Category Archives: Aviation

New baggage rules at Dubai Airports


Under a new rule at Dubai Airports, bags without flat surfaces will be rejected at check-in effective from March 8, 2017. Dubai Airports has advised all airlines operating into DXB of the imminent change and has updated its website, mobile app and signage across the airport to help raise awareness. The rule is aimed to improve service, reduce the risk of mishandling and enhance the performance of its check-in and baggage operation at Dubai International. “Dubai International provides some of the most sophisticated baggage systems in the world,” said Ali Angizeh, Vice President of Terminal Operations at Dubai International. “However, even the most technologically advanced systems can be disrupted by irregular shaped or oversized bags. Bags that are round or do not have a flat surface of any kind are by far the largest source of baggage jams. These jams can shut down sections of our system, delay baggage delivery to the aircraft and inconvenience our customers.” “We are trying to get the message out there as much as possible,” added Angizeh. “Passengers, who show up at the airport with non-compliant baggage, will also be given the option to have it repacked in boxes for a fee.” Stretching 140 kilometres and covering a surface area of 75 football fields, DXB’s baggage handling system is among the largest in the world. It has 15,000 trays and is powered by 21,000 motors. DXB handled approximately 9.3 million bags in January this year. A bag spends an average of 29 minutes in the baggage system at DXB.

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Maiden A380 at DWC airport


Dubai World Central (DWC), Dubai’s second international airport, achieved a new milestone when it welcomed its first scheduled A380 passenger flight – Korean Air’s flight KE9951 from Incheon International Airport in South Korea. The flight was the first of series of scheduled charter flights the carrier will operate to DWC in addition to their existing scheduled operations at Dubai International. The scheduled charter operations serve seasonal demand for Dubai cruise. The first flight was given a traditional water salute on arrival. DWC welcomed a total of 850,633 passengers in 2016 and is currently served by 27 passenger carriers, operating an average of 108 flights weekly to 44 international destinations.  

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World’s fastest Wi-Fi at Dubai Airport


Dubai Airports has launched the world’s fastest free Wi-Fi connection at an airport to millions of passengers that travel through DXB each month. Named WOW-Fi, the service provides Internet connection up to 100mbps. This follows Dubai Airports’ launch of an upgraded free unlimited high-speed Wi-Fi connection across Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC) in December last year. Commenting on DXB’s latest offering, Michael Ibbitson, Executive Vice President of Technology and Infrastructure at Dubai Airports said, “As the biggest international airport in the world, we are at the heart of many journeys across the globe. To support these travellers, late last year we have launched unlimited free high-speed Wi-Fi for our customers across our airports but our goal was to offer something they have never experienced at an airport before. With WOW-Fi, passengers will get a speed of up to 100mbps to enable them to quickly download or upload emails, pictures, videos and social media updates and then get on with enjoying the airport or connecting to their friends and family across the world.” “We are always looking at ways to enhance airport experience for our customers by introducing the latest and best in technology and constantly making improvements to our existing services and facilities. During the two months since the soft launch of WOW-Fi, the service has been enjoyed by an average of over 100,000 unique users per day. We are certain the WOW-Fi experience will impress the 89 million passengers we expect to welcome at DXB in 2017,” he added. The unlimited free Wi-Fi at DXB connects with just one click and offers speed that sets a new benchmark for airports globally. To ensure the speed and …

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Etihad Airways to launch A380 on Paris route

Bedroom in The Residence onboard Etihad Airways' A380 (468x640)

