Korean Air Lounge at Incheon Airport ranked No.1 in Asia Pacific

Mar 18, 2010 0

Korean Air’s Lounge at Incheon International Airport Concourse A has been named “Priority Pass Lounge of the Year 2010” in Asia Pacific by Priority Pass, a UK-based company that provides worldwide cross-airline airport lounge access.

In a survey of its one million-plus members worldwide this year, Priority Pass says Korean Air’s Incheon lounge was voted No.1 among 109 candidates in the Asia Pacific region.  

Commenting on the award, Mr. Chi Chang-Hoon, President and Chief Operating Officer of Korean Air, said “We are very pleased that our efforts in providing our customers with a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience have been recognized by this prestigious award. We would like to thank our customers and all Priority Pass members for their continued support.”

“This award serves to remind all of us at Korean Air to continue to work towards providing the best travel experience to our customers from ground to air. It also sits well with our ‘Excellence in Flight’ corporate slogan,” continued Mr. Chi. “Priority Pass Lounge of the Year” was created to honor excellence in airport lounge services worldwide and encourage enhancements.

Korean Air has partnered with Priority Pass since 1999 and currently has 13 lounges in the program, including New York, Los Angeles, and Tokyo.

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Passenger traffic down by 2.7%; cargo down by 8.2 % – world airport traffic 2009

Mar 17, 2010 0

ACI reports preliminary results of a 2.7 percent decline in global passenger traffic for 2009, reflecting steep declines in the first quarter in most regions but a return to growth activity by year-end. Total cargo volumes retracted by 8.2 percent, while aircraft movements were 5.5 percent below the 2008 level. The preliminary report is based on input from over 900 airports.
 ACI World Director General Angela Gittens comments, “We are pleased to see that the global results for 2009 were less depressed than originally anticipated, although the pattern was as we had forecast.    We recognize the economic cautions ahead but early indications for January and February confirm continuing global traffic stabilization with reports of renewed domestic and international demand in many localities.”
Rebounds in domestic traffic helped mitigate the impact of global recession. Strong performance in the Asia-Pacific and Latin America-Caribbean regions during the second half of 2009 was driven primarily by domestic traffic in China, India and Brazil.  The Middle East maintained a more stable overall performance curve throughout the year, whereas airports in the North America and European regions only timidly exited negative growth territory toward the end of the year, which helped boost fourth quarter global traffic growth to 3.5 percent after a flat third quarter.
The first two quarters of 2009 represented the peak of the crisis for global air traffic with passenger volumes down by 8 percent and 5 percent respectively.  Cargo declines were even more dramatic for the first two quarters, down by 20 percent and 17 percent, respectively, as compared to the same periods in 2008. 
Traffic in the second half of 2009 reflected the growing confidence of businesses and consumers in economic recovery, particularly visible in those countries that reported positive year-on-year GDP growth such as China, India and Brazil while other major economies including US, Japan, Germany and UK were still facing year-on-year GDP declines.
Gittens concludes, “Airport managers maintain a long-term focus within a constantly evolving business context.  With customer demand on the rise once again, airports and their partners face an additional new set of challenges. Renewed growth will require well-planned investments made in a spirit of partnership with airlines, air traffic control providers, and the many partners and community stakeholders who share our dual objectives of service delivery excellence and maximum cost effectiveness for all users.”

* Please note that these figures and percentages are based on both the submissions submitted by the 906 reporting entities representing 93% of global traffic. The final confirmed report will be published in July 2010 and will include any outstanding reports (1300+ airports), therefore figures are subject to slight variation.
Total traffic
Among the top 20 busiest airports worldwide, Beijing, Dubai, Bangkok and San Francisco were the only airports registering new growth. Beijing leaped to rank 3 with growth of 17 percent.
In the top 100 listing, 26 airports showed positive growth, and of the 26 only Cairo, San Francisco, Baltimore and Istanbul were not located in either the Asia Pacific Region (mainly China) or Brazil. Others in the top100 fared less well: Vancouver, London Stansted, Detroit, Stockholm Arlanda, St. Louis, Manchester, Dublin and Osaka report double digit declines.
International traffic
Amongst those airports reporting international traffic results, Beirut, Kuwait and Sharjah were the leaders of the top 100 international airports and the only ones showing double digit growth. Dubai grew by 9.6 percent solidifying its 6th rank. Kuala Lumpur and Istanbul airports were the only other two among the top 20 international airports that reported growth of 9 percent and 8 percent respectively. Mexico City and Cancun both suffered declines of 13 percent in international passengers as a result of significant declines in the wake of the H1N1 outbreak in the second quarter of 2009.


