Category Archives: Aviation

Brand loyalty on the rise amongst travellers

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The latest findings by a recent survey by Collinson Group shared that the UAE frequent flyer programme membership is over four times higher than 2014 whereas the hotel memberships have doubled during the past two years. The study reported that there has been a stark rise in loyalty programme membership among the UAE affluent middle class since 2014, particularly in hotel and frequent flyer programmes. Collinson Group surveyed attitudes to programmes run by supermarket and grocery stores, airlines, credit card providers, retailers, hotels, telecom and media companies, coffee shops, and banking. 35 percent are now members of hotel programmes, up from 8 percent and 43 percent hold frequent flyer memberships, up from 20 percent, 40 percent participate in credit card programmes, up from 36 percent and 39 percent are involved in banking programmes, up from 25 percent.

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Turkish Airlines flies to Bogota and Panama City

THY Side by Side Photo Shoot

Turkish Airlines, with the world’s most extensive route network, has added two more nations to its global reach by beginning its services to Bogota, Columbia’s capital, and Panama City, capital of Panama.The integration of these two cities, Panama City and Bogota, the flag carrier now operates to 14 destinations in 6 countries across the Americas. These new points join Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Toronto, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, Boston, Montreal, San Francisco and Miami as Turkish Airlines rapidly grows its presence in the Western Hemisphere. The inaugural flight to Bogota and Panama City was highlighted by M. İlker Aycı, Turkish Airlines’ Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, with participation of protocol and media representatives and also Turkish Airlines’ employees at the El Dorado Airport in Bogotá. Andres Ortega, El Dorado Airport’s CEO and Gustauo Him, Republic of Panama’s Ministry of Tourism also welcomed the first flight to these cities. Both cities are home bases to Star Alliance partners, Avianca in Colombia and Copa in Panama, and the link to Istanbul and Turkish Airlines’ network will be of great benefit to travelers, adding even more connectivity. Beginning 10th May (today), Istanbul – Bogota (BOG) – Panama (PTY) flights will be operated 3 times per week on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays in both directions. Round trip fares are available for the route of IST – BOG – PTY starting at 699 American Dollars (including taxes and fees). Additionally, for the first 6 months of operations to new destinations, there is a special offer for Miles&Smiles members, with a 25% reduction in the miles needed to redeem either award tickets or upgrades.* (Conditions apply)  

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Air Arabia records 34% rise in net profit

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Air Arabia has announced that they have exceeded analyst expectations and their turnover has increased by 7 per cent to AED 946 million with an increase of 17 per cent in passenger numbers to 2.1 million as well. The airline reported a net profit of AED114 million for the three months ending March 31, 2016, a 34 percent higher than the corresponding 2015 figure of AED85 million. In the same period, Air Arabia posted a turnover of AED946 million, an increase of 7 percent on AED886 million in the first quarter of last year. The airline flew more than 2.1 million passengers between January and March 2016, up 17 percent on the corresponding period of last year. The airline’s average seat load factor – or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats – during the first three months of 2016 stood at an impressive 81 per cent.

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Etihad partners with Travelport

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The national airline of the UAE, Etihad has partnered with MTT, a Travelport company and provider of digital solutions to the airline industry, to launch a mobile application for iPhone users. The App enables guests to organise and manage their journey with even greater ease as the airline continues to adopt innovative technology to re-imagine the flying experience. Etihad Airways guests will enjoy 10 per cent off flights, and members of the airline’s loyalty programme Etihad Guest, will receive 250 bonus miles for every booking made through the mobile app before 30 May 2016. The Etihad Airways mobile app is simple and enjoyable to use, providing comprehensive trip management capabilities by leveraging the latest innovations in mobile technology. Guests can pay for their tickets by scanning their credit card and can also check in for their flight by using their mobile phone to simply scan their passport page. Boarding passes can be viewed from the app or downloaded directly to iOS Wallet.

