Category Archives: Aviation

Ras Al Khaimah International Airport welcomes Rossiya Airlines

Ras Al Khaimah International Airport (RAK Airport) has opened up a new service to Russia through a partnership with Rossiya Airlines, with the inaugural flight from the carrier arriving from the Russian city of Yekaterinburg – Russia’s fourth-largest city and the second-largest in Siberia. The airport’s commencement of operations with the airline directly connects the UAE’s northernmost emirate to nine destinations in the world’s largest country. “Ras Al Khaimah International Airport forms a major plank in Ras Al Khaimah’s growth plans by increasing its numbers of destinations and schedules through forging partnerships with new carriers and extending services with existing ones. Its new partnership with Rossiya Airlines represents a significant step forward in the airport’s phased expansion strategy, opening up as it does nine direct flights into and out of Russia,” said H.E. Engr. Salem Bin Sultan Al-Qasimi, Chairman of Department of Civil Aviation and Ras Al Khaimah International Airport, and Board member of General Civil Aviation Authority and Ras Al Khaimah Executive Council. “This new service will be instrumental in bringing in a greater number of Russian visitors to experience the unique attractions of Ras Al Khaimah, with an increase in guests – an important part of the emirate’s diversification strategy. Russia is one of the UAE’s top source countries for tourism, where business between the two countries is also important for bi-lateral growth and development. The new direct connections between Ras Al Khaimah and nine industrial and cultural conurbations in Russia will help meet current tourist and business requirements in both the countries, as well as fuel up the new demand for capacity building,” His Excellency added. “With the start of Rossiya Airlines’ commercial operations from Ras Al …

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airBaltic to resume flights from Riga to Dubai in September

airBaltic announces its plans to launch new scheduled flights between Riga and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates from September 1. airBaltic has scheduled to connect both cities with four weekly flights. Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic: “Dubai for years has been one of the most significant unserved destinations from Riga. Now, with Expo 2020 starting in October, we will offer a direct connection from Riga, which will be appreciated by many passengers across the Baltic region and Scandinavia. Additionally, the new route will provide excellent connectivity further from Dubai International (DXB) to the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Africa.” H.E. Hanan Al Aleeli, Ambassador of the UAE to Latvia, “Expo 2020 Dubai will be the first in-person global mega-event since the pandemic began, which will be welcoming millions of visitors from all over the world. Therefore, the timing of these convenient and fast flights between Riga and Dubai before the event is exceptional and will contribute not only to economic development, but also in creating further opportunities for political, cultural, and people-to-people ties between the UAE and Latvia. Emiratis and Latvians themselves are what has created the demand for these flights, a direct result of the close relationship between our two nations.​” Flights between Riga and Dubai will be operated by the Airbus A220-300 aircraft. A complete schedule of airBaltic flights and tickets for the new destinations are already available on the company’s homepage at www.airbaltic.com. The safety and health of our passengers is airBaltic’s top priority. airBaltic has introduced strong health measures and the flight operations follow the recommendations issued by authorities.

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Shurooq announces family destination breaks across Sharjah

Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) unveils a host of exciting and safe spring break activities for children and families, already underway at across four family-friendly destinations in Sharjah. Keeping the health and safety of the children paramount, and in adherence to all precautionary COVID-19 protocols enforced in the UAE, Shurooq has designed a range of creative activities, both paid and free-to-attend sessions, to keep kids engaged throughout the annual spring break. Until April 10, four of Shurooq’s leisure and entertainment destinations including Al Qasba, Al Majaz Waterfront, Khorfakkan Beach and Al Montazah Parks, will welcome children and families with an exciting range of workshops and fun activities that stimulate the imagination and nurture creativity. Announcing the launch of the spring campaign across four destinations, Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, COO of Shurooq, said: “In line with its commitment to delivering quality experiences for all visitors, tourists, and residents in Sharjah and across the UAE, Shurooq is launching a series of spring break activities for children and families in strictly safe and secure environments. We are keenly monitoring the pandemic situation, and to ensure the health and safety of everyone on our premises, all activities will be held in full adherence to the health and safety protocols followed in the UAE.” He added, “To maintain healthy environments to reduce risk of COVID-19, sanitisation measures implemented at each of the venues will be of the highest hygiene standards. A dedicated team will work round-the-clock to ensure that safety measures are implemented across the venues efficiently. In addition, all children’s facilities and play areas will be sanitised on an hourly and daily basis.”

