Aviation

EditorNovember 15, 2017
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5min390

SriLankan Airlines collected yet another impressive accolade when it won the title of ‘Best Full Service Airline in Central & South Asia’ for the third consecutive year at the Future Travel Experience Asia Awards 2017 in Singapore, an event that recognizes the most customer-centric airlines and airports in Asia and Oceania.

SriLankan’s CEO Captain Suren Ratwatte said: “I am delighted to say that this award is the direct result of the extraordinary level of commitment by every member of our airline’s team, both in the air and on the ground. This demonstrates a high level of long-term consistency in our standards, in terms of the products and the service that we provide. Most importantly, our commitment to quality brings great benefits to our customers, whom we take pride in delighting at all times during their journey with us.”

Siva Ramachandra, Chief Commercial Officer of SriLankan Airlines, said: “Winning an important regional award once is creditable for any airline. But winning the same award three times in consecutive years points to a simply marvelous passenger experience that has been provided continuously, throughout our route network. ”

Over the last several weeks, SriLankan has been honoured with a series of global and regional accolades. These include a prestigious Four Star Rating from the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) in the first ever global airline industry rating programme based solely on passenger feedback; ‘Leading International Airline’ and ‘Best in Class’ at the South Asian Travel Awards 2017; and ‘Innovation in Commercial Airline Cabins’ at the In-flight Asia Pacific Awards.

Other recent awards include ‘World’s Leading Airline Operating to the Indian Ocean Region’ at the World Travel Awards; ‘Best International Airline – Asia’ for two consecutive years at the Tamil Nadu Tourism Awards; ‘Most Innovative Marketing Airline in China’ by Life Weekly magazine; and ‘Best Airline in South Asia’ at the Top Travel Awards, also in China.

The Central & South Asia region of the Future Travel Experience Asia Awards is comprised of 15 countries stretching from Bhutan in the east to Belarus in the west, with seven nations in Central Asia and eight in South Asia including India.

The gala awards ceremony of Future Travel Experience Asia 2017 was held at the Marina Bay Sands during ‘Future Travel Asia Expo 2017’ on 7-8 November, a major industry event that brings together thousands of representatives of hundreds of airlines, airports and airline industry vendor organisations. Awards are presented to the best in the categories of Full Service Airlines, Low Cost Airlines, and Airports in five regions – Central & South Asia, Southeast Asia, West Asia, North & East Asia, and Oceania.

The Future Travel Experience Asia Awards (www.futuretravelexperience.com/fteasia/) are highly respected in the airline industry. Winners are chosen by a panel of industry experts who judge the comprehensive passenger experience including aspects such as products and service in all cabin classes, long-haul and short-haul flights, in-flight entertainment systems, consistency and quality of cabin crew service, levels of comfort, quality and presentation of food and beverage, and overall passenger experience.

SriLankan Airlines operates a route network of 102 cities from its hub in Colombo, with a fleet of modern aircraft with the latest comforts such as flatbeds in Business Class and sophisticated in-flight entertainment, to complement its world class service that is famed for caring and warmth. As a member of the prestigious oneworld global airline alliance, SriLankan also connects its passengers to over 1,000 cities in 160 countries around the globe through its oneworld partner airlines.


EditorNovember 15, 2017
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4min430

‘From Abu Dhabi to the World’ – Airline celebrates capital’s new architectural wonder

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Hundreds of visitors from around the world, attending yesterday’s official public opening celebrations of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, were treated to a low-level fly-by of the Jean Nouvel designed museum by one of Etihad Airways’ flagship Airbus A380 aircraft.

Sporting the airline’s ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ livery, the aircraft chosen for the display now also features Louvre Abu Dhabi’s official logo on each of its four engines, to promote the opening of the institution.

