RwandAir partners with Qatar Airways Cargo to launch new Africa Hub.
IATA- Air cargo declines moderate in March.
Boeing expands ecoDemonstrator flight testing with 'Explorer' airplanes, announces 2023 plan.
Etihad Airways wins hat-trick of 2023 Business Traveller Awards.
Azerbaijan Airlines expands long-haul fleet, finalizing order for more Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
HKIA sees strong rebound in air traffic in March.
Brussels Airlines improves first quarter 2023 result at -44 Million Euro Ebit.
Emirates and Etihad announce interline expansion, offering better itinerary options to boost UAE tourism.
Worldwide incidents and accidents.
Bonus Video - Beech 18 & DC 3 Rand to AFB Swartkop.
IATA AIR TRAVEL GROWTH CONTINUES IN MARCH
Total traffic in March 2023 (measured in revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) rose 52.4% compared to March 2022. Globally, traffic is now at 88.0% of March 2019 levels. Domestic traffic for March rose 34.1% compared to the year-ago period. Total March 2023 domestic traffic was at 98.9% of the March 2019 level.
International traffic climbed 68.9% versus March 2022 with all markets recording healthy growth, led once again by carriers in the Asia-Pacific region. International RPKs reached 81.6% of March 2019 levels while the load factor at 81.3% exceeded the March 2019 level by 10.1 percentage points.
"The calendar year first quarter ended on a strong note for air travel demand. Domestic markets have been near their pre-pandemic levels for months. And for international travel two key waypoints were topped. First, demand increased by 3.5 percentage points compared to the previous month's growth, to reach 81.6% of pre-COVID levels. This was led by a near-tripling of demand for Asia-Pacific carriers as China's re-opening took hold. And efficiency is improving as international load factors reached 81.3%. Even more importantly, ticket sales for both domestic and international travel give every indication that strong growth will continue into the peak Northern Hemisphere summer travel season," said Willie Walsh, IATA's Director General.
International Passenger Markets
Asia-Pacific airlines had a 283.1% increase in March 2023 traffic compared to March 2022, continuing the robust momentum since the lifting of travel restrictions in the region. Capacity rose 161.5% and the load factor increased 26.8 percentage points to 84.5%, the second highest among the regions.
European carriers posted a 38.5% traffic rise versus March 2022. Capacity climbed 27.0%, and load factor rose 6.6 percentage points to 79.4%, which was the second lowest among the regions.
Middle Eastern airlines saw a 43.1% traffic increase compared to March a year ago. Capacity climbed 30.5% and load factor pushed up 7.0 percentage points to 79.4%.
North American carriers' traffic climbed 51.6% in March 2023 versus the 2022 period. Capacity increased 34.0%, and load factor rose 9.8 percentage points to 84.8%, the highest among the regions.
Latin American airlines had a 36.5% traffic increase compared to the same month in 2022. March capacity climbed 33.4% and load factor rose 1.9 percentage points to 82.8%.
African airlines' traffic rose 71.7% in March 2023 versus a year ago, the second highest among the regions. March capacity was up 56.2% and load factor climbed 6.5 percentage points to 72.2%, lowest among the regions.
The Bottom Line
"As traveller expectations build towards the peak Northern Hemisphere summer travel season, airlines are doing their best to meet the desire and need to fly. Unfortunately, a lack of capacity means that some of those travellers may be disappointed. Part of this capacity shortfall is attributable to the widely reported labour shortages impacting many parts of the aviation value chain, as well as supply chain issues affecting the aircraft manufacturing sector that is resulting in aircraft delivery delays. However, a significant share of recent flight cancellations, primarily in Europe, are owing to job actions by air traffic controllers and others. These irresponsible actions resulted in thousands of unnecessary cancellations in March. This is unacceptable and should not be tolerated by the authorities," said Walsh.
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RWANDAIR PARTNERS WITH QATAR AIRWAYS CARGO TO LAUNCH NEW AFRICA HUB
RwandAir, launched a major new African cargo hub in partnership with Qatar Airways Cargo. The new Kigali Cargo Hub is part of a long-term strategic plan for the cargo division of RwandAir, which has seen cargo carried rise by nearly 26% in the last five years.
The initiative will help RwandAir develop Kigali into a regional cargo powerhouse, boosting exports and imports around Africa and strengthening links with key overseas markets.
The partnership saw Qatar Aviation Services (QAS) provide consultancy support to RwandAir Cargo to help improve its already highly successful cargo handling performance.
