Category Archives: Aviation

Air India Express adds more routes to Sharjah


Air India Express, the Kochi-headquartered budget arm of Air India, is expected to add two new routes to Sharjah International Airport next month, bringing the total number of its routes between Sharjah and Indian destinations up to seven. The airline will introduce three non-stop flights per week each from Chandigarh (IXC), the state capital of Punjab and Haryana, and from Tiruchirapalli (TRZ) in Tamil Nadu state. India is one of the United Arab Emirates’ leading trade partners, accounting for some 9.8 percent of the country’s total non-oil trade, buying 14.9 percent of the Emirates’ exports and 8.7 percent of its re-exports. The total volume of bilateral trade between India and the UAE is expected to increase from $60 billion in 2014 to $100 billion by the year 2020. India is also the largest single origin of investors for Sharjah’s Hamriyah Free Zone and Sharjah International Airport Free Zone (SAIF Zone). Air India Express has been expanding its services to destinations in the UAE, including daily Mumbai-Dubai, Mumbai-Sharjah, New Delhi-Dubai and New Delhi-Abu Dhabi routes, which it added earlier this year. According to the airline, the number of its weekly flights between India and the UAE increased from 107 flights to 146 flights per week before the summer. The low-cost airline currently operates five routes with a total of 15 weekly flights to Sharjah International Airport. Air India Express now flies direct to Sharjah from Kochi (COK), Kozhikode (CCJ), Mumbai (SAHAR), New Delhi (DEL), Thiruvananthapuram (TRV) and Varanasi (VNS. India is well connected to Sharjah, with Sharjah-headquartered Air Arabia operating flights between Sharjah and 13 Indian destinations. Jet Airways, India’s second largest airline, operates direct daily flights on Sharjah-Kochi and Sharjah-Mangaluru …

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Dubai airports welcome Nepal Airlines

Nepal Airlines

Dubai International (DXB), the world’s number one airport for international passengers welcomed the inaugural flight of Nepal Airlines from Kathmandu to Dubai on August 19. The airline now offers three direct flights per week from the Nepalese capital to DXB’s Terminal 2, onboard an Airbus A320 aircraft. The new service adds more choice for the expatriate Nepalese community in the UAE as well as for the thousands of visitors looking to experience the cultural heritage, colour, and general milieu of Kathmandu’s packed streets, not to mention the many who visit the city to tackle the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest.

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Etihad expands services to Italy


Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will expand its services to Italy with a daily flight to Venice Marco Polo Airport, effective October 30, 2016. The new service will be served by an Airbus A319, offering 16 seats in Business and 90 in Economy. Together with Alitalia, its code-share and equity partner, Etihad Airways will offer 35 weekly flights in and out of Italy, including double daily services to Rome and Milan. Etihad’s Venice flight will offer convenient travel times for guests travelling between the UAE and the Italian city. In addition, the new service will offer seamless connections through Abu Dhabi’s hub to the popular Australia routes of Sydney and Melbourne, as well as key destinations in the GCC, Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and Northeast Asia. Etihad Airways started flights to Milan in 2007 before Rome was added to the network in 2014, contributing to a strong trade relationship between the United Arab Emirates and Italy. Bilateral trade was valued at $6.14 billion in 2015 and the UAE Ministry of Economy has registered more than 90 Italian companies.

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July passenger traffic rises at AUH by 7.9%

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Airports marked an increase in passenger traffic by 7.9 per cent at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) for July 2016 compared to the same month last year. The month recorded 2,267,572 passengers travelling through the airport, exceeding last July’s figure of 2,100,929. Total arrivals at the airport were up by 10.4 per cent at a figure of 1,074,022 in July, with departure numbers also increasing by 6.1 per cent at a total figure of 1,180,504. As for the local arrivals, specifically arrivals to Abu Dhabi excluding transfer and transit, July witnessed numbers rise by 15.9 per cent whilst local departures grew by 1.8 per cent. Arrival and departure transfers have both shown an increase of 8.0 per cent and 8.6 per cent respectively compared to July 2015. Eid and summer holidays were important factors in the increase in these figures. The top city destinations from Abu Dhabi were London, Bangkok, Doha, Bombay and Manila respectively, representing 16 per cent of the total traffic registered at the airport in July. Traffic to India has recorded a significant increase of 15.6 per cent in July, whilst traffic to the UK grew by 7.7 per cent. The traffic to Australia has risen by 28.1 per cent, while traffic to the USA has also gone up by 17.2 per cent. The US pre-clearance facility available at AUH has been a significant contributor to that growth.

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New hand luggage screening system at AUH

Abu Dhabi International Airport--2

Abu Dhabi Airports has installed a new Automated Tray Return System (ATRS) to speed up the process of hand luggage screening at Terminal 3 in Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH). The new system allows for the processing of more than four times the number of baggage that conventional screening lanes do, reducing screening wait times and congestion, and providing a smoother travel experience for passengers. Unlike the conventional system that allows only one passenger at a time to load their belongings into the tray, the ATRS provides four stations at which travelers can simultaneously prepare their bags for screening. The ATRS also has two buffer stations, seven redress stations for cleared trays, four reject stations for suspicious trays, and two search stations. The system operates with a Hi-Scan 7555 aTix machine and is equipped with two operator workstations allocated remotely in an imaging room, through which the live images can be analyzed separately. Any trays containing suspect belongings can be diverted to the search area for further investigation, away from the cleared lane.

