Friday, December 30, 2011

Turkish Airlines, Thai Airways sign codeshare agreement

Under the deal, both airline companies will be able to sell tickets for their flights without having a seat limit.
Turkish Airlines (THY) and Thai Airways signed a codeshare agreement on Monday.
Under the deal, both airline companies will be able to sell tickets for their flights without having a seat limit.
Also, THY will make sale under the code "TK" for the flights to Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, Sidney, Auckland and Kuala Lumpur.
A codeshare agreement is an aviation business arrangement where two or more airlines share the same flight. A seat can be purchased on one airline but is actually operated by a cooperating airline under a different flight number or code. The term "code" refers to the identifier used in flight schedule, generally the two-character IATA airline designator code and flight number.
Turkish Airlines is the national flag carrier airline of Turkey, headquartered in Istanbul. It operates scheduled services to 146 international and 41 domestic cities (38 domestic airports), serving a total of 187 airports, in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
It carried 30 million passengers in the first 11 months of 2011.

British Airways cuts premium prices in worldwide sale

British Airways is cutting first and business class fares in a worldwide sale starting on Friday.
First class seats to St Lucia are down by more than £2,000 to £3,101 while Barbados and Grenada are reduced to £3,113, saving £1,998 and £2,048  respectively.
Bermuda flights in first class are reduced by up to £1,547 to £3,413 and by £1,045 to £1,913 in Club World in the sale which runs until January 24.
Business class flights in the sale from Gatwick sees Barbados down by £740 to £1,613; Antigua down by £736, Dominican Republic down by £813, St Kitts by £793, Tobago by £775, St Lucia by £765 and Kingston by £958 to £1,013.

Brussels Airlines to further expand in Africa and launch New York but cut back in Europe

Brussels Airlines plans to further expand capacity on African routes in 2012 while shrinking its European operation as Boeing 737s are phased out as part of a narrowbody fleet simplification initiative. The Lufthansa Group subsidiary will also resume flights to New York in 2012, a move made possible by expansion of its A330 fleet and designed primarily to better serve the fast-growing US-Africa market.
Africa has been a second home market and the main focus for Brussels Airlines since it became part of the Lufthansa Group and entered the Star Alliance in 2009. The carrier is keen to continue this focus as the European market becomes even more challenging for small flag carriers given the region’s banking crisis and increasing competition from low-cost carriers. As an emerging market with huge potential and limited competition, Africa offers carriers from mature markets opportunities for growth and the increasingly unusual combination of high yields plus high load factors.
Although it is a relatively small carrier by Western European standards, Brussels Airlines is uniquely positioned to exploit the potential opportunities in Africa because of its African roots. Belgium has longstanding economic, cultural and economic ties with Africa. Predecessor carrier Sabena served the continent for over 75 years before ceasing operations in 2001.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Singapore Airlines, earned a reputation in the global aviation industry

Singapore Airlines has earned a reputation as a leader in the global aviation industry and received numerous awards due to its commitment to customer service and innovation.
Premium customer service is integral to Singapore Airlines’ success. Symbolized by the “Singapore Girl,” the marketing icon is one of the most instantly recognized figures in the global airline industry. This gives the company a great advantage over its competitors.
Singapore Airlines’ network stretches across 103 destinations in 39 countries, including non-stop routes between Incheon and San Francisco. It has also joined the Star Alliance network as part of its globalization strategy and commitment to improving customer services and benefits.
Since Singapore Airlines introduced in 1995 “KrisWorld,” a state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment and communications system across all three classes, it has increased the number of individual options to more than 1,000, including 100 of the latest movies and 180 television program sections. It has also become the first carrier to equip business applications within the on-demand system to ensure that passengers can do office work on board even without a laptop by accessing files from a flash memory drive with a remote control equipped with a Qwerty keyboard.
Singapore Airlines’ world gourmet cuisine boasts a selection of exclusive and tantalizing signature dishes. An international culinary panel, which consists of award-winning chefs from around the world, works closely with the company’s own chefs and wine consultants to offer a fine restaurant-style setting and culinary service in the sky.
The Southeast Asian country’s flag carrier recently developed a new first class to provide customers with the world’s finest air travel experience. It has just eight seats in Boeing’s longer-range 777-300ER to enhance customer privacy with a fixed back shell that extends to the sides of the seat.
The new business class’ seats are nearly 50 percent wider than those in planes operated by other companies. The wide seat, coupled with its ability to allow passengers to recline and adjust leg rest, grants customers the freedom to relax in the sitting and lounging positions that they most prefer throughout the flight.
Singapore Airlines’ notable growth comes as Korean consumers increasingly turn to premium services. In October 2007, it launched the first commercial flight of the Airbus A380, the world’s largest super-jumbo known as the “hotel in the sky,” connecting Singapore to Sydney.

Qatar Airways has outlined route expansion plans for 2012

Qatar Airways has outlined route expansion plans for 2012 focused on Australia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, with a raft of new destinations set to join the airline’s rapidly-growing global network.
Highlights include Perth in Western Australia, the Finnish capital Helsinki, Croatia’s capital city of Zagreb, Gassim in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and three East African cities – Zanzibar, Kigali and Mombasa, in Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya, respectively.
Operating from the airline’s hub in Doha, capital of the State of Qatar, all seven new routes will be launched over the next few months.
They will join previously announced Baku and Tbilisi, the capital cities of Azerbaijan and Georgia, respectively, which will become part of Qatar Airways’ family of routes from February 1st 2012.
“We are continuing what we started back in 1997 when Qatar Airways was launched with new routes and new aircraft being introduced at an unprecedented rate to further strengthen what is truly a global network airline,” said Qatar Airways chief executive officer, Akbar Al Baker (pictured above).
“Our mission has been to operate to key business and leisure destinations around the world, but also to underserved markets where others dare not venture into.
“We take bold decisions to serve certain markets because we believe it makes strong business sense.”
Qatar Airways was recognised as the Middle East’s Leading Airline Business Class by the World Travel Awards earlier this year.
The carrier will defend the title on home soil during the WTA Grand Final in Doha on January 11th.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Emirates to launch A380 flights to Melbourne and Tokyo

Emirates has celebrated the addition of the 20th Airbus A380 to its fleet by announcing plans to use the aircraft on flights to Melbourne, Australia and Tokyo, Japan.
Melbourne has been part of the Middle Eastern carrier's network since 1996 and will host a non-stop A380 service from Dubai as of 1 October 2012.
Travellers will also be able to connect to onward flights to Auckland in New Zealand from the Australian city.
Emirates will deploy the Airbus superjumbo on a daily route from its hub to Tokyo from 1 July 2012, marking the tenth year of operations between Dubai and Japan and the airline's third year of flying to Narita airport in the Japanese capital.

