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Eitad Airways extends codeshare agreement with Air France


Etihad Airways has further developed its relationship with Air France-KLM, with the announcement that the UAE flag carrier will lease an Air France Airbus A340-300 for use on the Paris-Abu Dhabi route from May 15 to November 30. Under the arrangement, Air France will run the 272 seat aircraft as one of Etihad Airways’ 2 daily Paris-Abu Dhabi return services.

Last October, Etihad Airways and Air France-KLM forged a tactical collaboration which allowed the 2 airline groups to work together to create value for each airline.

The agreement extended the UAE flag carrier’s European network with code-share services beyond Paris to Bordeaux, Copenhagen, Madrid, Nice and Toulouse, and saw Air France place its AF flight code on Etihad Airways operated flights between Paris Charles de Gaulle and Abu Dhabi, and to cities further afield. The agreement also played a crucial role in Etihad Airways revealing direct Amsterdam-Abu Dhabi services effective May 15, in addition to KLM boosting its direct Amsterdam-Abu Dhabi services to daily from summer 2013.

Kevin Knight, Chief Strategy and Planning Officer at Etihad Airways, said: “This agreement to wet-lease an Air France A340-300 aircraft demonstrates the mutual benefits generated by our close relationship with Air France-KLM. On the back of recent announcements, this latest cooperation deal is good for both carriers in terms of better optimising our fleets for the rest of 2013.

“The temporary wet-leased EY37 and EY38 return service will also see Etihad Airways cabin crew on board, working alongside Air France attendants to provide our guests with an inspired travelling experience that the world’s leading airline is best known for.”

 

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Middle East shows the way in global aviation growth


The Middle East will see the strongest growth of any global region in available long-haul airline seats in September, adding 22,000 extra seats per day, according to the latest statistics from OAG.

The OAG FACTS report for September 2012 reveals an expected five per cent growth in available seats to and from the Middle East, compared to September 2011, with 13.1 million anticipated in the month.

Meanwhile, flight operations to and from the region are expected to increase by four per cent to 59,771.

Rob Shaw, director of analytics at OAG, said: “Dubai is expected to lead all major local hubs in September in terms of growth, with an eight per cent increase in flights and a 12 per cent increase in seats, a disparity partly reflecting Emirates’ adoption of the Airbus A380.

“However, Abu Dhabi is enjoying the fruits of its own expansion strategy and will remain the fastest growing hub in the Middle East, with a 16 per cent increase in seat capacity to 1,661,512 compared to September 2011.

Doha and Riyadh will also see strong growth in seat capacity of ten per cent and five per cent respectively.

“The Middle East remains at the vanguard of long-haul air traffic growth globally.

While this expansion in part reflects the ambitious growth targets of the ‘superconnector’ airlines – Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways – airport infrastructure investments across the region continue to make the Middle East attractive to other long-haul carriers.”

In contrast to the region’s long-haul growth, air traffic within the Middle East is expected to decrease in September, with a three per cent drop in both flights and seats. Low-cost carriers (LCCs) are expected to increase their share of intra-Middle Eastern seat capacity to 15 per cent, an increase of 12 per cent over September 2011.

Meanwhile, LCC flights in the region are expected to grow by 16 per cent in the month, with 856 extra flights compared to the same period in 2011.

Shaw said: “LCCs are increasing their market share in the Middle East. Not only are they achieving robust growth within regional flights and seats, but low-cost operations are also becoming more prominent in long-haul traffic.

“In September, LCCs are expected to achieve 18 per cent growth in flights and seats to and from the Middle East compared to 2011, equivalent to 1,048 extra flights and 182,139 additional seats.”

Asia Pacific on the rise

While the Middle East comes top in many key air traffic metrics today, OAG FACTS also reveals the fast-gathering strength of Asia Pacific as tomorrow’s air traffic titan.

