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1. The Ministry of Tourism, under the “Incredible India” banner, would be showcasing the immense tourism potential of the country – business, leisure and medical value travel in Dubai. More than 20 participants from India, representing the travel trade, diversity of Heritage, Nature, Culture and Wellness tourism are participating in the India Pavilion set up by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India at ATM – 2018.
2. India Pavilion has participants representing the State Tourism Departments of Kerala, Air India, Tour Operators, Travel Agents, Hoteliers/Resorts, Wellness, Spas and Ayurveda Centres, who would be showcasing innumerable tourism products of ‘Incredible India’
3. The theme chosen for ATM-2018 is “Adventure, Yoga & Wellness Tourism”. One of the highlights of the ‘Incredible India’ being showcased at ATM-2018 is the depiction of India as a multi-faceted tourist destination for Luxury, Wildlife, and Wellness / Medical Tourism. India has 36 World Heritage Sites which include historic monuments and natural wonders and are being promoted by the tour operators.
4. The Indian tourism outlook is very promising with an upswing in the growth of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India in the recent years. In 2017, India received 10.18 million FTAs with a growth rate of 15.6%. The Gulf and the Middle East region are an important market for India. There has been a consistent and positive growth of Foreign Tourist Arrivals from this region to India over the last 3 years with the year 2017 having registered an overall growth of around 10% over the previous year. The aim is to maintain the same pace of growth rate in international tourist arrivals over the next 3 years including Middle East through a multi-pronged approach, including proactive marketing strategies in partnership with our tourism stakeholders. Some of the countries, particularly the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Sultanate of Oman, Egypt, Turkey and Sudan have registered a significant growth and are emerging as major tourism generating markets for India from this region.
5. India has emerged as a Destination for Medical / Wellness Travel in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The percentage of Foreign Tourist Arrivals visiting India for Medical Treatment has been increasing over the years and growing rapidly since year 2000. India is poised to become a hub for medical tourism because of several factors viz. world class hospitals with latest technology; highly skilled Indian physicians and surgeons; cost effective treatment; excellent quality of care and nursing; less waiting time for availing of medical services; traditional healthcare therapies like Ayurveda & Yoga combined with allopathic treatment providing a holistic wellness destination.
6. India has a rich and diverse Natural, Cultural and Religious Heritage which provides a unique opportunity for tourism, from the architecture of India’s temples, palaces, forts, to the grandeur of its sculptures, and the beauty of its paintings, from mountaineering to meditation, yoga to white water rafting in the Ganges, Brahmaputra, or in any of India’s mighty rivers, all offer an unparalleled experience to the visitors. Seventy Three percent of the Himalayas are in India. The Indian Himalayas are a complete destination in themselves and span across six states of India namely, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and the hill regions of West Bengal To improve infrastructural facilities in the country, the Ministry of Tourism has launched a new scheme for the integrated development of thematic circuits.

7. The Ministry of Tourism has also taken the initiative of identifying, diversifying, developing and promoting nascent / upcoming niche tourism products viz. Golf Tourism, Adventure, MICE & Cruise Tourism. India’s advantage in respect of promoting cruise tourism is the long coastline from Gujarat to West Bengal and strong positioning of ports that has natural advantage to the country in attracting international cruise liners. Another advantage for India is its proximity to already popular cruise destinations in the South Asian region. There is enormous potential in the country to develop cruise tourism, both international and domestic and the Ministry of Tourism is making all efforts to promote this segment by developing required world class cruise infrastructure. With the aim to promote India as a year-round destination, attract tourists with varied interests and ensure repeat visits, it was recently decided to do away with bio metrics for e-visa passengers at the sea ports to ensure that passenger movement out of the ship is expedited.
8. To promote Adventure Tourism to India and to create awareness about the varied adventure options available, the Ministry of Tourism has decided to celebrate the year, 2018 as ‘The Year of Adventure Tourism’. Dramatic Himalayan landscapes in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, each dissected by raging rivers, provide the perfect geography for adventure sport such as white water rafting, rock climbing, skiing, low and high altitude trekking, canyoning and paragliding and horse polo, and water sports such as scuba diving, parasailing, kayaking and canoeing in Kerala, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Lakshadweep and Andamans.
9. One of the regions in focus is the North Eastern region of India which comprises the eight States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. Promotion of tourism of the North Eastern States of India with its rich and diverse tourism products viz. a variety of attractive flora and fauna and also home to the unique Asian one horned Rhino, is being given special emphasis. This area is also becoming popular with tourists for River Cruises. The rich natural beauty, serene landscapes and rare flora and fauna are the main attractions in these areas.
10. The Ministry of Tourism promotional website www.incredibleindia.org is available in Arabic, Chinese (simplified), French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Spanish languages. Other IT related initiatives include availability of guided, multimedia and interactive walking tours. The Ministry of Tourism is also active on Social Media with its own popular Face book, Google Plus pages, YouTube channel and Twitter handles, Instagram, Pinterest, Vimeo, Periscope and LinkedIn.
11. One of the priorities of the Government of India is the Safety and Security of both Domestic as well as International Tourists traveling in India and accordingly, several measures have been taken in this regard. The launch of a 24×7 Toll Free Tourist Helpline in 12 International languages including German is a big step in this direction. This Helpline is available on the existing Toll Free Number 1800111363 or on a short code 1363 for dialing in India. Ministry of Tourism has also taken steps to sensitize drivers, guides and other stakeholders to highlight the theme of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ which means ‘Guest is God’.
12. The Government of India has taken path breaking initiative to liberalize the Visa Regime by providing easy access to visitors to the country in the form of e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) which was launched in November 2014. The e-Tourist Visa facility, now extended to 163 countries (including Jordan, Oman, Palestine & UAE), has led to the ease of travel to India. During the year 2017 total of 16.97 lakh tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 10.80 lakh during year 2016 registering a growth of 57.2%. E-Visa is now available under three sub-categories i.e. ‘e-Tourist Visa’, ‘e-
Business Visa’ and ‘e-Medical Visa’. The window for application under e-Visa has been increased from the existing 30 days to 120 days and the duration of stay in India under e-Visa has been increased from the existing 30 days to 60 days. Complete list of countries is available on https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html and 18599 & 34134 visitors travelled from UAE to India and e-visa in 2016 and 2017 respectively. The total number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals from UAE saw a rise from 67165 during 2016 to 68045 during the year 2017 (provisional) with an increase of 1.31%.
13. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India is taking new initiatives with a new marketing strategy. With the launch of “Incredible India 2.0 Campaign”, the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India is engaging with all stakeholders to ensure widespread publicity to offer maximum support to its tourism industry and to highlight India’s diverse range of tourism products.
14. A new Incredible India website is being developed with a view to provide an enhanced experience to visitors. The new Incredible India website will have a range of features, such as personalization, responsive designs, social media marketing, content creation and management. Google through their Arts and Culture initiative is partnering with the Ministry of Tourism in enriching the new website with 360 degree videos, museum views, etc.
15. Diverse tourism products are our strength and India Tourism along with all our tourism stake holders will be working hand in hand to take Incredible India to greater heights.



