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MOBIKON EXPANDS ITS PRESENCE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

MOBIKON EXPANDS ITS PRESENCE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

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.

Etihad Airways celebrates a decade of China service

Etihad Airways is celebrating its 10th anniversary of the airlines’ operations in the China market after it launched an Abu Dhabi to Beijing service in 2008, followed by Chengdu* in 2011, Shanghai in 2012 and Hong Kong in 2015.

To-date, nearly four million travelers have flown the routes which Etihad Airways operates to and from China. There are currently 28 flights per week with easy connectivity via Etihad’s Abu Dhabi hub to more than 40 business and leisure destinations across the Middle East, Europe, Africa and North America.

In order to offer maximum convenience to passengers, Etihad Airways has forged codeshare partnerships with Hainan Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines.

HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, Department of Culture and Tourism, further added: “China has grown to become the largest overseas source market for Abu Dhabi hotel guest arrivals. Abu Dhabi welcomed nearly 380,000 tourists from China in 2017, a highly impressive increase of 61% over the previous year and in January we recorded a further 10% year-on-year rise. Recent developments such as visa on arrival scheme, implemented in 2016 has and will further drive Abu Dhabi’s growth as an emerging key destination for Chinese passengers.”

The Abu Dhabi – Chengdu route will resume a daily service starting 25 March 2018.

Etihad Airways deploys Boeing 787 for Geneva

Etihad Airways launched its flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the Abu Dhabi – Geneva route beginning with the summer schedule.

Geneva is the second Swiss destination after Zurich served by Etihad Airways’ next generation aircraft. The three-class aircraft features eight First Suites, 28 Business Studios and 199 Economy Smart Seats, replaces the Airbus A330s previously operating daily on the route, and offers additional cargo capacity.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer, said: “In addition to maintaining attractive timings for guests travelling between Abu Dhabi and Geneva, we will create further suitable connections in many markets that will benefit more travellers to conveniently connect to Geneva via our Abu Dhabi hub.”

The new generation aircraft environmental performance brings a number of operational advantages, such as a 12% reduction in fuel consumption compared to previous aircraft on the route and a concomitant substantial reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Another advantage of the Dreamliner’s new technology are the noise emissions that now lie significantly below the permissible limits.

The airline currently has a fleet of 19 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners operating from Abu Dhabi to 18 destinations worldwide – Amman, Amsterdam, Beijing, Beirut, Brisbane, Düsseldorf, Geneva, Madrid, Melbourne, Nagoya, Perth, Riyadh, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Washington and Zurich.

Etihad Airways launches flights to Baku

Etihad Airways launched its first-ever scheduled flights linking Abu Dhabi and Baku. The route will be operated three times a week using a 136-seat Airbus A320, configured with 16 seats in Business Class and 120 in Economy Class. The new flights will operate every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

The inaugural flight, EY297, departed Abu Dhabi carrying a special delegation including diplomats, dignitaries, media representatives, and senior members of Etihad Airways’ management team. On arrival in Baku, the aircraft was greeted with a traditional water cannon salute, followed by the customary display of the Emirati and Azerbaijani national flags from the cockpit windows.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are excited to be launching scheduled flights between Abu Dhabi and Baku. There is strong demand from both markets for a direct, full-service operation on the route, and we have responded to this increasing customer requirement. The new flights will further boost traffic from the UAE and strengthen the bilateral relations between the two nations. The visa waiver programme introduced for UAE nationals by Azerbaijan in 2015 has greatly stimulated interest in the country, resulting in a surge of visitors since its implementation.”

Etihad Airways and Azerbaijan Airlines also recently announced a codeshare partnership which now sees Azerbaijan Airlines place its ‘J2’ code on Etihad Airways services between Baku and Abu Dhabi.  Under this partnership, Azerbaijan Airlines guests will be able to book codeshare flights to and from Abu Dhabi and connect onto Etihad Airways’ extensive global network.

 

Etihad Airways introduces new baggage policy

Etihad Airways has introduced a new baggage policy tailored to varying customer requirements in the international markets it serves.

