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Etihad Airways Unveils Newest Middle Eastern Destination

JetBlue & Etihad Airways Join Forces for Loyalty Partnership under Codeshare Agreement

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, today announced the addition of Al Qassim, Saudi Arabia, to its expanding list of destinations, bringing its total number of Saudi gateways to four.

The move is part of an effort to expand the airline’s network and improve connectivity across the Middle East. The airline plans to increase its reach by starting flights to one of the most fascinating areas of Saudi Arabia. Starting on June 24, 2024, Etihad will operate four weekly flights directly connecting Prince Naif Bin Abdulaziz International Airport (ELQ) between Al Qassim and Abu Dhabi’s Zayed International Airport.

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“A remarkable journey from beginning to end is guaranteed by the outstanding experience that awaits them at Zayed International Airport – Terminal A, new home, which redefines the standards for travel comfort and service excellence.”

Al Qassim, known for its vibrant markets, rich cultural history, and green date palm plantations, provides the ideal fusion of modern attractions with ancient Saudi culture. This new route is intended to satisfy the needs of tourists wanting a genuine exploration of Saudi Arabia’s rich cultural and historical heritage as well as business travellers looking for new opportunities.

Beginning on June 15, Etihad is launching flights to Antalya and Jaipur, which were announced in February, as well as expanding the frequency of its services to several important destinations.

There will be three more weekly flights to Thiruvananthapuram and Amman, for a total of 10 and 14, respectively. Three more flights to Cairo for a total of 24, an increase to 17 in Karachi, and 20 weekly flights to Colombo are among the additional services.

The most recent expansion increases Etihad’s weekly flight count by 33 per cent, from 642 in the summer of last year to 855 in 2024. It also broadens the airline’s destination network from 65 to 76, greatly improving global connectivity.

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Rob Ryan is a distinguished correspondent for Aerospace Press, specializing in covering the latest trends in aviation. With a deep passion for the industry, he exhibits an exceptional level of exploration. Additionally, Rob's talent extends to photography, capturing stunning images that enrich his coverage. He has represented Jetline Marvel at various international airshows, showcasing his expertise and dedication to the field.

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FAA reveals that 300 Boeing planes could result in fuel tank explosions

FAA reveals that 300 Boeing planes could result in fuel tank explosions

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has brought attention to a concerning issue with Boeing aircraft that could lead to fuel tank explosions, adding to the litany of safety concerns surrounding the aerospace giant’s products.

According to a proposed rule from the FAA, Boeing’s 777 liner has been found to have dangerously poor electrical insulation near its fuel tank, posing a significant risk of ignition and subsequent fire or explosion. This revelation comes amid heightened scrutiny of Boeing’s aircraft due to several recent incidents highlighting potential safety flaws.

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The impacted aircraft encompass nearly 300 Boeing 777s across the United States, including various models such as the 777-200, -200LR, -300, -300ER, and 777F series. In response to the discovery, the FAA has proposed a $14 million solution to address the issue across all 292 affected US-registered airplanes.

The proposed solution involves the installation of electrical bonding and grounding components in the center fuel tank, as outlined in the proposed Airworthiness Directive (AD) issued by the FAA. This comprehensive repair process includes extensive inspections, lasting approximately 90 hours per aircraft, followed by the installation of Teflon sleeves and cap fasteners in specific areas of the fuel tanks.

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Crucially, the financial burden of these repairs would not fall on Boeing but on the operators and airlines that own the affected aircraft. The proposed timeline for completing the repairs extends up to 60 months.

Boeing, in response to the FAA’s proposed rulemaking, expressed its full support for making the guidance mandatory and emphasized that the issue does not present an immediate safety-of-flight concern. The company highlighted the multiple redundancies built into modern commercial airplanes to mitigate risks from electromagnetic effects.

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Airbus A340s Join SpiceJet Fleet for Delhi-Bangkok Flights, Replacing Boeing 737s

Airbus A340s Join SpiceJet Fleet for Delhi-Bangkok Flights, Replacing Boeing 737s

In a strategic move aimed at accommodating the surge in demand during the holiday season, SpiceJet has announced a significant upgrade to its Delhi-Bangkok route.

The airline revealed plans to swap out its narrow-body Boeing 737s with wide-body Airbus A340s, marking a substantial increase in seating capacity and comfort for passengers. Commencing on May 31 and extending until June 20, 2024, travelers on the Delhi-Bangkok route can expect a notable enhancement in their flying experience.

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The introduction of the Airbus A340s, with a seating capacity of 324 passengers per flight, promises to meet the escalating demand for travel between the two bustling destinations.

SpiceJet’s commitment to providing unparalleled service to its customers, particularly during peak travel periods. By leveraging the larger capacity of the A340s, the airline aims to ensure that passengers have greater flexibility and convenience in planning their journeys.

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The decision to upgrade to wide-body aircraft comes at a time when Bangkok continues to allure Indian travelers with its vibrant blend of work and leisure opportunities, further facilitated by visa-free entry for Indians. Recognizing the importance of catering to this growing demand, SpiceJet’s move is poised to strengthen its position in the market and solidify its reputation for customer-centric innovation.

It’s worth noting that SpiceJet’s utilization of the Airbus A340s extends beyond the Delhi-Bangkok route. The airline currently operates two A340s, sourced from Romanian operator Legend Airlines, primarily for Hajj pilgrimage flights.

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IndiGo to introduce business class Service on its busiest routes 

IndiGo to introduce business class Service on its busiest routes 

After nearly 18 years of dominating India’s aviation landscape with its single-class economy configuration, IndiGo, the country’s largest airline, is set to make a significant leap by introducing business class service on its busiest routes.

The decision comes as IndiGo aims to offer passengers more choices and enhanced comfort amid the backdrop of a burgeoning economy. Set to be unveiled around August, coinciding with the carrier’s 18th anniversary, IndiGo’s “tailor-made business product” promises to redefine the flying experience for its customers.

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This move follows closely on the heels of IndiGo’s recent announcement of acquiring 30 wide-body aircraft, indicating the airline’s strategic expansion and commitment to catering to diverse passenger preferences.

IndiGo’s foray into business class service represents a significant milestone, especially considering its longstanding reputation as a low-cost carrier focused primarily on economy class offerings. With a fleet exceeding 360 planes and operating approximately 2,000 daily flights, the airline’s entry into the business class segment is poised to reshape the Indian aviation industry.

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Currently, Air India and Vistara are the sole providers of business-class seats on domestic routes in India. However, by December 2024, IndiGo will join this exclusive league, introducing its bespoke business class experience tailored to meet the evolving needs of discerning travelers.

Initially, IndiGo’s business class operations will be rolled out on the busiest domestic routes, ensuring passengers enjoy added comfort and luxury during their journeys. Further details regarding the official launch date, specific routes, and promotional offers will be disclosed by August 2024, heightening anticipation among passengers eagerly awaiting this premium service.

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