Category Archives: Aviation

Etihad and China Southern Airlines sign codeshare agreement for enhanced services to guests

Etihad-China Southern

Etihad Airways and China Southern Airlines have announced a new codeshare partnership, taking the number of codeshare agreements signed by the Abu Dhabi based airline to 53. Under the new agreement, China Southern Airlines will put its ‘CZ’ code on Etihad Airways’ daily services between Beijing (PEK)/Shanghai (PVG)/Chengdu (CTU) and Abu Dhabi. The codeshare partnership will give China Southern guests the opportunity to book codeshare flights to and from Abu Dhabi, and connect on to Etihad’s network of over 100 destinations worldwide. Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways’ Executive Vice President Commercial, said, “With this partnership, either airline can use its strengths to benefit the other and offer more choices, with enhanced connectivity, to all the guests, alongside world-class services and products offered by both the airlines.”

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Gulf Air celebrates launch of flight to Georgia

Gulf Air image

Gulf Air recently celebrated the launch of its thrice-a-week direct service to the Georgian capital Tbilisi. The celebration took place at Bahrain International Airport, in the presence of the Georgian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Sultanate of Oman, H.E. George Janjgava, along with Bahrain Civil Aviation Affairs officials, Bahrain International Airport officials and members of Gulf Air’s executive management team. Commenting on the launch of Gulf Air’s newest destination, Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer, Mr Maher Salman Al Musallam, said, “I am delighted Gulf Air is directly connecting Bahrain and Georgia; and witnessing such a high demand as we commence operations is a positive indication of what is to come. I look forward to seeing passengers from across the GCC and MENA regions fly with us.”

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Deluxe and Premium Departure Services at DXB T1 & T3

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Now skip the queues and experience a completely relaxed exit from one of the world’s busiest airports, Dubai International Airport. The 530-key Dubai International Hotel, located at Terminal 3, invites passengers to experience a luxurious and hassle-free departure from the Airport, with Ahlan Services. Ahlan Services, DXB International’s concierge service, has now expanded its services to include ‘Deluxe’ and ‘Premium’ Departure Services for passengers looking for a luxurious exit from Dubai, from Terminals 1 and 3. Passengers need not be guests of the hotel to opt for this service. Also to be noted is that the services are not available at Terminal 2 or Dubai World Central (DWC). Priced at AED 150 per person, the Deluxe Meet and Greet Departure Service provides a Guest Services Agent and a Bellboy who meet the guest at the airport’s departure drop-off point. The guest is then fast-tracked through the Check-in Counter, towards Immigration/Passport Control, through Security Check, and finally guided to the boarding gate of their flight. This service is priced at AED 315 for a family of four, with additional AED 85 per additional member. Ahlan’s Premium Meet and Greet Departure Services, priced at AED 295 per person, offers a guest, in addition to all the features offered with the Deluxe Services, the opportunity to relax at the plush Ahlan Departures’ Lounge at Terminal 1 or 3, with complimentary refreshments (hot and cold buffet), a wide selection of beverages, access to the Business Centre facilities, and also shower facilities to freshen up. Guests can also avail a complimentary 15-minute foot massage, back massage or Indian head massage at the Timeless Spa.

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Ethiopian Airlines places repeat order for 10 A350-900 aircraft


Ethiopian Airlines has placed an order for 10 additional Airbus A350-900 aircraft, enabling further development to its fast expanding long-haul route network. Last June, Ethiopian Airlines became the first African carrier to operate the A350 when it took delivery of the first of 12 aircrafts in order. Today the carrier operates a fleet of four A350s. Ethiopian Airlines’ A350-900s are configured in a two class layout, seating 30 passengers in Business Class and 313 in Economy Class. The spacious, quiet interior and mood lighting in the cabin contribute to superior levels of passenger comfort and well-being. “Operating the youngest fleet in the industry with modern and comfortable customer features in cabin is one of the four pillars in our 15 years strategic road map and this order placement for additional A-350s is one component of this strategy. The performance, operational and cost efficiencies we have achieved with our initial A350-900s have resulted in these additional ten aircraft order placement and thereby suffice our ever-expanding global network. We will deploy the additional aircraft on our long haul routes connecting Addis Ababa with destinations in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia,” explained Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines.

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Arrive Early for Summer Rush, says Emirates


Emirates reminds customers to arrive at the airport at least three hours before flight departure because of ongoing heavy road works, construction around the main airport highways and summer rush. Passengers can physically check in at the airport as early as six hours before departing on their flight. They are requested to check in no later than 90 minutes prior to departure and those who check in less than 60 minutes prior to 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 or use the facilities near its car park area to check in and drop off luggage 24 hours to six hours prior to departure. Along with checked in baggage, passengers are strongly advised to adhere to carry-on baggage weight limits, which are 7kg for Economy Class and 14kg for Business and First Class. Alternatively, customers heading to Emirates Terminal 3 can choose to drop their luggage at one of the 46 dedicated bag drop counters. Passengers on US-bound flights starting their journeys in Dubai are encouraged to pack their electronic devices into their check-in luggage to avoid delays.