The changes allow for a simpler baggage structure as allowance for all markets, excluding the US and Canada, is now based on total weight rather than number of bags checked in. With the switch to a weight-based baggage policy, the majority of markets will be entitled to 23kg of checked baggage on Economy Deal fares, 30kg on Economy Saver and Classic fares, and 35kg on Economy Flex fares. Customers in all Business Class fare categories are entitled to 40kg, and First Class customers enjoy a 50kg allowance. Guests in The Residence onboard Etihad Airways’ flagship Airbus A380 fleet are provided with an allowance of four bags at 32kg each. Exceptions apply to select markets.

Etihad Airways Executive Vice President Commercial, Mohammad Al Bulooki, said: “In line with global best practice and market trends, we have switched to a policy based on weight rather than number of bags. This simplifies our allowance system, provides greater convenience and customer benefit while enhancing the travel experience.”

The airline’s Guest Silver, Gold and Platinum members will continue to receive a complimentary excess baggage allowance of 32kg on US and Canada routes, and 20kg for Platinum members, 15kg for Gold members and 10kg for Silver members on all other routes.

Subsequently, the airline has introduced special fares for its Abu Dhabi – Dublin flights to celebrate the lifting of visa requirements for UAE nationals travelling to Ireland. The special fares start from AED 2,885 in Economy Class and AED 15,215 in Business Class (including applicable taxes and surcharges).

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.

Punctuality on the cards for Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways posted its best operational on-time performance (OTP) results since 2009.

In 2017, the airline recorded network punctuality of 82% for flight departures and 86% for arrivals – results that place the airline as one of the most reliable airlines in the world for 2017. OTP for departures at the airline’s Abu Dhabi hub was 79%, and 89% for arrivals.

Overall, Etihad Airways, which has experienced considerable growth in the last decade, improved its network departure punctuality in 2017 by three percentage points over the previous year.

Richard Hill, Chief Operations Officer, Etihad Airways, said: “The number of passengers carried annually increased from the previous year, with more than 18.6 million air travellers flying with Etihad Airways in 2017.”

Etihad Airways boosts Maldives frequency for summer 2018

Etihad Airways has added four additional weekly flights on the Abu Dhabi – Malé route, taking frequency to the Maldives to 11 services a week from June 2018.

The additional flights will operate every Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday effective 15 June 2018. The additional flights will be year-round and provide more travel options with early morning arrivals into the Maldives.

The expansion of the current daily operation will continue to see a two-class A320 aircraft on the route, offering 16 seats in Business Class and 120 in Economy.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are increasing frequency to 11 flights a week in order to cater to growing demand on the route.”

The airline has flown more than 550,000 passengers to and from the Maldives since its launch in November 2011. Visitors from the UAE increased 35% over the past 12 months, while Europe continues to be the main source market for the Maldives.

Etihad Airways celebrates a decade of service to Nepal

Etihad Airways is celebrating 10 years of scheduled flights to Nepal. The airline recognised key stakeholders in the decade-long partnership.

Diplomats and government and aviation officials were joined by corporate and travel industry partners and the airline’s Kathmandu-based employees.

HE Saeed Hamdan Al Naqbi, UAE Ambassador to Nepal, was the guest of honour at the anniversary events held in Kathmandu. Dignitaries included HE Andrei Budnik, Ambassador of Russia to Nepal, HE Yves Andre Carmona, Ambassador of France to Nepal and Dipak Adhikari, Chief of Protocol at the Nepal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The airline launched scheduled flights between Abu Dhabi and Kathmandu on 28 October 2007 with four services a week. Frequency rose to daily in 2010, doubling to two flights a day in 2013. The airline has carried more than 1.2 million guests between the two cities, and beyond since 2007.

Etihad Airways takes on Apple Pay

Etihad Airways is now providing its customers Apple Pay. Available on the Etihad Airways mobile app, Apple Pay allows customers to pay securely with just a touch of a finger. Etihad Airways’ customers can now buy flights and other products such as ‘Extra Legroom Seats’, ‘Preferred Seats’ and excess baggage with their iPhone or iPad.

When a customer uses a credit or debit card with Apple Pay, the actual card numbers are not stored on the device, nor on Apple servers. Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the secure element of the device. Each transaction is authorised with a one-time unique dynamic security code.

Apple Pay is easy to set up and users will continue to receive all of the rewards and benefits offered by credit and debit cards.