Etihad Airways is introducing its A380 on the Abu Dhabi-Paris route this summer as part of seasonal adjustments to the airline’s fleet deployment plan. Etihad Airways’ approximate one-way fare, including taxes and surcharges, in The Residence from Paris to Abu Dhabi is US$ 10,750; and Paris to Sydney or Melbourne is US$ 16,800. Featuring the carrier’s revolutionary The Residence – the world’s first three-room suite on a commercial airliner – the aircraft will operate on one of its twice-daily services to the French capital between July 1 and October 28. Paris becomes the airline’s latest A380 long haul destination following London, Sydney, New York and Melbourne. With the aircraft upgrade from a 328-seat Boeing 777, Etihad Airways is able to offer an all-A380 daily service from Paris to both Melbourne and Sydney via the airline’s Abu Dhabi hub. It will also support the strong connecting traffic to and from many cities across Asia and Australia including Brisbane, Perth, Bangkok, Chengdu, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Manila, Shanghai, Seychelles, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai, together with destinations across the GCC such as Bahrain, Doha, Jeddah and Muscat. Flight EY31 has a scheduled departure time from Abu Dhabi International Airport of 0215 hrs, arriving at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport at 0750 hrs, with the return flight EY32 leaving the French capital at 1040 hrs, arriving in Abu Dhabi at 1930 hrs. (all times listed are local). Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer, said: “Flying our flagship product to France with additional seat capacity helps fulfil growing demand and meet our guests’ expectations for an even greater travel experience with unmatched luxury, comfort and service. “Paris is one of our …

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IndiGo adds Sharjah as 6th international destination


In order to strengthen its footprints in the Gulf region, IndiGo Airlines has added Sharjah to its international route, effective March 20, 2017. The airline will operate its new daily non-stop flights between Sharjah-Kozhikode-Sharjah and a second daily flight to operate non-stop between Sharjah-Thiruvananthapuram-Sharjah effective April 8, 2017. The introductory fares start as low as 243 AED for one way from Kozhikode to Sharjah. The new flights will cater to both leisure and business travellers. Sanjay Kumar, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo, said, “We are extremely pleased to expand our international network with Sharjah. Middle East has been an important market for IndiGo with rising business and tourism stemming from the gulf market. We are determined to provide the best travel experience to all those who wish to fly these destinations. We are looking at providing affordable fares on these new routes to our 6E travellers. We are now available on all Travelport platforms and interfaces reaching a vast number of travel agents around the globe.”

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Sylhet becomes flydubai’s third destination in Bangladesh


Dubai-based flydubai’s inaugural flight to Sylhet landed on March 15 and was greeted by a traditional water cannon salute. The flight marks the start of a four times weekly direct service between Dubai and flydubai’s third destination in Bangladesh, which will increase to six flights a week from May 16, 2017. Upon arrival, a flydubai delegation led by Sudhir Sreedharan, Senior Vice President Commercial for GCC, Subcontinent and Africa, was met by H.E. Rashed Khan Menon, Minister of Civil Aviation and Tourism, along with local officials from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, the Civil Aviation Authority and local members of Parliament. A traditional ceremony took place as the delegation disembarked the aircraft.The operation to Sylhet Osmani International Airport is in partnership with Bangladesh carrier Regent Airways. Sreedharan said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Bangladeshi authorities for their support. We began operations to Dhaka and Chittagong in 2011 and have seen a strong demand for flights since. We are confident that our passengers from Sylhet will benefit from our direct and convenient flights to Dubai and beyond, via Dubai’s efficient aviation hub connecting over 200 destinations worldwide.” “We thank Regent Airways for their cooperation, and we look forward to the start of this partnership,” he added. Since it began flights to Bangladesh, flydubai has carried more than 1.5 million passengers between the two countries. The new service will see flydubai provide up to 27 flights a week to Bangladesh.

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Turkish Airlines adds two new routes to Russia

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

Turkish Airlines has added two new destinations in Russia — Voronezh and Samara. The national carrier is going to increase capacity in Russia by operating 3 flights per week between Istanbul–Samara and Istanbul-Voronezh instead of Astrakhan and Novosibirsk which are currently operated as two flights per week.  Istanbul-Voronezh v.v. flights will be launched on 4th April 2017 and Istanbul-Samara v.v. flights will also be launched on 11th April 2017. Special round-trip fares are available for Istanbul-Samara starting from $159 and for Istanbul-Voronej starting from $189 (including taxes).

