Category Archives: Aviation

Dubai Airports traffic grows by 7.4% during Q1

dubaiairports

Passenger traffic at the world’s number one airport for international passenger numbers, Dubai International (DXB), climbed 7.4 per cent during the first quarter of 2017 to 22,496,596 compared to 20,948,690 recorded during the same period last year, according to traffic results released by Dubai Airports.  The year to date totals follow March results which saw a 3.8 per cent increase in passenger numbers to 7,511,431 compared to 7,237,509 reported in March 2016. The more modest growth rate in March was due to the timing of the Easter holiday which fell during March in 2016 and during April in 2017. The number of passenger flights in March grew 1.0 percent to 34,634 compared to 34,303 last year while year-to-date flight numbers were up 0.5 percent to 100,638 compared to 100,116 recorded during the first quarter of 2016. The average number of passengers per flight in the first three months of the year was 224, compared to 209 during the corresponding period in 2016, an increase of 6.8 per cent. During the first three months of the year, Eastern Europe was the fastest expanding market in terms of percentage growth (33.3 per cent) as the appreciation of the ruble against the US dollar over the past year has increased spending power in Dubai and spiked demand in the Russian market. Asia was the next fastest growing market (22.6 per cent) which benefited from additional capacity provided by Emirates and flydubai in markets such as Thailand, China and the Philippines, followed by South America (22.2 percent). Conversely, the impact of travel bans and electronic device restrictions is starting to be felt on North American traffic figures, which were down 4.3 per cent during …

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Gulf Air appoints VFS to aid visas to Bahrain

Gulf Air-VFS Global

Gulf Air, the Kingdom of Bahrain’s national carrier, partnered with VFS Global, the largest visa service provider in the world, to facilitate visa issuance for passengers flying to the Kingdom of Bahrain. The online visa facility will launch this summer on gulfair.com. Signing the agreement with VFS Global, Gulf Air Chief Commercial Officer, Ahmed Janahi, said: “We are partnering with VFS Global to provide a much needed service to Gulf Air passengers that will support our national carrier’s longstanding efforts to promote the Kingdom as a destination to a broad spectrum of travellers while making the process of obtaining a visa to Bahrain easier and more convenient. Soon, Gulf Air passengers will be able to easily obtain short term visit visas to Bahrain via our website gulfair.com – allowing them to come to Bahrain and experience all that our Kingdom has to offer in terms of tourism, business opportunities and more.” Said Zubin Karkaria, Chief Executive Officer, VFS Global Group, “Integrating next-generation convenience into the traditional visa process lies at the heart of our services. We are pleased to synergise our efforts with Gulf Air and the Government of Bahrain to ensure greater flexibility and digital-friendly services for visitors to Bahrain, while maintaining the security requirements of the visa process. We believe the online e-visa platform will make visa application much more convenient for Gulf Air customers, providing them with greater speed and transparency in the process, thereby enhancing their overall experience.” Added Vinay Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer – Middle East & South Asia, VFS Global, “Applying for an eVisa through our dedicated online platform, designed exclusively for Gulf Air passengers, will transform the visa application experience for passengers, offering …

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flydubai adds Batumi, Qabala and Tivat for summer

Flydubai Boeing 737-800

flydubai has announced its latest destinations for the upcoming summer season at the Arabian Travel Market. Flights to Batumi in Georgia, Qabala in Azerbaijan and Tivat in Montenegro will operate from June to September 2017, creating a network of 93 destinations in 44 countries for the Dubai-based airline. This reflects the growth and maturity of flydubai which since 2015 has added 18 new destinations. “At flydubai we remain committed to providing our passengers with a variety of destinations to travel to, especially during the summer season,” said Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer, flydubai. “The decision to launch our seasonal routes to complement our existing network is a direct response to customer feedback and we hope our passengers enjoy what these hidden gems have to offer,” he added. flydubai’s popular leisure destinations reflect the diversity of its network. Last year, its top four destinations for a beach getaway in terms of passenger numbers were Colombo, Salalah, Male’ and Zanzibar. The airline has seen passenger numbers to Colombo grow by 24% in 2016 compared to the previous year, with passenger numbers to Salalah and Male’ increasing by 40% and 29% respectively during the same period.