Etihad Airways trials hand baggage ‘Deal Fare’

Etihad Airways is trialing a new hand baggage only ‘Deal Fare’ on two routes this winter season. For all bookings between 18 October and 18 December 2017, the airline is allowing travellers to purchase lower fares in economy class, if no checked baggage is required.

The trial fare includes a complimentary carry-on baggage allowance of seven kilograms and is available on flights between Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Kuwait for travel until 31 March 2018.

Etihad Airways Executive Vice President – Commercial, Mohammad Al Bulooki, said: “Passenger feedback and travel habits show that many of our customers, especially those travelling for business, weekend getaways or day trips, don’t require checked baggage, so we are testing a new lower fare on these key routes. This trial is an effective tool for gauging customer reaction in the real world and testing the product’s viability for wider implementation.”

This is the first of many trials the airline plans to initiate over coming months, as it looks to increase customer choice and diversify revenues in line with digital capabilities that enable the airline to customise its products and services according to consumer demand. This follows the implementation of several new ancillary products including extra legroom seats, neighbour-free seats, and preferred seating.

Etihad Airways deploys Boeing 787 on Seoul route

Etihad Airways introduced the Boeing 787-9 on its scheduled daily service from Abu Dhabi to Seoul.

The two-class 787 Dreamliner service replaces the Airbus A340-600 aircraft previously operated on the route. The aircraft features 299 seats with 28 business studios and 271 economy smart seats.

Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways executive vice president commercial, said: “Seoul has been a very successful route for us since it was launched in December 2010 and we are fast approaching our one millionth traveller milestone. There has been a steady increase in number of business and leisure travellers flying to South Korea from Abu Dhabi and the GCC region, and vice versa.”

The airline has a fleet of 16 Boeing 787 aircraft. The Seoul route also includes food and beverage managers in business class and a Norland approved flying nanny in economy class for families with young children.

Etihad Airways profits dip

Etihad Airways reported net loss of US$ 1.87 billion on US$8.36 billion in revenues as one-off impairment charges and fuel hedging losses weighed against a solid performance of the core airline.

The results were reported for financial results of 2016. The airline achieved steady passenger revenues of US$ 4.9 billion and 79% load factors while carrying 18.5 million passengers. Available seat kilometres (ASKs) increased by nine percent to 113.9 billion. Yields fell eight percent amid market capacity pressures and tough global economic climate, but this was partially offset by an 11% reduction in unit costs.

Total impairments of US$ 1.9 billion included a US$ 1.06 billion charge on aircraft, reflecting lower market values and early phase out of certain aircraft types. There was also a US$ 808 million charge on certain assets and financial exposures to equity partners, mainly related to Alitalia and airberlin.

HE Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, chairman of the Board of the Etihad Aviation Group, said: “A culmination of factors contributed to disappointing results for 2016. The Board and executive team have been working since last year to address issues and challenges through a comprehensive strategic review aimed at driving improved performance across the group, which includes a full review of our airline equity partnership strategy.”

Legacy fuel hedging contracts also had a negative bearing on performance in 2016, though this exposure is expected to have less of a financial impact during 2017.

Etihad deploys Boeing 787 on Beirut route

Etihad Airways has deployed the Boeing 787-9 on its scheduled daily service from Abu Dhabi to Beirut.

Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways executive vice president commercial, said: “The new two-class 787-9 provides an increase of 125 seats per flight, with 4,186 weekly seats now offered in both directions. This reflects the strong demand to Lebanon from Abu Dhabi and the UAE, where a large Lebanese expatriate community resides.”

The new 787 Dreamliner service replaces the Airbus A321 aircraft previously operating the airline’s EY535/EY538 flights to and from Beirut. The Boeing 787-9 offers 299 seats with 28 business studios and 271 economy smart seats.

Azerbaijan Tourism on a high

Azerbaijan’s Ministry of culture and tourism released a report on the surge in flow of UAE tourists into the country in 2017. The country welcomed an overall number of 1,199,667 foreign citizens, 24.5% more people compared to 2016.

It is undoubtedly that UAE and Saudi Arabia drove volumes and set the stage for a healthy first half of 2017. This period resulted in a 338% growth in overnight tourists from UAE with March alone peaking at 86% while attracting 44,196 UAE visitors.