Restaurant solutions start-up aims to add more 2000 more customers in the region

Mobikon, the leading AI-driven consumer engagement and predictive analytics SaaS platform for the food and beverages (F&B), continues its global expansion plans to serve more restaurants and establishments worldwide, especially in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE has over 16,000 F&B outlets and is expected to increase to over 19,000 by 2020, representing the highest number of F&B outlets, per capita, in the world[1]. Mobikon sees this as an opportunity to further expand its business in the Middle East.

Establishments in the UAE currently using Mobikon’s solutions include Citymax Group, Zaroob, 800 Pizza, and Majestic Hotels.

Mr. Kumar Katra, President of Business Development at Mobikon, said, “The UAE is a highly-promising market for us due to the considerable boom in its F&B scene. Based on our observations, we are now seeing more establishments leveraging technology to better engage consumers and differentiate themselves within a highly-competitive market while improving cost and efficiency as well automating customer engagement & marketing. By scaling-up on our services in the UAE, we are continuing on our journey to build an integrated global AI- driven customer engagement and analytics platform for the F&B industry.”

Participating in the ‘Restaurant Show Middle East’ event in Dubai on 14-15 April 2018, the restaurant solution start-up highlighted the involvement of technology in driving restaurant business more efficiently. At the event, Mobikon emphasised the importance of artificial intelligence (AI), big data, global customer profile and marketing automation to restaurant owners and managers, to drive more business and get better engagement & marketing ROI.

Headquartered in Singapore, Mobikon provides a single dashboard – for the entire range of restaurants  including quick service, fine dining, pubs and lounges, casual dining and cafés – which allows for intelligent customer engagement, smart insights, and automated marketing with operational integration across ordering, reservations, feedback, payments and point-of-sale (POS) platforms. Mobikon’s proprietary platform, mEngage, is the only platform which allows F&B marketers to have a 360-degree and a global view of their customers and provide automated lifecycle marketing which helps to improve revenues by 12 percent, increase customer loyalty, drive targeted and result oriented marketing and provide seamless consumer experience.

To date, Mobikon has since grown and established its presence to nine countries, including Singapore, India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Malaysia and the Philippines, servicing over 700 restaurants brands and 3,400+ food outlets worldwide. The leading brands currently using Mobikon’s solutions include; Citymax Group, Zaroob, 800 Pizza, Majestic Hotels (UAE), Minor Group (Singapore), Shakey’s Pizza (Philippines) and the Bistro Group (Philippines), as well as; LiteBite Foods, Pan India Foods, Pind Speciality Restaurants (Mainland China Group), Billion Smiles and Jaypee Group (India).

In October 2017, Mobikon raised USD7 million in Series B funding to penetrate deeper in existing markets and strengthen its leadership team in the UAE, among other markets.

Orlando First to Surpass 70 Million Annual Visitors

A New Record for U.S. Travel: Orlando First to Surpass 70 Million Annual Visitors
– Solidifies Rank as America’s Most-Visited Destination –

ORLANDO, Fla. – Tourism officials announced today a historic milestone in the travel industry as Orlando became the first U.S. destination to surpass 70 million annual visitors. In 2017, 72 million visitors traveled to Orlando, an increase of more than 5 percent over the prior year, once again making it America’s most-visited destination.

Visit Orlando, the region’s official destination tourism and marketing organization, shared the number today at a special gathering of more than 1,000 tourism and community leaders.

“Our record-breaking year was achieved despite international headwinds and the statewide effects of Hurricane Irma,” said Visit Orlando President and CEO George Aguel. “In 2017, our destination launched new consumer experiences on a significant scale and our marketing efforts leveraged increasing consumer confidence in the United States. We also continued our focus on communicating the unique emotional connection visitors have with Orlando.”

“Orlando’s record-setting visitation affirms the city as a leader in the U.S. travel industry,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “The success in Orlando is great, not just for this iconic destination, but for travel as a whole. As the U.S. overall looks to regain its share of the global travel market, this new milestone in Orlando is a welcome reminder of the resiliency of this industry.”

Orlando reached a host of new milestones in 2017 including:

  • Record number of U.S. visitors
  • Record convention attendance: The Orange County Convention Center welcomed an unprecedented 1.53 million attendees (+5.0 percent).
  • Record airline arrivals: Orlando International Airport became the busiest airport in Florida, with 44.6 million passengers (+6.4 percent).

In addition to the openings of new attractions, resorts and dining venues, Orlando’s visitation benefited from new and adjusted destination marketing strategies from Visit Orlando.

  • Domestically, Visit Orlando recognized the potential of the country’s growing positive economic indicators and increased marketing initiatives focused on U.S. audiences, with a special emphasis in the important Northeast region. Domestic visitation for 2017 grew to an all-time record total of 65.86 million.
  • Internationally, with several key markets facing uncertainties, Visit Orlando maintained its extensive marketing, brand and publicity programs to retain Orlando’s leading position as a top international destination, with 6.15 million visitors.
  • Swiftly addressing potential concerns after Hurricane Irma struck in September, Visit Orlando quickly launched initiatives to demonstrate how Orlando tourism areas rebounded. This was accomplished through social media and publicity campaigns that used authentic visuals of real guests, in real-time, enjoying and commenting on the status of the destination.

Emirates’ one-off A380 touchdown in Beirut

Emirates A380 touched down in Beirut for a historic one-off service to Rafic Al Hariri International Airport. The service contributed to an aviation milestone for Lebanon and its hub airport. The landing demonstrated the airport’s readiness to accommodate the A380.

