In Brief

Etihad Airways and Beijing Daxing International Airport team, celebrating the arrival of the Etihad inaugural flight EY888

Etihad begins flight to Beijing Daxing

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), began its first scheduled flight between Abu Dhabi and Beijing Daxing Airport on March 28, 2023.

The inaugural flight EY888, operated using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, marked the move of regular flights from Abu Dhabi to Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX). Previously Etihad operated to Beijing Capital International Airport.

Arik De, Chief Revenue Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “With China’s reopening and the restart of the aviation and tourism industries, we are very glad to see the long overdue move of our scheduled services to Beijing Daxing International Airport, which will further strengthen our commitment to the country’s aviation market development and Chinese travellers.”

Wang Yaqi, General Manager of Aviation Business at Beijing Daxing International Airport, said: “Abu Dhabi Airports Company signed an MoU to build a sister-airport relationship with Beijing Daxing International Airport in 2019, which strengthened the capital-to-capital link. Etihad Airways is one of the first airlines in the Middle East to move to Beijing Daxing International Airport, and we congratulate them on this successful inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi to Beijing Daxing International Airport.”

Finnair swaps domestic routes with coach

Finnair will cease flying two of its shortest domestic routes, replacing air service between its Helsinki hub and the cities of Turku and Tampere with a bus connection as of May 1, 2023.

Finnair has already replaced its mid-day flights from these cities with bus connections to lower the CO2 footprint of the routes. Road and rail options are a more environmentally sustainable option for connecting these cities to Finnair’s Helsinki hub.

“The flights to Tampere and Turku are very short, and the relatively low passenger numbers – around 35 percent load factors – on these routes cause them to have a higher CO2 emission per passenger than many other short routes in our network, “ says Perttu Jolma, Vice President, Network. “Road, or rail, transportation is a more sustainable option for connections between Helsinki Airport and these cities.”

“We understand that this decision disappoints customers who have used the flights, and we regret the inconvenience this causes them. We must, however, take both economic and environmental considerations into account,” Jolma says.


Aviation industry sees huge investments

The CAPA – Centre for Aviation, one of the world’s most trusted sources of aviation market intelligence, says there have been 425 major construction projects at existing airports, with US$450.7 billion in total committed expenditure globally, each of which is at various stages, from preparatory to about to conclude, along with 225 new airport projects and airport investor numbers swelling to 1074, including 258 airport operator groups or consortiums. Its database has region-wise listed the total numbers of the airport project and the volume of investment include 155 in Middle East worth US$209.4 billion.

Airports in the Middle East will need to invest US$151 billion in capacity expansion as the global air passenger demand is expected to increase more than two-fold in 2040. “This necessitates an investment totaling US$2.4 trillion for Middle East and Asia-Pacific airports until 2040 to accommodate this growth,” the Airport Council International said.

New airports are coming up and existing facilities getting expanded and upgraded to meet future passenger demands. The airport industry players, seeing the huge investments coming back on the tracks, will get into an energized enthusiasm at the Airport Show in Dubai from May 9 to 11.


Oman Air increases flights to Moscow

Oman Air, the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman, has increased the frequency of flights to Moscow as part of its summer schedule. Offering maximum comfort and convenience to its guests, the airline will be flying daily using its popular Airbus A330 wide-body aircraft. The non-stop flight from Muscat will depart at 15:35 and arrive in Moscow at 20:55, while the return sector will depart from Moscow at 23:20 and arrive in Muscat at 06:30.