The other markets which showed substantial percentage increase were Russia, Iraq, Iran and other countries visitations jumped 17% compared to 2016. Georgia had 254,425 people visit Azerbaijan resulting in a four percent increase; the number from Iran were at 180,103 people resulting in an 89% increase; Ukraine pushed 27 342 people to Azerbaijan capturing a 14% growth and finally, Iraq had 19 355 people visit Azerbaijan resulting in a 75% increase. During this period, 138, 692 people also visited Azerbaijan from Turkey.

The flow of arrivals from Arab countries, including Oman grew 16-fold, Kuwait eight-fold, Saudi Arabia six-fold, Morocco five-fold, Al-Jazeera 3.5-fold, Jordan 2.2-fold and Turkmenistan two-fold.

International tourist numbers were also on the rise with CIS states by 12%, EU by 13%, the Persian Gulf and the Middle East by 117%, Asian countries by 64.4%, African countries by 72%, and America and Australia by 22.8%.

Rashid Al Noori, chairman of the Representative Office of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan in GCC said: “We have worked together with travel companies as part of our tourism activity, to boost awareness and heighten visitor figures. We look forward to higher growth by end of 2017.  The Government’s planned mega projects will also contribute to market growth. We regard the steady developments of Azerbaijan’s infrastructure and establishment of the Baku shopping Festival as efforts that will bring in corporate visitors besides GCC leisure tourists.”

Al Noori also highlighted increased air links to Azerbaijan, mentioning that Air Arabia now operates flights to Azerbaijan five times a week; Azerbaijan Airlines introduced flights from Kuwait every Thursday, Jazeera Airways presently operates two flights a week (Monday and Friday) to Baku and finally, Wataniya Airways operates flights to Baku on Wednesday and Saturday. Etihad Airways will soon be joining this list. These flights are besides the current six flights per day from Dubai by flydubai and Azerbaijan Airways.

The country is also looking to introduce infrastructure dedicated to kids’ and teens’ events and activities.

Etihad Holidays on expansion mode

Etihad Holidays has launched operations in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain offering a wide range of package holiday options.

The move follows successful introduction of Etihad Airways’ holiday division in the UAE, UK, Germany, India and North America.

The Holidays Division offers breaks for family, beach and luxury holidays to sporting breaks, fly drives and city stays, across destinations in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Australia, Africa and even the Middle East are endless.

Passengers can also design their dream holiday from the comfort of their own home on the website – sa.holidays.etihad.com – to tailor-make packages to suit individual needs.

Darren Peisley, managing director of Etihad Holidays’ parent Hala Group, said: “We continue our growth across the region, ensuring a new wave of customers have access to a range of packages and hotels. We are excited to bring to residents of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain access to rates for over 150 destinations around the world.”

The Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Stopover Programme can also be combined with any Etihad Holidays package.

Etihad Airways welcomes electronic ban lift to US

Etihad Airways welcomed the decision by the US Department of Homeland Security to lift the electronic devices ban on flights between Abu Dhabi and the United States, following successful validation of security measures at the US Preclearance facility at Abu Dhabi airport.

Effective immediately, removal of the restrictions allows passengers flying to the US to carry all laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices onto the aircraft, subject to enhanced security measures.

The airline currently operates 45 flights a week between Abu Dhabi and six cities across the United States – including double daily to New York, daily to Washington, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles, and three-times-per-week to San Francisco.

The US is one of Etihad Airways’ largest markets, with 203,515 passengers flying to the US from Abu Dhabi between 1 January and 30 April 2017. This was up by 13,157 passengers for the same period in 2016.

Etihad Airways’ Dreamliner connects Beijing

The Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner touched down in Beijing after its inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi. 

The inaugural flight was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Abu Dhabi, attended by senior executives from Etihad Airways, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the UAE, and the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.

Etihad’s new 787-9 Dreamliner features next-generation business and economy class seats with 28 seats in business class and 271 in economy class, representing a 14% capacity increase.

Peter Baumgartner, chief executive officer of Etihad Airways, said: “Since launch of this route, we have experienced huge growth of China’s outbound tourism market and enjoyed strong demand from business and leisure travellers.”

