Seattle Ahoy on the Emirates Inaugural March 9, 2012Posted by Arun Rajagopal in Airlines, Aviation, Travel, UAE.
Tags: avgeek, B777, Boeing, Dubai, Emirates, Inaugural Flight, Seattle, Water Cannon Salute
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So I lost control of my #avgeek senses and flew off to Seattle for a weekend on the inaugural Emirates flight out of Dubai.
I’ve always wanted to go to Seattle, visit Boeing and the Future of Flight Museum, catch up with #avgeek friends in the Puget Sound and most importantly, get on an inaugural flight and experience a water cannon salute. So I HAD to be on the inaugural EK229 on 1 March 2012 and tick off a couple of items on the bucket list.
Seattle is an amazing place and I don’t say that just because it is the home of Boeing. I will be back soon with more stories on Seattle but till then, enjoy these 2 videos!
Click here to read a travelogue of my trip featured on ArabianSupplyChain.com.
25 fast facts on the 25th anniversary of Emirates October 25, 2010Posted by Arun Rajagopal in Airlines, Aviation, Marketing, UAE.
Tags: Airbus, Airlines, Aviation, Boeing, Dubai, Emirates
Emirates, the national airline of Dubai, United Arab Emirates celebrates its 25th anniversary today. With a capital of $10 million (AED 36.7 million) and 2 used Boeing 727-200 aircraft in 1985, Emirates has come a long way to be one of the world’s leading airlines.
Here are 25 fast facts on Emirates.
- Emirates operates over 2,400 passenger flights per week from Dubai International Airport Terminal 3, to 105 cities in 62 countries across 6 continents.
- Emirates is one of the only nine airlines in the world to operate an all wide-body aircraft fleet. They don’t do small, baby!
- Emirates has 151 aircraft in its fleet including 7 freighters and is among the youngest in the skies, with an average age of 69 months.
- Emirates is the world’s largest operator of Boeing 777s with 86 aircraft in fleet & 55 on order.
- Emirates is the world’s largest operator of Airbus A380s with 13 aircraft in fleet & a whopping 77 on order.
- Emirates generates 36.5% of its revenue from Europe & Americas & spends 35.1% of its revenue on fuel.
- Emirates operates three of the ten world’s longest non-stop commercial flights from Dubai to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston.
- Emirates is the largest airline in the Middle East in terms of revenue, fleet size, and passengers carried.
- In 2010, Emirates was the sixth-largest airline in the world in terms of international passengers carried and largest in the world in terms of scheduled international passenger-kilometres flown.
- In 2010, Emirates was voted the eighth best airline in the world by Skytrax.
- On 8 June 2010, at the Berlin Air show, Emirates ordered 32 A380s worth $11.5 billion. The deal was the biggest single order for the world’s largest passenger aircraft.
- Emirates currently flies A380s to 11 cities around the world and resumes its A380 service to New York JFK on 31 October 2010.
- Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3 was built exclusively for the use of Emirates at a cost of $4.5 billion and officially opened 14 October 2008. Terminal 3 is the largest building in the world by floor space, with over 1,500,000 sq. m. (370 acres) of space.
- Emirates ranks as the largest airline in the world by international seating capacity, according to the latest annual report by IATA.
- Emirates plans to have over 320 aircraft by 2018.
- In 2009, Emirates was voted the second best First Class by Skytrax.
- Emirates became the first airline in the world to introduce a personal entertainment system on a commercial aircraft after introducing the world’s first seat-back screens in 1992.
- ICE (Information, Communication, Entertainment) is the in-flight entertainment system operated by Emirates, and features between 600 and 1000 channels, the largest offering in the world.
- Skywards, the frequent flyer programme of Emirates has 5.72 million members.
- Emirates has been involved in two of the largest football sponsorship deals ever seen. Its 2004 agreement with Arsenal, which included stadium naming rights, was worth around US $170 million. Its seven year deal with FIFA, signed in 2007, cost a reported US $195 million.
- Emirates has only had 3 incidents in its 25 years of history and has never had a casualty. Hope the exemplary record remains.
- Emirates employs 10,785 cabin crew from over 120 countries speaking over 80 languages. Their uniforms are designed by Simon Jersey plc.
- You can buy an Emirates A380 1:50 Scale Solid Aircraft Model from the official Emirates Online Store for $3300 here.