The special A380 flight was operated by Captain Robert Nicholls from the UK and First Officer Hasib Bu Alwan, a Lebanese national with 517 passengers. A top-level delegation was led by the airline, including Boutros Boutros, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Marketing and Brand, HE Hamad Saeed Sultan Al Shamsi, UAE Ambassador to Lebanon, HE Elias Bou Saab, Advisor to the Lebanese President for International Cooperation, Dr Nejib Ben Khedher, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Skywards, Ali Jaber, Managing Editor – MBC Media, Marwan Rahbani, Owner – Rahbani Productions, Raymond G Khouzami, Chief Executive Officer, Al Thuriah Building Contractors Ltd, Joseph Nassib Ghessoub, Chief Executive Officer, CMS and Jihad Hitt, Chief Executive Officer, GETAC Group.

The aircraft was given a ceremonial water cannon salute, and the Emirates delegation was welcomed by HE Avedis Guidanian, Minister of Tourism attending on behalf of HE President of the Republic of Lebanon, Deputy Ali Bazzi, Representing HE President of the Lebanese Parliament Nabih Berri, HE Youssef Fenianos, Lebanese Minister of Transport, HE Raed Koury, Minister of Economy & Trade, HE Walid Al Boukhari – Chargee D’affaire of the Saudi Arabia Embassy to Lebanon, government officials and Rafic Hariri International Airport executives.

This year marks the Emirates A380’s 10th anniversary, and the aircraft has transformed flying for over 96 million passengers on over 106,000 flights. The Emirates A380 flying to Beirut operated in a three-class configuration, with 429 seats in Economy Class on the lower deck, 76 seats in Business Class and 14 First Class Private Suites on the upper deck.

Emirates boosts connectivity to Prague

Emirates announced it will add a second daily flight between Dubai and Prague, after steadily growing passenger numbers on the route during eight years since launch of operations in July 2010.

The new flight will commence from 1 July 2018 to meet increasing demand for both inbound and outbound travel. The second daily flight will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER with a capacity of 360 seats, boosting inbound tourism through the additional 262,800 seats a year it will provide.

The year-round flight will have a three class configuration offering eight Private Suites in First Class, 42 seats in Business and 310 seats in Economy.

Emirates‘ flight EK137 will leave Dubai at 15:30 and arrive in Prague at 19:55. The return flight EK138 will leave Prague at 21:35 and arrive in Dubai at 05:30 the following day.

The new flight complements the existing schedule operated by an Emirates A380 which currently departs Dubai at 08:35 as EK139 landing in Prague at 13:00 and returns as EK140 departing Prague at 15:55 landing in Dubai at 23:50 daily.

Emirates boosts capacity to Lisbon

Emirates will resume a second daily service to Lisbon from 1 June 2018. The flight will be operated by an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER in a three-class cabin configuration, with eight private suites in First Class, 42 seats in Business Class, and 310 seats in Economy Class.

According to Turismo de Portugal, a record 21 million people visited the country in 2017, an increase of 10% when compared to the previous year, while Lisbon recorded a 16% increase.

“Portugal is experiencing an upturn in its economy and strong tourism growth. The second daily service between Dubai and Lisbon will therefore meet growing demand for seats on the route, as well as offer customers in Portugal and from across Emirates’ worldwide network more choice and flexibility,” said Hubert Frach, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, West.

The second flight, EK193, will depart Dubai at 1425hrs and arrive in Lisbon at 1940hrs, while the return flight EK194, will leave Lisbon at 2115hrs and land in Dubai at 0805 the next morning. Emirates’ current flight, EK191, departs Dubai at 0725hrs and arrives in Lisbon at 1235pm. The return flight EK192, departs Lisbon at 1415pm and arrives back in Dubai 0110pm.

Beirut gets its first Emirates A380

Emirates will operate for the first-time in Beirut’s Rafic Al Hariri International Airport’s history a special one-off A380 service on 29 March. The airline is working with the airport to test operations and necessary infrastructure to accommodate an A380 service.

The Emirates A380 service will operate as EK 957 and EK 958, departing Dubai at 0725hrs and arriving in Beirut at 1030hrs. The flight will depart Beirut at 1415hrs arriving in Dubai at 1905hrs on the same day.

Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Divisional Senior Vice President Commercial Operations, Centre said: “Beirut continues to be an important destination for us in the region. Bringing this popular aircraft to Lebanon represents a significant milestone in our operations to the country after 27 years of service. This year also marks the Emirates A380’s 10th anniversary since joining our fleet. We would like to thank the Lebanese government and in particular the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Lebanese Civil Aviation Authorities, who have made it possible for us to bring the flagship A380 to this city.”

Since 1991, when the first service to Beirut was inaugurated, close to five million passengers have flown on Emirates. The airline started operating between Dubai and Beirut with a three times weekly service utilising a Boeing 727.

Emirates to connect Santiago de Chile via Sao Paulo

Effective 5 July 2018, Emirates will launch a new, five times a week, service from Dubai to Santiago International Airport, via Sao Paulo.

The new service will see the airline complementing the existing daily A380 flight between Dubai and Sao Paulo. In total, Emirates will now fly 12 times a week to Sao Paulo. Citizens from both Brazil and Chile only need ID cards to travel to either country. The new route will be operated with a two-class configured Boeing 777-200LR which offers 38 Business Class seats and 264 seats in Economy Class.

Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline, said: “The start of our operations to Chile underlines our commitment to South America with our fourth destination on the continent and another five flights to Sao Paulo. We are pleased to add a destination that has been in strong demand from our customers and look forward to working with stakeholders in Chile.”

Flight EK263 will depart Dubai on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturday and Sundays at 09:05hrs local time, arriving in Sao Paulo at 17:00, before departing again at 18:30 and arriving into Santiago at 21:40 on the same day. The return flight EK264 will depart Santiago on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturday and Sundays at 01:10 local time, arriving in Sao Paulo at 05:55. EK264 will depart once again from Sao Paulo at 07:45 bound for Dubai where it will arrive at 05:15 the next day.

Travelport extends its merchandising lead to more airlines

Travelport confirmed that over 250 airlines now benefit from Travelport’s Rich Content and Branding merchandising tool.

Launched in 2014, Rich Content and Branding allows network airlines and low-cost carriers to differentiate themselves through strong visuals and detailed descriptions of their products and services. This gives OTAs, travel agencies and bookers a real understanding of each airline’s offering.

Having passed the milestone of 250 carriers, Travelport has now extended its airline merchandising by offering richer content to five times as many airlines as its nearest competitor.  Airlines benefiting from branded fares and ancillaries include Etihad Airways, British Airways, Air France/KLM, Lufthansa and Iberia. There are also smaller and low-cost airlines such as Aegean, Ryanair and Loganair.