Etihad Airways also took the opportunity to capture a series of spectacular images from the fly-by, and commissioned a short video directed by up-and-coming Emirati director, Ahmed Abdulqader, shot from the flight deck of the aircraft and from within Louvre Abu Dhabi, to celebrate the historic occasion. Two specially equipped helicopters were also positioned above the capital to capture air-to-air filming of the aircraft as it flew over the museum, located in the UAE capital’s Saadiyat Cultural District.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer, said: “Echoing the sentiments from the signing of our landmark partnership agreement with Louvre Abu Dhabi last month, Etihad Airways is today honoured to play its part in the inauguration of this hugely important universal institution.

“Abu Dhabi can now proudly take its place among the world’s foremost cultural destinations, and we, as the UAE’s national airline, are poised to play our part in bringing millions of guests to our home to experience this modern wonder of art and humanity first-hand.”

The Etihad Airways Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 fleets feature multi award-winning interiors influenced by Abu Dhabi’s architecture and landscape. These include ceiling designs and light projections in the boarding zones, Lobby Lounge, First Class and The Residence cabins of the A380s, and stylised sconce lighting in the Business Studios of both aircraft types – all inspired by Louvre Abu Dhabi’s spectacular dome and its ‘Rain of Light’ effect, mimicking the way sunlight streams through the fronds of palm trees in a desert oasis.

Etihad Airways is the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s official airline partner, having signed the first exclusive platinum partnership in October.

As a Platinum partner, Etihad Airways will work closely with Louvre Abu Dhabi on areas of brand partnership, marketing, social media, public and media relations, events and exhibitions, cultural exchanges, cargo support, inflight programming, and travel trade support. Etihad Airways’ destination management company, Hala, will collaborate with the museum on bespoke tour packages in Abu Dhabi.

To coincide with the opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi, Etihad Holidays, the airline’s holiday division, is launching a set of all-inclusive destination packages which showcase the many varied attractions of Abu Dhabi and which feature the museum prominently.

 


EditorNovember 13, 2017
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11min320
  • Game-changing, fully enclosed private suites in First Class inspired by Mercedes-Benz 
  • Completely refreshed look, meticulous design details, new seats and materials feature in multi-million dollar upgrade across all cabins

Emirates has unveiled completely refreshed interiors for its Boeing 777 aircraft, including its highly anticipated new First Class private suites.

With floor to ceiling sliding doors and sleek design features inspired by the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Emirates’ new suites takes luxury and privacy to the next level. Offering up to 40 square feet of personal space each, these spacious, fully-enclosed private suites are laid out in a 1-1-1 configuration.

From First Class through to the Business and Economy Class cabins, all along the walkways, in the washrooms and galleys, the latest Emirates 777 aircraft boasts a multi-million dollar upgrade that includes newly-designed seats and upgraded inflight entertainment systems in all cabins.

Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said:

“The inflight experience is the heart of our brand and service proposition. The new 777 interiors that we are unveiling today is part of Emirates’ ongoing investment to continually raise the bar and exceed our customers’ expectations. Aside from our new fully enclosed private suites, Business Class features our latest fully-flat leather seats with personal minibars, Economy Class seats have adjustable full leather headrests, and the inflight entertainment system has been upgraded for all cabin classes. Throughout the aircraft, our customers will see modern and airy cabins, with painstaking attention to detail evident in design touches such as the textured wall and ceiling panels, lighting features, and more.”

On the airline’s new First Class product, Sir Tim said:

“Emirates pioneered the First Class private suite concept back in 2003, and today it’s the industry benchmark when it comes to first class travel. Over the years we have continually improved on our private suites, adding thoughtful refinements and features. We are very excited about our new fully-enclosed suite which is a real game-changer in terms of privacy, comfort, and thoughtful luxury. This is the first time an Emirates product has been so influenced by another luxury brand, but it is a natural fit as both Emirates and Mercedes-Benz have the same unwavering commitment to fine detail, uncompromising quality, and a drive to push the boundaries.”

Emirates’ latest First Class product gives a nod to the design philosophy of the Mercedes-Benz S- Class, bringing together two global brands renowned for innovation, luxury, and comfort. The collaboration inspired several design details in the private suite including the soft leather seating, high-tech control panels, and mood lighting.