The announcement highlights the carrier's commitment to the Far East and Australasia, said Richard Jewsbury, senior vice president of commercial operations in the regions.
'Emirates not only offers a world-class inflight experience but a superior global network,' he added.
'The announcement of enhanced services into Melbourne and Tokyo comes as we introduce flights from Dubai to Dublin, our 29th European destination.'

Emirates launches global sale slashing 25% fare

Emirates, one of the world's fastest-growing international airlines, is celebrating the New Year by offering exceptional discounts on airfares to more than 100 cities, when booking from now until January 9, 2012.
Customers can save up to 25 per cent off all published First Class, Business Class and Economy Class fares departing between 22 January and 30 June 2012, when travelling round-trip to any destination on Emirates' extensive global network.
"Whether your New Year's resolution is to spend more time with family and friends, visit a dream destination or follow your favourite sports team at a far-flung tournament, our global sale is designed to ensure that Emirates customers enjoy the perfect start to 2012," said Thierry Antinori, Emirates' Executive Vice President - Passenger Sales Worldwide.
"For the first time in Emirates' history, we are welcoming in the New Year by offering unprecedented savings to our customers. With up to 25 percent off Economy Class, Business Class and First Class airfares to every destination on our international network, there has never been a better time to experience the award-winning product and onboard service which has made Emirates Airline of the Year in 2011," Antinori added.
Book online at and discover gourmet multi-course meals, complimentary wines, dedicated children's menus and activities, and ice, Emirates' award winning entertainment system offering more than 1,200 channels of on-demand entertainment at every seat.
Renowned for its excellence in service and innovation, both on board and on the ground, Emirates holds an array of prestigious awards, including Air Transport World's 2011 "Airline of the Year" award and the Skytrax World Airline Award for "World's Best Airline Inflight Entertainment," for the seventh year in a row.

Ethiopian Airlines Operates Flights to Muscat International Airport

The Ethiopian Airlines started today operating its first direct flight to Muscat International Airport. The Ethiopian Airlines will operate three weekly Boeing 737 flights.
Wahad bin Saud al Harthy, Director of Marketing at Oman Airports Management Company said that the flights between Muscat and Addis Abeba will be on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday weekly. He pointed out that the Ethiopian Airlines is the 29th company in the list of air carriers operating at Muscat International Airport.
He furthered that the new route will increase the number of passengers and flights through Muscat International Airport during next year. He said that the Ethiopian Airlines is the third African air carriers to call on Muscat ; which will give better option to potential travelers to Addis Abeba and Africa.

South African Airways increasing its flights between South Africa and Malawi

South African Airways (SAA) has said it is seriously looking at the possibility of increasing its flights frequency between South Africa and Malawi.
SAA’s country manager James Chikaonda said this during the airline’s sponsored programme broadcast Tuesday Malawi’s private radio Capital FM.
He said research is underway to determine the viability of increasing flights to Malawi.
“It has not yet come to the executive drawing board but research is ongoing to see if we can fly 7 times into Blantyre and 7 times to Lilongwe but we will also have to consider all the legally binding agreements on trade and thereafter a decision will be made,” said Chikaonda.
He said SAA has introduced a direct 16 hour flight from Johannesburg to New York and that from January 31, 2012 another long-haul 15 hour flight to Beijing from OR Tambo in South Africa.
“We value our passengers’ time and SAA will always be on schedule because time is money those travelling to New York and Beijing must now be assured that we will get them there and on time,” Chikaonda said.
This is the first time SAA has publicly came with such a stand especially when their competitor on the route, Air Malawi, is no longer servicing the Joburg route due to non-availability of aircraft.
Travellers continue to complain of having no choice since all SAA flights to and from Malawi have been booked up to February next year.
If SAA brings in more flights into Malawi, it will mean they will fully capitalise on the demand which has increased because of Air Malawi’s absence on the market.
Other travellers has also bemoaned SAA’s high airfares which are K150, 000 a return ticket against K70, 000 offered by Air Malawi.
The gap of flights to Johannesburg is said to affect Air Malawi as 60 percent of the national flag carrier’s revenue is being lost daily.

