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From Zero To Hero? Wizz Air Abu Dhabi’s Swift Growth



Wizz Air has announced a further four routes from Abu Dhabi, including three to Greece, taking its total route network from the UAE capital to 29. This summer, three airlines will have up to nine weekly departures from the UAE to Mykonos – from zero before coronavirus started. We take a look at what’s happening.

Three more routes to Greek islands are coming, helped by gaps in its schedule and the travel corridor between the UAE and Greece. Photo: Wizz Air.

Wizz Air’s four new routes, shown below, follow the recent inauguration of Abu Dhabi to Belgrade, and they come days after Santorini and Chișinău were both revealed.

  1. Baku (Azerbaijan); twice-weekly from September 4th
  2. Chania; twice-weekly from July 9th until September 10th
  3. Mykonos; twice-weekly from July 7th until September 12th
  4. Rhodes; twice-weekly from July 12th until September 10th

Of course, most Greek routes are heavily summer-seasonal, with the delayed launch of other routes from Abu Dhabi enabling these to begin and capitalize on at least some peak demand.

Wizz Air has served the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, from Budapest for years. Image: Wizz Air.

Why Greece?

The launch of the new Greece routes follows a travel corridor established in May between the country and the UAE. Now, passengers holding vaccination certificates issued by health authorities can travel between the nations without having to quarantine on arrival. No wonder Wizz Air has focused on the country, along with Etihad Airways and flydubai.

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi (IATA code 5W) recently began Belgrade. On June 6th, it had a flight time to the Serbian capital of five hours and 17 minutes. Image:

Etihad and flydubai also add routes

Etihad Airways has announced Mykonos and Santorini from its Abu Dhabi hub in the past couple of days. Both will operate twice-weekly using A320s, and both will be head-to-head with Wizz Air, although they’ll target somewhat different passengers. However, the ultra-low-cost-carrier (ULCC) will start sooner, one day before in the case of Mykonos.

Meanwhile, flydubai will launch Dubai-Mykonos on June 18th, with this route increasing to five-weekly in July. It will codeshare with Emirates, with the schedule falling nicely into Emirates’ key arrival/departure banks for connectivity. The two carriers are now “almost a merger”.

From $155 return for Abu Dhabi to Mykonos at the end of July. Image: Wizz Air.

Greek island demand is not large

This summer, there will be three non-stop routes from the UAE to Mykonos. However, demand from UAE to the Greek islands is not large. In 2019, Mykonos, for example, had fewer than 5,000 round-trip point-to-point (P2P) passengers, according to booking data from OAG Traffic Analyzer.

The vast bulk of this traffic was naturally in the peak summer. While three carriers are clearly a lot, demand will be helped by low-frequency services for the peak only, demand being redistributed from harder-to-visit places, and Etihad and flydubai also targeting transit passengers.

There will now be up to nine weekly departures from the UAE to Mykonos with three airlines. In 2019: none. Photo: Wizz Air.

Wizz Air has 29 routes from Abu Dhabi

Wizz Air now has 29 routes from Abu Dhabi across 17 countries, its website shows. These routes use aircraft from both the Group’s Abu Dhabi unit, which exclusively operates 239-seat A321neos, and from the original Wizz Air Hungary. Abu Dhabi has been crucial in Wizz Air’s airport network growing so much this year.

Wizz Air’s 29 routes from Abu Dhabi have an average sector length of a long 1,822 miles. This obviously means fewer sectors per aircraft per day, which is somewhat counterbalanced by 239 seats per flight. Image: GCMap.

52 departures in the first week of September

While it may change, Wizz Air currently has 52 weekly departures bookable from Abu Dhabi in the first week of September. Some 20 of the 29 routes are bookable then, as shown below. Only Tel Aviv will be seven-weekly. Like most of the ULCC’s European network, emphasis is on low-frequency and often twice-weekly P2P services.

Abu Dhabi to… Departures in the first week of September Departures in the first week of October
Alexandria 3 3
Almaty 2 2
Athens 2 3
Baku 2 2
Bari 0 2
Belgrade 2 2
Bucharest 2 2
Budapest 1 2
Catania 0 2
Chania 2 0
Chișinău 3 2
Cluj-Napoca 0 1
Katowice 0 2
Kutaisi 0 2
Kyiv Boryspil 3 3
Larnaca 2 2
Luxor 2 2
Muscat 3 3
Mykonos 2 0
Nur Sultan 2 2
Odesa 2 2
Rhodes 2 0
Salalah 2 2
Santorini 2 0
Sofia 0 2
Sohag 2 2
Tel Aviv 7 7
Thessaloniki 2 2
Yerevan 0 2

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Hawaiian Airlines to resume Tahiti service



Hawaiian Airlines has announced the resumption of its Tahiti service following the launch of a pre-travel testing program between Hawaiʻi and French Polynesia that allows for quarantine-free travel within the two archipelagos. Beginning Aug. 7, Hawaiian will reinstate once-weekly nonstop flying between Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) and Tahiti’s Fa’a’ā International Airport (PPT), utilizing its 278-seat Airbus A330 aircraft.

Hawaiian has served as the leading carrier for Hawaiʻi-Tahiti air travel since its inaugural service in June 1987. The airline suspended its PPT service flights in March 2020 due to the pandemic. The carrier’s resumption of flights is made possible by the new pre-travel testing program established by Hawaiʻi Gov. David Ige and French Polynesia President Édouard Fritch — a result of low COVID-19 cases within the two destinations.

Both Hawaiʻi and French Polynesia will implement strict travel requirements for resident and visitor safety. Those traveling inbound from PPT to HNL must complete and upload a negative test result from the Institut Louis Malardé, a state-approved testing partner, to the state of Hawaiʻi’s Safe Travels program. Guests traveling outbound to PPT from HNL will need to provide proof of vaccination and have fulfilled the government of Tahiti’s COVID-19 entry requirements prior to travel. Those not compliant will be subject to a 10-day quarantine.