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Dubai to host ME Heli conference

Image for Heli conference

Under the aegis of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and CEO and Chairman of the Emirates Group, Dubai Heli Conference 2017 will take place from April 17 to 18, at the Al Maktoum International Airport, planned to be the world’s largest airport located in Dubai World Central, the venue for World Expo 2020. Dubai Airports, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), and the UAE Airforce and Air Defence and Dubai South support the inaugural event. The new symposium is also backed by the Dubai Helishow, the biennial Helicopter Technology and Operations Exhibition held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The key agenda for the first day of the symposium includes ‘Partnering with Industry and Enhancing Helicopter Life Cycle Management’ and ‘Meeting Safety Levels for Helicopter Operators.’ The topics to be discussed during the first session are ‘Key Considerations in Planning Life-Cycle Usage of New Acquisitions;’ ‘Ensuring Helicopters Meet Flight Time Requirements Through Securing the Spare Parts Supply chain;’ and ‘Enhancing Information Flow Between MRO and Users During Operations to Enhance Faster Turnaround Times.’Ahmad Abulhoul, Managing Director, Domus Group, said: “The pioneering Dubai HeliConference is the only dedicated event to focus on the helicopter segment of the Middle East’s aviation industry. The event format has been designed to provide an engaging and interactive platform for industry stakeholders, including government entities, private companies, and leading professionals, to address current challenges and discuss ways for further advancement. We are upbeat that Dubai HeliConference will enable regional and international companies to explore partnership opportunities for the dynamic growth of …

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Qatar Airways unveils new Business Class at ITB Berlin

Qatar Airways 2

Qatar Airways unveiled its highly anticipated new Business Class experience to travel trade leaders at ITB Berlin. The customizable private suites, named QSuite, introduce a host of firsts to Premium Class travel, reshaping expectations for global business travellers. The new seat design was first unveiled by Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker on the opening day of the ITB Berlin exhibition, at the Qatar Airways stand. It was attended by His Excellency Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Ambassador of the State of Qatar in Germany, with the Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, as special guest of honour. QSuite features the industry’s first-ever double bed available in Business Class, with privacy panels that stow away, allowing passengers in adjoining seats to create their own private room. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, said, “With these innovations, Qatar Airways has revolutionised the way we serve our Business Class travellers, enabling our passengers to enjoy a First Class experience in Business Class. This is truly Business Class as never seen before and is entirely in keeping with our Premium product and service philosophy.”

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Emirates adds Phnom Penh, Cambodia to its network

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER

Phnom Penh in Cambodia will be the latest destination Emirates will serve from July this year. The launch of daily services from Dubai to Phnom Penh will coincide with the introduction of a direct, non-stop route between Dubai and Hanoi. From July 1, Emirates passengers travelling to Hanoi will no longer stop in Yangon before reaching the Vietnamese capital. The new Dubai-Yangon-Phnom Penh route will also enable passengers from Yangon to travel to Phnom Penh and vice versa. Emirates will be the only airline with a direct service between these two cities. Outbound, flight EK388 will depart Dubai at 0915 hours, and will arrive in Yangon at 1725hrs. It will then depart Yangon at 1855hrs, before arriving at Phnom Penh at 2125 hours. The departure time of flight EK388 from Dubai seamlessly connects with a number of European services such as Paris, London, and Frankfurt. On the return segment, flight EK389 will depart Phnom Penh at 2310hrs, and will arrive in Dubai at 0540hrs the next day, after a short stop in Yangon (All times are local). Phnom Penh, located in the south-central region of Cambodia, is the most populous city in Cambodia and is a gateway to World Heritage Site Angkor Wat, near Siem Reap. Recent growth and infrastructure development has led to Phnom Penh becoming a significant economic and tourism destination. There were more than 4.7 million foreign tourist arrivals to Cambodia in 2015 and this is forecast to rise to 8 million by 2020.

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