Ready for take off
ETIHAD Airways, UAE’s national airline, has become the first in the Middle East to deploy Amadeus Airline Ancillary Services (AAAS), enabling travel agencies using the Amadeus system to book the airline’s Extra Legroom Seats for their customers.Antoine Medawar, vice-president, Middle East and North Africa, Amadeus, says, “By introducing the option to pre-reserve seats including Extra Legroom Seats at the booking stage, the airline and travel agents can offer their customers a value-added service that will inevitably result in greater revenue profitability. It will also enhance the airport and on-board experience for travellers.”Etihad Airways has also signed an agreement with Amadeus to deploy Amadeus Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD), enabling travel agents to issue documents for all travel-related services, including unbundled airline services. The solution provides travel agencies with a one-stop view of the customer’s travel choices in a single PNR. Both solutions have been launched in the UAE under a pilot programme and will be deployed in other markets globally.VARIOUS AWARDSEtihad Airways was recently named Best Performing Airline 2014 at the Munich Exchange forum in Germany. The airline was selected as the winner following the successful expansion of operations from Munich in February this year, when the airline increased flights to and from its Abu Dhabi hub to double-daily.Etihad Airways also won at the Future Travel Experience Awards 2014 at a gala reception in Las Vegas. The airline bagged the ‘Best Up In The Air Experience’ award for its various customer-centric initiatives: ‘Dine on Demand’ in Business Class, Inflight Chefs in First Class, the Flying Nanny inflight child care assistance programme, and The Residence by Etihad offering, a three-room private cabin on the A380 with living room, separate double bedroom and ensuite shower.NEW ROLL-OUTSIt was on its first A380 that Etihad Airways unveiled a new livery design that will be introduced across its fleet. Created by leading brand consultants Landor Associates in partnership with Etihad Airways, the new livery is inspired by traditional Emirati design patterns, desert landscapes and modern architecture of Abu Dhabi. Etihad Airways’ first Airbus A380 will operate on flights between Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow from December 27 this year. The two subsequent deliveries of the A380 in early 2015 will also service the route, making it a triple daily A380 operation. Later in 2015, A380s will operate to Sydney and New York as Etihad Airways receives its fourth and fifth aircraft. Etihad Airways and Boeing celebrated the roll out of the airline’s first 787-9 Dreamliner at an event in Seattle, Washington. The aircraft featured Etihad Airways’ new ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ livery, which was unveiled in Hamburg, Germany in late September. Etihad Airways’ first Boeing 787-9 will be delivered in December 2014, and more than 40 international routes have been identified for future operation by the airline’s Dreamliners. The aircraft will initially operate between Abu Dhabi and Düsseldorf, and between Abu Dhabi and Doha. Services to Brisbane, Mumbai, Moscow and Washington DC will follow in the first half of 2015.Etihad Airways successfully deployed mobile and internet connectivity across its entire fleet of 24 Boeing 777 passenger aircraft. This milestone comes months before the airline’s entire fleet of 89 passenger aircraft is connected, which will make Etihad Airways the first in the Middle East and one of the few airlines in the world, to offer mobile and internet connectivity services on every aircraft. AIR SEYCHELLES SOARSAir Seychelles announced a strong first half-year 2014 financial performance, with double digit growth in revenue, passenger and cargo volumes, reflecting continued solid success in the airline’s business strategy. Etihad Airways is a 40 per cent stakeholder in the airline.Air Seychelles posted total revenues of $50 million up from $42 million in 2013, an increase of 20 per cent for the first half of the year.