Focusing on tourism development key to prosperity

THE Patriotic Front (PF) Government has recorded notable successes in the tourism sector during its first 90 days of being in office.
One of the major achievements over the last three months was when Zambia and Zimbabwe won a bid to co-host the 186 member United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly in 2013.
This was during the 19th Session of the UNWTO general assembly which was held in South Korea from 8th -14th October 2011.
Delegates worldwide unanimously agreed that Zambia and Zimbabwe co-host this important World event in 2013 in Livingstone and Victoria Falls town.
Tourism and Information Minister Given Lubinda led the Zambian delegation during the meeting in South Korea where Zambia and Zimbabwe won a bid to co-host the UNWTO general assembly.
The general assembly is the principal gathering of the UNWTO which meets after every two years to consider the budget and programme of work of the United Nations specialised agency on tourism.
Delegates to the general assembly are drawn from the six regional commissions of the UNWTO from Africa, the Americas, the East and Pacific Europe, the Middle East and South Asia.
The event usually attracts 186 ministers responsible for tourism as well as media personnel and tourism stakeholders from various countries internationally thereby raising the profiles of hosting countries worldwide.
Another important achievement over the last three months is that the PF Government has provided K21.1 billion for tourism marketing and promotion as well as K15.0 billion to recapitalise Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) in next year’s budget.
The funding will go a long way in recapitalising ZAWA as well as in boosting the marketing of Zambian tourism locally and abroad.
Further, several companies and organisations including those in the hospitality industry in Zambia have improved their conditions of service for their workers over the last three weeks following President Michael Sata’s insistence for institutions to improve their conditions of service for their workers.
Southern Tourism, Agriculture and Commercial Show Society (STACSS) chairperson Fredrick Mwendapole said the PF Government had laid a solid foundation for the growth of the tourism sector during its 90 days in office.
Mr Mwendapole, who is vice-president of the Institute of Directors for Southern Region and Livingstone Tourism Association (LTA) member, said the recent winning of a bid to co-host the UNWTO general assembly was not a small achievement but something through which the country would benefit a lot in terms of marketing tourism products abroad.
"There were so many countries which bid for the hosting of the UNWTO general assembly but Zambia and Zimbabwe won the bid.
This is a major achievement under the PF Government as prospects of taking the country to higher heights are very high," he said.
Mr Mwendapole advised Zambians against thinking that the PF Government could achieve everything in 90 days as its mandate was five years which was still running.
He said the successful bid to co-host the UNWTO general assembly seemed to be the best gift for the PF Government under the leadership of President Michael Sata and the country as a whole.
Mr Mwendapole commended the Zambian Tourism Minister Mr Lubinda and his Zimbabwe counterpart for putting up an effective bid that saw the two countries win the bid.
"We now look forward to participate fully and take advantage of working together with our counterpart, our neighbour Zimbabwe,’’ he said.
As for the tour operators, let us not be very greedy as the Government starts working on the reduction of the cost of doing business. The same benefit should be passed on to the consumers of the services we provide," Mr Mwendapole said.
He said in doing so, operators would remain competitive to neighbours and increase traffic into Zambia which was key.
Mr Mwendapole also noted that PF Government’s decision to increase its funding to the Zambia Tourism Board (ZTB) in next year’s budget would boost the marketing of Zambian tourism products locally and abroad.
He said Zambia should emulate countries such as Kenya, Mauritius and South Africa in promoting local tourism.
"As you may be aware, ZTB recently conducted a road show on the Copperbelt to promote domestic tourism.
This is important because apart from focusing on foreign tourists, we need to focus on local tourism," he said.
Mr Mwendapole was also impressed that companies especially those in the hospitality industry had improved their conditions of service for their workers over the last three months of PF’s 90 days in office.
"Out of President Sata’s pronouncements on the labour market, a lot of companies are now trying to adhere to labour rules by paying decent wages to their workers.
Even street vendors are also excited because the President has directed that vendors should not be chased from the streets," Mr Mwendapole said.
He said the concept of more money in the pocket should not be misunderstood as it merely meant that the Government would put favourable policies for the local people to increase their capacity to do their businesses.
Mr Mwendapole said there was need for the Government and the private sector to work together to foster development in the country.
"Things have started improving in the country and what we need to do as Zambians is to support the PF Government because Government alone can’t do everything for us.
We need to have confidence in the Government and in whatever has been done over the last three years," he said.
The Catholic Diocese of Livingstone asked Zambians to give PF Government more time to implement its campaign promises following the elapse of the 90 days in office.
Diocesan secretary Clifford Mulasikwanda said more time was needed for the PF Government to implement the rest of the campaign promises which were not implemented in its 90 days of being in office.
Father Mulasikwanda said the people of Zambia looked to the new Government to implement its election promises adding that some of the campaign promises had already been implemented.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ethiopian Airline Route Network & International Flights

Ethiopian Airline has come a long way since commencing operations in 1945 with a weekly service between Addis Ababa and Cairo. Early on the airline recognized that a successful future depended on first developing a far-reaching pan-African route network. With this aim now largely fulfilled, the airline's focus is shifting. New destinations and increased numbers of flights to Europe, the United States of America, Asia and the Middle East have been launched, as the airline goes about bringing the world closer to Africa.
Internationally, Ethiopian flies to a number of major cities in Europe including Frankfurt, London, Paris, Rome, Brussels and Stockholm; to Bangkok, Beijing, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, and Mumbai across Asia; to numerous destinations in the Middle East; to Washington D.C, in the U.S.
Route Network
From its hub at Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Airline serves 60 international and 17 domestic destinations.
Route Map of Ethiopian Airline
Africa 39 Cities:
Abidjan, Abuja, Accra, Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, Bamako, Bangui, Brazzaville, Bujumbura, Cairo, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Dire Dawa, Djibouti, Douala, Entebbe, Harare, Johannesburg, Juba, Khartoum, Kigali, Kilimanjaro, Kinshasa, Lagos, Libreville, Lilongwe, Lome, Luanda, Lubumbashi, Lusaka, Malabo, Maputo, Mekele, Mombasa, N'Djamena, Nairobi, Ouagadougou, Pointe-Noire, and Zanzibar.
Europe & America 7 Cities:
Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Rome, Stockholm and Washington
Gulf, Middle East & Asia - 14 Cities:
Bahrain, Bangkok, Beijing, Beirut, Dubai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Jeddah, Kuwait, Mumbai, Delhi, Riyadh, Sana'a, and Tel aviv .
Tips for a Comfortable Flight
  • For your own comfort try and travel light.
  • Wear loose clothing and elasticized stockings made of natural fiber.
  • Increase your normal intake of water and only if need be drink alcohol but in moderation.
  • Use moisturizing cream to keep your skin from drying out.
  • Take off shoes in the plane to prevent your feet from swelling up or wear shoes that will cope with expanding ankles.
  • Avoid heavy meals during the flight.
  • Short walks once every two hours are excellent for circulation.
  • Try to touch your toes when waiting in the aisle to stretch your hamstrings.
  • On arrival at your destination, have a hot shower or a relaxing bath.
  • On arrival a quick jog, brisk walk, or a vigorous scrub will help stimulate your circulation.
Search & Book Cheap Flights with Ethiopian Airline:
Book a flight with Ethiopian Airline without pushing your finances too hard, with the assistance of experienced travel consultants find the best airfare deals for flights to Zimbabwe. Cheap flights and airline tickets are offered by leading European and African airlines, just make your choice and reserve your flight to major destination in Africa with Ethiopian Airline. For more information call our reservation experts on 02079936219 or visit our website:

Qatar Airways to Launch Seven New Routes in 2012

Qatar Airways’ 2012 route expansion plans focus on Australia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East with a raft of new destinations set to join the airline’s rapidly-growing global network.
Highlights include Perth in Western Australia, the Finnish capital Helsinki, Croatia’s capital city of Zagreb, Gassim in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and three East African cities – Zanzibar, Kigali and Mombasa, in Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya, respectively.
Operating from the airline’s hub in Doha, capital of the State of Qatar, all seven new routes will be launched over the next few months.
They will join previously announced Baku and Tbilisi, the capital cities of Azerbaijan and Georgia, respectively, which will become part of Qatar Airways’ family of routes from 1 February 2012.
“We are continuing what we started back in 1997 when Qatar Airways was launched with new routes and new aircraft being introduced at an unprecedented rate to further strengthen what is truly a global network airline,” said Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, Akbar Al Baker. “Our mission has been to operate to key business and leisure destinations around the world, but also to underserved markets where others dare not venture into. We take bold decisions to serve certain markets because we believe it makes strong business sense.”