Elaborating further, HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, director general of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority said: “China has grown to become the largest overseas source market for Abu Dhabi hotel guest arrivals, and through our pro-active in-territory promotional efforts supported by further expansion in capacity, we are looking forward to welcoming 600,000 Chinese visitors to the emirate by 2021.”

Etihad Airways connects to Paris with Airbus A380

Etihad Airways has introduced the Airbus A380 aircraft on one of its two daily services between Abu Dhabi and Paris Charles de Gaulle.

The new service has been introduced early to meet seasonal demand from 1 July to 28 October and 15 December to 15 February 2018. The A380 will then operate a regular year-round service from 25 March 2018. The A380 replaces a three-class Boeing 777-300ER previously operating the airline’s daily overnight service.

Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways executive vice president commercial, said: “Paris is one of Etihad Airways’ most sought-after destinations, popular with both leisure and business flyers alike. We have also seen an increase in number of French visitors we are welcoming to Abu Dhabi.”

The airline operates a dedicated premium lounge at Charles de Gaulle, significantly enhancing the ground experience. The aircraft has a capacity of 496 guests in a four-class configuration: The Residence, first apartments (first class), business studios (business class), and economy. The Residence can accommodates up to two guests while first class can accommodate nine passengers. The business studios are 70 located on the upper deck and 415 economy smart seats on the main deck.

Etihad Airways boosts A380 service to New York JFK

Etihad Airways will boost services to New York JFK with the addition of a second Airbus A380.

The new aircraft will be deployed on the second daily service which means all 14 weekly flights between the two cities are now operated by a double-decker aircraft.

The A380 has replaced a three-class Boeing 777-300ER previously operating one of the airline’s twice daily flights.

Guests flying on all Etihad Airways flights from Abu Dhabi to the airline’s six US ports of entry – New York JFK Airport, Washington, DC, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco – are processed through the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) preclearance facility available at Abu Dhabi International Airport. The airline also operates a dedicated Premium Lounge within the CBP facility.

 

Etihad Guest, Red Crescent come together for Ramadan campaign

To celebrate the Year of Giving, Etihad Guest launched a special Ramadan campaign with Emirates Red Crescent to provide thousands of meals to families and children in need in Somalia.

Members of the airline’s loyalty programme can donate their miles to emergency response in the African country, with 750 Etihad Guest Miles providing one meal. The aim of the campaign is to achieve 15 million miles of donations which would provide 20,000 meals.

Etihad Guest members can donate any amount they wish however for those wishing to donate more than 750 miles, 3,000 Etihad Guest Miles will feed a family of four and 37,500 Etihad Guest Miles will feed a community of fifty people. The link on the Etihad Guest website (etihadguest.com) has a simple mechanism for members to donate miles at the touch of a button.

Earlier in the year, Etihad Airways announced that it will donate one dirham from every flight ticket sold in the UAE during 2017 to Emirates Red Crescent’s local and international humanitarian projects.

Etihad Airways expands Boeing 787 Europe network

Etihad Airways recently announced plans to boost its European Dreamliner network with deployment of Boeing 787-9 aircraft to Amsterdam and Madrid.

The 299-seat Dreamliners will be introduced on year-round scheduled services to Amsterdam from 1 September, and to Madrid, effective 1 October 2017, joining Düsseldorf and Zurich as the airline’s other European Dreamliner services. The 787-9 will also operate seasonally to Athens during the summer months.

With a phased delivery of nine Boeing 787-9s this year, the aircraft are gradually being introduced on a number of international routes from Abu Dhabi.

The airline currently operates a fleet of 13 Boeing 787-9s to 11 destinations – namely Washington, Düsseldorf, Zurich, Johannesburg, Amman, Riyadh, Singapore, Shanghai, Tokyo, Perth and Brisbane from Abu Dhabi. Beirut, Beijing, Seoul and Melbourne are due to join the 787 network over the next few months.

The Amsterdam route will have a taste of the 787 between 2 and 30 June 2017 to help meet demand during the early summer peak period. The current four weekly Madrid services will also be boosted with additional flights, moving to a daily operation from 1 June 2017.

Etihad Airways has pending deliveries of a further 58 Dreamliners over the next few years.