- According to a Wharton article, Maurice Flanagan, the current Executive Vice-Chairman of Emirates so hates the word “marketing” that he essentially banned the use of the term at Emirates. One time when he found that 11 of the firm’s 20,000 employees had the word “marketing” in their job title, he moved them to other positions.
- In the year of its 25th anniversary, Emirates announced revenues of US$11.8 billion and net profit up a massive 416% to $964 million.
SkyBuzz: Arabian Gulf Aviation Report, Issue 1 May 1, 2010Posted by Arun Rajagopal in Airlines, Aviation, Marketing, Travel.
Tags: Air India, Airbus, Arabian Travel Market, ATM, Boeing, Dubai, Emirates, Etihad, Eyjafjallajkull, flydubai, Gulf Air, IATA, Iraqi Airways, Jazeera Airways, Kuwait Airways, Oman Air, Qatar Airways, Volcano Ash, Wataniya Airways, World Travel Awards
SkyBuzz: Arabian Gulf Aviation Report
Issue 1 – May 2010
Welcome to the first edition of SkyBuzz – The Arabian Gulf Aviation Report for the month of April 2010. The purpose of this report is to provide a short monthly summary of news, events and developments concerning aviation and airlines in the Arabian Gulf Region.
The Eyjafjallajkull Effect
IATA has said that it will take the global airline industry at least 3 years to recover from the volcanic ash cloud crisis, which started on 14 April 2010 following the eruption of the Eyjafjallajkull volcano in Iceland.
The aviation trade body further estimated that the current crisis, which crippled almost the entire airline industry, cost airlines more than $1.7 billion in lost revenue through Tuesday, 20 April 2010 – six days after the initial eruption.
For a three-day period (April 17-19), when disruptions were greatest, lost revenues for airlines worldwide reached $400 million per day, according to IATA.
“Lost revenues now total more than $1.7 billion for airlines alone. At the worst, the crisis impacted 29 per cent of global aviation and affected 1.2 million passengers a day. The scale of the crisis eclipsed 9/11 when US airspace was closed for three days,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director-General and CEO.
Effect on Arabian Gulf Carriers
All leading Gulf carriers were hit by the spread of the volcanic dust cloud over parts of Europe.
Emirates President Tim Clark said that the airline suffered an income depletion of about $60 million, including 2,000 tons of cargo disrupted, for the 6 days of ash clouds and an additional $5-6 million in accommodating stranded passengers so far due to volcanic ash-related grounding of planes. 270 flights were canceled, 30 Emirates aircraft were grounded, equivalent to one fifth of the fleet, and 120,000 passengers were stranded across the globe from volcanic ash-related groundings.
Meanwhile, the UAE government issued 96-hour visas to airline passengers stranded in Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports.
Etihad Airways recommenced its full scheduled operations on 22 April 2010. More than 22,000 Etihad passengers were affected by flight cancellations and delays as a result of the aircraft closures around the world. Ash groundings cost the airline $30 million. The government-owned airline put up 2,500 passengers stranded in the UAE capital in 16 hotels.
Qatar Airways canceled more than 135 flights to and from 11 destinations in Europe since 15 April 2010 for safety reasons, resulting in disruption to its network. All flights returned to normal operating schedule on 22 April 2010.
Gulf Air canceled over 32 flights from Bahrain to London Heathrow, Frankfurt and Paris. Besides, as a gesture of goodwill, for those passengers stranded in transit in Bahrain, Gulf Air also offered a free ticket at a credit value equal to their original full ticket for future use.
Emirates: A380 Ahoy, Amsterdam Calling, Kochi Turbulence
In April 2010, Emirates announced the launch of daily A380 flights (517 seats) to Manchester from 1 September 2010. Manchester will become the world’s first regional airport to have a regular A380 service. The airline currently operates 8 A380s to London Heathrow, Toronto, Paris, Jeddah, Bangkok, Seoul, Sydney and Auckland.
On 1 May 2010, Emirates will launch daily flights to Amsterdam, marking its 23rd route into Europe.
On 25 April 2010, Emirates flight EK530, a Boeing 777-200 aircraft carrying 350 passengers from Dubai to Kochi, encountered a weather cloud and a short period of heavy turbulence when cruising at 35,000 feet prior to its descent, injuring 20 passengers and 3 crew members. It dropped about 200 feet in altitude, but landed safely.