Shaw said: “Atlanta is expected to remain the world’s largest global hub in September, with flight numbers level with September 2011 and seats up 2 per cent. However, Beijing is fast closing the gap, with a seat number deficit against Atlanta of only 248,000 in September 2012, contrasted with 544,000 in September 2011.”

According to Shaw, Asia Pacific’s rapid economic development is clearly indicated by growth in the area’s intra-regional air traffic. Asia Pacific remains the world’s largest market for regional air travel in terms of seat numbers.

“Only the Middle East and Asia Pacific will see increases in intra-regional flights and seats in September compared to 2011.

“However, while the Middle East is expected to show a healthy 16 per cent growth in seats – an extra 145,000 – Asia Pacific will add 32% more seats in the month. That’s an additional 5.8 million.”

LCC seat capacity within Asia Pacific is expected to grow by 32 per cent in September versus the previous year, representing 7.2 million extra seats (over 241,000 additional seats per day). Meanwhile, LCC intra-regional flights in Asia Pacific are due to increase by 24 per cent.

Shaw said: “The real hot spot for LCC growth is south-east Asia, which will see a huge 76 per cent increase in seats versus September 2011, a rise of 4.4 million.”

Global highlights

Worldwide, scheduled airline flights are expected to decrease by 0.4 per cent in September 2012 versus September 2011 (11,799 fewer), although seat capacity will be two per cent higher (6,088,628 more).

The total number of scheduled flights operating in September will be 2,615,534, with 340,191,374 seats offered. North America is expected to record the greatest volume decreases in intra-regional volumes in the month, with a fall of almost one million seats and 28,000 flights against the prior year, continuing the recent trend.

Seat capacity performance at the top ten global hubs will be mixed, with only half recording increases. Heathrow, Chicago, Paris and Los Angeles are all expected to show decreases. Frankfurt will be the fifth largest hub by seat capacity, up from sixth in September 2011.

For the year to date (January-September 2012), scheduled flights are expected to show growth of one per cent versus the same period last year, an increase of 324,842 flights. Seat capacity is expected to grow by three per cent, creating 92 million additional seats in the period.

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Etihad Airways cancels to flights to Syria


Etihad Airways has become the latest airline to suspended flights Damascus due to the deteriorating security position in Syria.

The flights, which had operated out of the UAE flag-carrier’s base in Abu Dhabi will be halted with immediate effect and until further notice.

“The safety of passengers and crew is paramount to the airline,” Etihad said in a statement.

Etihad Airways confirmed it would notify affected passengers and offer a full refund for unused tickets.

Air France, Turkish Airways, and Aeroflot are among the other carriers to have cancelled flights into the Syrian capital in recent days.

 
 

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Etihad Airways strengthens ties with Italy’s flag carrier Alitalia


Abu Dhabi based airline Etihad Airways is expanding its codeshare partnership with Italy’s flag carrier Alitalia. Subject to government approvals, from December 1st, Alitalia will operate the four weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and Rome using an Airbus A330 aircraft Etihad Airways.

The flights, with seating capacity for 230 passengers, will operate on a split schedule, ensuring maximum connectivity over Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi hub.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ president and chief executive officer, said: “The ties between the UAE and Italy have never been stronger, and one of our key objectives all along was to provide our passengers with a direct service to Rome.

“We signed our initial codeshare with Alitalia back in December 2009, and it has been a great success. Extending the deal now to cover direct Rome-Abu flights is a natural next step.

“Ultimately, this is fantastic news for both airlines’ passengers, giving them direct access to Rome and Abu Dhabi respectively, and beyond right across both networks, and at the same time allowing them to earn and burn frequent flyer miles on both airlines’ combined networks.”

Etihad Airways will place its EY code on the new Rome (Fiumicino) flights, providing travellers with direct access to the Italian capital from Abu Dhabi, building on the daily service it already operates to the northern Italian city of Milan.

In addition, Etihad Airways will codeshare on Alitalia operated flights beyond Rome to the cities of Venice and Zurich. The UAE flag carrier already codeshares on Alitalia-operated flights from Rome to Milan, Frankfurt, Munich, Geneva and Athens.

