Dubai International (DXB) “change waiting time into gaming time”

Dubai International (DXB) “change waiting time into gaming time”

Dubai International “change their waiting time into gaming time”

 

Last week, Dubai International (DXB) introduced their new gaming lounge ‘Game Space’. By converting waiting time into gaming time at the airport, DXB hopes to enhance the customers’ experience.

Positioned in Family Zone at B Gates in Terminal 3, Game Space has 40 game stations. Each has 50-inch screens and side-by-side seating for solo and multi-player gaming options. Passengers can choose from 20 leading games to play including Fortnite, League of Legends, Gran Turismo 7, and more. Accommodating for the significant number of football fans visiting during the FIFA World Cup, Game Space also offers multiple football-themed games.

The gaming lounge attempts to reshape the waiting time at the airport into a fun, novel experience. Explaining the concept, Errol McGlothan, Co-Director at Game Space said:

“We are excited to work with Dubai Airports to deliver an innovative new gaming experience for travellers at the world’s leading hub. We know that gaming is incredibly popular in the region and Game Space will allow travellers to change their waiting time at the airport into their gaming time.”

Frédéric Briest, Co-director at Game Space added:

“Working with strategic gaming partners like ASUS, we believe that we have a unique collaboration to push the boundaries of what the lounge experience can be. We are delighted to provide unique and fun moments for beginners to experienced gamers transiting from Dubai.’’

Highlighting where this new addition sits in the airport’s already extensive offering, Eugene Barry, Executive Vice President of Commercial at Dubai Airports, said:

“We are delighted to partner with Game Space to launch this new gaming lounge for our global guests, which adds an exciting new element to our existing range of retail, food and hospitality partnerships across the airport.”

Game Space is open 24/7 with food and drink options also available. This will be accessible to all travels for a fee.

As CEO Dubai Airports, Paul Griffiths oversees DXB. Paul joined us at the World Aviation Festival this year in October, check out the full interview here.

 


Article by Jess Brownlow

 

How Emirates is reimagining retail

How Emirates is reimagining retail

How Emirates is reimagining retail

 

Emirates is well known for its luxury and excellent hospitality on board. Now, the airline is developing another aspect of its customer experience: retail.

Yesterday, on 28 November, Emirates officially opened its ‘Emirates World’ retail store experience in Jumeirah Town Centre. The airline has redesigned their 3,000 square foot retail store as an “open and fluid space for customers to shop for all of lounge their travel needs in a lounge-like environment.”

Describing the store, Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Chief Commercial Officer said:

“Emirates World sets a new standard for the travel retail store experience and embodies our commitment to provide customers best-in-class products and services across every touchpoint. The opening of this latest concept store is an expression of our retail vision for the future and marks the first of several stores we’ll be opening in the coming years across our network. It’s also part of our larger retail strategy to make the store experience more convenient, engaging and personal.  We’ll employ a mix of the latest technology coupled with personalised one-to-one service from our highly knowledgeable travel consultants. Our open, welcoming, and functional space will also allow customers to discover our products like Premium Economy seats, in addition to a host of other elegantly displayed experiences.”

Once in the store, customers can engage in multiple interactive experiences. One option uses virtual reality, allowing people to immerse themselves in the airline’s cabins. Another is the Emirates’ Premium Economy Class seat display which lets passengers experience the comfort on offer in the airline’s Premium Economy.

Using technology to promote retail, there are LED screens across the store showcasing the latest Emirates products and promotional offers. Complimenting the use of technology across the store, there are also in person travel consultants on hand providing one-to-one service discussing airline ticketing, Emirates Holidays and Skyways consultant support, and more.

Blending technology and personal touch, the new Emirates store reimagines retail in line with their brand. The Emirates World retail stores concept is set to roll out across the airline’s network over the next three years.

Read here to find out about how Emirates is capitalising on the metaverse.

 


Article by Jess Brownlow

 

AirAisa India partners with Sugarbox to launch in-flight entertainment ‘AirFlix’

AirAisa India partners with Sugarbox to launch in-flight entertainment ‘AirFlix’

AirAisa India partners with Sugarbox to launch in-flight entertainment ‘AirFlix’

 

AirAsia India has announced their partnership with Hyperlocal Cloud platform Sugarbox. The pair are launching ‘AirFlix’, a first-of-its-kind in-flight experience hub across the entire fleet.

 

What is it?

