News for Europe/MEA

Lebanon to expand Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport amidst record pax volume

30 August, 2017
Lebanon's Minister of Public Works and Transport Youssef Fenianos, via his personal Twitter account, announced (29-Aug-2017) a master plan to expand Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport to accommodate up to 12 million passengers in the first phase, and up to 24 million passengers in the second phase. The plan offers a marked increase over the airport's current capacity to handle four to five million passengers. Mr Fenianos said 345 aircraft departed the airport on 28-Aug-2017, a "record high" for Beirut.

SCAT Airlines receives EASA authorisation for EU services

30 August, 2017

SCAT Airlines, via its official Facebook account, announced (29-Aug-2017) it received EASA authorisation to operate services to destinations in the EU. The carrier will study and plan new, potential routes.

French Blue considering services to Mauritius and Seychelles in 2018

30 August, 2017

French Blue CEO Marc Rochet confirmed new destinations are being considered for 2018 (clicanoo.re, 29-Aug-2017). "We look at everything, Mauritius... could open in 2018", he said, along with service to the Seychelles. Mr Rochet concluded: "There are plenty of high growth roads, there is a good growth in the West Indies, and the North Atlantic".

airberlin brings forward cancellation plans for certain US routes

30 August, 2017

airberlin adjusted plans to reduce its winter 2017/18 schedule to the US, according to a 29-Aug-2017 GDS inventory and timetable display. Bookings are not available for certain services, or have been reduced. Details include:

  • Berlin Tegel-Abu Dhabi: Reduce from twice daily to daily from 17-Sep-2017, suspend service from 30-Sep-2017;
  • Berlin Tegel-Chicago: Suspend daily service from 30-Sep-2017;
  • Berlin Tegel-Los Angeles: Suspend three times weekly service from 30-Sep-2017;
  • Berlin Tegel-San Francisco: Suspend four times weekly service from 29-Sep-2017;
  • Duesseldorf-Boston: Suspend daily service from 30-Sep-2017.

Kam Air renews licence, hopes to commence Europe services

29 August, 2017

Kam Air renewed its operating licence and received approval from the Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority (ACAA) to operate Europe services (TOLOnews, 28-Aug-2017). ACAA is working to have Afghanistan's airlines removed from the EU blacklist and Kam Air hopes to commence Europe services "in the near future", according to deputy president Farid Paikar.

Vule Airways to serve more than 20 destinations with six aircraft

29 August, 2017

Vule Airways MD Robert Mwesigwa Nviiri said the airline intends to commence operations with six aircraft and aims to serve more than 20 destinations from its Entebbe hub, including "major airports" in East African Community states, Southern Africa, Dubai, Guangzhou, London, Moscow and Tel Aviv (The Independent, 28-Aug-2017). The airline is negotiating codeshare agreements with other carriers and also aims to attract cargo traffic, particularly exports from Uganda. The airline reportedly aims to break even in 2020/21 and be profitable from 2021/22. The carrier is awaiting approval from Uganda's Civil Aviation Authority to commence operations in Nov-2017.

Ireland West Airport Knock three year transformation programme to commence in winter 2017/2018

29 August, 2017

Ireland West Airport Knock announced (28-Aug-2017) the airport's EUR15 million three year transformation programme will commence in winter 2017/2018. Upgrades include new passenger facilities and infrastructural works across the airport and runway. The airport will also complete a EUR4 million upgrade of infrastructural projects to improve operational efficiency by year ending 2017. [more - original PR]

Qatar Airways: 'India is a big market...we will definitely start operations there'

28 August, 2017

Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker stated the carrier is firm on plans to launch an airline in India despite facing business challenges because of sanctions imposed on Qatar by some Gulf countries (The Hindu, 28-Aug-2017). "India is a big market and we will definitely start operations there", he said. He however said the carrier has no interest in Air India as "we want to launch our own airline". Mr Al Baker accused some carriers in India of trying to block Qatar Airways from its plan but hoped the "Indian government will not favour them only". "We will overcome this opposition because travellers in India deserve more", he said, citing the government's business friendly policies.

Wizz Air launches five new Kiev routes and adds second aircraft to base

28 August, 2017

Wizz Air launched (28-Aug-2017) five new routes from Kiev Zhuliany International Airport and added a second A320 aircraft to the base. New routes include:

  • Kiev Zhuliany-Copenhagen: Three times weekly;
  • Kiev Zhuliany-Lublin: Twice weekly;
  • Kiev Zhuliany-Frankfurt Hahn: Three times weekly;
  • Kiev Zhuliany-Poznan: Twice weekly;
  • Kiev Zhuliany-Nuremburg: Twice weekly.

Wizz Air communications manager Sorina Ratz said: "This year only, we have expanded the Ukrainian network with eight new services and grew our capacity by 65%. In 2018, WIZZ's investment in the country will be almost USD300 million, with a third allocated aircraft and more than 1.5 million seats offered on 23 routes from Kiev and Lviv, showing a remarkable 97% growth year-on-year". [more - original PR]

Modlin Airport expecting 2.9m pax in 2017, construction could 'double the capacity' of terminal

28 August, 2017

Warsaw Modlin Airport forecast it will handle around 2.9 million passengers for 2017 (rynek-lotniczy.pl, 25-Aug-2017). As previously reported by CAPA, the airport's EUR11.8 million development aspirations include modernisation of taxiways, expansion of the departures section and its eastern wing, and a new hotel. Modlin Airport CEO Leszek Chorzewski said: "We want to double the capacity of the terminal, we could do it in 2-2.5 years, but would operate on a different system than before, would create integrated shopping zones".

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