Extending that trademark inflight experience to exclusive on-ground services, Emirates and Mercedes-Benz have extended their partnership to provide a fleet of the S-Class cars as part of its complimentary Chauffeur-drive service. Emirates First Class passengers arriving or departing in the UAE will enjoy a seamless journey from aircraft to home, and vice versa, in a Mercedes-Benz S-Class car.

The latest Emirates 777 aircraft with these new features will enter commercial service on 1 December, making its debut on flights to Geneva and Brussels.

Changing the game in First Class – key product features

The new Emirates 777 First Class cabin interior uses a whole new colour palette of soft greys, cream and champagne, conveying a contemporary, open and airy feel, with quiet and timeless luxury.

Created in collaboration with Boeing, Rockwell Collins interior systems, Panasonic, Jacques Pierre Jean Design studio and Seattle-based design firm Teague, each fully enclosed private suite has a floor to ceiling sliding door, and combines smart technologies and intelligent design to deliver function, as well as luxury and comfort.

The soft leather seat reclines into a fully flat bed and can be placed in a “zero-gravity” position inspired by NASA technology, giving a feeling of relaxation and weightlessness. The roomy suites also have ample space for passengers to change in the privacy of their suites even after the bed has been made.

To ensure all First Class customers have a view, Emirates is introducing the industry’s first virtual windows for suites located in the middle aisle. These virtual windows project the view from outside the aircraft using real time camera technology. In the other suites, binoculars are available for customers who want to explore the sky outside their windows.

Passengers can easily communicate with the cabin crew, or request for room service using the video call function. The suites also come with a service window where customers can be served drinks and canapes undisturbed.

Emirates has retained and updated the most popular features of its private suites such as: the personal mini bar for drinks and snacks within each suite; and wireless controls to adjust seating positions, as well as to navigate Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system, ice.

Customers can view over 2,500 channels of on-demand entertainment on a 32-inch Full HD LCD TV screen, or project content from their own devices. The viewing experience is now enhanced with brand new Bowers & Wilkins Active Noise Cancelling E1 headphones created exclusively for Emirates. These headphones were designed by award-winning audio brand Bowers & Wilkins to ensure the sound was optimised for the First Class cabin environment.

Each suite is fitted with an inspiration kit which features a luxury Byredo skincare collection found only on Emirates, Hydra Active moisturising pyjamas, and Bulgari amenity kits.

There is ample storage within the suite including a cleverly designed overhead compartment, and a full length cupboard for hanging clothes.

As with any Emirates flight today, First Class customers can enjoy dine on demand service, with a selection of the finest cuisine prepared by gourmet chefs, accompanied by some of the most exclusive wines, champagnes and spirits in the world. They will be well looked after by Emirates’ international cabin crew representing over 135 nationalities.

Upgrades across all cabin classes

The entire Emirates 777 aircraft sports a refreshed interior with a light and modern colour scheme, classy textured panels, as well as new lighting and design accents.

An artistic motif representing the Ghaf (prosopis cineraria) tree, is used as a design highlight throughout the aircraft. An indigenous evergreen plant, the Ghaf is a considered the national tree of the United Arab Emirates, and has deep cultural and ecological significance.

 

The design and shape of Emirates’ Business Class seat onboard the new 777 was also inspired by the interior of a modern sports car, with a diamond stitch pattern on the full leather cover, ergonomically designed headrest, and a sleek overall look and feel.

The seat has a pitch of 72 inches and moves into a fully-flat sleeping position. It also has touchscreen controls for the seat and inflight entertainment system, several personal lighting options, privacy panels between seats, a shoe stowage area, footrest, and a personal mini-bar.

The Economy Class cabin now features a colour palette of soft greys and blues. The ergonomically designed seats come with full leather headrests that have flexible side panels and can also be adjusted vertically for optimum support.