‘AirFlix’ provides over 6,000 hours of high-resolution content with access to more than 1,000 International and Indian films, short films, and over 1,500 web series episodes. The service is available for free to all passengers and simulates on-board WiFi for passengers even without in-flight connectivity.

The hub operates together with AirAsia India’s in-flight ancillary platform which opens up huge possibilities for the future. Discussing the launch, Siddhartha Butalia, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), AirAsia India, said:

“We’re excited to introduce the ‘AirFlix’ experience hub for fliers and to partner with Sugarbox on their pioneering technology platform, offering a wider and more diverse range of captivating content and a literally elevated user experience. We’re looking forward to leveraging the potential of this platform, introducing innovative features and technological integrations even beyond in-flight dining, entertainment, and shopping, and enabling personalised experiences that provide a distinct, differentiated flying experience in a hyper-competitive market.”

 

How does it work?

Sugarbox’s patented Cloud Fragment technology powers ‘AirFlix’. It works at a speed of up to 1 Gbps and has a storage capacity of 8 TB. Rohit Paranjpe, Co-founder & CEO Sugarbox said:

“We are delighted to partner with AirAsia India on their journey to revolutionise the flying experience with ‘AirFlix’. This is a first of its kind initiative globally, where we are bringing the power of the Cloud to aircrafts, using Sugarbox’s patented Cloud Fragment technology. It enables ‘AirFlix’ to offer many firsts in the industry – access to OTT Apps, E-commerce, News, Podcasts and In-flight F&B ordering. This is just the beginning of unlocking limitless opportunities for consumers through contextual, hyperlocal experiences. I’m very excited with what’s to come for ‘AirFlix’ and eager for fliers to start experiencing it.”

As AirAsia India embarks on this exciting chapter of their in-flight entertainment journey, it will be interesting to see how they leverage the platform and technology in the coming years.

Siddhartha Butalia, CMO, AirAsia India quoted above will be attending Aviation Festival Asia both delivering a presentation and sitting on a panel.

For content on the challenges of in-flight connectivity read here.

 


Article by Jess Brownlow

 

2022 FIFA World Cup has airports preparing for 1.7 million visitors

2022 FIFA World Cup has airports preparing for 1.7 million visitors

2022 FIFA World Cup has airports preparing for 1.7 million visitors

 

The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicked off on Sunday, and all eyes are on Qatar. With a population of 3 million and a total geographic area of approximately 11,586 km², the host nation is the smallest country in this year’s World Cup. Across the course of the tournament, Qatar is expected to receive upwards of 1.7 million visitors with the majority of fans arriving by air. How are the host and neighbouring countries planning to accommodate this?

 

Qatar

Hamad International Airport (HIA) and Doha International Airport have been intensely preparing for the World Cup. The airports are anticipating approximately 200,000 people a day and the air traffic in both airports has reached an estimated 90 take-offs and landing per hour.

HIA underwent a series of expansion projects to increase the facility’s overall capacity from 29 million to 58 million passengers per annum Badr Al-Meer, airport chief operating officer, confirmed to Qatar News Agency (QNA). The projects included the “provision of 34 aircraft parking spaces on an area of 250,000 square meters.”

The airport also has a new transfer hall on concourse C, which is expected to reduce waiting times at through efficient security and customer service.

To alleviate some of the pressure on HIA, Doha International Airport has been reopened to passenger airlines. It is estimated that Doha International will receive approximately 12 per-cent of all flights to/from Qatar during the World Cup. Before September 2022, the airport had been closed to passenger airlines for eight years.

Flag carrier, Qatar Airways will also be providing Passenger Overflow spaces outside the airports for free use. The area will offer storage space for luggage as well as football festivities and live entertainment for fans.

Despite the extensive preparation, Qatar alone does not have the capacity to accommodate expected number of fans. Instead, people have been encouraged to stay in neighbouring states with daily shuttle services available. Consequently, Doha is expecting 20,000 daily visitors from the gulf to Doha. One key state offering this service is Dubai.

 

Dubai

120 shuttle flights will fly in and out of Dubai World Central (DWC) airport daily during the course of the tournament. This is set to increase DWC’s passenger traffic three-fold. According to Gulf News, to accommodate these forecast passengers, the airport has:

  • A dedicated front-line team to facilitate efficient processing at every service touchpoint, ensuring a consistently smooth experience and on-time departures.
  • More than 60 check-in counters.
  • 21 boarding gates.
  • 60 passport control counters (departures and arrivals).
  • 10 smart gates.
  • 4 baggage belts on arrivals.