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Qatar’s five daily to Bangkok from June

Qatar-thailand

Qatar Airways announced plans to introduce a fifth daily non-stop service from Doha to Bangkok from June 1, 2017. The increased frequency, along with its double-daily Phuket flights and the five-month-old Krabi operations (four flights a week), will take the number of weekly Qatar Airways departures from Thailand to Doha to 53. In tandem with its expansion into Thailand, Qatar Airways has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to come together and boost inbound tourism to Thailand. The MoU was signed by Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer Ehab Amin, in the presence of Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker and TAT’s Deputy Governor for International Marketing, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas, Tanes Petsuwan on day one of the Arabian Travel Market taking place in Dubai. They were joined by Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand; Chalermsak Suranant, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand Dubai and Middle East Office; and other high-ranking executives from both organisations. H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said, “Boosting our Bangkok flight frequency to five daily flights is a significant commitment from us to the Thai market and testament to the strong year-round demand on this iconic Far East route. We are delighted to be able to dedicate additional capacity to Thailand, providing even more flexibility and convenience for our passengers travelling to and from the Land of Smiles. Bangkok has long been a hugely popular destination for both business and leisure travellers. The partnership with the Tourism Authority of Thailand allows us to jointly work together to attract more travellers from secondary cities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa …

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UAE-Turkey passengers numbers increased by 14% in last 12 months

TURKISH AIRLINES 4X3

Turkish Airlines has reported a significant growth in the number of inbound and outbound tourists for Turkey and the GCC, at ATM being held at Dubai International Convention Centre until April 27, 2017. According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Turkey, the number of visitors from GCC nationals who travelled to Turkey in 2016 increased by 10.5 per cent in comparison with the previous year reaching 822,849 people, with the biggest increase belonging to travellers from Saudi Arabia which saw a growth of 18 percent to reach 530,410 people. The second largest growth in tourist numbers was from the UAE to Turkey reporting an increase of 14 per cent. M. İlker Aycı, Turkish Airlines’ Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, said: “2016 has been a successful year for Turkish Airlines in terms of our global fleet and network expansion as we continue to build momentum for our excellent in-flight and customer service. Our network expansion has also been a pivotal step in supporting the increasing customer demand in all our markets, including the UAE and the wider GCC. Through new and innovative features, as well as having a growing fleet, our aim is to provide customers with the best possible options, both in terms of new destinations and innovative products and services.” The airline also reported that the top three outbound destinations from Turkey to travel in the GCC region are Jeddah, Dubai and Kuwait reflecting that the GCC market continues to be a popular attraction for many.

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Qatar Airways and TAT ink deal to boost tourism

IMG_3831

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Qatar Airways, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on April 24 at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2017 in Dubai. With this latest partnership, TAT seeks to leverage the strength of Qatar Airways’ extensive global network, particularly its presence in secondary cities in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, to increase the number of tourist arrivals to Thailand in 2017/18. Under the MoU, TAT and Qatar Airways will develop joint promotions to mutually increase tourism and visibility for Thailand to travellers in more than 150 destinations the airline flies to. Effective 1 June, Qatar Airways will have five daily flights from Doha to Bangkok. The increased frequency, along with its double-daily Phuket flights and the five-month-old Krabi operations (4 flights a week), take the number of weekly Qatar Airways departures from Thailand to Doha to 53. Besides the existing three popular Thai destinations, Qatar Airways has also set its sights on Chiang Mai, the largest city in Northern Thailand. The MoU was signed by Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer Ehab Amin and Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Deputy Governor for International Marketing, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas, Tanes Petsuwan. They were joined by Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Chalermsak Suranant, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand Dubai and Middle East Office and other high-ranking executives from both organisations.

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6.3% growth at UAE airports in 2017

Sharjah Airport

Despite sluggish global economic growth, the UAE will lead Middle East passenger growth in 2017 with an annual increase of more than 6.3 per cent, according to estimates from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Middle East carriers have reported the strongest annual traffic growth of any region globally for the fifth year running in 2016, according to the IATA. RPKs (revenue passenger kilometres) grew 11.8 per cent consolidating the region’s position as the third-largest market for global passengers. Capacity growth of 13.7 per cent outstripped demand however, driving down the average load factor by 1.3 percentage points to 74.7 per cent. With a number of aviation mega-projects underway across the GCC and wider Middle East, airports are expanding slightly ahead of the curve in demand, with capacity in 2016 increasing by 13.9 per cent and a forecast for 2017 of 10.1 per cent.