All cabin classes will be equipped with a new generation of Emirates’ award-winning ice inflight entertainment system offering improved and superior image quality. Each in-seat screen will feature ultra-wide viewing angles, a capacitive touch screen, LED backlight and full HD display.

Emirates and the Boeing 777

Emirates is the largest operator of the Boeing 777 aircraft, one of the most popular and advanced wide-bodied aircraft in commercial operation today. The airline has 165 Boeing 777s in its fleet, and a further 164 on firm order, including 150 of the next generation Boeing 777x aircraft. Today, Emirates operates the Boeing 777 to over 140 cities on six continents from its hub in Dubai.


EditorNovember 13, 2017
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4min400
  • Latest announcement for 40 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners, worth US$ 15.1 billion, takes Emirates’ total wide-body commitment with Boeing to 204 units
  • Emirates’ Chairman and Chief Executive says order underscores airline’s fleet strategy and optimism for future of aviation in the region and globally

Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, has announced a US$ 15.1 billion (AED 55.4 billion) commitment for 40 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners.

In the presence of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates airline and Group signed the agreement with Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Kevin McAllister on the opening day of the 2017 Dubai Airshow.

Sheikh Ahmed said: “Emirates’ orders today will be delivered from 2022, taking the airline well into the 2030s. Some of these will be replacements so that we maintain a young and efficient fleet, and others will power our future network growth. We see the 787 as a great complement to our 777 and A380 fleet, providing us with more flexibility to serve a range of destinations as we develop our global route network.”

“It has always been Emirates’ strategy to invest in the most advanced and efficient aircraft, and today’s orders reflect that. Today’s announcement is also speaks to our confidence in the future of aviation in the UAE and the region.”

Mr McAllister said: “We are excited that Emirates has selected the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner to power its fleet expansion and future growth. This is an airplane that will set a new benchmark for operating economics in the commercial aviation industry when it enters service next year. Emirates’ endorsement of the 787 Dreamliner extends our long-standing partnership and will sustain many jobs in the United States.”

Emirates is evaluating engine options for its Dreamliner order.

Emirates’ agreement includes conversion rights to switch the aircraft to 787-9s, offering the airline additional flexibility for its future fleet and global network. Emirates’ Dreamliners will be delivered in a mix of two and three-cabin class configurations, potentially seating between 240 and 330 passengers. These aircraft will be delivered in phases from 2022 onwards.

Emirates is a powerful engine for American aerospace manufacturing jobs. Applying the US Department of Commerce jobs multiplier (every $1 billion in US aerospace exports supports 5,200 American jobs), this new order will create and support over 78,000 additional jobs in US aerospace manufacturing – not only with Boeing, but also with the thousands of other suppliers in the value chain across the US, many of which are medium and small-sized businesses.

Today’s order comes on top of Emirates’ historic purchase of 150 Boeing 777X aircraft equipped with GE9X engines at the 2013 Dubai Air Show, to be delivered from 2020 onwards.

Emirates’ partnership with Boeing spans decades. Emirates is by far the largest Boeing 777 operator on the planet with 165 777s in service today. With today’s announcement, Emirates will have committed to future delivery of 204 Boeing wide-body aircraft.

About Emirates airline

Emirates’ modern and efficient fleet of 266 all wide-bodied aircraft connect people and opportunities across its global network of 156 destinations in 84 countries. Based in Dubai, Emirates is one of the world’s largest airlines by international air traffic, and one of the most recognized airline brands globally through its support of premier sports and cultural events. It was named World’s Best Airline in TripAdvisor’s 2017 Travelers’ Choice Awards.


EditorNovember 10, 2017
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12min400
  • Group: Revenue up 6% to AED 49.4 billion (US$ 13.5 billion), and profit of AED 2.3 billion (US$ 631 million), up 77%. Results due to capacity optimisation and efficiency initiatives, easing of strong US dollar, and steady business growth.
  • Emirates: Revenue up 6% to AED 44.5 billion (US$ 12.1 billion), and profit lift of 111% to AED 1.7 billion (US$ 452 million). 29.2 million passengers carried, up 4%, on overall capacity expansion of 2%.
  • dnata: Revenue up 7% to AED 6.3 billion (US$ 1.7 billion), profit up 20% to AED 659 million (US$ 180 million). 330,317 aircraft handled, up 11%, 1.5 million tonnes of cargo handled, up 25%.