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16th Airport Show opens in Dubai

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World’s largest annual airport event was opened on Monday morning by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airlines Group. The Middle East’s thriving aviation sector brings together leading industry players from across the world to tap into the tremendous opportunities as they open the 16th edition of the airport show at Dubai World Trade Center. Airport Show, a B2B platform, features over 300 exhibitors from 55 countries with 150 hosted buyers from 30 countries with expectations of over 700 industry professionals to attend the event within the next three days. The airport show reflects the growth of the aviation industry especially in the region.

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Turkish Airlines to receive 26 Boeing jets in 2016

THY Side by Side Photo Shoot

Boeing is set to deliver a record number of airplanes this year to Turkey’s flag-carrier, Turkish Airlines. In total, the carrier will take delivery of six 777-300ERs and 20 Next-Generation 737-800s in 2016. Ahmet Bolat, Chief Investment and Technology Officer, Turkish Airlines said: “Turkish Airlines is one of the world’s ascendant airlines and an established global network carrier. It has achieved this through various significant investments as evident in its fleet which now stands at over 310 and growing. The delivery of a further 26 Boeing aircraft this year, which forms a substantial part of our long-haul and short-haul fleets, is integral to Turkish’s continued growth and we look forward to introducing the new planes on our domestic and international network.”

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Bahrain Airport to deploy SITA check-in kiosks

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In a drive to improve passenger experience and deliver increased flexibility to its airlines, Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) will this year introduce SITA’s self-service check-in kiosks across Bahrain International Airport. SITA will install and manage six new AirportConnect® S4 Kiosks at the airport, with four kiosks to be introduced in the economy check-in area and two in the first and business class check-in area. The new S4 kiosks provide a vastly improved passenger experience with large 19-inch multi-touch screens. Along with the new kiosks, SITA will provide its AirportHub™ shared connectivity platform, enabling airlines to migrate their back offices from legacy or direct connections systems to a cloud-based communication link. Mohamed Yousif Al Binfalah, Chief Executive Officer of BAC commented: “This project is the first step towards the company’s vision of implementing IATA Fast Travel Initiative which will significantly enhance the passenger experience at Bahrain International Airport. This initiative will offer benefits of self-service check-in to passengers to facilitate the passenger journey.”

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Turkish Airlines connects continents with Batmobile

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The iconic Batmobile travelled from Europe to Asia by crossing the Bosphorus Strait via the new Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge which officially opens to the public this summer. This marked the longest-ever ride for the one-of-a-kind vehicle.  According to M. Ilker Aycı, Turkish Airlines’ Board Chairman, “The ride across the newest Bosphorus bridge is symbolic of how the Batmobile unites people worldwide as a pop culture icon, how Istanbul is the one and only city connecting two continents, and how Turkish Airlines bridges passengers globally to 113 countries and more than 287 destinations. This is an opportunity for us to introduce our precious city, Istanbul and our newest bridge to the world. The Batmobile is one of the most symbolic movie icons of all time, and has now connected the world with Istanbul.”

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Qatar Airways connects Doha to Birmingham

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The inaugural flight to Birmingham from Doha left last week making it 73 flights per week between Doha and United Kingdom. Currently, Qatar Airways serves London Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh non-stop from Doha. This gateway, with direct flights between Doha and Birmingham, connects the city with more than 150 destinations worldwide. The addition of Birmingham marks the fourth U.K. gateway for Qatar Airways after London Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh, with the eight weekly services operated by the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. The inaugural flight touched down on 30 March and was greeted by a traditional water salute, while Qatar Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer Dr. Hugh Dunleavy, who travelled on board the inaugural flight with UK Ambassador to Qatar, His Excellency Ajay Sharma, were greeted at the arrival gate by Birmingham Airport’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul Kehoe. Qatar Airways now operates 73 flights per week to the U.K., with 42 flights per week to London Heathrow, 16 to Manchester, seven to Edinburgh and eight to Birmingham, from its state-of-the-art hub, Hamad International Airport.

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