In brief

Emirates reaches across with the globe

EMIRATES increasingly global presence was the focus of thousands as the airline’s giant globe stand returned to ITB Berlin. Thierry Antinori, Emirates’ executive vice president – Passenger Sales Worldwide said, “Emirates has been exhibiting at ITB Berlin for over 15 years and it is important that we continually have a presence at the show.”

ITB takes place the week after Emirates’ launched Seattle as its 122nd destination and took part in event there to mark the 1000th 777 off the Boeing production line – with the aircraft destined for Emirates later this month.

The airline is investing further in Germany by upgrading the aircraft serving Munich, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt. The Airbus 340-300 currently deployed on one of Munich’s two daily flights, EK 051, will be replaced with a larger Boeing 777-300 from March 25, giving a 36 per cent boost to seat capacity.  Similarly, the A340-300 supporting one of the twice daily flights to Dusseldorf, EK 057, will be switched to a 777-300ER as of June 1, giving a 36 per cent increase in the number of seats available.

Additionally, the A330-200 serving one of Frankfurt’s three daily flights, EK 043, will be upgraded to a 777-300ER from October 1, giving a 49 per cent boost in seat capacity. 

Etihad Airways opens new Berlin HQ

BERLIN will become the new German headquarters for Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates. Etihad Airways president and chief executive officer Hogan, announced the move, effective from June 1. “Germany is the largest outbound travel market in Europe and a critically important part of our global network so it makes good business sense to be based in the country’s capital.

In late December Etihad Airways increased its stake in airberlin to 29.21 per cent, making it the single biggest shareholder in Europe’s sixth largest airline. Etihad Airways operates 25 flights a week between Germany and Abu Dhabi, servicing Munich, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf. In mid-January airberlin began flying from Berlin to Abu Dhabi four times a week and this will become a daily service from March 25, when it will also launch daily flights between Düsseldorf and the UAE capital.

Etihad Airways will continue operate its three sales offices in Munich, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf.

Qatar Airways showcases new stand

QATAR Airways unveiled a custom-made, bespoke design exhibition stand at Berlin with its new Boeing 787 seats taking centre stage on display for the first time.

The brand new exhibition stand is itself a showcase piece, providing the setting for the long-awaited debut of the airline’s Business and Economy Class seats for its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which the airline starts taking delivery of this summer. Key features of the two-storey 200sqm stand include a crisp dark wood exterior, ambient lighting, a hand-blown glass chandelier, ample meeting spaces, contemporary furniture, and fine cuisine prepared from a menu created especially for guests at ITB.

Highlights include a scale model of the New Doha International Airport, which is due to open later this year, and interactive media demonstration kiosks allowing visitors to surf through different features of Qatar Airways, its products and services, using iPads supported on plinths around the stand.

Qatar Airways chief executive officer Akbar Al Baker said Qatar Airways’ presence at ITB will be given a double boost with the unveiling of a new stand and new Boeing 787 interiors. “I have been waiting for this year’s show to present what will make Qatar Airways’ 787 design a truly superior aircraft. We are continuously revolutionising and outpacing industry standards in order to present the most comfortable, service-focus product in the skies.”