Discussing the pressure that the World Cup will bring, Paul Griffiths, CEO Dubai Airports said:

“A spike in demand of this magnitude would pose a challenge for any airport, but we have had some recent practice. In May-June this year, we orchestrated the almost flawless temporary relocation of more than 1,000 flights a week from Dubai International (DXB) to DWC for the 45-day long DXB northern runway rehabilitation project, while managing an exceptionally strong recovery throughout.”

The Qatar hosted 2022 FIFA World Cup will run 20 November to 18 December. For more content relating to the World Cup read  ‘How Qatar Airways are maximising their ancillary revenue from the World Cup.

 


Article by Jess Brownlow

 

Interview with Daniel Friedli, Travel in Motion – The APAC distribution landscape is “progressing but conservative”

Interview with Daniel Friedli, Travel in Motion – The APAC distribution landscape is “progressing but conservative”

Interview with Daniel Friedli, Travel in Motion – The APAC distribution landscape is “progressing but conservative”

 

In anticipation of the upcoming Aviation Festival Asia, Daniel Friedli answered some questions relating to distribution, new distribution capability (NDC), ONE Order, and the transition to modern retailing in the region.

Daniel is a Managing Director and Partner at Travel in Motion, a company which, with their partner Oystin Advisory, has years of experience bridging the gap between GDS business, the vendor, and the airline.

In this twenty-five-minute interview Daniel gave his perspective on the huge topic that is distribution in the Asia-Pacific region. Tackling this extensive subject, the Travel in Motion Partner identified areas of variation across the region providing a useful overview of the transformation, uptake, and challenges. Additionally, Daniel highlighted catalysts and barriers to change in the region, shedding light on the current landscape and cautiously drawing comparisons against other areas of the globe.

An important takeaway from the discussion was that many of these changes are costly and have repercussions that must be considered before integrating new systems. With all the future facing conversations concerning implementing updated systems, the complexities and costs around successfully installing new technology and systems cannot be understated.

The full list of questions asked is:

  • Could you give an overview of the distribution landscape in Asia?
  • Would you say the distribution is an area in which airlines are slightly hamstrung by legacy systems?
  • How have we seen COVID-19 impact the APAC region and how is this different to the rest of the world?
  • Can you explain the transformative impact NDC has had on distribution in the industry.
  • In what ways does NDC uptake vary from region to region?
  • ONE Order is still in its early stages, how do you see this developing in Asia?
  • Have there been problems transitioning to modern retailing with offer and order technology?
  • Why is it such an important time for the Asian aviation market to meet and discuss challenges in the industry?
  • What are you looking forward to at Aviation Festival Asia

 

 

Articles written by Travel in Motion include Tickets – Can We Live Without Them? The (Bleak?) Future of Departure Control Systems, Hey Airline Exec – Put your bum in my seat!

 

Turkish Airlines: profitability, growth, and sustainability

Turkish Airlines: profitability, growth, and sustainability

Turkish Airlines: profitability, growth, and sustainability

 

Turkish Airlines have recently recorded impressive third quarter results. The airline is currently operating even stronger than it was in 2019 before the pandemic. Demonstrating profitability, growth, and a strong engagement with sustainability, Turkish Airlines appears to be going from strength to strength.

 

Third quarter results

Turkish Airlines reported generating a net profit of more than $1.5 billion in the third quarter of 2022. This figure was up 131.3 per-cent from the pre-pandemic results of 2019.

Disclosing their success, the carrier said:

“Turkish Airlines finished the third quarter of 2022 with $1.5 billion net profit thanks to its operational agility and ability to meet the increasing demand with its highly skilled workforce and wide flight network it preserved during the pandemic.”

The Turkish flag carrier was able to hit the ground running as restrictions eased having retained their staff during the pandemic. In 2021, the then Turkish Airlines chairman Ilker Ayci explained:

“In addition to the many measures we have taken, we owe our success to the dedication of our employees. While other airlines employees are facing layoffs, we have not parted ways with any of our employees during this process; we have decided not to lay off staff in order to provide better service and faster recovery than other carriers.”

Turkish Airlines have also seen an increase in international passengers travelling with the airline since the pandemic. The airline flew to 335 destinations worldwide as of the end of October, up from 316 destinations in the same month of 2019.

 

New routes

The airline currently flies to more countries than any other in the world, connecting 278 destinations across four continents from 53 Turkish cities. Despite this, the airline has announced further expansion plans to fourteen additional destinations in September, building upon the cities identified as points of expansion in August.