Major airlines currently or soon offering access to their branded fares through Rich Content and Branding include Delta, Air France/KLM, British Airways, Iberia, Lufthansa, China Southern Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Avianca.

Emirates boosts A380 fleet with US$ 16 billion deal

Emirates announced a US$ 16 billion (AED 58.7 billion) deal for 36 additional Airbus A380 aircraft, with 20 firm orders and 16 options. The airline’s A380 fleet operates both GE and Rolls-Royce engines and is evaluating engine options for its latest A380 order.

The additional Airbus A380s will be delivered to Emirates from 2020 onwards. Together with the airline’s 101-strong A380 fleet and its current order backlog for 41 aircraft, this new order brings Emirates’ commitment to the A380 programme to 178 aircraft, worth over US$ 60 billion.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said: “This deal reflects Emirates’ confidence in shaping the future, and its commitment to advancing Dubai’s vision to grow further as a world-class destination and aviation hub.”

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer Customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft at the airline’s headquarters in Dubai.

Sheikh Ahmed said: “Some of the new A380s we’ve just ordered will be used as fleet replacements. This order will provide stability to the A380 production line. We will continue to work closely with Airbus to further enhance the aircraft and on-board product.”

The airline Group is by far the largest Airbus A380 operator with 101 A380s in service today.

Emirates rolls out its new marketing campaign

Emirates launched its new marketing campaign to promote travel on its economy class. The latest advertisement features a series of characters who try to wrangle a seat upgrade at an unnamed airline’s check-in counter. Each spot ends with the ultimate tip for travellers: “Don’t upgrade your seat, upgrade your airline. Fly Emirates.”

Seasoned with a liberal dose of humour, the scripts tap into the anecdotes about what people might say or do when they ask for an upgrade – from name-dropping and flattery to other more creative endeavours.

Boutros Boutros, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Marketing and Brand, said: “In today’s environment, where others are stripping amenities from their cabins and shrinking legroom, we believe travellers can relate to the desperate lengths that some people might go to, in order to get their seat upgraded.”

The campaign was created by Y&R London and directed by ‘Jones’ (AKA Michael Woodward and Maximilian Baron). It will be run worldwide throughout 2018 in Emirates’ key markets including: the US, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, UK, France, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Hungary, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Cyprus, Canada and the Pan Arab region.

Emirates’ Boeing 777 First Class to debut in Europe

Emirates confirmed that its first two Boeing 777-300ER aircraft fitted with its soon-to-launch First Class product will operate from Dubai to Belgian and Swiss destinations starting from 1 December 2017.

Emirates’ new First Class cabin will feature six private suites compared to the eight private suites on its existing 777 fleet. In addition to the entirely redesigned First Class product, Emirates’ new Boeing 777-300ERs will also boast refreshed features in the Business and Economy Class cabins.

Operating one of the two daily flights from Dubai to Geneva, travellers can enjoy the new product on flight EK083 departing Dubai at 1450hrs, arriving in Geneva at 1855hrs. The return flight EK084 leaves Geneva at 2040hrs, arriving back at Dubai International Airport at 0605hrs the following day. For travellers heading to or from Belgium, the new product will be available on flight EK183 which leaves Dubai at 0820hrs, arriving in Brussels at 1245hrs. The return flight EK184 leaves Brussels at 1435hrs, arriving at Emirates Terminal Three in Dubai at 0015hrs the following day.

Emirates, flydubai announce new code-share destinations

Emirates along with flydubai announced 16 additional destinations to which Emirates’ passengers will be able travel on a single ticket. The new, expanded network now includes destinations such as Zanzibar, Kathmandu and Kilimanjaro.

Emirates President, Sir Tim Clark said: “Nearly 14,000 sectors have been ticketed during the first week of operation, surpassing our expectations. We have witnessed strong demand for travel from Europe and the United States to South Asian destinations. The partnership is an unprecedented opportunity for both airlines to unleash combined power of their networks.”

The new codeshare destinations include Bratislava (Slovakia), Chittagong (Bangladesh), Djibouti (Djibouti), Dushanbe (Tajikistan), Hargeisa (Somalia), Istanbul – Sabiha Gokcen (Turkey), Kathmandu (Nepal), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Mattala Rajapaksa (Sri Lanka), Makhachkala (Russia), Podgorica (Montenegro), Sylhet (Bangladesh), Ufa (Russia), Voronezh (Russia), Yerevan (Armenia) and Zanzibar (Tanzania).

For bookings under the codeshare, Emirates passengers will receive complimentary meals and the Emirates checked baggage allowance on flights operated by flydubai in both Business and Economy. Skywards members can earn miles and Skywards Tier Miles on codeshare flights as per existing Skywards mileage programme.

Discipline – The Fuel for Achievement

The one line which best describes Nasir Jamal Khan is ‘without discipline and hard work, it is difficult to be a top professional’ by Jahangir Khan (the former World No 1 professional squash player from Pakistan). Being born in Pakistan, his life was a busy shuttle between the country and UK due to family reasons. He eventually completed his graduation in Pakistan, post which, traveling became a passion but was restricted due to lack of funds being a student.

Life’s Lessons

The next step for Khan was to enter into the big world of professionalism, where he proved his mettle and got selected by American Express as a trainee. He was one of three selected from several 100 applicant posts many interviews to get the job. This proved his perseverance and determination. The job paid him well with a starting salary of Pakistani Rupees 6,000 with benefits.

As Khan fondly remembers, “American Express, for me is my foundation in terms of training and travel, it has made me what I am today.” Khan got the opportunity to work across several departments giving him a window into the world of front office, back office, sales and even, finance and management. Finally, culminating into a management trainee.  Within a very short span of time, he was appointed supervisor in the American Express United Nations branch. This opportunity opened up many contacts as he had to deal with several foreign entities as well as international airlines. After a successful two-year stint, Khan had to make a move to Saudi Arabia, once again due to family reasons.

The Career Path

Having moved to Saudi Arabia, Khan joined the Saudi Tourist and Travel Bureau Limited (STTB). During those years, Khan says it was ‘the’ travel agency to work for as STTB was known for its brand, professionalism, and clients. The company had almost 11 airlines as GSAs other than businesses such as corporate, retail, cargo and bigger corporations. He worked in the sales department and was soon promoted to sales manager, then manager sales and operations and finally, deputy regional manager. He was lucky to have the opportunity to establish the first Emirates Airlines office in Saudi Arabia as STTB were their GSA in the region. Khan was personally involved and responsible for set-up of the office, staff and airport operations including sales. These responsibilities fell into the hands of a GSA until such time all approvals were attained in Dubai.