The Emirates Group has announced its half-year results for 2017-18. The Group saw steady revenue growth and a rebound on profitability compared to the same period last year, in spite of the continuing downward pressure on margins, a rise in oil prices, and other challenges for the airline and travel industry.

The Emirates Group revenue was AED 49.4 billion (US$ 13.5 billion) for the first six months of its 2017-18 financial year, up 6% from AED 46.5 billion (US$ 12.7 billion) during the same period last year.

Profitability rebounded after a low during the same period last year, with the Group reporting a 2017-18 half-year net profit of AED 2.3 billion (US$ 631 million), up 77%.  This result was driven by capacity optimisation and efficiency initiatives across the company, steady business growth, and a more favourable foreign exchange situation compared to the same period last year.

The Group’s cash position on 30th September 2017 was at AED 18.9 billion (US$ 5.2 billion), compared to AED 19.1 billion (US$ 5.2 billion) as at 31st March 2017.

His Highness (HH) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group said: “A lot of the credit for our 2017-18 half-year results goes to our talented workforce who have worked hard to improve our business performance, and address our challenges without compromising on quality and service.

“Our margins continue to face strong downward pressure from increased competition, oil prices have risen, and we still face weak economic and uncertain political realities in many parts of the world. Yet, the Group has improved revenue and profit performance. This speaks to the resilience of our business model, and the agility of our people.

“The easing of the strong US dollar against other major currencies helped our profitability. We are also seeing the benefit from various initiatives across the company to enhance our capability and efficiency with new technologies and new ways of working.  Moving forward, we will continue to keep a careful eye on costs while investing to grow our business and provide our customers with world-class products and services.”

In the past six months, the Group’s employee base reduced by 3% compared to 31 March 2017, from an overall staff count of 105,746 to 102,669. This was largely a result of natural attrition together with a slower pace of recruitment, as various parts of the business adopted new technologies, streamlined business processes and re-allocated resources.
Emirates 

Emirates continues to invest in the most advanced wide-body aircraft to improve overall efficiency and provide better customer experience. During the first six months of 2017-18, Emirates received 10 wide-body aircraft – 4 Airbus A380s, and 6 Boeing 777s, with 9 more new aircraft scheduled to be delivered before the end of the financial year. It also retired 5 older aircraft from its fleet with further 4 to be returned by 31 March 2018.

Emirates launched two new passenger services in the first six months of its financial year – to Zagreb (Croatia) and Phnom Penh (Cambodia).  As of 30 September, Emirates’ global network spanned 156 destinations in 84 countries. Its fleet stood at 264 aircraft including freighters.

Emirates continues to provide ever better connections for its customers across the globe with just one stop in Dubai.

In July, the airline announced a partnership with flydubai, leveraging both airlines’ complementary networks to open new city-pair routings for customers, and optimise operations at Dubai International airport. Emirates also announced it will extend its successful partnership with Qantas for a further five years in tandem with joint network adjustments that will offer travellers more connectivity and flight choices to and from Australia and New Zealand.

Overall capacity during the first six months of the year increased a modest 2% to 30.8 billion Available Tonne Kilometres (ATKM). Capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASKM), grew by 3%, whilst passenger traffic carried measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKM) was up 5% with average Passenger Seat Factor rising to 77.2%, compared with last year’s 75.3%.

Emirates carried 29.2 million passengers between 1 April and 30 September 2017, up 4% from the same period last year. The volume of cargo uplifted at 1.3 million tonnes is up 5% while yield improved by 8%. This solid performance speaks to Emirates SkyCargo’s recent investments in products and services tailored to key sectors, and is also a positive sign of a gradual recovery in the global air freight market.