The geographic breakdown of these are:

  • Ten in Europe
  • Seven in Africa and the Middle East
  • Six in Asia-Pacific
  • Five in the Americas

 

Sustainability

Acknowledging the scale of their operations, Turkish Airlines have been furthering their sustainability efforts and have been internationally recognised for doing so. The airline recently won the Airline Sustainability Innovation of the Year award by CAPA.

The award was for their innovation with Microalgae Based Sustainable Bio-Jet Fuel Project (MICRO-JET) which helped to develop the world’s first carbon negative sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The airline’s Chief Investment & Technology Officer Levent Konukcu said:

“’As the airline that flies to more countries than any other airline in the world, we appreciate the sustainable aviation fuel as a key element in our sustainability strategy on reducing aviation’s environmental impact. […] Beyond the use of biofuels, the fact that our support to scientific studies in the production of this fuel is crowned with an award here today makes us proud as it proves the correctness of the steps we have taken.”

Once the airline is able to use this biofuel it will be using the cleanest type of biofuel.

Turkish Airlines has recently dominated headlines with their profits, growth, and sustainability efforts. The carrier has hit the ground running following the pandemic and has been labelled one of the key airlines to watch in the future.

To read about the use of technology at Istanbul Airport read here.

Turkish Airlines will be speaking at Aviation Festival Asia in 2023, speaking on the CIO Panel: How are airline CIOs in Asia prioritising investments as we head further into 2023 to meet passengers digital demands and deliver on sustainability efforts? The airline will as be speaking on digital ambition.

 


Article by Jess Brownlow

 

HSBC Star Alliance’s world-first Credit Card

HSBC Star Alliance’s world-first Credit Card

HSBC Star Alliance’s world-first Credit Card

 

On 15 November 2022 Star Alliance launched the HSBC Star Alliance Credit Card powered by Ascenda. This is the world’s first airline alliance credit card. It is big news for the industry so here are the who, what, where, and whys.

 

Who is involved?

Star AllianceThe Star Alliance network, established in 1997 was the first truly global airline alliance. It offers the largest and most comprehensive airline network. The member airlines participating in the loyalty programme include: Air Canada, Air New Zealand, EVA Air, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, THAI, and United Airlines.

AscendaAscenda is a global rewards technology company with a cloud-based loyalty platform. The company ‘deploys reward solutions that enable brands to grow revenue and build deeper customer connections across the entire financial relationship.’

 

What is it?

The card is the first of its kind, bringing together seven of the world’s leading airlines on a single credit card platform. Traditionally, these cards are linked to a singular airline’s reward system. However, the HSBC Star Alliance Credit Card allows customers a choice from multiple airlines with whom they can redeem points for frequent flyer programs.

Importantly for customers, they are able to earn Star Alliance Points on everyday eligible credit card purchases.

Jeffrey Goh, CEO of Star Alliance said:

“Star Alliance is delighted to launch this industry-first loyalty product together with HSBC and Visa. This is very much consistent with a key strategy of Star Alliance which is to offer a loyalty proposition that others talk about.

This unique product is an outcome of strategic discussions with our member airlines for the Australian market. It will offer a new world of loyalty experience with not only the ability to earn points, but also a fast track to Star Alliance Gold Status through everyday spending. Star Alliance Gold Status offers a range of benefits such as lounge access and priority boarding across all Star Alliance member carriers.”

 

Where is the card active?

For now, the card is only available in Australia.

 

Why has this been introduced?

An HSBC Travel and Finance survey found that although Australians are prioritising travel in 2023, they are simultaneously looking to keep travel costs low. The survey revealed 24 per-cent of respondents who intended to travel overseas said they would pay for flights with credit card rewards and points.

The same survey also revealed 96 per-cent of respondents travelling overseas said they would consider tips and tricks to keep travel costs down.

Looking at the results, the Australian market appears primed for the introduction of a credit card which enables them to collect points for flying through every day purchases.

For more articles relating to earning points through everyday spending read ‘Catching a lift, ordering groceries, and now grabbing a coffee. Delta’s loyalty partnerships turning everyday life into miles.

 


Article by Jess Brownlow

 

Cathay Pacific Group announce ambitious recovery targets

Cathay Pacific Group announce ambitious recovery targets

Cathay Pacific Group announce ambitious recovery targets

 

The Cathay Pacific Group have announced their ambitious forecast for passenger recovery.