RwandAir welcomed the arrival of a Qatar Airways Cargo Boeing 777x freighter at the airline's home hub in Kigali, to mark the official launch of the major new cargo facility.
Yvonne Makolo, CEO of RwandAir, said: "We are very proud to partner with Qatar Airways Cargo to launch today the brand-new Kigali Cargo Hub, which will open up new cargo opportunities across Africa. Africa is home to a hugely diverse economy, with businesses and entrepreneurs looking for better connections to create new markets and expand inward investment. Together have created a fantastic new facility to meet this growing demand across Africa."
Since RwandAir began, cargo has been an important component of its operations, which has grown in tandem with the airline. The recent pandemic also acted as a catalyst for the importance of cargo, especially for RwandAir.
The airline's geographic location at the heart of Africa has placed it in a unique position to reach every corner of the continent, providing seamless connectivity, promoting trade, and strengthening its relations with countries both within Africa and around the world.
With the launch of the new cargo hub, RwandAir will continue to offer customers reliable, high-quality cargo services across Africa.
It is supported by the entry into service of its first dedicated freighter aircraft - a Boeing 737- 800- and enabled the launch of new freighter services to the airline's key destinations across Africa and the Middle East.
This includes Johannesburg, Lagos, Lusaka, Brazzaville, Harare, Maputo, Entebbe, Nairobi and Sharjah in the UAE.
The recent arrival of RwandAir's third wide-body aircraft - an Airbus A330-200 - and the launch of direct flights to Paris in June, will ensure Rwanda has greater cargo connectivity not just regionally, but internationally, across Europe, the Middle East, China and beyond.
Under the partnership with Qatar Airways, a Qatar Airways Boeing 777X will fly twice a week from Doha to Kigali with a scheduled onward service to Entebbe, Nairobi and Liège then back to Doha via either Oslo/Lyon.
Since 13 March, Qatar Airways Cargo has created intra-Africa services between Kigali and Lagos (three times per week), Kigali and Johannesburg (three times a week), and a weekly service from Istanbul via Doha to Kigali, all operated by a single wet-leased A310-200 freighter.
The launch of Qatar Airways Cargo's first cargo hub outside Qatar, in collaboration with RwandAir, creates a strong foundation on which to expand a future-oriented African air cargo network and meet the 3-5% annual economic growth forecast for the continent over the next decade.
More African destinations are due to be added to the joint airline network at a later stage.
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IATA-AIR CARGO DECLINES MODERATE IN MARCH
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for March 2023 global air cargo markets showing a continued decline against previous year's demand performance. This trend began in March 2022.
Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometres (CTKs*), fell 7.7% compared to March 2022 (-8.1% for international operations). This was a slight improvement over the previous February's performance (-9.4%) and half the rate of annual decline seen in January and December (-16.8% and -15.6% respectively). At this point, it is unclear if this is a potentially modest start of an improvement trend or the upside of market volatility. Irrespective of this, March performance slipped back into negative territory compared to pre-COVID levels (-8.1%).
Capacity (measured in available cargo tonne-kilometres, ACTK) was up 9.9% compared to March 2022. The strong uptick in ACTKs reflects the addition of belly capacity as the passenger side of the business continues to recover.
Several factors in the operating environment should be noted:
Even with record low unemployment rates, the global economy continues to decelerate due to a combination of factors such as tightening global financial conditions, high levels of global debt, and supply chain problems including those linked to the war in Ukraine.
In line with the weakening global trade, the Purchasing Manager Indices (PMIs) for new export orders at the global level remained below the 50-critical line for a full year as of March. China's PMI retreated to below the 50-mark in March, following a slight improvement observed in February.
The PMI for supplier delivery times indicates high inventory levels, which tends to have a negative impact on air cargo.
Global goods trade decreased by 2.6% in February; this was a faster rate of decline than the previous month of -1.0%.
"Air cargo had a volatile first quarter. In March, overall demand slipped back below pre-COVID-19 levels and most of the indicators for the fundamental drivers of air cargo demand are weak or weakening. While the trading environment is tough, there is some good news. Airlines are getting help in managing through the volatility with yields that have remained high and fuel prices that have moderated from exceptionally high levels. Looking ahead, with inflation reducing in G7 countries policy makers are expected to ease economic cooling measures and that would stimulate demand," said Willie Walsh, IATA's Director General.