This was a big exposure for Khan at the same time, a major responsibility too as he was in-charge of the whole operation. As Khan puts it, “I am thankful to the Royal Family and owners who supported and trusted me in my career growth.” He is very proud of the fact that though STTB was managed purely by British management during his tenure. He was the only non-British national to hold the position of deputy regional manager. His hard work during his tenure with STTB paid off with an expansion that was almost five-fold in 11 years. Khan moved on from STTB in June 1994.

Moving on from STTB, Khan was offered a job in Gulf Air in Riyadh. This was a dream that for fulfilled. He joined them as district sales manager, soon promoted to area manager. Once again, he was the first non-GCC national to be appointed in this role. This was of great significance as within GCC countries, it was a policy to appoint only GCC-nationals. He broke the record being the youngest area manager in the role. His performance was well-recognized as the airline grew substantially during his tenure. He moved on from Gulf Air in November 2004.

It was during this time that Khan moved to Dubai with a role in Al Naboodah Travels joining them as general manager in November 2004 to CEO today of Al Naboodah Travels. The 13-year journey with Al Naboodah Travels has been significant as Khan has seen the company grow substantially over the years.

Khan very proudly reminisces saying, “It is a track record in my career not to have a big gap between my jobs. I have been lucky to start off with every company immediately.”

The Personal Journey

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is of great significance to Khan. He met his wife and got married in the Kingdom and also raised three sons. Khan has many fond memories of the place as he grew up there, his children grew up there and it was the place, he established his career in the travel industry. For Khan, life has been a blessing in Saudi Arabia with close friends and fond memories.

The Motivating Factor

Khan loves a challenge and is of the opinion that the travel industry is full of challenges every day. One cannot stop learning in this industry and things are constantly changing. He despises a routine job and finds it mundane and boring. As he puts it, “I love when I have a new challenge with something to achieve. This satisfies my soul, brain, and heart. You also feel proud of yourself with your achievements.”

Khan attributes his work ethics to his trainers at American Express who taught him the business, shared knowledge thereby helping him grow. He shares the same sentiments as he believes sharing knowledge helps people grow. He is very particular about his staff and personally sits through every staff selection. He is proud of his past and current employees. Many of whom he has nurtured, have now moved on to good positions. He says, “I find myself lucky that I have found the best people who are hungry to learn.”

Biggest Challenge

The biggest challenge Khan faces is that of staff attrition and retention. This is especially in the GCC as most people employed are expatriates. This is an uphill task as getting staff replacements take time with a lot of factors and procedures attached to it. The next challenge in Khan’s view the respect for a travel agent. According to him, “A travel agents role has to be taken seriously as they represent an airline to the end consumer and vice versa.”

The Professional Drive

Khan is very driven by an optimistic attitude. He is proud of his achievements and feels it is important to fully understand one’s job and responsibilities. He is also a firm believer in the adage that, “whether it is for a challenge or problem. If you know what the challenge/problem is then you have solved 50% of the problem. This proves you are in the right direction”. Khan believes that if you perform your duties with the right attributes, your team will follow and nothing can go wrong. One must love your work, it is only then that they give their 100% and feel like work is a holiday every day of your life.

Travelling has been a passion and will always be for Khan since his young age. He believes that “I have started in travel and will retire in the same industry”. As a professional, he is of the view that he is a task master as he believes in doing his best.  He further adds, “I always tell my staff, I am running at a particular speed which is required to run this level of business, you have to run with me. If you are slow, you will be left behind.”

Being firm to his beliefs, he states that the key to success is discipline; procrastination just leads to failure. Tomorrow never comes. In the travel business, one has to be on their toes with growing competition. He never leaves his old school of thought and always fall back on his principals but also believes in moving with time though not at the cost of his principals.

On A Personal Note

Khan had a love marriage in 1986. He married in his 20s at a young age. He says, “When we had our first child, I really did not know how to handle a child.” He has three sons and believes they are the replacement for a brother he yearned for as he had sisters. He further adds, “I am very proud of my wife and children. Whatever I am today is just the teamwork at home. My wife understands me and the nature of my work as I travel a lot and spend a lot of time in the office.” His wife ensures she cooks his food despite having a maid at home and in his opinion, makes the best food.

Speaking in fond remembrance, Khan still attributes his confidence to his role model and leader his dad. His dad instilled in him all the principles and work ethics. Unfortunately, Khan lost his dad in 2008 and mother in 2012. Principles are everything to Khan, who is very strict and is thankful to his father for instilling these principles in him. He is also a stickler for all things neat and clean; add to it being in-depth. He cannot stand a callous attitude and feels he takes everything very seriously in life, which is a weakness.

Peace is his motto and believes that one can do a million things in peace or else it would be a challenge. In his opinion, he is considered a father figure among his office colleagues and friend circle. On a lighter note, he says, after all these years, I am still learning time management.

Donning the Dad’s Role

Khan believes in being a friend to his children and feels he is a very loving and caring father. However, rules are rules in the house and there is no compromise on these aspects. Having married early, the smaller age difference helps him relate well with his kids. He fondly remembers saying: “My mother would say when my kids and I are at home, one cannot make out who is the father and who is the son.”

The Role Model

Khan reminisces very dearly about his dad saying, there are some things my dad left with me for life. He would say have respect for people’s time and respect an individual. As no one is one bigger or less than you. Never tell yourself, I know everything. And finally, when you are handling somebody’s business or finances, be extremely vigilant and honest for every penny.” Khan proudly says that his dad did not just make these statement, he trained him with live examples of people in history, lives of world leaders and even prophets.

Puerto Vallarata


Travelling is an all-out passion. He loves to watch movies, which can occupy his brain outside of his work. However, they have to be action or suspense movies which get you involved with the characters. No romantic or sob stories work for him. His all-time favorite movie is ‘The Heat’ and his favorite star – Robert De Nero.

He does not have the patience to wait for things hence football is a preference to cricket. He loves to watch Tennis. He played squash and is a fan of Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan, who are his favorites. He was also a light feather-weight boxer having won many trophies. Finally, his love for debates and being a speaker has won him many a gold medal. Interestingly, his favorite topic for debate was ‘Life is a tale told by an idiot’.

On Relax Mode

Cancun and Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. In his opinion, they have the most beautiful beaches coupled with nature and turquoise color crystal clear water. . He further adds, “If you go snorkeling, you will be amazed by the sheer beauty which your eyes can see underwater.” In addition to the beauty of the place, Khan loves the food, people, culture and overall ambiance of the destination.