Air France launches new direct flights to Tunisia destination

Air France will operate flights from Toulouse to Tunis from April 1, 2012 by means of 4 frequencies per week.
These direct flights will be operated on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. They will be operated by Airbus A320/A319 and propose a single travel class.
This measure reflects the confidence of Air France in the Tunisian destination for both business and leisure travels from the French regions (Marseille, Nice and Toulouse) from which it will propose a total of 1,200 weekly flights to all destinations.

Star Alliance wings intensify battle for African Skies

Star Alliance has upped the battle for African skies by enlisting Ethiopian Airlines.
Ethiopian now becomes the third African airline after South African Airways and Egypt Air to join the alliance that boasts of 29 global carriers.
"With Ethiopian Airlines now part of the Star Alliance network, we offer our customers the widest choice of flights connecting to, from and within Africa," said Jaan Albrecht, the outgoing Star Alliance CEO.
Through its Star Alliance membership, the airline now offers customers the benefits of being a member of a global airline alliance with a world-wide reach via the extensive network, seamless travel and status recognition through the frequent flyer programmes.
"This new partnership will bring enormous choices and flexibility to our customers such as daily departures to more than 1,000 destinations and free use of lounges at a number of airports around the globe," said Tewolde GebreMariam, Ethiopian CEO.
The partnership will delivery more passengers to Ethiopian travelling to African destinations ferried by Star Alliance carriers.
"We now anticipate to grow passenger numbers more than the current 40 per cent annual growth," GebreMariam said.
The Star network was established in 1997 to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to travellers. The network offers more than 21,000 daily fights to 1,290 airports in 189 countries.
It is a common trend for airlines to team up in alliances to counter the cut-throat competition in the industry.
Other global alliances include Oneworld and Skyteam. National carrier Kenya Airways is a member of Skyteam, which comprises airlines such as Delta, China Eastern, KLM and Air France.
Following the Star Alliance partnership, Ethiopian Sheba Miles participants can now earn miles when flying on any Star Alliance Member carrier, with the collected miles counting towards achieving ShebaMiles Silver Club or Gold Club status.
The carrier will extend the Alliance Silver and Gold benefits to customers from other Star Alliance member carriers when they fly the airline.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Ethiopian Airlines to Buy Five Bombardier Aircraft

Ethiopian Airlines, Ethiopia's flag carrier, is in negotiations with Bombardier Commercial Aircraft for the purchase of five Q400 turboprop aircraft. The airline has been in negotiations with the Canadian manufacturer for some months according to a senior Ethiopian Airlines Executive.
Bombardier and Ethiopian Airlines are in the process of negotiating the details in the purchase agreement said the executive. It is expected that this step will be concluded in the next couple of months he explained.
Bombardier declined to comment on its negotiations with Ethiopia on grounds that discussions with customers and prospective customers are confidential. The aircraft manufacturer will acknowledge an actual order with a press release describing all relevant details according to John R. Arnone, Manger, Media and Public Relations of Bombardier.
It is to be remembered that in 2010 Ethiopian Airlines purchased 8 Q400 aircraft which were deployed for domestic and regional routes.
In related news the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority announced that it has authorized Boeing to carry out a test flight of the B747-8 at Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa.
The aircraft manufacturer requested permission to conduct high altitude test flights on engine performance.
A similar request by Boeing made last July was denied because Bole International Airport was undergoing expansion works that led to congestion.
The civil aviation was able to permit test flights as the airports enterprise is near to completing the expansion project according to Col. Wossenyeleh Hunegnaw, Director General of the ECAA.

Air Zimbabwe plane flies home after debt paid

An Air Zimbabwe plane impounded in London for more than two weeks over a debt dispute flew home on Sunday after the national carrier settled $1.2 million owed to a US spares company, the airline’s acting chief executive said.
“Yes, the plane arrived this morning from the UK and we are grateful,” Innocent Mavhunga told AFP.
American General Supplies seized Air Zimbabwe’s Boeing 767-200 at Gatwick over unpaid fees of $1.2 million resulting in the airline cancelling the flight and reimbursing stranded passengers.
The airline has also suspended flights to South Africa over a debt of $500,000 fearing creditors might impound more of its planes.
The airline, already struggling to pay its workforce and facing mounting fuel shortages, needs about $40 million to clear some of its debts, Mavhunga said earlier this month.
The airline says its financial difficulties are a result of the international sanctions targeting Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s regime yet the same airline owed money to a US company for the supply of spares.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Singapore Airlines and JetBlue Partner to Offer New Connections to Destinations Worldwide