In the first half of the 2017-18 financial year, Emirates net profit is AED 1.7 billion (US$ 452 million), up 111%, compared to last year. Emirates revenue, including other operating income, of AED 44.5 billion (US$ 12.1 billion) was up 6% compared with the AED 41.9 billion (US$ 11.4 billion) recorded during the same period last year. This result was driven by improved seat load factors, tight control on capacity deployment, and the strengthening of currencies in Emirates’ key markets against the US dollar.

Emirates operating costs grew by 4% against the overall capacity increase of 2%. On average, fuel costs were 14% higher compared to the same period last year, this was largely due to an increase in oil prices (up 11% compared to same period last year), as well as an increase in fuel uplift of 3% due to Emirates’ expanding fleet operations. Fuel remained the largest component of the airline’s cost, accounting for 26% of operating costs compared with 24% in the first six months of last year.

dnata

dnata saw steady growth across its global businesses which now span 84 countries. In the first half of 2017-18, dnata’s international operations accounted for over 67% of its total revenue.

dnata’s revenue, including other operating income, is AED 6.3 billion (US$ 1.7 billion), a 7% increase compared to AED 5.9 billion (US$ 1.6 billion) last year.  This performance was underpinned by robust organic business growth, particularly in its international airport operations business with its previous cargo and ground handling acquisitions contributing to the 2017-18 half year performance.

Overall profit for dnata is up by 20% to AED 659 million (US$ 180 million). This was driven by dnata’s continued focus on extracting operational, process and cost efficiencies across all business streams, and supported by strong performances from both its international and UAE airport operations divisions, with new customers won and the expansion of existing contracts.

dnata’s airport operations remained the largest contributor to revenue with AED 3.4 billion (US$ 922 million), a 9% increase compared to the same period last year.  Across its operations, the number of aircraft handled by dnata increased by 11% to 330,317, and it handled 1.5 million tonnes of cargo, up 25%.

This reflects new customer contracts won across the network, and expansion to new locations such as Rio de Janeiro and Amsterdam (ground handling) as well as the overall upturn in global cargo volumes. In the first six months of 2017-18, dnata continued to strengthen its international footprint with the acquisition of AirLogistix USA marking its entry into the US cargo market and expanded its marhaba lounge product to new markets in Australia and Pakistan.  Additionally, a new maintenance base was opened in Singapore and a new cargo facility was opened in Adelaide.

dnata’s travel division contributed AED 1.5 billion (US$ 420 million) to revenue, up 3% from the same period last year. The division’s underlying net sales remained stable at AED 5.5 billion (US$ 1.5 billion).

This was a good performance in the face of increased competition and a challenging landscape. dnata’s investment in technology has included rolling out Avaya to connect its contact centres globally, and a new proprietary booking system for Emirates Holidays. The division’s Middle East corporate business secured significant new accounts, and its newly launched bedbank – Yalago – began trading with third parties. Australia was a new market for cruise, and has already delivered a strong performance with growth continuing across this segment. dnata’s travel division continues to build a strong management team with key personnel changes geared to lead the business and extract synergies across its extensive portfolio of travel brands.

dnata’s flight catering operation, contributed AED 1.1 billion (US$ 298 million) to its total revenue, up 4%. The number of meals uplifted dropped 7% to 31.8 million meals for the first half of the financial year. The unit’s improved performances in Australia, Singapore, Romania and Czech Republic was dampened by key contracts lost in UK and Italy primarily from Alitalia and Monarch Airlines which ceased operations.

In the first six months of the year, dnata’s catering unit continued to win contracts from new customers and expand existing customer relationships. It also opened a new state-of-the-art kitchen in Melbourne, and invested to expand its capabilities in other value-added inflight services such as onboard retail.


EditorNovember 10, 2017
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4min2360

For thousands of years mankind has wondered about the creatures that roam the seas. As if the seas of our planet are a kind of parallel universe, a place of wonder, where exquisite beings dwell and giants dance and sing among the waves.