Khan considers himself a meat eater and loves barbeques. He dislikes vegetables but totally loves fresh fruits.

Principles in Life

  1. Never underestimate others and respect individuals
  2. Listen to your parents and learn from their experiences
  3. Keep your family and health first. There is no compromise
  4. Keep your commitment and fulfill it
  5. What one can achieve with peace; you cannot achieve with strife
  6. Education should be a priority; knowledge can never be compromised
  7. Don’t let your desires control you. If you can control your desires, nothing can bring you down


Emirates boosts services to Australia

Emirates is set to introduce a fourth daily service from Dubai to Sydney from 25 March 2018, complementing its existing three daily A380 services.

The new service will be operated by the Emirates’ A380 aircraft and will increase passenger capacity on the route by 6,846 seats a week. Representing a 7.3% increase in capacity for Emirates’ Australian services.

The new service will offer passengers an afternoon departure from Sydney and arrival in main European cities the following morning. It also introduces a new option for passengers to depart London and main European cities in the morning with an afternoon arrival in Sydney the next day with a short connection in Dubai.

Earlier this year the airline had announced plans to enhance its Australian services, with a third daily service set to be introduced between Dubai and Brisbane from 1 December 2017 and operated by a B777-200LR. Emirates will also up-gauge its third daily flight between Dubai and Melbourne from a B777-300ER to an A380 from 25 March 2018. This change will ensure all three of Emirates’ daily flights to Melbourne will be serviced by an A380 aircraft.

The A380 aircraft offers 489 seats in a three-class cabin configuration with 14 suites in first class, 76 seats in business class and 399 seats in economy.

Emirates to deploy extra flights for Hajj season

Emirates will be operating extra flights to Jeddah to help facilitate travel for thousands of pilgrims this year heading to and from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Hajj.

The airline will be operating 45 additional flights to Jeddah and 12 additional flights to Medina from 17 August until 11 September to help serve the two million pilgrims expected to travel this year. These services will run in parallel with Emirates’ regularly scheduled services to Jeddah. Emirates will also be operating its A380 to Medina which will also support increased demand during this period.

The additional services are available to travellers holding a valid Hajj visa.

This year, top inbound destinations Emirates is expecting Hajj pilgrims to come from are Yangon, Manchester, Mauritius, Jakarta, Karachi, Lagos and Nairobi.

On the ground, the airline has appointed a dedicated group of airport staff to facilitate passenger ground experience for Hajj. In addition, dedicated check-in counters have been set up for Hajj passengers in Dubai. In the air, several initiatives have been planned in keeping with values and traditions that pilgrims uphold when travelling for Hajj. Extra provisions will be made to accommodate Hajj traveller needs such as performing ablutions, advising passengers about Al Miqat and Ihram (the phase when pilgrims enter a state of sanctity) and other arrangements that will help ease their journey. Pilgrims will also be able to tune into the Holy Quran channel.

On flights from Jeddah, Hajj passengers can bring up to five litres of holy water (Zamzam) which will be placed in special areas in cargo hold. Hajj passengers will also get extra baggage allowance of up to 35kg in economy class, 40kg in business class and 50kg in first class.

Emirates, European Tour renew partnership

Emirates and the European Tour renewed their existing European Tour Agreement for four years until 2021. The new deal includes Emirates becoming an official partner of The 2018 Ryder Cup. The 48th edition of The Ryder Cup is scheduled to be held at Le Golf National in France (September 2018), will host 24 of top golfers from Europe and the USA.

The agreement renewal means that the airline will continue to be a sponsor for existing nine European Tour events which culminate in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. These being the BMW PGA Championship, the Nordea Masters, the D+D Real Czech Masters, the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, the Portugal Masters, the Italian Open, the Joburg Open, the South Africa Open Championship and the Nelson Mandela Championship.

The airline currently supports 19 events on the European Tour International Schedule, as well as the Race to Dubai.

Mohammed bin Rashid tours Airbus Plant in Hamburg

In a recent development reported on WAM, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum toured the Airbus Plant in Hamburg.

H. H. Sheikh Mohammed’s four-stop tour of the factory premises started in the department dedicated to the assembly of basic components of the short- and mid-range A320 commercial aircraft. The Hamburg plant is specialised in manufacturing this type of planes along with double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner A380.

H. H. Sheikh Mohammed, was accompanied during the tour with H. H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chairman of Emirates Group, and Khalifa Saeed Soliman, director general of the Dubai Protocol.

H. H. Sheikh Mohammed was shown around parts of the structure of Airbus dedicated to Emirates, the world’s first company to acquire 40% of Airbus A380’s production. H. H. Sheikh Mohammed was also posted during the third stop on process of installing and executing interiors of the jumbo plane.

In the fourth stop, H. H. Sheikh Mohammed got a first-hand experience of the mechanism of work followed by the company’s specialists in painting the aircraft with colors of Emirates. The airline Group currently has a fleet which includes 96 A380s, and is expected to reach 100 by November this year. In 2025, number of A380 planes at Emirates is set to reach 142 as part of the bilateral agreement between the two companies.

Emirates deploys one-off A380 to Colombo

In a recent development, Emirates deployed a one-off A380 aircraft on its SriLanka route. The aircraft landed at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) Katunayake helping Sri Lanka and the airport achieve an aviation milestone.

Sri Lanka’s minister of transport and aviation Hon Nimal Siripala de Silva M P was at the airport to greet HE Abdul Hameed Abdul Fattah Kazhim Al-Mulla, UAE Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Emirates’ senior vice president commercial (West Asia & Indian Ocean) Ahmed Khoory.

The aircraft was deployed to celebrate BIA’s recently resurfaced and upgraded runway, the one-off A380 flight operated as EK654 from Dubai, replacing the B777 aircraft usually deployed by Emirates on flights to Sri Lanka.

The airline is the world’s largest A380 operator with 96 aircraft already in its fleet and a further 46 on order. Emirates currently operates A380 flights to 48 destinations and has flown over 80 million passengers since 2008.

Emirates rolls out special Eid fares

Emirates has rolled out special fares to attract customers looking to getaway this Eid.

Promotional bookings are offered to select destinations across the network which are to be made from 7 – 19 August 2017 for travel until 13 December 2017. The fares start from AED 910.