March Regional Performance
Asia-Pacific airlines saw their air cargo volumes decrease by 7.3% in March 2023 compared to the same month in 2022. This was a slight decrease in performance compared to February (-5.4%).
The drop in demand suggests that air cargo traffic in the region has not yet stabilized following China's reopening in January. Available capacity in the region increased by 23.6% compared to March 2022 as more belly capacity came online from the passenger side of the business.
North American carriers posted the weakest performance of all regions with a 9.4% decrease in cargo volumes in March 2023 compared to the same month in 2022. This was a decrease in performance compared to February (-10.3%). The transatlantic route between North America and Europe saw traffic declining at an accelerated pace throughout March. Capacity increased 0.4% compared to March 2022.
European carriers saw the most substantial improvement in demand in March over the previous month. Airlines in the region saw their air cargo volumes decrease by 7.8% in March 2023 compared to the same month in 2022. This was an improvement in performance versus February (-15.9%). Airlines in the region continue to be most affected by the war in Ukraine. Capacity increased 8.8% in March 2023 compared to March 2022.
Middle Eastern carriers experienced a 5.5% year-on-year decrease in cargo volumes in March 2023. This was also an improvement to the previous month's decline (-7.1%). The demand on Middle East-Europe routes has been trending upward in recent months. Capacity increased 9.7% compared to March 2022.
Latin American carriers had the strongest performance of all regions in March despite posting a decline in performance over the previous month. Carriers in the region reported a 5.3% decrease in cargo volumes in March 2023 compared to March 2022. This was a drop in performance compared to February which saw a 2.9% decrease. Capacity in March was up 12.9% compared to the same month in 2022.
African airlines saw cargo volumes decrease by 6.2% in March 2023 compared to March 2022. This was an improvement in performance compared to the previous month (-7.4%). Notably, Africa to Asia routes experienced significant cargo demand growth in March. Capacity was 4.1% below March 2022 levels.
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BOEING EXPANDS ECODEMONSTRATOR FLIGHT TESTING WITH 'EXPLORER' AIRPLANES, ANNOUNCES 2023 PLAN
Boeing [NYSE: BA] is expanding its ecoDemonstrator flight-test program to further accelerate innovation for sustainability and safety. The company today announced its 2023 plan to assess 19 technologies on the Boeing 777 ecoDemonstrator, while also adding "Explorer" airplanes that will focus tests on specific technologies.
The first ecoDemonstrator Explorer, a 787-10 Dreamliner, will conduct flight tests in June from Seattle to Tokyo, Singapore and Bangkok to demonstrate how coordinating navigation across global airspace jurisdictions can improve operational efficiency, which can reduce an airplane's fuel use and emissions by up to 10%. Utilizing today's onboard capabilities, Boeing and air navigation service providers (ANSPs) in the U.S., Japan, Singapore and Thailand will collectively sequence the airplane's routes to achieve the optimal flight path across multiple regions, factoring in conditions such as weather, air traffic and airspace closures. The airplane will fly on the highest available blend of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at each location.
"To support our industry's goal for net zero carbon emissions by 2050, Boeing is expanding our ecoDemonstrator program with Explorer airplanes to test even more sustainability-focused technologies," said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We continue to invest in innovation that reduces fuel use, emissions and noise on our products and to partner with governments and industry to make progress on sustainability during each phase of flight."
"The industry will need continued fleet renewal, efficiency gains, renewable energy carriers such as sustainable aviation fuel and advanced technology to meet the civil aviation industry's commitment to achieve net zero carbon emission by 2050," said Boeing Chief Sustainability Officer Chris Raymond. "Our initial Explorer testing in partnership with aviation stakeholders in four countries is a great example of how we can work together to optimize operational efficiency and reduce emissions."
In 2023, Boeing also will use its current flagship ecoDemonstrator airplane, a 777-200ER (Extended Range), to test 19 technologies including:
Sustainable wall panels in the cargo hold that are made of 40% recycled carbon fibre and 60% resin made from a bio-based feedstock.
A fibre optic fuel quantity sensor compatible with 100% SAF.
An Electronic Flight Bag application featuring Smart Airport Maps, a component of Jeppesen FliteDeck Pro, which reduces operational costs and supports safe taxi operations with the depiction of contextual airport data and for all flight tests, the airplane will fly on the highest available blend of SAF locally.
Since its initial flights in 2012, the Boeing ecoDemonstrator program has accelerated innovation by taking new technologies out of the lab and testing them in an operational environment. Including the 2023 plan, the program will have tested about 250 technologies to help decarbonize aviation, improve operational efficiency and enhance safety and the passenger experience. Approximately a third of tested technologies have progressed onto Boeing's products and services.