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Emirates reduces flights to US

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER

Emirates has reduced flights to five of the 12 US cities it currently serves. From May 1 and May 23 respectively, their Fort Lauderdale and Orlando operations will move from daily services to five a week. From June 1 & 2, respectively, their Seattle and Boston operations will move from twice-daily services, to a daily service. From July 1, our operations to Los Angeles will move from twice-daily to a daily service. This is a commercial decision in response to weakened travel demand to US. A statement by the airline said: “The recent actions taken by the US government relating to the issuance of entry visas, heightened security vetting, and restrictions on electronic devices in aircraft cabins, have had a direct impact on consumer interest and demand for air travel into the US.  Until the start of 2017, Emirates’ operations in the US have seen healthy growth and performance, driven by customer demand for our high quality product and our international flight connections. “However, over the past 3 months, we have seen a significant deterioration in the booking profiles on all our US routes, across all travel segments. Emirates has therefore responded as any profit-oriented enterprise would, and we will redeploy capacity to serve demand on other routes on our global network. “We will closely monitor the situation with the view to reinstate and grow our US flight operations as soon as viable. Emirates is committed to our US operations and will continue to serve our 12 American gateways – New York JFK, Newark, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando – with 101 flight departures per week, connecting these cities to …

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VIP Heliport inaugurated at Dubai South

Falcon

Falcon Aviation, the UAE-based business aviation services, charter and aircraft management company,  has inaugurated a new VIP Heliport.  The Heliport will be run and managed by Falcon Aviation personnel and will be available to all operators, corporates and private individuals arriving with their business jets at the Dubai South VIP Terminal. Demand is expected especially from customers arriving from all over the GCC, India and the Far East. The new helipad, situated adjacent to the VIP Terminal, has space for three large executive helicopters.  It will be open for use on an ‘as required basis’ with just two hours’ notice. Falcon initially envisages demand for five movements a day and will have two helicopters available for charter, complementing its established fixed wing and helicopter business at Al Bateen Executive Airport, Abu Dhabi. The Heliport, the first in the region, will facilitate quick and convenient helicopter charters between Dubai and Abu Dhabi in just 30 minutes. Other significant time savings on popular destinations include: Dubai South to Ras Al Khaimah – 45 minutes; Dubai South – Diba, 45 minutes; Dubai South- Fujairah 40 minutes and to Qasr Al Sarab Resort – 1 hour, 15 minutes. “We are very pleased with our progress as we realise our strategic three part plan to bolster our footprint in Dubai and the UAE,” commented Falcon Aviation’s Chief Pilot Onshore – VVIP Operations & Accountable Manager of Atlantis Helipad Captain George Prentzas. “Our goal is to build important infrastructure in the region, not just for our own operations, but to support others as they expand too.” “We are very proud to be opening up this important facility that will take clients directly to their destination of …

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Turkish Airlines offers free Wi-Fi in U.S. flights

Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300ER photographed on 6 April 2015 from Wolfe Air Aviation Learjet 25B by Chad Slattery.

Turkish Airlines has extended Business Class free onboard Internet services to economy passengers in exchange for their tablets or laptops while boarding their flights to the United States. For passengers that prefer not to stow their electronic devices in checked-in baggage during the flight, Turkish Airlines offers a special service that gives travellers to the United States and United Kingdom a safe and secure method of carrying their electronics in a special area in the cargo hold of the airplane. The devices may be used at the gate until boarding. By continuously aiming to increase passenger satisfaction, Turkish Airlines additionally offers high quality headphones to economy class passengers on long-haul flights. This new service will be effective immediately in all U.S. flights, and for all other long-haul flights of Turkish Airlines as from May 2017. The passengers will feel more comfortable with this high quality headset, specially designed for long flight hours. Turkish Airlines continuously improves its in-flight entertainment system – amongst other services – in order to make its passengers feel special throughout the entire flight. The comfortable headphones with much higher sound quality will allow the passengers to uninterruptedly enjoy the airline’s award-winning inflight entertainment system, titled “Planet”, which delivers thousands of hours of music and film experience.

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