Friday, September 28, 2012

All Happening in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates Aviation sector is by far the most dynamic and vibrant in the region both the GCC and the wider MENA. No day passes without an amazing activity.

Emirates Airlines is the most valuable airline brand in the world for 2012, ahead of Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa at USD 3.7 Billions. The airlines continues as the role model and bench mark for its regional competitors. The airline signed a 10 years code share agreement with Qantas, an agreement that has far reaching implications in Asia and to oneworld.

In Seattle, Tim Clark said that Emirates will buy another 40 A380s to bring the total to 130 aircraft. One problem is space at Dubai Airport. The airline will become the largest airbus customer. On the same note Emirates started its A380 service to Melbourne this Thursday, 27 September 2012. He also told Boeing that the first B777-300ER will be retired by 2017 and the airline would like to replace the fleet with a new updated B777. It was a good time to start "bellyaching" to get a new jet started.

On the domestic front, Rotana Jet started its double daily flight to Al Ain from Abu Dhabi Thursday,
27 September 2012, bringing its domestic network to four (4) destinations. Ten (10) days after the inauguration of its daily flight to Fujairah. Rotana Jet is planning flights to Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Al Ruwais.

Air Arabia will fly to Erbil on 14 October, its second Iraq destination. Not to be outdone Flydubai is launching new destinations to Bucharest on 1 October 2012 and Skopje from 18 October 2012.

Etihad Airways announced an increase to daily flights to Istanbul starting 1 January 2013. Two (2) weeks ago Etihad CEO led a team of Etihad Airways and airberlin executives to Boeing to look over the B787.
Both carriers are integrating their B787 programs and streamlining their infrastructure and purchasing activities. Etihad has forty one (41) and airberlin fifteen (15) B787s on order. Etihad has nine (9) B777s
to be delivered in the coming fifteen months.

To top it all the GCAA announced that August 2012 had almost sixty (60) thousands air traffic movements
a 6.9% increase over 2011.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


ROTANA JET flew its first commercial domestic flight on 6 June 2012 from Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen Executive Airport to Sir Bani Yas, an island resort since then Dalma Island was added.

As of 19 September 2012 ROTANA JET will operate double daily flights to Fujairah from Abu Dhabi International Airport Terminal 2 followed but another double daily flights to Al Ain starting
26 September 2012. These will be followed by double daily flights to Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.
The plan is to go to three daily flights at a later stage. Flights to Dubai are under consideration. Ticket prices will start from one hundred and fifty (150) to Al Ain and from two hundred (200) Dirhams to the other destinations, way less than a taxi fare. ROTANA JET will be competing with the buses and the taxis. 

Being domestic flights, there will be no immigration and customs formalities, and passengers should be able to check in and board the aircraft in a short time. 

ROTANA JET operates two (2) EMBRAER ERJ145 carrying fifty (50) passengers. There will be a beverage service offered due to the short flight times. There are plans to add a third aircraft next month and a fourth by the end of the year. The plan is for twelve (12) new leased aircraft In the course of next year. There is demand and load factors are expected at 60% to 70% going up to 80% later.

Just like when low cost airlines started people were skeptical, so is the case with domestic air travel in a relatively small country. This can work and will probably work and as time goes on people will get used to the idea of flying to Abu Dhabi or Fujairah for a day of business or pleasure.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Emirates and Qantas .... The World Has Changed

The suspense and speculation are over, Emirates and Qantas announced their anticipated code share agreement. An agreement that made Dubai the European hub for Qantas as of April 2013, replacing Singapore and Hong 

As a result Qantas terminated a seventeen years agreement with Oneworld partner BA on the London route and code share agreement with Air France and Cathay

So what does Qantas get in return, a Dubai hub that connects to thirty three (33) European and eighteen (18) African cities in addition to the Levant and GCC. Emirates gets access to the Australian market, providing passenger feed to its expanding network and a daily A380 flight to Christchurch from Sydney. It also offsets the advantage that Etihad has with its Virgin Australia tie up.

However, the real winner in this deal is Dubai. A Qantas hub reinforces Dubai's position as a global aviation hub and destination.


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