The airline customers will be able to book return economy class flights from Dubai to destinations start at AED 910 to Mumbai, AED 940 to Beirut, AED 990 to Amman, AED 1,290 to Cairo, AED 1,310 to Colombo, AED 2,090 to Bangkok, AED 2,450 to Vienna, AED 2,460 to Prague, AED 2,470 to Hanoi, AED 3,410 to Mauritius, and AED 4,950 to Los Angeles. All prices are based on return fares. Terms and conditions apply.

Further still customers will be able to book return business class flights from Dubai to destinations across the airline’s extensive network starting at AED 3,300 to Mumbai, AED 10,150 to Phuket, AED 10,570 to Mauritius, AED 11,400 to Taipei, AED 11,500 to Casablanca, AED 14,070 to London Gatwick, AED 14,950 to Amsterdam, AED 16,300 to New York and AED 16,620 to Sydney. All prices are based on return fares. Terms and conditions apply.


Colombo to welcome one-off Emirates A380

The Emirates A380 aircraft will make a one-off landing at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake on 14 August 2017 to celebrate the airport’s resurfaced runway.

The special flight, operating as EK654 from Dubai, will be the first A380 aircraft to disembark passengers in Sri Lanka after completing a commercial service. The one-off A380 aircraft will arrive at 16:10 hours and be on ground for more than six hours before it returns to Dubai as flight EK655 departing at 22:10 hours.

Emirates commenced operations to Sri Lanka in April 1986 and operates a total of 34 flights a week from Colombo — 27 flights westward to Malé and Dubai and seven eastward to Singapore connecting onwards to Melbourne, Australia. The airline has deployed ultra-modern Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft on scheduled flights serving Sri Lanka.

Emirates expands Sudan network

In a bid to strengthen its presence in the African market, Emirates announced that it will increase frequency of flights between Dubai and Khartoum from five to seven a week.

The new increased frequency will commence from 8 August 2017. The airline will also operate a Boeing 777 on the additional services, offering passengers eight private suites in first class, 42 seats in business class and 304 seats in economy.

“Emirates’ decision to commit two additional scheduled flights a week is a clear indication of customer demand for our services. Our expanded schedule will provide customers with greater flexibility and allow more options to other flights on Emirates’ global network via our Dubai. These additional flights will also further support Sudan’s economy,” said Orhan Abbas, Emirates’ senior vice president, commercial operations Africa.

The airline will offer a total of over 700 additional seats each way per week. The two additional flights will operate on a Tuesday and Sunday as flight EK733, and will depart Dubai at 1435hrs and arrive in Khartoum at 1740hrs. The return flight, EK734, will depart Khartoum at 1950hrs and arrive in Dubai at 0100hrs the next morning.

Emirates, flydubai strengthen partnership

Emirates and flydubai announced an extensive partnership which will see both airlines join forces to offer customers unmatched travel options.

Both airlines will continue to be managed independently, but will leverage each other’s network to scale up operations and accelerate growth. The partnership goes beyond code-sharing and includes integrated network collaboration with coordinated scheduling. The new model will give flydubai customers connectivity to Emirates’ worldwide destinations spanning six continents. For Emirates’ customers, it opens up flydubai’s regional network.

The two airlines will also further develop their hub in Dubai, aligning their systems and operations to ensure seamless travel.

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Group and chairman of flydubai, said: “This is an exciting and significant development for Emirates, flydubai, and Dubai aviation. Both airlines have grown independently and successfully over the years, and this new partnership will unlock immense value to Dubai.”

Emirates today has a wide-body fleet of 259 aircraft, flying to 157 destinations (including 16 cargo-only points). flydubai operates 58 new-generation Boeing 737 aircraft to 95 destinations. The current combined network comprises 216 destination points.

The partnership is working to optimise networks and schedules of both airlines, to open up new city-pair connections. Additionally, this will help both airlines feed more traffic into each other’s complementary networks. By 2022, the combined network of Emirates and flydubai is expected to reach 240 destinations, served by a combined fleet of 380 aircraft.

The partnership will be rolled out over coming months, with first enhanced code-sharing arrangements starting in last quarter of 2017.

Emirates expands inflight Wi-Fi offering

Emirates has expanded its free inflight Wi-Fi service with rates to suit all flyers.

Effective immediately, all Emirates Skywards Platinum and Gold members can have free unlimited Wi-Fi during their flight, regardless of their class of travel. This privilege also applies to all Emirates Skywards members travelling in first and business class.  In addition, economy class customers and non-Skywards members can enjoy 20MB of free data usage within the first two hours of log in, double the current 10MB free being offered.

“Emirates has made significant investments in our inflight connectivity. Today, Wi-Fi services are available on over 200 of our aircraft, and it is a service that Emirates continues to subsidise heavily,” said Adel Al Redha, Emirates vice president and chief operations officer.

Additional data can be purchased in 150MB or 500MB blocks, with tiered discounts for Skywards Silver and Blue members.

Brussels to get increased Emirates connectivity

Emirates will introduce an additional daily flight to Brussels, complementing the existing schedule and providing a double-daily service from 29 October 2017.

The new scheduled flight will be added to meet growing demand on the route – Emirates has carried over half a million passengers between Dubai and Brussels since launching operations on 5 September 2014.

Inbound tourism is also expected to receive a significant boost, the new flight creating an anticipated 50,000 more tourist arrivals and generating over US$ 110 million of tourist revenues for the Belgium economy annually.

The route is operated by the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in a three-class configuration. The new flight will offer eight private suites in first class, 42 seats in business and 310 seats in economy. The new Emirates flight EK181 departs Dubai at 14:20 arriving in Brussels at 18:45. The return flight EK182 departs BRU 20:15 landing in Dubai at 05:55.

The current flight schedule: EK184 departing BRU 15:05 landing in Dubai 23:40; flight EK183 departs Dubai 08:20 arriving BRU 13:25.

Emirates connects to Hanoi

Emirates commenced daily direct flights from Dubai to Hanoi saving approximately 2hrs 30mins of travel time.

The first direct flight EK394 from Dubai departed at 03:30hrs and arrived at Noi Bai International Airport at 13:05hrs local time. The new non-stop service is operated with a two-class configured Boeing 777-300ER with 42 seats in business class and 386 seats in economy class.

The return flight, EK395, departs from Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport at 01:30hrs and arrives in Dubai International Airport at 05:05hrs.

Emirates touches down in Phnom Penh

Emirates expanded its presence in Southeast Asia with launch of a new daily linked service from Dubai to Phnom Penh in Cambodia, via Yangon in Myanmar.

