abu Dhabi Airports, and we look forward to introducing travellers to our world-class services and unique brand of Arabian hospitality. India has always been one of our most important and largest areas of operations, and we are looking forward to continuing to work closely with IndiGo passengers to meet the market’s growing demand.” William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo said, “We are delighted to introduce this new check-in feature for our passengers in Abu Dhabi which will both add convenience and ease to their travel experience with us. We thank the Abu Dhabi International Airport team for extending us all the support to make this feature live. IndiGo will continue to enhance its hassle-free experience which is one of the core values that the airline stands for besides providing on-time and affordable fares to customers.”

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Etihad Airways to introduce Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners for Rome and Frankfurt

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

From June 1, 2019, Etihad Airways will introduce a new two-class Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner, the largest variant of the technologically advanced aircraft, on its scheduled daily morning service from Abu Dhabi to Rome, complementing the second overnight 777-300ER departure. On July 1, the airline will introduce the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its two daily services to Frankfurt. The two-class 787-9 features Etihad Airways’ next-generation Business and Economy Class cabins, configured with 299 seats – 28 Business Studios and 271 Economy Smart Seats. The 336-seat 787-10 features 32 Business Studios and 304 Economy Smart Seats. Robin Kamark, Chief Commercial Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said, “Rome and Frankfurt are two very important cities on the Etihad global network and have been popular with business and leisure customers alike. The introduction of more state-of-the-art 787s to our fleet is allowing us to further enhance the inflight experience, giving our guests the opportunity to enjoy the most highly customised Dreamliner cabins in the world, upgraded entertainment systems and connectivity, and our acclaimed service and hospitality.”

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