Category Archives: Aviation

Etihad celebrates Emirati Women’s Day


Etihad Airways has marked Emirati Women’s Day by announcing that more than half the UAE nationals employed by the airline are women, including almost 50 pilots. Of the more than 3,200 Emiratis employed by the airline, 1,661 are women – or 51 per cent. This includes the 137 at the all-female Al Ain Contact Centre, reflecting the appeal of Etihad as an employer of Emirati women. Aisha Al Mansoori recalls being mesmerised by the aerial activity at Al Ain Air Show in 2007. Nowadays, she is one of those pilots, flying the largest passenger jet in the world. “I fell in love with aviation during the 2007 Al Ain Air Show and joined Etihad the following year as a cadet. After qualifying, I started as a Second Officer on the Airbus A320 and now I’m a First Officer on the A380. I hope to become Captain so I can train other aviators,” she said.   A total of 11 Emirati women are fully operational as pilots with the airline, while 38 others are navigating their way through cadet pilot training. Etihad has been holding a series of events to mark the second year of Emirati Women’s day, a government-led initiative now held annually on 28 August to recognise the role of Emirati women in the development of the UAE. This year’s theme is Emirati Women and Innovation. The most symbolic of the events was a visit to Etihad Airways’ Training Academy by ten longstanding members of the UAE General Women’s Union (GWU). The delegation met some of the airline’s Emirati female pilots, engineers and business leaders – bringing two generations together in a powerful illustration of the journey of Emirati …

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Oman Air’s coach service for Al Ain fliers

Oman Air 787 Artwork

Oman Air has launched a new free bus service between Al Ain and airports in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The service will enable customers to easily access the airline’s international network by simply selecting Al Ain as their origin or destination whilst booking their tickets. Tickets can be purchased online at, or through the nearest Oman Air office. The new bus service has been introduced to offer enhanced convenience for passengers from Al Ain, and to ensure that they start and end their journeys in style and comfort. Oman Air’s buses seat 33 passengers and are equipped with climate-control systems and reclining seats. Externally, their unique Oman Air liveries will make a distinctive impression on the busy roads of the UAE, as they make their non-stop journeys between Al Ain and the two airports.The services will run double-daily between Al Ain and Dubai, and between Al Ain and Abu Dhabi, with a single journey time of approximately two hours. This double daily bus service to each Abu Dhabi & Dubai has a seating capacity of 33 passengers.  

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Qatar offers pilgrimage kits for Hajj travellers


Qatar Airways is embracing the spirit of Hajj by providing pilgrims with exclusive Hajj kits designed and assembled with items to assist them during their spiritual journey. The Hajj kits will be offered to all passengers travelling for pilgrimage on the airline’s flights to Jeddah and Medina during the Hajj season that started from August 26, 2016. The Hajj kits were first launched by Qatar Airways in 2015 and each Hajj kit includes items that are beneficial to pilgrims as they make their journey through the Holy sites. The kit contains a prayer counter, prayer beads, prayer mat, stone bag, socks and wet wipes, conveniently packaged in a bag that can also be used to carry shoes. Qatar Airways, Senior Vice President, Customer Experience, Rossen Dimitrov, said: “Qatar Airways’ flights to Jeddah and Madina offer convenient travel for those passengers who wish to make their Hajj pilgrimage. Qatar Airways introduced the Hajj kits as a way to provide pilgrims with items that would be of value to them during their religious journey and in recognition of the importance of this spiritual time. Providing our passengers with an exceptional journey is a priority for Qatar Airways, and we are delighted to be able to offer them a gift tailored to their specific needs while experiencing Hajj.” Qatar Airways operates four flights a day to Jeddah, and three flights a day to Medina starting from 1 September, from Hamad International Airport in Doha. Through its home base at the state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport, Qatar Airways connects passengers to more than 150 places around the world, providing pilgrims from across the globe with easy, convenient access to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Holy …

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Air Arabia sees 14% rise in passengers in H1 2016


Sharjah-headquartered Air Arabia has reported a 14 percent increase in passenger numbers, carrying 4.1 million passengers during the first six months of 2016, compared with 3.6 million during the same period of 2015. The airline also announced a 3.5 percent increase in net profit, compared with a 4 percent drop in net profit in H1 2015. Despite regional economic uncertainties resulting from lower oil prices, the airlines turnover for the first six months of 2016 grew 5.5 percent, reaching AED 1.84 billion (US$ 0.5b), compared to AED 1.75 billion (US$ 0.48b) in the corresponding period last year. Air Arabia had a strong start to 2016, checking in more than 2.1 million passengers during the first quarter of the year, up 17 percent on the first quarter of 2015. In the second quarter of 2016, the airline flew over 2 million passengers, increasing 12 per cent on Q2 2015. The airline’s average seat load factor (passengers carried as a percentage of available seats) stood at 81 percent in the first quarter, 78 per cent in the second quarter and 79 percent overall during the first half of the year. The budget carrier’s home base, Sharjah International Airport, registered a 12 percent increase in overall passenger traffic over the first six months of 2016, with a total of 5.35 million passengers passed through the airport from January to June 2016, compared to 4.79 million in the same period last year. Passenger numbers handled by Sharjah airport exceeded 10 million for the first time during 2015. Air Arabia added five new international routes since the beginning of 2016, now operating flights to over 120 destinations in 33 countries across the Middle East, Africa, …

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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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