Singapore Airlines offers the convenience of all-business class service each day from Newark to its hub at Changi International Airport in Singapore – the world's longest nonstop commercial flight - with connections throughout Southeast Asia. In addition, the airline also flies daily from New York/JFK to Singapore via Frankfurt. Beginning January 16, 2012, Singapore Airlines will deploy the A380 superjumbo on its daily service to JetBlue's home at New York/JFK.
At Singapore Changi Airport, customers have access to an extensive network of flight connections to destinations including Bali, Bangkok, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur, and Manila, among many others. Singapore Airlines operates a modern passenger fleet of more than 100 aircraft and its network, including Singapore Airlines Cargo and SilkAir destinations, covers a total of 103 cities in 39 countries.
JetBlue is the largest domestic airline at New York/JFK, offering more than 150 daily flights that feature all-leather seating, the most legroom in coach of any U.S. airline*, free in-flight entertainment at every seatback, and unlimited free snacks and drinks. It offers non-stop service to dozens of top destinations including Boston, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C and from Newark to Boston, Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale.
Through this partnership, customers will now be able to book a single combined ticket for JetBlue and Singapore Airlines-operated flights with one stop check-in and baggage transfer between the two airlines. Customers may purchase JetBlue-Singapore Airlines travel via travel agents, online, or through Singapore Airlines' reservations call center.
"Singapore Airlines is one the world's leading airlines, and a pioneer in many ways," said Scott Resnick, JetBlue's director of airline partnerships. "We're happy to have our customers connect seamlessly on to their comfortable flights to Europe and Asia Pacific, where everything from the entertainment to the in-flight meals is carefully selected, providing a great complement to JetBlue's award-winning service!"
"JetBlue has for years been a passenger favourite for travel within the region," said C.W. Foo, Regional Vice President – Americas for Singapore Airlines. "This new partnership provides a seamless link for passengers in dozens of interior U.S. points to connect to our unique brand of Asian hospitality when travelling abroad."

Emirates launches internet connectivity on A380s

Emirates passengers now have the opportunity to connect to wireless internet networks and surf the web, send emails and access social networking sites during flights on the Airbus A380.
Users of smartphones, tablets and laptops can access the service by opening up their device's wireless connections and logging on to the OnAir network.
Prices start from US$7.50 (£4.84) for mobiles and US$15 for laptops.
The airline has launched Wi-Fi connectivity on 11 of its 19 A380s currently in service, with the facility set to be made available on the entire fleet of 71 superjumbos on order.
Emirates spokesman Patrick Brannelly said the carrier recognises the growing importance of inflight web access, especially on longer journeys.
'Adding internet access is going to be a vital and ubiquitous part of any inflight experience, just as it is in everyday life on the ground,' he added.
Furthermore, the airline revealed that all new Airbus A380s delivered from mid-2012 will come with a full range of Wi-Fi, mobile phone and data services.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Turkish & TAM Airlines Entered into Code Share

Turkish Airlines and TAM S.A (TAM) and recently entered into a codeshare (flight sharing) agreement which increases the options of destination for their customers willing to fly between South America and Europe. With this bilateral agreement, both members of Star Alliance are now in a position to commercialize seats in certain flights operated by the partnership.
Once effective, the partnership will allow the TAM customer to travel directly between São Paulo and Istanbul in a Turkish Airlines flight. In addition, boarders will now be able to travel via London from and to Istanbul, the biggest city of Turkey; as well as from São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. Another route network between the Paulista capital and Istanbul via Madrid appears as a candid option for flight operation for both the companies.
Initially, the TAM customer used to buy air tickets for Istanbul, directly from the Brazilian company. With this flight sharing accord, TAM will allow the Turkish passengers to buy air tickets for flights operated by TAM with a destination option ranging from São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, Porto Alegre and Foz do Iguaçu (in Brazil), in addition to Buenos Aires (in Argentina) and Istanbul. After receiving approval from the aeronautical authorities of both countries, reservation and purchase facility of tickets to destinations of choice will be available to customers on the companies’ website.
TAM S.A., operating through its subsidiaries TAM Linhas Aéreas and TAM Mercosur, is a renowned air transportation services provider, both in the domestic and international markets. Currently, TAM offers 43 destinations in Brazil and 19 in Latin America, apart from cities in the United States and Europe – in addition to another 92 international destinations by means of codeshare agreements. TAM competes directly with its peers, such as AMR Corporation (AMR) and GOL Linhas A (GOL).

Egypt Air has introduced five flights week to Cairo from Mumbai

In order to woo tourists travel to Egypt post the democratic movement and strategic elections in the process, Egypt Air has introduced five flights week to Cairo from Mumbai.
In the light of the political disturbance early this year and the safety concerns of the tourists, this is a major step taken by the Egypt Air and Egypt Tourism.
Egypt Air has also announced that they have doubled its baggage allowance for its international and domestic passengers.
With this, Egypt Air becomes one of the very few airlines in the world to allow two checked in bags free of charge on both its international and domestic sectors.
This was announced by Medhat Nabil, General Manager Egypt Air and Adel EL Masry, Director, Egyptian Tourism Office in India, following the decision taken by the airline in Egypt.
Commenting on the development, El Masy said, "The democratic political movement in the country was aimed at the development of the institutional framework of the state and a democratic society in Egypt. With the recent developments, the tourism sector is all set to revive back and things are coming back to stability. Egypt is receiving immense support from several nations who have partnered to improve the situation by lifting travel advisories against Egypt. With the increase in the fights per week Egyptair ensures that tourism is again gaining strength."
"With election process going smoothly tourists perceive Egypt to be a safe destination. Tourists are visiting Egypt for the winter season. Recently in a statement issued by Tourism Minister Mr. Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour and Mr. Adel El Masry Director Egypt Tourism Office India said that despite incidents in Cairo places like Red Sea, Sharm El Sheikh are still doing well and it has not been affected at all. Abdel El nour clarified that, the areas of Red sea Riviera and the Sinai resorts such as Hurghada, Marsa Alam, Safaga, Quseir in addition to the Sinai resorts of Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab, Taba and Nuweiba Sector, Luxor, Aswan besides the oasis and the Safari deserts have maintained the regular influx of tourism inflow."
Considering the recent political developments, the airline had lost its business considerably and cut down on the number of flights from five per week to three per week early this year.
Now, it is believed that going back to the five flights a week will help Egypt Air attract more and more tourists from India.
The baggage allowance increase will help people from all over the world travel to Egypt.
Attracting tourist needs a strategy which includes a combination of factors like frequent airline connectivity both domestic and international, reasonable air fare, and benefits for the travelers which Egypt Air is assertively taking into consideration to increase tourist traffic in places such as Cairo, Luxor, Sharm el-Sheikh, Alexandria, Aswan which had suffered a slowdown during the democratic movement.