Alitalia will continue to place its AZ code on Etihad Airways flights from Abu Dhabi to Bahrain, Muscat, Johannesburg, Bangkok, Melbourne and Sydney.

Andrea Ragnetti, CEO of Alitalia, said: “I am proud to announce this important new route that Alitalia will operate from 1 December. It’s the next step in a successful collaboration which we started in 2009 with Etihad Airways.

“The new Rome-Abu Dhabi route will allow both companies to offer their passengers a new direct service and in particular for Alitalia passengers from Rome, it will further open the doors to exceptional business and tourist destinations around the world on Etihad Airways’ network.”

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Abu Dhabi begins world-tour in support of F1 Grand Prix


Visit Car Hire Assistant for a Quote!Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority is gearing up for a globe-trotting summer promotional tour designed to heighten international footfall at the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November.

Held in conjunction with Yas Marina Circuit, the venue for the November 2nd-4th spectacle, and Etihad Airways, the UAE’s national carrier and the event’s headline sponsor, the promotional tour will span seven countries.

All of these are currently among Abu Dhabi’s top 20 international source markets for the first five months of the year: the UK (1), Germany (3), Saudi Arabia (6), France (8), China (13), Australia (15) and Russia (20).

“Historically, one-in-five Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ticket-buyers have been non-UAE residents,” said Nick McElwee, director of sales and marketing, Yas Marina Circuit.

“This year, as part of collective efforts with key stakeholders to further build the event’s international profile, we have evolved our sales strategy to encompass wider destination marketing alongside generic race promotion.”

Having ignited activations in Lorient, France, and Galway, Ireland, to coincide with the final two Volvo Ocean Race stopovers, the destination-themed tour also leverages motorsport-specific events, such as last week’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone (July 8th).

Plans are already in place to encompass several key Abu Dhabi sport sponsorships and dovetail a host of global events, including next week’s

Moscow City Racing festival in Russia, as well as Manchester City Football Club’s summer tour of Asia, for which TCA Abu Dhabi is the headline sponsor.

The English Premier League champions’ Far East tour involves a mouth-watering clash against domestic rivals, Arsenal, at the Olympic Stadium in Beijing, China, on July 27th, before a match against a Malaysian Allstars XI in Kuala Lumpur three days later.

China currently ranks as Abu Dhabi’s 13th largest international source market and TCA Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina Circuit and Etihad Airways, City’s principal sponsors, will collectively utilise significant brand placement opportunities to promote the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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Posted by on 10/07/2012 in Tourism News

 

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Etihad increases London to Abu Dhabi capacity


Visit Car Hire Assistant for a Quote!Etihad Airways has added 13 per cent of seat capacity to its ‘blue-ribbon’ London Heathrow-Abu Dhabi route with the delivery of its first three class Boeing 777-300ER.

The aircraft will predominantly operate the airline’s 9:15 flight from Heathrow, one of three daily flights operated by Etihad Airways, to its home base in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates.

The Boeing 777-300ER aircraft is configured with eight first class suites, 40 business lie-flat beds, and 282 seats in economy.

Etihad Airways will take delivery of seven more Boeing 777-300ERs in the next 18 months, taking the total number of passenger 777s to 18.

Etihad Airways will continue to operate its two other daily flights to London with three-class Airbus A340-600s which have a 12 first class, 32 business class and 248 economy configuration.

Also, Etihad Airways has started to fly six-flights-a-week from Abu Dhabi to the Nigerian city of Lagos.

To celebrate the new service, and Nigeria’s love of football, Etihad Airways operated its iconic sky-blue A330-200 aircraft, painted in English Premier League champions Manchester City FC’s famous colours, for the launch flight.

All flights will be operated by an A330-200 aircraft, configured to carry 22 passengers in business class and 240 passengers in economy class.

Etihad Airways is considered the World’s Leading Airline by the World Travel Awards.

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Posted by on 09/07/2012 in Air Travel

 

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