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Etihad Airways doubles A380 service to New York JFK

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Etihad Airways has introduced its flagship Airbus A380 on its second daily service between Abu Dhabi and New York JFK. All 14 weekly flights between the two cities are now operated by the double-decker aircraft. The superjumbo has replaced a three-class Boeing 777-300ER previously operating one of the airline’s twice-daily flights. The new deployment means New York will join London and Sydney as an all-A380 operation. Etihad Airways launched daily non-stop flights to New York JFK on October 26, 2006 and introduced a second daily service in March 2014. It subsequently upgraded one of the daily flights to an A-380 aircraft in November 2015. Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer, said, “The response we have received from our guests travelling between Abu Dhabi and New York since we first launched the A380 service two years ago has been phenomenal. We are delighted to further expand our world-leading product to all guests flying to and from the Big Apple.

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Etihad terminates negotiations with TUI AG; Air Berlin to continue with NIKI


Etihad Aviation Group confirms that it has terminated negotiations with TUI AG in relation to a potential joint venture involving the leisure operations of the Air Berlin group and the German TUIfly company. Etihad has taken this decision following many months of negotiations, in good faith, during which time the parties have been unable to reach agreement on the final nature of such a joint venture. The leisure operations of the Air Berlin group will now continue to operate as a separate business unit, under the NIKI brand. Further details of this structure will be announced in due course by Air Berlin. NIKI’s operating schedule remains unchanged with all the bookings being honoured. Customers should contact NIKI directly for any further information.

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Kilimanjaro added to flydubai’s African network

Flydubai Boeing 737-800

flydubai is set to commence flights to Kilimanjaro from October 29. The re-launched service to the carrier’s third point in Tanzania, along with Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, will see flydubai’s network in Africa expand to 12 destinations. Kilimanjaro will be served with six flights a week, three of which are via a stop in the capital, Dar es Salaam. In addition, the carrier will increase direct flights to Zanzibar from three to eight flights a week. Commenting on the launch of flights, Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer of flydubai, said, “With the addition of the service to Kilimanjaro and more direct flights to Zanzibar, flydubai will operate 14 flights a week, marking a 133% increase in capacity to the market compared to the previous year. This is a healthy indication of the rising popularity of Tanzania as a preferred tourist destination and we are happy to be connecting the market to Dubai.” “flydubai’s service to Kilimanjaro will introduce more options for travel with a Business and Economy Class service, together with added cargo capacity available through our Cargo Division. We expect to see healthy flows of trade and tourism on this route from the GCC and Eastern Europe via our hub in Dubai,” said Sudhir Sreedharan, Senior Vice President Commercial – GCC, Subcontinent and Africa.

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Hargeisa joins Air Arabia’s growing network from July 4, 2017

Air Arabia - Hargeisa Route Launch JPG

Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC), announced that starting July 4, 2017, Hargeisa will be the newest African destination to be added to its growing international network. Air Arabia entered the African market in 2004 and currently serves six destinations across Egypt, Sudan and Kenya from its main hub. The new flights to Hargeisa, Somaliland will operate twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, departing Sharjah International Airport (SHJ) at 03:45 hours and arriving at Hargeisa Egal International Airport (HGA) at 06:15 local time. The return flight will depart from Hargeisa at 06:55, landing in Sharjah at 11:25 local time.

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Philippine Airlines re-launches business class in Dubai

Business Class Cabin

Philippine Airlines (PAL) will re-launch its business class service in Dubai on 16 June 2017 at an introductory rate of Dh2850. This is a move brought about by the increased demand for premium leisure and the corporate travel market among locals and expatriates in the region. Features and benefits include a 20.6-inch-wide seat which converts into fully flat bed, access to airport business class lounges, a 64-kilo baggage allowance (32kg x 2 pcs), a seven-kilo hand carry allowance, inflight entertainment, free-on-board Wi-Fi (MyPAL Player, myPAL Mobile and myPAL Wifi enabled) and a business travel kit. PAL will fly its 368-seater, A330 aircraft with 18 seats for business class. The flights will leave Dubai at 05:25 hours and arrive in Manila at 18:25 hours. Genaro “Bong” C. Velasquez, PAL Senior Asst Vice President and Regional Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said, “The UAE is home to more than 200 nationalities and more and more residents are looking at either vacationing or doing business travels in the Philippines. PAL’s re-launch of business class service is in response to the growing international holiday makers and corporate travellers in the Gulf region.”

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