Kenya Airways welcomes A Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Nairobi

Kenya Airways this week welcomed Boeing's 787 Dreamliner to Jomo Kenyatta airport in Nairobi as part of the new aircraft's international tour.
The plane touched down in Kenya's capital city following a stopover in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
It was welcomed by Kenya Airways staff and management, as well as special guests and trade minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere.
The airline has placed a firm order for nine 787 Dreamliners and has an option to take four more.
It will use the aircraft to replace the ageing Boeing 767s in its fleet and support its plans to open up new long-haul flight routes.
Dr Titus Naikuni, chief executive of Kenya Airways, said the new liner will play an important part in the company's mission to become the carrier of choice connecting Africa to the rest of the world.
'The 787 Dreamliner fits well with our expansion strategy, giving us an opportunity to expand our markets beyond the current offering,' he added.

Impounded Air Zim plane scheduled to arrive

Zimbabwe: The Air Zimbabwe plane which was impounded in London over a $1,5 million debt owed to United States-based American General Supplies (AGS), is now scheduled to arrive in the country on Sunday.
The plane had been scheduled to arrive today after the government settled the debt.
The plane which was supposed to leave yesterday is said to have developed a technical fault that needed attention.
Acting Air Zimbabwe chief executive officer Innocent Mavhunga confirmed the latest development saying: “We are still working on the aircraft and other logistics too so that the plane will leave as soon as possible. We are in the process of arranging that. The plane will leave after clearance.”
Sources at the airline said they had been advised aircraft had not yet been fixed because the spares had been bought outside the United Kingdom and are yet to arrive.
“We have been advised that the spares will now arrive in the UK from the US yesterday afternoon due to delays in movement of money transfers hence the Thursday hangar slot is lost,” said the source.
“The plane will now be repaired on Friday evening on the only first available slot. UK Civil Aviation Authority will inspect it on Saturday and hopefully it will be certified to depart arriving here on Sunday.”
AGS impounded Airzim’s Boeing 767-200ER at Gatwick International Airport last Monday over the overdue debt. The Transport ministry sourced the money for the beleaguered airline which has struggled to pay its workers for the better part of this year.
After the plane was impounded, many passengers had to be rerouted and others reimbursed while many more were booked into hotels where some of them were later thrown out after the airline failed to pay for their accommodation, but Mavhunga dismissed the allegations.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Etihad Airways enters codeshare with Hainan Airlines

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has signed a codeshare agreement with Hainan Airlines of China. It is the Abu Dhabi-based airline's first codeshare with a Chinese carrier and its 35th with world airlines.
Subject to regulatory approvals, from January 10, 2012; Hainan Airline's will place its 'HU' code on Etihad Airways flights between Abu Dhabi and the airline's three gateway cities in China: Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai, according to a release. The arrangement will extend to Etihad Airways flights beyond Abu Dhabi to Khartoum International Airport in Sudan.
James Hogan, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways said the codeshare with Hainan Airlines would help strengthen Etihad's position in the competitive Chinese market. “Working with a major player like Hainan Airlines will increase Chinese passenger numbers on our China-Abu Dhabi services and beyond to popular destinations in Africa, Middle East and Europe. We look forward to expanding the relationship to include more destinations over time.”
Tie Li, President of Hainan Airlines said: “The codeshare cooperation with Etihad Airways will reinforce Hainan Airlines' development in the Middle East and Africa region. We have great expectations of the partnership, and believe that through mutual creativity, we will be able to bring synergy and hopefully value to our customers."
The reciprocal agreement will integrate the Etihad Guest and Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club loyalty programs, enabling travellers to earn miles on each other's flights.
The new codeshare services will go on sale from January 10, 2012, for travel from that date for Beijing and Chengdu flights, and from March 1, 2012 for Shanghai.

Egyptair launches Athens route from Alexandria

Egyptair Express has launched its second route to the Greek capital Athens (ATH) after the airline’s mainline operations from Cairo. The Star Alliance airline now flies twice-weekly from Alexandria Borg El Arab (HBE) with 76-seat E-170 aircraft as of 16 December. The two cities were last connected by Olympic Air and its predecessors, which used Alexandria’s El Nouza Airport for its operations between 1985 and 2010.

Air Zim plane finally released

AIR Zimbabwe’s Boeing 767 plane, impounded at Gatwick Airport over a week ago, was finally released on Tuesday, but the airline says it will take a few more days before flights can resume.
The aircraft was seized by US spares and maintenance firm, American General Supplies as it tried to force payment of a US$1.5 million debt.
Air Zimbabwe's regional manager for Europe and the America’s, David Mwenga cornfirmed the release of the aircraft and apologised to passengers inconvenienced by the crisis.
“We have to apologize to a lot of our passengers,” Mwenga told SWRadio Africa.
“We cancelled three flights because of this situation. We are sorry this happened.”
More than a hundred passengers due to have flown to Harare on the day the plane was seized were left stranded and also suffered the ignominy of being thrown out of a London Hotel after the airline allegedly failed to pay.
Meanwhile, Mwenga said flights would only resume after repairs to problems that developed over the time the plane was grounded have been completed.
Engineers are expected to complete the work by the end of the weekend.
However, the crisis ruined affected passenger’s holiday plans as most would have hoped to be home with their families in time for Christmas.
Mwenga said some had been refunded and managed to make alternative arrangements, but admitted that most could not be given back their money because of limited funds.
Air Zimbabwe has also been forced to suspend flights to South Africa fearing more of its aircraft could be seized by creditors.
The airline is said to be saddled with a debt of about US$140 million.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lufthansa launches special travel scheme for SMEs

German flag carrier Lufthansa today announced a slew of initiatives under its corporate travel plan for Indian small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The airline is set to provide easier upgrades and faster and more cash back offers among others under its Star Alliance Company Plus (SACP) programme to enable SMEs to reduce the cost of their business travel. "Lufthansa has always partnered small and medium enterprises in India and these enhancements are yet another step in this direction. The new programme delivers additional value, making business travel more rewarding," Lufthansa South Asia director Axel Hilgers said in a statement here. SACP members from India can enjoy easier upgrades from February 1 with a five-fold increase in the value of cash backs through a substantial enhancement in the earning power of their reward points, the statement said. Membership for SACP is free and requires no minimum turnover. Coupled with these benefits, members of frequent flyer programmes of participating airlines will continue to collect miles on their individual programme with each flight. SACP points can be redeemed for free flights and free upgrades across all participating airlines, as well as free excess baggage on Lufthansa-operated flights, it said. These benefits extend across the collective network of six Star Alliance partners - Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, bmi, Air Canada and United Airlines - offering a greater choice of flights, smoother connections and harmonised schedules, the statement added.