As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defence products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing's diverse team is committed to innovating for the future, leading with sustainability, and cultivating a culture based on the company's core values of safety, quality and integrity.
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ETIHAD AIRWAYS WINS HAT-TRICK OF 2023 BUSINESS TRAVELLER AWARDS
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, has been recognised as the airline with the 'Best Cabin Crew' for the third year in a row at a gala awards ceremony held yesterday evening at the Palazzo Versace, Dubai. Following a public vote, the Business Traveller Middle East Awards also recognised Etihad with the Best Economy Class and Best Frequent Flyer programme for Etihad Guest.
Etihad's Cabin Crew are best known for their warm and personal service which is inspired by traditional Emirati hospitality. Before they take to the skies, Etihad's cabin crew are taken through an extensive training process which ensures the highest standards of safety, service and hospitality.
Antonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: "Etihad's special guests and clients tell us time and time again of the great service and hospitality they experience when they travel on Etihad. This award is testament to the hard work, consistency and commitment of our Cabin Crew who always go the extra mile for our guests. On behalf of everyone at Etihad, I would like to sincerely thank our Cabin Crew, and thank our guests and the public for voting for Etihad.
"These awards are an excellent way to recognise and celebrate the achievements of the entire industry who together are boosting tourism and business travel for the benefit of us all," he continued.
The Business Traveller Middle East Awards were presented on Monday evening, after the opening day of the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. The awards were attended by travel industry and media professionals, celebrating the achievements of the travel and tourism sector including airlines, airports and hotels. The winners are decided by votes cast online by travellers and readers of Business Traveller Middle East magazine.
Etihad's 8-million-member loyalty programme, Etihad Guest, was also recognised in the awards as the 'Best Frequent Flyer Programme.' Over the past year, Etihad has expanded its partnerships and Miles on the Go programme, offering more ways for guests to earn and be rewarded.
At the Arabian Travel Market this year, Etihad has unveiled the Business and Economy seats on its new Boeing 787 Dreamliners that will join the fleet this year. As well as increased privacy and comfort, the seats offer smart technology including enhanced connectivity, wireless charging in Business and Bluetooth compatibility.
Etihad also won the 'Best Economy Class' award at the Business Traveller Middle East Awards, recognising the high standards of comfort and service enjoyed by guests travelling in Economy. At the trade show this week, Etihad is showcasing its new Economy dining experience which has been designed to elevate the guest experience further, with environmental sustainability as a priority. The dining equipment is reusable and forms a closed loop recycling system. At the end of its product life, the dining equipment will be washed, ground and the resulting powder will be re-used to produce new products.
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AZERBAIJAN AIRLINES EXPANDS LONG-HAUL FLEET, FINALIZING ORDER FOR MORE BOEING 787 DREAMLINERS
Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Azerbaijan Airlines today announced the national flag carrier has ordered eight 787-8 Dreamliners to support the growth of its long-haul fleet. The super-efficient jets will enable the Central Asian carrier to profitably open up new routes from Azerbaijan and boost capacity for inbound tourism.
Leaders from both companies, including Jahangir Asgarov, president of Azerbaijan Airlines, and Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, celebrated the order at a signing ceremony at the airline's hub in Baku. In July 2022, Boeing and the carrier announced a commitment to purchase four 787s; since then, the order was finalized for eight airplanes and unidentified on Boeing's Orders and Deliveries website.
"The successful development of the country's civil aviation has become possible thanks to the continuous support and attention of the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev. The signing of a contract with Boeing for the purchase of modern wide-body Boeing 787 Dreamliners is an important step in modernizing the fleet and increasing the level of AZAL air transportation," said Asgarov.
More than 85 customers around the world have placed orders for more than 1,600 787 Dreamliners, making the 787 the fastest selling twin-aisle airplane in history. Since entering service in 2011, the 787 family's fuel efficiency, flexibility and range have enabled airlines to open more than 350 new nonstop routes, such as Azerbaijan Airlines' recent connection between Baku and New Delhi.
"The 787 has helped position Azerbaijan Airlines as the leading carrier across Central Asia, with the airplane's flexibility and capability opening Azerbaijan up to increased tourism and economic growth," said Deal. "For more than 20 years we have enjoyed a tremendous partnership with Azerbaijan Airlines and this order for Dreamliners is a testament to the strength of our product family and the relationship between our companies."