The whale species has been known to have first come into existence over 40 million years ago, with its largest member, the great blue whale being larger than any known dinosaur. Despite their enormous size whales have proven themselves to be extremely nimble; with a wingspan greater than any jumbo jet, these mammals are extraordinary acrobats. Whales are generally believed to be timid and shy creatures that are very aware of their surroundings and sensitive to any disturbance.

The famed music of the whales is made up of a series of precise rhythmic patterns of sound. The songs of the humpback whales, identified during World War II and released to the public following the end of those turbulent times, inspired thousands of people of many nations to come together and support the ban on whale-killing. However, a number of members of the whale family and other marine animals are still on the endangered list and sightings of these magnificent creatures are rare.

A certain little island in the middle of the Indian Ocean however, has become known to be the permanent home of a number of whale species and other marine mammals such as dolphins, porpoises and dugongs. While in other parts of the world whales are known to migrate during particular seasons of the year, those that inhabit the sea surrounding Sri Lanka seem to be quite content to stay where they are, much to the bafflement of marine biologists and experts.

F-Air, a recognized domestic airline and fully owned subsidiary of Fairway Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, has recently introduced an alternate way of whale-watching – by air. This manner of whale watching is a means by which, guests are able to get an excellent view of the true size and majesty of the largest mammal ever to roam the earth and a number of other elusive sea-dwellers, without causing any disturbance to the animals in their natural habitat.

A total of 7 flights will take off during the course of each day of the weekend, flying over the coast of Koggala, towards whale-inhabited waters. Guests will also be able to enjoy an informative pre-briefing session conducted by experts in the field of Marine Biology.

Those interested may find all necessary information via the F-Air website, an email to info@f-air.lk or by calling 076420444/011432476.


EditorNovember 9, 2017
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5min290

Colombo, November 09, 2017: SriLankan Airlines added yet another prestigious award to its impressive list of recent global airline industry accolades when it won the ‘Innovation in Commercial Airline Cabins’ award at the In-flight Asia Pacific Awards in Singapore on 1st November.

Siva Ramachandra, SriLankan’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We are delighted to win this award, which recognizes excellence in innovation of passenger cabins.  This award is an extremely valuable one since the highlighted cabin / seat design was developed using our in house talents.”

The nominated cabin design highly impressed the panel of judges comprised industry experts who are well versed with all of the aspects of aircraft cabins. The innovative features of SriLankan’s cabins included A330-300 Business Class flat-bed seats, A330-300 Economy Class seat fabric design and bulkhead designs inspired by the natural beauty of Sri Lanka. The Sinharaja rain forest, a world heritage site in Sri Lanka is home to endemic and endangered flora and fauna which are woven into the Economy seat fabric design in shades of blue and aquamarine.

The cabin ambience is further enhanced with the mood lighting, recreating a beautiful tropical sunrise, flowing from the back of the cabin to the front to wake up before breakfast is served. For evening flights we emulate a typical Sri Lankan “fairy sky” sunsets which transcends to sleep with the sparkling of stars in the night sky creating a unique passenger experience.

The ‘Innovation in Commercial Airline Cabins’ award was one of just seven that were presented at the Inflight Workshop, an open forum for lively debates on key topical issues in the areas of inflight entertainment, cabin technology and aircraft interiors, in Singapore on 1-2 November within the Inflight Pavilion of the MRO Asia-Pacific exhibition hall.

SriLankan Airlines was also shortlisted as a finalist in two other categories – ‘Inflight airline of the year’ and ‘Airline IFEC experience’. Other winners included Virgin Australia, Lufthansa Systems, Inmarsat, Singapore Airlines/Travelport Digital, Stellar Entertainment, and Spicejet/STG Aerospace.