SUMMARY: PRELIMINARY RESULTS FOR 2009, compared to final results 2008


         Total Passengers: 4.4 billion, -2.7%

         Total International Passengers: 1.8 billion, –4.2%

         Total Cargo (includes mail): 71.3 million metric tonnes, -8.2%

         Total International Freight: 41.7 million metric tonnes, 10.1% 

         Total Aircraft Movements: 63.9 million, -5.5% 


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Video: Report with child directing aircraft from JFK air traffic control tower

Mar 5, 2010 0

More information is coming to light about the air traffic controller allowing his children to instruct aircraft at New York’s JFK airport.

During the visits, over two days (during school holidays) a controller’s children cleared aircraft for take-off. The CNN report provides several recordings between aircraft and the control tower – ironically I only hear the parent make a slight mistake!

The FAA are continuing their investigations and several air traffic control staff have been suspended.


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Abu Dhabi to host 10th ACI Training Centre

Mar 1, 2010 0

Airports Council International (ACI) and the Gulf Centre for Aviation Studies (GCAS) – a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) – have signed an agreement to open a new ACI Training Centre, making Abu Dhabi the 10th global training hub in the world and the second in the Middle East region.  

At the signing ceremony held in Geneva, ACI Director General Angela Gittens said, “ACI looks forward to extending its partnership in the Gulf region with the establishment of a new training hub in Abu Dhabi. GCAS has taken a leadership position by ensuring that the development of executive and staff expertise will advance hand in hand with the rapid expansion of the aviation industry in this dynamic region. They are set to grow their business and this step shows that they are not only investing in infrastructure, but also in human capital.  ACI firmly believes that performance excellence will be a key to a sustainable future for aviation.”  

The goal of ACI is to bring training as close to home as possible for the association’s members who operate over 1600 airports. Each new centre extends access to courses and industry-recognized accreditation programmes that enable airport personnel to improve their proficiencies and management skills.  

Gittens added, “The establishment of this partnership is fully aligned with ACI’s mandate to promote airport excellence by providing high quality, comprehensive training solutions to our members. As the needs of the industry grow, ACI will continue to enhance competency based training programmes that address those needs through committed partnerships with our ACI members in regional training centres around the world.”  

Mr. Mohammed Al Bulooki, General Manager, Gulf Centre for Aviation Studies added, “This partnership with ACI represents a key milestone as GCAS strives to provide its large customer base with the best airport executive training available.

“With several billions of dollars invested in airport infrastructure projects across the GCC, and the wider Middle East region, GCAS projects strong demand for highly-skilled and well-trained aviation executives. GCAS’s purpose-built, state-of-the-art, facility at Al Bateen Executive Airport in Abu Dhabi city also provides the best quality training as students get the opportunity to experience – hands on – real airport operations.” 

Also present for the signing of the agreement was ACI’s Director for Global Training, Victor de Barrena. He emphasized the excellent match between the GCAS centre’s training objectives and the ACI range of programmes, “GCAS is seeking a flexible and thorough approach to its training needs. That corresponds perfectly to the ACI global training course offering, which encompasses four key levels of training for airports and takes into account the needs of the aviation industry as stated by ICAO and other non regulatory organizations. The four layers provide a continuum for career development from entry level skills proficiency, to global middle and high level management accreditation to executive training for the top leadership positions. We look forward to a long and fruitful cooperation with our new partners.”

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Abu Dhabi In-flight Catering Company records delay-free year

Feb 23, 2010 0

Following on from its International Air Transport Association (IATA) Gold Award, Abu Dhabi In-flight Catering Company (ADIFC), along with its management partners LSG Sky Chefs, has announced its 2009 on-time performance results, with 44,783 flights catered and zero associated delays recorded.


Despite the volume of catered-flights increasing by 41.3 per cent over the last three years, ADIFC and LSG has seen a corresponding decrease in flight delays attributed to catering operations. ADIFC announced that it had moved from seven delays in 2007, to three in 2008, to zero last year.

Huraiz bin Huraiz, Chief Commercial Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports Company, the parent company of ADIFC, said: “First and foremost, this is a team effort and I would like to thank all 1,263 employees at Abu Dhabi Inflight Catering Company for delivering this result; it is an achievement that each and every staff member can be justifiably proud of.”

“The result demonstrates ADIFC’s constant drive and determination to achieve its ‘Right First Time, Every Time’ philosophy and complements the consistently high quality services and products we offer to our airline customers, especially at a time where they have faced rapid expansion and increased activity.”