Built with lightweight composite materials and powered by advanced engines, the 787 Dreamliner can fly up to 20% more passengers while reducing fuel use and emissions by 25% compared to the airplanes it replaces. The 787-8's range reaches up to 13,530 km in a typical two-class configuration, enabling Azerbaijan Airlines to grow its network across Europe, Asia and beyond.
Azerbaijan Airlines is one of the largest carriers in Central Asia, serving 40 destinations across 25 countries, with a fleet that includes Boeing 757, 767 and 787 jets.
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HKIA SEES STRONG REBOUND IN AIR TRAFFIC IN MARCH
Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) today released the traffic figures for Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) for March 2023. During the month, HKIA handled 2.8 million passengers, more than 28 times the amount recorded in March 2022, and 372,000 tonnes of cargo, which represented year-on-year growth of 5.8%. Flight movements in March more than doubled year on year to 20,130.
Average daily passenger traffic continued to show a sustained increase over the first three weeks of April. HKIA has handled approximately 100,000 per day, reaching 50% of pre-pandemic levels.
Passenger demand continued to improve in March 2023 after the lifting of travel restrictions. All passenger segments experienced significant growth compared to the same month last year, including a strong performance by Hong Kong residents. Traffic to and from Southeast Asia, Mainland China and Japan saw the largest increases.
Cargo remained impacted by global economic uncertainties. Although cargo volume grew year on year in March 2023, this was primarily due to the low base for comparison set during the same month last year following pandemic-related supply chain disruptions. Exports grew by 19% year on year. Traffic to and from key trading regions in North America, the Middle East and Europe saw the most significant increases during the month.
Over the first three months of the year, HKIA handled 7.0 million passengers, nearly 27 times more than the same period in 2022. Flight movements registered a year-on-year increase of 74.2% to 52,650. Cargo volume decreased by 6.3% to 950,000 tonnes.
On a 12-month rolling basis, passenger volume rose to 12.4 million, representing a 7.7-fold increase over the previous comparable period. Flight movements saw an 11.5% increase to 161,160, while cargo throughput decreased by 16% to 4.1 million tonnes.
In other news, HKIA was recently awarded Level 4, "Transformation", in Airports Council International's Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) programme, which recognises the airport's firm commitment to reducing its carbon footprint as well as its achievements in carbon management. Launched in 2009, ACA is the only institutionally endorsed, global carbon management certification standard for airports. It was established to help the airport industry benefit from shared expertise, achieve lower energy consumption and reduce carbon emissions.
Peter Lee, General Manager, Sustainability of AAHK, said, "We are honoured to receive ACA Level 4 accreditation, which underscores our tireless efforts in carbon management. Our pledge is to achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2050, with a midpoint target of 55% in absolute emissions reduction by 2035 from a 2018 baseline. To achieve this, we will continue working closely with our key aviation partners and third parties. We have full confidence in our ability to develop HKIA into one of the world's greenest airports and contribute to the sustainable development of the region.
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BRUSSELS AIRLINES IMPROVES FIRST QUARTER 2023 RESULT AT -44 MILLION EURO EBIT
Brussels Airlines closes its first quarter at EUR -44 million, an improvement of 29% compared to the previous year. The traditionally lowest performing period of the year in the aviation industry was this time impacted by continuously high fuel prices and the skyrocketing inflation.
Brussels Airlines' revenue went up by EUR 123 million or nearly 79% year-on-year to EUR 280 million in the first quarter of 2023 (previous year: EUR 157 million), thanks to a solid increase in production of 37% (Available Seat-Kilometres) and an additional long-haul aircraft.
?During the first three months of 2022, the production was still very much impacted by the Corona crisis and only 61% versus the level of 2019. This percentage climbed to 84% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in 2019.
Operating expenses went up by a total of EUR 123 million or +54% to EUR 350 million (previous year: EUR 227 million), principally due to higher production related volume costs such as airport fees and charges or fuel consumption, price-related increase of fuel expenses, as well as the inflation and the full impact of the automatic salary indexation.
As a result, the Adjusted EBIT in the reporting period amounted to EUR -44 million (previous year: EUR -62 million).
"The results of this first quarter are in line with our expectations. The improvement of our Revenues by almost 79% and the Adjusted EBIT by 29% gives us confidence and confirms we are on track to reach solid black results for the whole of 2023." ?- Nina Oewerdieck, Chief Financial Officer at Brussels Airlines.