Oman Air – 3 new destinations in May
Following back-to-back launches of 5 destinations in 2009, Oman Air is seeking to up the ante by launching 8 new destinations in 2010.
On 1 May 2010, Oman Air will commence its weekly non-stop 4 times service to Kuala Lumpur, its second destination in the Far East after Bangkok. The service will be operated by a new Airbus A330-343 in a three-class configuration.
Oman Air will commence a daily service between Muscat and Ras Al Khaimah from 2 May 2010. Daily flights to Al Ain commence on 3 May 2010. Both routes will be operated by ATR aircraft.
This will be followed by the launch of flights to Lahore (4 times a week) on 10 May 2010 and Islamabad (3 times a week) on 16 May 2010, both destinations served by Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Dar-Es-Salaam (4 times a week) will go live on 1 June 2010 and Kathmandu (4 times a week) on 17 June 2010, and Milan will join the network in the winter schedule.
Oman Air has hiked its capital to $1.3 billion from $779.2 million. Oman Air carried 2.4 million passengers in 2009, up 19 percent from the previous year. Oman Air CEO Peter Hill told Reuters in March 2010 that Oman Air, which posted a loss of $109 million in 2008, planned to return to profit by 2014.
Etihad Airways – Flying high; takes off to Iraq
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), reported 25.4 per cent growth in revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) in the first quarter of 2010, far out-pacing the industry average and running ahead of the airline’s available seat kilometers (ASKs) growth of 22 per cent. The improvement, against the first quarter of 2009, was matched by an increase in seat factors, from 73 per cent to 75 per cent. Passenger numbers increased by 11 per cent and premium traffic increased by 5 per cent.
Etihad commenced non-stop flights from its home base in Abu Dhabi to Baghdad, becoming the first airline in the UAE to operate to the Iraqi capital. Etihad operates 5 flights per week to Baghdad, using two-class Airbus A320 aircraft, and will expand its operation with two additional A320 return services to a second Iraq destination – Erbil – from 1 June, subject to government and regulatory approvals.
Qatar Airways – 2 new route launches
Tokyo became Qatar Airways’ 89th destination on 26 April 2010 making it the only Gulf carrier with daily flights to the Japanese capital. Qatar Airways flies an Airbus A330 in a three-class configuration to Tokyo with 12 First, 18 Business and 208 Economy Class seats.
On 5 April 2010, Qatar Airways launched a weekly 4 times service to Ankara from Doha. Qatar Airways is the only Gulf carrier flying to Ankara, operating an Airbus A320 with 12 seats in Business and 132 in Economy Class.
News from Gulf Air
Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air has rolled out a dedicated B2B (Business to Business) internet booking tool – for its corporate customers and travel agents. Gulf Air resumed its flights to Najaf following the reopening of the airport on 27 April 2010.
High 5 for flydubai
flydubai, Dubai’s low cost airline has announced 5 new routes in April 2010 taking its network to 18 destinations.
· Flights to Kabul will commence on 17 May 2010 with a frequency of 5 times per week and are priced from AED725.
· Flights to Luxor in Egypt will be 3 times per week, commence on 19 May 2010 and are priced from AED350.
· Flights to Assiut, the largest town in Upper Egypt, will be 3 times per week, commence on 24 May 2010 and are priced from AED350.
· Flights to Istanbul, European Capital of Culture 2010, will be 5 times per week, commence on 17 June 2010 and are priced from AED450.
· Flights to Latakia, flydubai’s third Syrian destination, after Damascus and Aleppo, will be 4 times per week, commence on 20 June 2010 and are priced from AED350.
All fares are for one way journeys including all taxes and charges and one piece of hand luggage.
Kuwait-based Jazeera Airways will commence its thrice-weekly service to Lahore in Pakistan from 12 May 2010. Meanwhile Kuwait-based Wataniya Airways will launch flights to Rome from 31 May 2010, 3 times weekly. Rome is Wataniya’s 11th destination and will follow the carrier’s thrice weekly Istanbul service set to launch on 5 May 2010.
