In Brief


Cathay Pacific connects Riyadh to Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific has announced the launch of direct passenger flights to Riyadh from October 28, 2024. The airline will operate three return flights per week on its Airbus A350-900 aircraft, featuring Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabins.

Cathay Group Chief Executive Officer Ronald Lam, said: “With deep roots in Hong Kong, our role is to be an enabler connecting Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland with the world. Cathay firmly supports the Central Government’s Belt and Road Initiative, and we already serve 21 destinations in 14 participating countries. We will continue to develop flight services along our existing major routes as well as routes connecting Hong Kong with Belt and Road countries and regions, as we look ahead to the full operation of the Three-Runway System at Hong Kong International Airport.”


Etihad Airways and Royal Air Maroc sign MoU

Etihad Airways and Royal Air Maroc has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost commercial and operational ties.

Antonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “This agreement covers a broad range of activities from exploring the expansion of existing codeshare arrangements to cover more domestic routes in Morocco and Africa, to looking at developing existing frequent flyer programme co-operation, and exploring collaborations on ground handling, maintenance and engineering.”

Abdelhamid Addou, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Air Maroc: “We are very proud to establish this important partnership with Etihad Airways, which aligns with our ambition to further enhance our connectivity and continue offering our passengers a more optimised and seamless travel experience through our respective hubs.”


Emirates, Airbus and IATA collaborate

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), Emirates, and Airbus have joined forces to deliver a Competency-Based Training and Assessment (CBTA) programme for the Airbus A350 type rating, as Emirates prepares for the delivery of its fleet of 65 A350s from mid-2024.

An initial cohort of 256 pilots will be trained as part of the new course at Emirates’ Training college in Dubai starting from July 2024.

The joint work combines the respective expertise of the three organizations.

•  IATA will focus on programme design using its published guidance for CBTA

•   Airbus will contribute knowledge of the aircraft along with its own CBTA experience

•   Emirates will use its CBTA training and operational experience

This collaboration will create and deliver the first A350 type rating training in full alignment with the latest International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards for CBTA training.


Oman Air upgrades retailing, distribution

Oman Air has unveiled a significant enhancement to its distribution capabilities, ushering in a new era of convenience and choice. Partnering with Accelya, the airline has introduced cutting-edge functionality that will enable its trade partners to seamlessly manage their customers’ travel needs. It leverages the latest IATA New Distribution Capability (NDC) technology, representing a substantial advancement from the previous booking tools available to travel agents.

“NDC stands as a pivotal tool, empowering us with enhanced flexibility and control over our distribution channels. Oman Air’s NDC journey has yielded significant growth in recent years and our partnership with Accelya marks an important milestone in this journey,” commented Con Korfiatis, Chief Executive Officer of Oman Air. 


Riyadh Air, Singapore Airlines sign deal

Riyadh Air and Singapore Airlines (SIA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a new partnership between the two airlines. Under the MoU, the carriers will explore opportunities for interline connectivity on each other’s services, subject to regulatory approval. They will also work on other potential areas of commercial cooperation, including codeshare arrangements, reciprocal benefits for their frequent flyer programme members, cargo services, customer experience, and digital innovation as a precursor to a deeper, long-term, strategic partnership.