?Fleet renewal and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) are the most powerful levers to reduce the CO2 and noise emissions from flights. Brussels Airlines was proud to be the first airline to transport SAF through NATO's CEPS-pipeline on 1st January 2023.
Since February 15th this year, with the introduction of "Green Fares" for all flights to and from Europe and North Africa, Brussels Airlines is raising widespread awareness among passengers that they, too, can help reduce the impact of flying.
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EMIRATES AND ETIHAD ANNOUNCE INTERLINE EXPANSION, OFFERING BETTER ITINERARY OPTIONS TO BOOST UAE TOURISM
Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expand their interline agreement and provide travellers additional itinerary options when visiting the UAE. This first of its kind agreement between the two UAE carriers aims to capitalise on opportunities to boost tourism to the UAE from key source markets by enabling visitors to experience more than one destination in a single itinerary.
This summer, customers of each airline will be able to purchase a single ticket to fly into either Dubai or Abu Dhabi, with a seamless return via the other airport. The new agreement also provides travellers planning to explore the UAE with the flexibility of one-stop ticketing for their full journey and convenient baggage check-in.
In the initial stages of the expanded interline, each carrier will focus on attracting visitors to the UAE by developing inbound interline traffic from select points in Europe and China. The 'open jaw' arrangement will allow visitors to cover as much ground as possible when exploring Abu Dhabi, Dubai or any other emirate, saving time by removing the need to fly home via their arrival airport. Customers travelling into the UAE also have the option of 'multi-city flights', with the choice to travel from one city on both carriers' networks, and conveniently returning to another point served by either Emirates or Etihad.
The MoU was signed at Arabian Travel Market by Adnan Kazim, Emirates' Chief Commercial Officer, and Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer, Etihad Airways, in the presence of Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline, and Antonoaldo Neves, Etihad CEO, along with other senior representatives.
Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline said: "We are pleased to be working again with Etihad Airways - this time to allow each carrier to offer a new range of seamless travel options in and out of the UAE. Emirates and Etihad are leveraging on our strengths to expand our respective customer offerings and boost UAE tourism. We believe this new agreement provides a strong foundation to develop further opportunities between both airlines and is an example of our commitment to the UAE's vision for continued economic diversification."
Antonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, said: "We're delighted to partner with Emirates in our shared mission to support inbound tourism to the UAE and facilitate travel to our vibrant cities. With two world-class airlines supporting UAE tourism, our interline agreement will make it more convenient for our guests to experience the best of Abu Dhabi and Dubai on one single ticket while promising to deliver an exceptional flying experience whether they fly with Etihad Airways or Emirates. It's a win-win proposition for travellers to the UAE."
The expanded interline partnership draws upon the commitment of both airlines to support the UAE government's objective to promote tourism to the UAE and enhance the UAE's position as a preferred global destination. Tourism is one of the key pillars of the UAE Economy and is expected to contribute to 5.4% of the nation's total GDP, or AED 116.1 billion (USD 31.6 billion), supporting over 1 million jobs by 2027.*
This is the second time the airlines have announced a collaboration. In 2018, Emirates Group Security and Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen aviation security, including the sharing of information and intelligence in operational areas both within and outside the UAE. Last year, Emirates signed an MoU with the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, to boost tourist numbers to the UAE capital from key source markets across the airline's global network.
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Nigeria, Abuja-Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport: Max Air flight VM1649, a Boeing 737, suffered two burst tires during landing at Abuja Airport and became immobilized on the runway after landing. There were 144 passengers on board, according to a statement from the airline. Photos, reportedly from the incident, show that the no.1 wheel of the left-hand main gear was gone, with the aircraft resting on the remaining wheel bearings. The no.2 tire was shredded. Media reports, not confirmed in the airline's statement, suggest the aircraft already suffered a burst tire on take-off from Yola.
Mexico: NW of Oaxaca: Aeroméxico flight AM2547, an Embraer ERJ-190LR, with 78 on board suffered a pressurization issue while en route at FL300, 22 minutes after take-off from Puerto Escondido Airport (PXM).
The flight crew initiated a descent and diverted to Oaxaca Airport for an emergency landing.
Russia, West of Sochi: A Red Wings flight WZ76, a Sukhoi Superjet 100-95LR, suffered a loss of cabin pressure while en route at FL310 about 45 minutes after take-off from Istanbul Airport. The flight crew initiated an emergency descent to FL110 and diverted to Sochi/Adler Airport, Russia.