The ‘Innovation in Commercial Airline Cabins’ award recognizes recent revolutionary developments in cabin interiors of commercial aircraft. The category was open to manufacturers, suppliers and airlines operating in the Asia-Pacific region. Shortlisted finalists for this award included Cobalt Aerospace, Saudia and STG Aerospace

In-flight Asia Pacific Awards are presented by HMG Aerospace, a leading publisher, event organiser and intelligence provider serving the international aerospace community.

Last month, SriLankan Airlines received the prestigious Four Star Rating from the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) in the first ever global airline industry rating programme based solely on passenger feedback.

A member of the prestigious oneworld global airline alliance, SriLankan operates a route network of 106 cities from its hub in Colombo, with a fleet of modern aircraft that feature flatbeds in Business Class and sophisticated in-flight entertainment, in addition to its world class service famed for caring and warmth.

SriLankan has won a large number of awards in recent times including ‘Best Full Service Airline In Central And South Asia’ for three consecutive years from 2015-17 at the Future Travel Experience Asia Awards in Singapore; ‘Leading International Airline’ and ‘Best in Class’ at the second annual South Asian Travel Awards 2017; ‘World’s Leading Airline Operating to the Indian Ocean Region’ at the World Travel Awards; ‘Best Full Service Airline in Central and South Asia’ for the second consecutive year at the Future Travel Experience Asia Awards; ‘Best International Airline – Asia’ at the Tamil Nadu Tourism Awards; and ‘Best Airline in South Asia’ at China’s Top Travel Awards.


EditorNovember 8, 2017
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4min490
  • Nearly 14,000 sectors ticketed during the first week of operation
  • New exotic destinations included such as: Zanzibar, Kathmandu and Kilimanjaro
  • Combined network expected to reach 240 destinations by 2022

Building on the success of the initial phase of their partnership, Emirates and flydubai have announced 16 additional destinations to which Emirates’ passengers will be able travel on a single ticket. The new, expanded network now includes sought-after destinations such as Zanzibar, Kathmandu and Kilimanjaro.

Travellers can book on Emirates.com, through Emirates’ Contact Centres, or via travel agents for travel commencing from 8 November 2017.

Emirates President, Sir Tim Clark said: “We are thrilled with the positive response from travellers. 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.”

“This partnership is an unprecedented opportunity for both airlines to unleash the combined power of their networks, offering travellers greater choice and flexibility when planning their trips. We want to make exploring the world as friendly and as convenient as possible.”

flydubai Chief Executive Officer, Ghaith Al Ghaith said: “The many benefits of Dubai’s international aviation hub have been recognised by travellers who have already shown that they are keen to explore the world together. Today’s announcement will allow them to discover another 16 destinations as well as enjoy the unique personality of each airline.”

New codeshare destinations:

  • 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)
  • Zanzibar (Tanzania)

Emirates and flydubai will continue to offer a travel experience reflective of each other’s brand. 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.

Connecting via Dubai’s ultra-modern hub offers a smooth transfer experience and under the partnership, passengers will benefit from a reduced minimum connection time (MCT) between Emirates’ home in Terminal 3 and flydubai’s in Terminal 2 of 120 minutes.

More benefits for frequent flyers

Emirates Skywards members can earn Skywards miles and Skywards Tier Miles on codeshare flights as per the existing Skywards mileage programme.

In addition to the Emirates free checked baggage allowance, Skywards Premium members can also enjoy their extra checked baggage allowances of 20kg (Platinum members), 16kg (Gold members) and 12kg (Silver members) on codeshare flights operated by flydubai.

Skywards Silver, Gold and Platinum members travelling on codeshare flights can access flydubai’s Business Check-in counters and receive priority tags.

Further benefits for members of each airlines’ frequent flyer and loyalty programmes will be announced in due course.



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Lanka Business News is amongst the leading online Business News portals in Sri Lanka, unique for its focus on contemporary business news relevant across multiple industries operating in the country. We present not only the news, but a perspective based on observations and possible implications of a prevailing news item. LBN also provides an insight to the impact of a global economic or industrial development, thus helping stakeholders make informed and calculated decisions.





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