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IATA urges ME govts to develop roadmap to restart aviation

IATA called on governments in the Middle East to develop re-start plans to safely re-link their citizens, businesses, and economies to global markets when the COVID-19 epidemiological situation permits. IATA also called for regional coordination to ensure that the plans can be efficiently implemented and urged governments to remain vigilant about the industry’s financial situation. “Re-establishing air connectivity will energize the economic recovery from COVID-19. With millions of jobs at risk from the prolonged shutdown, not a day should be lost once the epidemiological situation enables a re-opening. Restarting safely after a year or more in lockdown will need careful preparations. At the national level it is important that governments work with industry, so everyone understands the benchmarks that need to be achieved to facilitate the lifting of travel restrictions. And at the regional level, where traffic is expected to ramp-up first, it is critical that governments are talking to each other so that all parties are aligned and ready for a restart,” said Kamil Al Awadhi, IATA Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East. “This is a unique situation. But we have good practices to rely on. Safety is the top priority for anything associated with aviation. That is because governments have long-established global best practices for working together with industry and with each other. This same approach will help the re-start. There are two ends to every route. Both must be prepared or the restart cannot happen,” said Al Awadhi. “A financially viable air transport sector will be needed to energize the recovery. Government relief for airlines has avoided massive failures that would jeopardize a restart. This has not been uniform across the region. With no …

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Sabre introduces new airline storefront, the next gen of air shopping

Sabre announced the introduction of its new airline storefront, an industry-first capability that makes it easier to comparison-shop increasingly complex airline offers in the indirect channel.  Beginning today, the new airline storefront capabilities are available via Sabre’s shopping APIs, which travel retailers can leverage to build a bespoke storefront and enhance their customers’ experience. Sabre expects to launch the new capability for travel agencies via Sabre Red 360 in the coming weeks. Powered by Sabre’s shopping APIs, new airline storefront provides digital “shelves” that organize the breadth and depth of an airline’s offering in a side-by-side display to help travelers shop with confidence and make better buying decisions to meet their personal needs. For airlines, the new airline storefront supports differentiation and more merchandising opportunities in the indirect channel, with flight search results displaying several product offerings for an individual flight. For travel buyers, it allows for efficient comparison shopping across several flight options and helps travelers choose the offer that is right for them. “Airlines have invested in differentiating their brand in a number of ways. While this creates greater choice for travelers, it also presents a challenge – it’s easy to understand the cost, but harder to understand what the experience will be,” said Wade Jones, chief product officer for Sabre Travel Solutions. “Sabre’s new airline storefront not only empowers airlines to effectively market their unique product in the indirect channel, but it also helps travel buyers communicate the total offer value.” “Our customers demand choice paired with convenience and simplicity – this is not always the case with today’s airline shopping experience. Consumers want to compare products and offers quickly and efficiently, just as they do in …

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Qatar Airways announces summer schedule with plans to 140 destinations

Qatar Airways announced its summer schedule, maintaining its position as the leading international carrier providing reliable global connectivity. Having never stopped flying throughout the pandemic the airline has worked diligently to be the world’s leading airline for safety, innovation and customer experience. By the peak of the IATA Summer Season, the national carrier of the State of Qatar plans to operate over 1,200 weekly flights to more than 140 destinations. This has been recognised with multiples awards, including being the first global airline in the world to achieve the prestigious 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by Skytrax. This was in addition to Qatar Airway’s home and hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA), being the first airport in the Middle East and Asia to be awarded a Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating in December 2020. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, said, “We are proud to lead the recovery of international aviation, implementing the highest standards of bio-safety and hygiene and investing in the latest innovations to simplify travel and restore passenger confidence during the most challenging period in aviation’s history. Having never stopped flying throughout the pandemic, we have used our unrivalled experience and modern, fuel-efficient fleet to operate a sustainable and reliable network our passengers, trade partners and corporate customers can rely on. We also continue to offer the largest international network, including launching seven new destinations, to provide the connectivity our passengers and cargo customers need. As the global vaccine rollout begins to gather pace, we look forward to a gradual easing of entry restrictions throughout 2021 and welcoming back our millions of passengers onboard the World’s Best Airline.”