As the home airline at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Etihad is understandably ADIFC’s largest customer but amongst ADIFC’s other airline customers are international carriers such as British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, and KLM.

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ADAC welcomes aviation experts to Abu Dhabi Airport’s MTC Peer Review Programme

Feb 16, 2010 0

Aviation experts from the world’s premier airports were today welcomed to the Abu Dhabi Peer Review Programme by the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC). The delegations of aviation industry peers will, for the first time ever, spend three days in “think-tank” workshops, in the UAE’s capital, discussing new developments and the upcoming Midfield Terminal Complex at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The Abu Dhabi Airports Peer Review Programme aims to provide a platform for collaboration and furthering best practice in airport development between some of the most experienced airports and aviation professionals from three continents. Sharing knowledge and expertise are CEOs and other senior representatives from some of the world’s most prestigious aviation organisations, including Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Denver International Airport, London Heathrow Airport, Singapore Changi Airport and Etihad Airways.

The first day saw speeches and presentations from prominent UAE organisations, including the Department of Transport, the Urban Planning Council, Etihad Airways, the Abu Dhabi Police, and the host organisation, ADAC. During the three-day event, delegates will discuss a wide range of airport design and related infrastructure issues, from passenger handling and passenger facilities to sustainability, security and technology. Along with the group workshops, ADAC and peer presentations – relating to ADAC’s airport development – will be part of the programme. 

H.E. Khalifa Al Mazrouei, Chairman of ADAC said: “It is an honour to welcome so many distinguished aviation professionals to Abu Dhabi for this unique collaborative event and we would especially like to thank Abu Dhabi Airport Police, Abu Dhabi Customs & Immigration, the Department of Transport, Etihad Airways, Mubadala Aerospace, the Presidential Flight, and the Urban Planning Council, for their participation.”

“As we are currently progressing with our expansion and redevelopment programme at Abu Dhabi International Airport, we feel that by hosting this forum we will benefit from, and continue to foster, a spirit of international co-operation – not just to the advantage of our own development, but of the industry as a whole,” added Al Mazrouei.


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ADAC & Al Jaber Aviation sign largest tenancy deal at Al Bateen Executive Airport

Feb 8, 2010 0

Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) has signed a landmark 10-year leasing deal with Al Jaber Aviation (AJA), which will see the new leading provider of VIP aviation based at Al Bateen Executive Airport, in the heart of the UAE capital.

The deal makes Al Jaber Aviation the largest tenant to sign up at Al Bateen – the region’s only dedicated private aviation airport – since ADAC took over the management of the airport in 2009.

 Declared as a ‘win-win’ situation for both partners, AJA’s new office space now strategically locates the VIP aviation company in the heart of Abu Dhabi, while – for ADAC – the agreement complements its strategy of diversification of its airports.

According to the agreement, AJA will be signed up for a minimum of 10 years, with the office space having been delivered to the VIP aviation company in three phases. AJA confirmed that the final phase is near completion and the offices will be fully operational within two months.

On signing the deal, ADAC’s Chief Commercial Officer, Huraiz Al Mur bin Huraiz said: “We are pleased to welcome Al Jaber Aviation as ADAC’s first and now largest tenant at Al Bateen Executive Airport. The deal we are signing today is a clear indication of the growing importance of VIP and private aviation in the UAE capital, as well as the position Abu Dhabi, as a whole, is building as a key destination for VIP and executive travel.

“In addition, ADAC is equally committed to providing as much support to our national VIP aviation operators as needed, in order for them to achieve their expansion plans and build a peerless reputation in the industry.”   

Dr. Mark Pierotti, Chief Operating Officer of Al Jaber Aviation described the deal as a reiteration of AJA’s partnership with ADAC, saying it will significantly empower the company’s plans to grow and achieve its development objectives, adding:

“With AJA planning to further build our aircraft fleet, over the coming years, we recognise that Al Bateen combines a strategic location with fully equipped operational, administrative as well as maintenance facilities managed by ADAC – the largest operator of airports in the UAE.  Furthermore, basing AJA at Al Bateen will help us continue to deliver world-class services to our elite guests with fast-on-fast-off processing; an advantage that we could not obtain in other international or larger airports in the region.”

“We thank ADAC for their support and their trust in AJA.  Our decision to base our offices at Al Bateen Executive Airport, which I understand now makes us the largest leasing tenant, is based on our future plans to expand our activities in the medium and long term. 

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