Complex Made Simple

Regional airline news roundup

Last week, three major Middle Eastern carriers announced big changes in fleet and new operations., sister publication of Aficionado, presents a roundup.

Emirates Airline

The Dubai-based carrier’s SkyCargo has added Los Angeles to its network of freighter destinations in the US, becoming the fourth city to be added to the list, along with Chicago, Atlanta and Houston.

“We have a network of ten key cities across the US, which enables us to provide broad access to the world’s largest economy for businesses across our network and for American businesses in other parts of the world,” says Hiran Perera, Emirates’ senior vice-president of cargo planning and freighters.

According to Perera, Los Angeles currently ranks number 14 in the world and number five in the US in the amount of cargo tonnage processed. The city handled 1.9-plus million tonnes of air cargo, valued at $87 billion, in 2012.

Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways will start Airbus A380 and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner operations this December.

With additional flights added to its list, the UAE’s national airline will now operate triple-daily London flights with the A380, while, between December 2014 and June 2015, the Boeing 787-9 will fly to Düsseldorf, Doha, Washington DC, Mumbai, Brisbane and Moscow.

“The Airbus A380 and Boeing 787-9 will play a fundamental role in the development of Etihad Airways’ network. On existing high-demand routes, such as London and Sydney, the A380 will provide additional seats and meet the demand for increased capacity, especially in first and business classes,” says James Hogan, its president and CEO. “The Boeing 787-9 will be used to launch flights to new destinations, add capacity in existing markets and progressively replace existing, less-efficient aircraft.”

With a total of 10 A380s on firm order, the aircraft will serve Etihad’s Abu Dhabi-London Heathrow route from next year. It has also ordered 71 Boeing 787s, including 41 B787-9s and 30 B787-10s.

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways recently released images of its Airbus A350 Xtra Wide Body (XWB).

Receiving its first delivery before the end of the year, the carrier ordered 80 XWB aircraft, which will be used for key routes.

“We take pride in introducing the latest products and services available to the industry and this new aircraft is a prime example of that. We look forward to offering to our passengers even more choice and variety in the young and modern fleet, which we operate to more than 140 destinations across the world,” says Akbar Al Baker, group CEO of Qatar Airways.

As a result of the A350 XWB’s carbonfibre-reinforced plastic fuselage, it will have 25 per cent lower operating costs. With more than 70 per cent of its weight-efficient frame made from advanced materials, combining 53 per cent of composite structures with titanium and advanced aluminium alloys, the aircraft is bound to shape the future of air travel.


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