This new service is operated with a Boeing 777 aircraft, broadens the airline’s network in Southeast Asia to 13 cities in eight countries. Phnom Penh is the first destination within Cambodia to be served by Emirates.

Badr Abbas, Emirates’ senior vice president, commercial operations Far East, was on-board the inaugural flight with a number of senior executives of the airline and a VIP delegation.

Flights to Phnom Penh will depart daily from Dubai International Airport at 0915hrs local time, arriving in Yangon at 1725hrs. It will depart Yangon at 1855hrs, before arriving at Phnom Penh International Airport at 2125hrs.


Nice welcomes Emirates A380

The Nice Cote d’Azur International Airport welcomed the inaugural Emirates A380 service.

The double-decker has replaced existing Boeing 777-300ER used on this route. This new service will bring the total number of global destinations served by Emirates A380 to 47.

The airline is the world’s largest A380 operator with 95 of the double-decked aircraft in its fleet and a further 47 on order. Since 2008, Emirates has flown over 80 million passengers on its A380 fleet.

The flight EK077 will depart Dubai at 0845hrs daily arriving in Nice at 1340hrs. Timings for the return flight, EK078 will also remain unchanged, departing Nice at 1540hrs, arriving in Dubai at 0010hrs the next day (local times).

Emirates partners with BMW Group

Emirates has partnered with BMW Group to provide luxury automobiles for its complimentary chauffeur-drive service for business class passengers in the UAE.

The new fleet, featuring BMW 520i touring cars, are being rolled out progressively from now until the end of the year, as the previous fleet of cars are retired. This fleet upgrade is part of Emirates’ ongoing investment in product and service both on ground and on board.

The service complements Emirates’ worldwide lounge offering with seven located in Dubai International Airport’s concourses A, B and C, and 34 dedicated lounges in other major airports across the globe. The airline also recently introduced ‘pay-per-visit’ lounge access, enabling Emirates Skywards members and guests travelling on Emirates to enjoy the lounges at Dubai International Airport and abroad.

Emirates’ targets November for unveiling new first class

In a recent announcement, Emirates confirmed that its new first class product will be showcased at the Dubai Air Show in November 2017.

Making its debut on-board a Boeing 777-300ER, Emirates’ new first class cabin will feature six private suites, compared to the existing eight private suites on its existing 777 fleet.

In addition to the entirely redesigned first class product, Emirates’ new Boeing 777-300ER will also boast a range of other new features in the business and economy class cabins. Emirates will announce destinations where the new Boeing 777-300ER is to be deployed in due course.

Sir Tim Clark, president Emirates Airline said: “Our products and services across cabin classes are continually improved and enhanced. But what our customers will see on Emirates’ new 777s starting from November, will be a much bigger revamp that takes our on-board experience to the next level. All cabins will sport a totally fresh new look.”

Emirates is the operator of Boeing 777, flying 162 of these efficient wide-body aircraft to six continents from Dubai.

Key management changes at Emirates

Mohamed Khoory, manager Iran, Emirates

Mohamed Khoory will be taking on the role as manager Iran. He joined Emirates in 2011 as part of the UAE National Management Programme for commercial operations. He held commercial support roles in India and the United States before taking on the role as district manager in Dammam, KSA. More recently, he held the role of manager Jordan and West Bank, heading the market’s commercial and business development activities.

Abbas A Haji, Vice President Hub Operations for SkyCargo, Emirates

Emirates has appointed Abbas A Haji as vice-president hub operations for SkyCargo. In his new role, Abbas will be managing Emirates SkyCargo’s hub operations in Dubai at both Al Maktoum International Airport and Dubai International Airport. He joined the Emirates Group in 1977, working for dnata Cargo. He has held several positions across the group since then and previously held the role of Vice President Iran, Iraq and Central Asia, running the airline’s commercial operations activities in multiple markets.

Sultan Alriyami, manager Jordan and West Bank, Emirates

Sultan Alriyami, manager Jordan and West Bank, Emirates

Emirates has appointed Sultan Alriyami to drive its commercial priorities in the market as well as build on the airline’s business performance as Manager Jordan and West Bank. Sultan joined Emirates in 2014 as part of the UAE National Trainee Management Programme for Commercial Operations. Since then, he has held commercial support roles in Singapore, and more recently in Iran.

Emirates prepares for Zagreb launch

Emirates is preparing for the launch of its scheduled daily flight between Dubai and Zagreb. This new connectivity will expand the airline’s network and strengthen ties between the UAE and Croatia.

The new service will commence to Zagreb next week, which sees Croatia become the airline’s 39th destination in Europe. Catering to both business and leisure travellers, the route will be operated by a three-class Boeing 777-300ER offering eight private suites in first class, 42 in business class and 310 seats in economy.

The new Zagreb flight is expected to boost growing tourism demand for Croatia from around the Emirates network, especially the Middle East and Asia Pacific. In just the month of June, Emirates has received bookings for flights to Zagreb from passengers originating from no fewer than 36 different countries around the world.

In preparation for the launch, Zagreb’s Franjo Tuđman Airport recently opened a new passenger terminal and passenger-friendly layout and facilities. At the gate which will be used by Emirates’ Boeing 777, there is a connecting air-bridge especially installed for wide-body aircraft. The project represents one of the largest capital investments in Croatia in recent years, with spend of over 300 million Euros.

The new service will have EK129 departs Dubai at 08:15hours and arriving in Zagreb at 12:20hours local time. The return flight EK130 will depart Zagreb at 15:35hours and arrive in Dubai at 23:05hours same day.

Emirates’ showcases new A380 on-board lounge

Emirates will debut its new A380 on-board lounge at the forthcoming Arabian Travel Market (ATM). 

The airline will also showcase its Boeing 777 business class seat, along with other products such as the first class suite, first class shower spa and latest version of its economy class seats.

Thierry Antinori, Emirates’ executive vice president and chief commercial officer said, “ATM is a key well-established event on the global travel exhibition calendar. It is also a perfect platform for us to showcase our new product innovations; including our popular A380 onboard lounge. At the same time, we welcome the opportunity to cultivate deeper relationships with our partners in the travel industry, while creating new partnerships that will help us secure a successful future.”

The A380 onboard lounge will showcase its airier look, innovative lighting concepts, new seating area, and trademark horse-shoe shaped bar which sports an updated look.  Inspired by private yacht cabins, each seating area on the Emirates’ A380 onboard lounge will have a table and window view. The seating capacity of the lounge will accommodate up to 26 passengers at a time, including eight seated. The enhanced lounge product will make its operational debut in July 2017.