Iberia To Cancel 118 Flights On Dec 29 Due To Pilots' Strike

Iberia Lineas Aereas de Espana, the Spanish unit of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG.LN, IAG.MC), said Tuesday it plans to cancel 118, or 36%, of its flights on Dec. 29, the second of two days of planned strikes by the airline's pilots.
The Spanish airline had to cancel 91 flights on Sunday, or 32% of total flights scheduled for the day, as pilots went on the first of its two-day strike to protest the company's launch of a new budget airline with lower labor costs.
On Sunday, Iberia booked about 80% of disrupted passengers on other flights with Iberia or other airlines.
Iberia said that of total cancellations planned for Dec. 29, 10% would be for long-haul flights, 38% medium-haul, and 43% of domestic flights.
The Iberia section of Spanish pilot union SEPLA opposes the establishment of Iberia Express, set to take off in the spring, saying that the new carrier violates labor agreements by separating the operation of flights from the company without union approval.
The new low-cost carrier will operate part of Iberia's short- and medium-haul flight network, which has been facing heavy competition from other low-cost carriers and high-speed trains.
IAG, the third-largest airline group in Europe after Air France-KLM (AF.FR) and Deutsche Lufthansa (LHA.XE), was recently formed through the merger of British Airways and Iberia airlines.

Thai Airways conducts biofuel test flight

Thai Airways International's Asia's first passenger biofuels flight confirms the airline's commitment toward green travelling and the Thai authorities' effort to reduce greenhouse gas emission.

THAI President Piyasvasti Amranand said that the experimental flight echoes the airline’s CSR policy. Under "travel green" concept, this flight is aimed at creating awareness among all parties on biofuels, particularly regional airlines which needs to reduce fossil fuel consumption.
"THAI wants to push forward jet biofuels development to ensure sustainable use in Thailand and the region. This needs cooperation from all parties, like oil companies, research institutes, educational institutes, and related public and private organisations," he said.
Today, the airline launched Flight TG 8421, the first biofuels flight that welcomed the media, representatives from related organisations including Rolls Royce and Boeing. The first passenger biofuels flight, TG 104, will follow tomorrow. All proceeds will go to alternative energy promotion organisations.To promote awareness in greenhouse gases and climate change, 98 students will also join the flight.
PTT executive Saran Rangkasiri said the company was in charge of supplying 8 tonnes of biofuels for the flights, worth about US$2.5 million. It was imported from Sky NRG in the Netherlands which supplied the fuel to KLM and Finnair.
To Airports of Thailand, the flights are in line with the Green Airport policy. Aside from the green flight, AOT is turning it’s buildings into Green Building and using clean and renewable energy for all vehicles operating in the airport.

Turkish Airlines adds third Libyan destination

Turkish Airlines is seizing the opportunity to establish a major presence in the Libyan market with the launch of a new route from Istanbul Atatürk (IST) to Misrata (MRA), the third largest city in the country after Tripoli and Benghazi, both of which are already served by the airline. Initially, there will be four flights per week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) using 737-800s, but this will increase to daily from 5 January. This is believed to be the first international scheduled service at the airport to be operated by a non-Libyan airline. According to’s database, this is Turkish Airlines’ 20th new route from Istanbul’s main airport this year, with at least one more (to London Gatwick) due to start before the end of the year.

Turkish Airlines launches Gatwick flights

Gatwick has welcomed a new carrier, with the launch of Turkish Airlines' daily flights to Istanbul.
The route is operated using an Airbus A321-200, with capacity for 195 passengers in a two-class (economy and business) layout.
The flight leaves Istanbul at 10.50, arriving into Gatwick's North Terminal at 12.50.
From Gatwick, the flight leaves at 13.55 and arrives into Istanbul's Ataturk airport at 19.45.
Turkish Airlines has joined a growing list of carriers launching out of Gatwick, including Air Asia X, Vietnam Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and Air China.
Guy Stephenson, Gatwick’s chief commercial officer, said: “We are competing with other airports in London and the South East in order to give passengers the greatest choice of destinations to fly to.
“We already offer a choice of over 200 destinations, which is more than any other airport in the UK.”
The Turkish national carrier is the only airline to fly between Gatwick and Istanbul Ataturk Airport.
Easyjet currently operates flights from Gatwick to the Turkish city, but it flies into Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen Airport.
Sabiha Gokcen is on the Asian side of Istanbul, 35 km from the city centre, while Ataturk is on the European side and is only 24 km from the city centre.

Emirates starts flights to Melbourne and Tokyo

Emirates said, it has welcomed its 20th Airbus A380 to its rapidly expanding fleet by announcing Melbourne and Tokyo as two new destinations for its flagship aircraft in 2012.
Melbourne joined the Emirates network in 1996 and the airline now operates three daily flights from Dubai, one non-stop, one via Singapore and the other via Kuala Lumpur. The A380 will operate as EK406, the non-stop flight from Dubai to Melbourne and on to Auckland from 1st October 2012.
Melbourne's A380 service will be Emirates' second A380 operation in Australia and New Zealand, following the introduction of the aircraft on the Dubai-Sydney-Auckland route in 2009.
In 2012, Emirates will be celebrating its tenth year of services between Dubai and Japan, and its third year of operating to Narita International Airport. Demand on the Dubai-Tokyo route has continued to grow, prompting the need for the daily service to be operated by an A380 from 1st July 2012.
Emirates' A380 service to Tokyo will operate as EK318 departing Dubai at 0250hrs and arriving at Narita International Airport at 5:35pm the same day. The return flight of EK 319 departs Narita at 2200hrs and touches down in Dubai at 0415hrs the following day.
"This announcement demonstrates our commitment to the Far East and Australasian region, as Emirates takes delivery of its 20th Airbus A380 aircraft," said Richard Jewsbury, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Far East and Australasia.
"Emirates not only offers a world-class in-flight experience but a superior global network. The announcement of enhanced services into Melbourne and Tokyo comes as we introduce flights from Dubai to Dublin, our 29th European destination and Dubai to Buenos Aires, via Rio de Janeiro, our latest South American destinations," added Jewsbury.
Emirates took delivery of its first A380 in July 2008 and since that date the number of A380 destinations on the Emirates network has grown and will reach 17 on 1st January 2012 with the addition of Kuala Lumpur.
Set in a three-class configuration (14 First, 76 Business and 399 Economy Class seats), the Emirates A380 offers a level of comfort and space never seen before on a commercial airliner. Spread over two levels, the entire upper deck is dedicated to Premium Class passengers.
Emirates' A380 currently operate services from Dubai to London Heathrow (double-daily, triple daily from 24th January 2012 and four times a day from 25th March 2012), Manchester, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Rome, Munich, Toronto, Seoul, Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai, Jeddah, New York, Hong Kong, Sydney, Johannesburg and Auckland. From 1st January 2012, the A380 will be deployed on the Kuala Lumpur route.