False start for Iraqi Airways
On 25 April 2010, Iraqi Airways relaunched its service to London from Baghdad after 20 years. Commercial air links were cut after the United Nations imposed sanctions on Iraq for invading Kuwait in 1990. The maiden flight received a nightmare welcome as the chartered aircraft used for the service was impounded and the passport of national airline boss Kifah Hassan accompanying the inaugural flight was seized. As the Iraqi Airways aircraft landed at London Gatwick, lawyers acting for Kuwait Airways, which says it is owed 1.2 billion dollars, served papers.
From DXB Intl.
Dubai International Airport posted an increase of 21.8 per cent in passenger numbers during March 2010, taking the total to a record 3,968,672 in the month compared to 3,259,072 during the same period last year.
World Travel Awards 2010 on the anvil
More than a thousand of the Middle East’s greatest travel companies are battling it out to be winners of the coveted event that takes place at The Address, Dubai Marina on 3 May 2010 just before The Arabian Travel Market.
Established in 1993, The World Travel Awards is regarded as the most comprehensive and prestigious awards programme in the global travel industry, with nominees selected by thousands of professionals from travel and tourism organizations world-wide.
Hailed by the Wall Street Journal as the “travel industry’s equivalent of the Oscars”, it serves to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the world’s travel and tourism industry.This year’s Arabian Travel Market exhibition will be held in Dubai from May 4-7 2010.
Air India’s Cairo Stand Up
And in some crazy news to wind up this report, on 15 April 2010, the harried passengers of an Air India flight bound from Mumbai to Frankfurt were literally stood up by the crew during a stopover in Cairo, for 16 hours on end – all because the crewmembers wanted to see the great pyramids of Egypt. Read more here.
I am a creative supervisor with Wunderman in Muscat, Oman. My interests are aviation, travel and airline marketing. My professional experience includes providing marketing communications expertise for leading airline and travel brands in the region.You can reach me via email at arunjoboy at yahoo dot com. I look forward to your comments and feedback.
Dubai: The Identity Crisis Next Door March 15, 2010Posted by Arun Rajagopal in Branding, Marketing.
Tags: Dubai, Identity Crisis, Marketing
I have been thinking more about Identity Crisis since reading Alexander McNabb’s interesting blog post ‘Couples Kiss. Naturally.’ While his post is about the latest Western Expat PDA-scandal to come out of Dubai, it’s also a brilliant account of how life in Dubai is changing with the times. And certainly not for the best.
A term coined by 20th century developmental psychologist Erik Erikson, an identity crisis occurs when an individual loses a sense of personal sameness and historical continuity. While Erikson used it mostly to apply to the period of transition from teenage to adulthood, it is now thought that an identity crisis may occur at any time of life, especially in periods of great transition.
Today, Dubai seems to be at the crossroads of an identity crisis.
Dubai was envisioned to be the El Dorado where the best of East and West met. A dream destination where the world came to have a good life and a great time. At least that is how it is still marketed as. After enjoying years of supersonic growth as the land of superlatives, a recession almost brought the wheels of progress to a grinding halt. Dubai suddenly became a hotbed of negative PR. When not covering the debt crisis, global media is gleeful than ever to toast scandals such as ‘sex on the beach’ and ‘kiss-gate’. The way Dubai responds to these issues is certainly not helping.
Dubai is changing and is not what it used to be or is meant to be. The universal values of tolerance, openness and multiculturalism are what made Dubai dazzle. They fitted well with Dubai’s vision to be the world’s city. Unfortunately, these are the very values Dubai is trying to control unsuccessfully in an attempt ‘shape’ or ‘preserve’ national identity.
Brands, companies and even individuals can fall prey to the identity crisis that’s hit Dubai. We may be on a journey of meteoric growth. Or we may have just hit a bedrock of stagnation. Somewhere along the line we give up on the compass that’s meant to guide us and lose control of the rudder that’s meant to steer us in the desired direction.
A mismatch between perception and reality is a sure-shot symptom of an identity crisis at work. The one affected will be the last person to see it though.
Going two steps forward and then three steps backward never gets one anywhere. Few questions to reflect on during an identity crisis.
- In our personal and professional avatars, are we saying one thing and doing another?
- Are we really who we think we are and who we want to be?
- Where are we going and how are we getting there?
- Do our actions lead to the result we want to achieve?
- What about our values?
- Are they the same as when we started off on our journey? Are we compromising them somewhere?
These questions make for interesting soul searching during an identity crisis. After all, the bigger we are, the more we risk to lose.