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Emirates, Etihad flights moved to Terminal 1 at Jeddah airport

All flights of Emirates and Etihad have been moved from the Northern Gate to Terminal 1 at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah from Monday, March 29, 2021. The Kingdom’s aviation body said earlier this month that it will resume international travel and complete the opening of all airports from May 17, 2021. However, international flights coming in from the countries that the authority has suspended travel to and from due to Covid restrictions will not be allowed to fly into Saudi Arabia. In order to ease travel for passengers, the UAE airlines — including Emirates and Etihad — as well as other Gulf carriers are running trials of digital passports. The digital passport — a certification, verification and validation system — could be an advanced form of the UAE’s Al Hosn mobile app, with not just vaccination and Covid-19 test data, but also details like pre-travel eligibility requirements for the destination. It is expected to authenticate all country travel and health regulations, manage all documentation digitally and facilitate seamless travel.

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Oman Air resumes flights to Milan

Oman Air has resumed flights to Milan. The twice-weekly flights will operate on Sundays and Wednesdays as WY143 from Muscat (MCT) and WY144 from Milan (MXP). Flights from Muscat will depart at 14:35 and arrive in Milan at 19:45. Flights from Milan will depart at 22:05 and arrive in Muscat at 06:40. Oman Air will maintain its comprehensive safety program throughout all elements of the travel journey to ensure that guests fly confidently. Masks are required when guests are onboard the aircraft and in Oman’s airports. Distancing is maintained while guests board and exit the aircraft, which are carefully cleaned after each flight and at the end of every day. Cabin crew all wear a full set of personal protective equipment, meal service has been modified to further ensure safety, and a number of other measures have been implemented to ensure that the airline’s guests and crew are safe at all times. Guests who are planning to travel to Muscat should visit the Civil Aviation Authority website, caa.gov.om, to ensure they are prepared to comply with requirements to enter the Sultanate. Guests travelling to Milan should ensure they are aware of official requirements to enter or transit through the country. Guests departing from Oman should also ensure that they are aware of all pre-departure requirements and requirements during their flights, which are provided at omanair.com.

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Qatar Airways to resume flights to Mykonos for summer

Qatar Airways is resuming its service to Mykonos, Greece for the summer season as the islands welcome visitors once again. The airline is planning to operate three flights a week using a modern A320 aircraft featuring 12 seats in Business Class and 120 seats in Economy Class. The news has been welcomed by Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, who said, “We first started flying to Mykonos in May 2018 and the route proved very popular with our customers. Due to the global pandemic, we had to suspend services last summer so we are really delighted to be returning to help support Greece’s efforts to restart tourism. We know the authorities in Greece are taking precautions to ensure public safety and visitors will be required to adhere to public health measures put in place in view of the pandemic. Equally we will be maintaining our own very high standards. Qatar Airways was the first global airline in the world to achieve the prestigious 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by Skytrax. We look forward to continuing to provide the safest possible experience for travellers across the world, and expanding upon our role in assisting the recovery of the commercial aviation industry.” Harry Theoharis, Greek Minister for Tourism said, “I am proud to welcome Qatar Airways back to Mykonos. It is very pleasing for us to have our luxury destination included in the planning of the airline’s new summer programme. In this difficult time this development comes when all of our efforts have been put into the safe opening of Greek tourism. ‘All you want is Greece’ is our new motto and with this, we invite friends …

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Emirates and Dubai Health Authority to create seamless digital verification of COVID-19 medical records for travellers

Emirates and the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which aims to position Dubai as one of the first cities in the world to implement digital verification of traveller medical records related to COVID-19 testing and vaccination. The MoU was signed by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates’ Chairman and Chief Executive, and His Excellency Awadh Al Ketbi, Director General of Dubai Health Authority. Sheikh Ahmed said, “Dubai is a leading global air transport hub, as well as one of the world’s most progressive cities in the area of e-government services. It’s a natural step to combine our capabilities to implement digital verification of COVID-19 medical records, which will also enable contactless document verification at Dubai Airport. This will tremendously improve the traveller experience, as well as the reliability, efficiency and compliance with entry requirements imposed by destinations around the world.” He added, “Dubai will continue to lead the way in implementing effective and balanced approaches to contagion control while facilitating travel and air transport which are crucial to communities and economies.”

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