Ethiopian Airlines helps Star Alliance grow African network

Star Alliance's stated intention of "bringing Africa to the world and the world to Africa" has been boosted by the entry of Ethiopian Airlines into its fold. The carrier formally joined the alliance in December, becoming its third African member.
The addition of Ethiopian expands Star's network in East, central and West Africa and brings with it 23 new destinations to its network. These include Chad, Djibouti and Niger. The carrier joins Star's existing partners in the region, EgyptAir and South African Airways.
"We have taken a large step forward in completing our African strategy," says Star Alliance outgoing chief executive Jan Albrecht. He says as a result of Ethiopian joining, Star now offers its passengers "the widest choice of flights connecting to, from and within Africa" out of the three global alliances. Star's African coverage now extends to 750 daily flights to more than 110 destinations in 48 countries.
Star Allliance partner Air China is looking to use these hubs to expand into what it sees as a promising market between Asia and Africa. Chairman Kong Dong says he expects his airline to launch direct routes to the continent in the next year or two.
Ethiopian is similarly effusive about the potential of this fledgling market and intends to develop further routes between Africa and Asia. Ethiopian's chief executive Teowolde Gebremariam says developing routes and frequencies between the two continents was the airline's principal growth objective.
He adds the Ethiopian flag carrier is studying possible routes to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Seoul and will use its soon-to-be delivered Boeing 787s to open these routes and existing destinations in Asia. Ethiopian will take delivery of the first of ten 787s, which marked its debut appearance in Africa at the accession ceremony, in 2012.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Emirates boosts A380 flights from London to Dubai

UK travellers planning to catch flights to Dubai next year will have more opportunities to travel on the Airbus A380 with Emirates.
Shortly after announcing that it will deploy the world's largest passenger plane on a third daily service from London Heathrow to Dubai from 24 January 2012, the carrier has confirmed that a fourth A380 connection will be available on the route from 25 March.
In both cases, the Airbus plane will replace the Boeing 777 in order to carry more passengers from the UK airport, where airline expansion is limited by capacity constraints.
The move will make Emirates the largest operator of the A380 at Heathrow.
Salem Obaidalla, the Middle Eastern carrier's senior vice president of commercial operations in Europe, said: 'This demonstrates the beauty of the A380 - its ability to increase our service to our passengers in style and without adding traffic to London Heathrow's busy schedule.'
Emirates will also be expanding its presence in Dublin next year with the launch of a new daily service to Dubai from the city on 9 January.

Etihad and Air Berlin Form an Alliance

Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi and Air Berlin, Germany’s second-largest airline, announced a strategic partnership Monday that will see Etihad become Air Berlin’s largest shareholder and gain access to new European routes as it seeks to keep pace with its larger Gulf-based rival, Emirates.
Under the terms of the agreement, Etihad will increase an existing 3 percent stake in Air Berlin to just over 29 percent through the purchase €73 million, or $95 million, in new shares while providing up to $255 million in loans to finance new jet purchases.
The deal also includes a code share agreement giving Etihad access to Air Berlin’s European short-distance network, and to the German capital of Berlin — a destination that Emirates in particular has long coveted in the face of fierce opposition from the German flag carrier, Lufthansa.
The purchase of such a sizeable stake in Air Berlin appeared to be the clearest signal yet of Etihad’s intention to continue its push into the European market at a time when the region’s major players, including Lufthansa and Air France, are struggling to hold down costs and maintain market share against what they claim is unfair competition from subsidized Middle Eastern rivals.
“Overnight, we have gone from having a minimal presence in Europe to a major one,” said James Hogan, Etihad’s chief executive, adding that Etihad was eager to exploit the new access that the Air Berlin deal will give to 33 million new passengers — most of them in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, which have robust leisure and business travel markets.
Etihad, the third-largest Gulf carrier after Emirates and Qatar Airways, has made no secret of its desire to raise its European profile. Industry executives have said the airline is also eyeing the Irish government’s 25 percent stake in Aer Lingus and that it had considered joining Virgin Atlantic’s bid for BMI, Lufthansa’s unprofitable British unit.
Mr. Hogan said Etihad had no immediate plans for further acquisitions in Europe, but he did not rule out future investments. Nor did he envision any further increase in the Air Berlin stake for at least two years.
“This will directly threaten the likes of Lufthansa, who are also worried about the challenging nature of the European airline scene,” said Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at StrategicAero Research in London. “It cements not just Etihad’s desire to expand in Europe, but also to draw in customers through its Abu Dhabi hub to connect to onward destinations like Asia and Australasia.”
Etihad is the second Gulf airline to make a major equity investment in Europe this year. In September, Qatar Airways bought a 35 percent stake in Cargolux, Europe’s largest freight carrier, which is based in Luxembourg.
Air Berlin, which has not recorded an annual profit in four years, had been seeking a strategic partner for some time and had reportedly approached a number of carriers in the Middle East and Asia about a deal in recent months following the resignation of its founder and chief executive, Joachim Hunold, in August.
The German discount airline’s net debt has risen to around €640 million in November from €489 million at the end of 2010, putting pressure on it to cut costs. To that end, Air Berlin plans to reduce the size of its fleet by 10 percent and has postponed the delivery of 19 new Airbus and Boeing jets that had been scheduled for delivery in 2012 and 2013.