On 14 November, the airline group announced plans to hit pre-pandemic passenger capacity by the end of 2024. Looking shorter term, the group hopes to reach 70 per-cent of its 2019 passenger capacity by the end of 2023.

The Cathay Pacific Group includes Cathay Pacific and HK Express.

The planned recovery figures would position the airline group ahead of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) predictions for the region. In March, IATA released ‘Air Passenger Numbers to Recover in 2024’ which predicted the APAC region would be the slowest to recover.

The 2022 predictions are close, with IATA estimating traffic to/from/within the region would reach 68 per-cent of 2019 levels and the Cathay Pacific Group aiming for 70 per-cent recovery by the end of 2023. However, IATA predicted 2019 levels should be recovered in 2025, while the airline group hopes to cut this date in 2024. https://www.iata.org/en/pressroom/2022-releases/2022-03-01-01/

Cathay Pacific Group’s ambitious targets are even more impressive given their figures in 2022. Looking at Cathay Pacific’s traffic figures for March 2022, the carrier had a 99 per-cent reduction in passenger numbers compares to 2019.

Travel to the region is expected to dramatically increase following the lifting of quarantine rules for traveller entering Hong Kong. In line with the relaxation of travel restrictions, the Cathay Pacific Group announced the 3,000 more passenger flights between October and December 2022.

Augustus Tang, CEO of Cathay Pacific and leader of the overall business direction of the Cathay Pacific Group said:

“We are taking a measured and responsible approach to managing our own road to recovery, with a need to address challenges that are unique to Hong Kong. The city’s borders were closed for much longer than other markets and importantly, aircrew in Hong Kong were uniquely under quarantine constraints that weren’t lifted until September. […] Importantly, we have sufficient pilots, cabin crew and operational employees to support our current flight schedules, and we are confident that our ongoing recruitment plans will ensure this remains the case throughout the recovery.

The short-term bottlenecks lie in the recertification of pilots who have not been flying regularly for a long period of time and the reactivation of aircraft. We have been bolstering our capabilities to expedite this process”

 

For an overview of the APAC region’s return to travel read here.

Aviation Festival Asia in 2023 will explore

 


Article by Jess Brownlow

 

The technology at Noida International Airport (NIA)

The technology at Noida International Airport (NIA)

The technology at Noida International Airport (NIA)

 

It has recently been confirmed by Christoph Schnellmann, CEO, YIAPL that the construction of Noida International Airport (NIA) is on course to be ready by the end of 2024. The new airport covers over 1,300 hectares of land in Uttar Pradesh, India and promises to have the capacity to serve an estimated 12 million passengers a year in the first phase.

The airport intends to establish itself as the logistics gateway of northern India and establish Uttar Pradesh on the global logistics map.

Schnellmann was quoted by news agency ANI:

“The airport will be an airport the region can be proud of bringing the world to the western UP and bringing western UP to the world stimulating development, infrastructure development, economic growth, and creating jobs for the region.”

The airport combines Swiss quality and efficiency with Indian warmth in hospitality.

Revealing some of the technology initiatives at the new airport, the airport’s Twitter announced use of:

  • Paperless and touchless parking
  • Biometrics via face recognition
  • Check-in, ordering meals via your smartphone
  • Virtual queues for security screening
  • Reduced emissions through predictive building management

Discussing the sustainability aspect of the airport, Schnellmann reported, “the airport will operate sustainably by minimising carbon dioxide and other emissions.” To read more on sustainability at India’s airports read Mumbai International Airport Becomes Another of India’s 100% Green Energy Airports.

In a press release in June this year, there was an emphasis on the airport’s seamless, contactless flow through the airport. This experience is offered through integrated systems, services, and the use of technologies such as indoor navigation, passenger flow management, and data analytics to offer passengers “the highest levels of convenience […] at a truly modern, efficient, and customer-friendly airport.”

Ensuring seamless connectivity when entering and leaving NIA, the airport will also develop a Ground Transportation Centre that will feature a multimodal transit hub, housing metro and high-speed rail stations, taxi, bus services and private parking.

If you are interesting in learning more about NIA’s technology, Anurag Shandilya, Head of Operations at NIA will be speaking at Aviation Festival Asia in 2023. The Head of Operations will give a presentation on ‘Building India’s largest airport which places passengers and a digitalisation experience at the centre of its ethos’ and speak on a panel exploring ‘The role of digital transformation in ramping up airport operations in Asia’s post-pandemic recovery era.’

 


Article by Jess Brownlow