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Emirates adds two daily flights to Doha


Emirates will add two additional daily flights to Doha, effective October 30, 2016 making it nine daily flights to the Qatar capital. Emirates currently operates seven daily flights to Doha, and the addition of the two services will grow the airline’s presence in Qatar and take the total number of weekly Emirates flights to 63. So far in 2016, over half a million passengers have travelled on the Dubai-Doha service. In the first three months of 2016, there was a 26 per cent spike in visitor volumes to Dubai from Qatar over the previous year (according to Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing). The timings of the new Doha services have also been scheduled to facilitate shorter connection times to popular destinations in Southeast Asia such as Singapore, Cebu and Clark. Furthermore, the new flights introduce convenient connections to popular European destinations such as Lisbon and Larnaca, Capetown in Africa and Los Angeles in the US, increasing access to key business and leisure centres both east and westbound. Through its hub, Emirates will also be seamlessly connecting passengers to its extensive route network of over 150 destinations, served by a fleet of all wide body aircraft offering a superior level of comfort as well as the latest products and services on board for customers. The airline’s network also encompasses more than 40 cities around the globe served by the iconic Emirates A380.

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Emirates upgrades Dubai to Khartoum route


Emirates has announced that the service between Dubai and Khartoum will be upgraded with the deployment of a larger Boeing 777-300ER on the route from 1st September 2016.The Boeing 777 will replace the current Airbus A340-300 and offer travellers on the route an enhanced on-board product experience and additional seats in Economy Class. Enhancements include an updated ice entertainment system with larger TV screens across all three cabin classes and over 2500 channels of on demand audio and visual entertainment,featuring the latest movies, music, audio books, podcasts and games.The aircraft also has eight private suites in First Class with automated sliding doors for privacy, 42 lie flat seats in Business Class and 310 spacious seats in Economy Class – nearly 100 seats more than the A340-300. Emirates flies four times a week between Khartoum and Dubai, and enables Sudanese travellers to connect to destinations across its global network, particularly the Middle East, the United States, United Kingdom and Asia Pacific region, with just one comfortable and convenient stop at the airline’s Dubai hub.Emirates flight EK733 departs Dubai every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 14h35 and arrives in Khartoum at 17h40. The return flight EK734 leaves Khartoum at 19h10 and arrives in Dubai at 0020 the following morning.

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Qatar rebrands cabin crew recognition Programme


Qatar Airways’ Customer Experience team has announced the rebranding of its cabin crew recognition programme, Kafou — which means “job well done” — and the addition of colleague feedback to help recognise superior service as it happens onboard Qatar Airways flights. Kafou combines feedback from multiple sources and consolidates the data into a single system for easier processing, faster recognition of stellar cabin crew, and integration into the cabin crew performance system. Kafou elevates the former recognition programme for the benefit of Qatar Airways’ 10,000 cabin crew, with faster feedback loops and the ability for the Customer Experience leadership team to provide kudos and share customer – and now colleague – feedback. Customers can provide feedback via the “Tell Us” web form on the Qatar Airways website: Feedback is factored in to the cabin crew member’s review of overall guest experience delivery and is taken into consideration for their annual performance review and career progression path.

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Emirates to operate special A380 to Amman


Emirates will operate a special one-off A380 service to Amman on September 25, marking 30 years of commitment to Jordan. The airline’s flagship double-decker, with the ability to carry over 500 passengers at a time, will make history when it becomes the first-ever scheduled A380 service to Queen Alia International Airport, and it will also be the first time the A380 commercially operates to the Levant. On September 25, the Emirates A380 service will operate EK 901 and EK 902, departing Dubai at 0725hrs and arriving in Amman at 0930hrs. The flight will then depart Amman at 1300hrs arriving in Dubai at 1700hrs on the same day. This year is a milestone for Emirates as it celebrates 30 successful years of operations to Jordan. With the support of the Jordanian Authorities and Airport International Group, the deployment of the one-off Emirates A380 operation has been made possible through significant infrastructure upgrades to accommodate the aircraft. Since its introduction to the Emirates fleet in 2008, the A380 has proved tremendously popular with customers, and the upcoming service next month will give travellers the chance to experience this revolutionary aircraft and the best service in the sky.

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Oman’s 1st charter service Salalah Air to launch soon

salalah air

An announcement was made by the Ministry of Tourism in Oman that the first air charter service Salalah Air, also the first entirely Omani owned company chaired by Ali Masoud Al Khashoub, will soon begin operations in the Sultanate.  H.E. Maitha Al Mahrouqi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism, met the founder and CEO of Salalah Air, Sam Owen, to understand the airline’s vision for future cooperation in the tourism sector. The meeting was focused on the development of Salalah Air’s charter services in Oman and between Governorates of the Sultanate. The presentation by the CEO introduced the concept of Oman’s first Flying Club and Adventure Sports Centre that forms part of Salalah Air’s development strategy. The Flying Club and Adventure Sports Centre will be headquartered in Salalah and have an operational base located at Sharbitat, which will provide opportunities for aerial sports such as para-motoring and parachuting, together with opportunities for diving, deep sea fishing and sailing. Culture, which is the first principal of Salalah Air, represents the heritage of the Sultanate.  Owen described how Salalah Air was inspired by the rich culture of Oman and in particular the ancient frankincense routes out of which Oman’s rich history of trade by sea and land has evolved. In this context, Salalah Air is envisaged first and foremost as a way of linking the people of Oman with their traditional connections. Commitment, the second principle of Salalah Air, is a fundamental part of the vision where the company is committed to providing new initiatives in the Oman’s tourism market. It will take into consideration Omanisation and will be dedicated to providing a high level of customer satisfaction, while placing the highest …

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