Hawaiian Airlines flight HA481 will depart HNL at 3:35 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 7 and arrive at PPT at 9:30 p.m. Flight HA482 will depart PPT at 11:30 p.m. the same evening and arrive into HNL at 5:15 a.m. the following day.

Meanwhile the first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (N780HA) has been painted by Boeing at North Charleston, SC site pending delivery.

Looking back: A photo from the past:

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Aenium and Pangea form AM rocket propulsion agreement



Aenium and Pangea form AM rocket propulsion agreement

Pangea Aerospace, a company developing efficient and modern rocket engines to tackle the challenges of a transforming space industry, and Aenium, a company specialised in metal additive manufacturing technologies and material science, have sealed an industrial partnership for the development and industrialisation of advanced combustion devices focused on advanced 3D printed processes and materials.

The agreement formalised between both companies ensures a breakthrough in engineering complex combustion devices and drives the analysis of different types of advanced super alloys so far untreated for the most demanding applications within the space sector.

Pangea assigns the R&D, manufacturing and industrialisation of their new Aerospike demonstrator to their consortium for achieving a successful hot-fire test by the end of 2021. Aenium research, develop, qualify the new supper-alloys and industrialise the propulsion components through their innovative in-house material science capabilities and additive manufacturing industrial plant designing on-demand metallurgy inside the propulsion components achieving the most advanced thermo-mechanical behaviours.

In addition, the partnership will also bring to the EU market the first GRCop 42 industrialised unit to enable other space companies to access the most advanced propulsion solutions through additive manufacturing.

“Aenium is the perfect partner to advance quicker into our roadmap, and we are very excited to sign an agreement with a cutting-edge additive manufacturing start-up like them,” stated Adrià Argemi, CEO of Pangea Aerospace. “The agreement with Aenium goes beyond shared exclusive capabilities on GRCop42 in Europe, a copper material specifically developed for rocket engines.

“Aenium also brings an unmatched expertise and R&D capability in processes and materials. GRCop42 based alloys are one of the key solutions that allow us to solve the thermal challenges of an aerospike nozzle rocket engines. We are now ready to offer this unique capability to all the European aerospace sector.”

GRCop-42 is a high conductivity, high-strength alloy for use in high heat flux applications such as liquid rocket engines and other combustion devices. This NASA-developed copper-chrome-niobium alloy was developed for harsh environments specific to regeneratively-cooled combustion chambers and nozzles with good oxidation resistance.

Aerospike engine can radically transform space propulsion thanks to its higher efficiency (up to 15% than currently used rocket engines), reusability capabilities and very low-cost and rapid manufacturing. The company is currently manufacturing DemoP1 and will perform a hot-fire campaign in Q3 2021.

DemoP1 is a liquid oxygen and methane aerospike engine demonstrator designed to characterise and validate several key enabling technologies for future aerospike developments: the use of methane as a fuel, its manufacturing methodology, developed together with Aenium, a dual regenerative cooling system – exploiting both propellants to cool it down- and the design for reusability.

Several aerospike engines have been developed or conceptualised in history (J-2T, XRS-2200 and RS-2200) but none has ever flown. This is due to the engineering difficulties historically linked with aerospike nozzles: cooling and manufacturing. Now, additive manufacturing (AM) techniques and new materials, such as GrCop42 are enhancing the possibility to build a functional and economically viable aerospike engine at a fraction of the cost and time. The holy grail of propulsion is closer thanks to this agreement between Pangea Aerospace and Aenium.

New material science approach is now available based on rapid cooled microstructures and complex precipitated intermetallic elements achieving on-demand microstructures and thermomechanical properties driven by the LASER algorithms.

Pangea Aerospace has already started the preliminary design of its larger, commercially ready aerospike engine and its subsystems, that will benefit from this collaboration.

The agreement opens the door to a common service between Pangea Aerospace and Aenium for the European aerospace sector to access cutting edge materials. Aenium brings its expertise in material science and additive manufacturing process and Pangea Aerospace brings its expertise in propulsion system designs.

“This alliance will propel the next generation of reusable rocket engines, also bringing the opportunity to the EU market to improve their combustion devices with the most innovative material science and qualified industrial additive manufacturing,” stated Miguel Ampudia, CIO of Aenium.


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Airbus Has Just 3 A380s Left To Deliver



Emirates took delivery of its 120th Airbus A380 aircraft on Friday. The aircraft’s delivery means that we are one step closer to the end of the Airbus A380 program, with just three of the giant aircraft left to be delivered by the European aerospace giant.

Emirates A380
Airbus has just three Airbus A380s left to deliver. Photo: Getty Images

While the Airbus A380 was already on its way out the door well before the aviation industry’s crisis, the current situation has done no favors for the giant of the skies. For many airlines, it may have been a boon that no further A380 deliveries were scheduled. However, this is not the case for Emirates who is happy to take delivery of its remaining orders.

Only three deliveries left

On Friday, Emirates took delivery of its 120th Airbus A380 registered as A6-EVO. The jet, with the serial number 268, took its first flight on October 1st, 2020. According to data from, this makes the aircraft 0.72 years old.

Emirates President Sir Tim Clark previously revealed that two aircraft would be delivered this year, with the final three to come next year. As we’ve now seen the second delivery of 2021, it will be a wait before more aircraft arrive. According to, the following aircraft deliveries are to be expected,

  • A6-EVQ – MSN 270 – January 2022
  • A6-EVR – MSN 271 – March 2022
  • A6-EVS – MSN 272 – May 2022
Airbus A380, Final Plane, First Flight
All three outstanding Airbus A380s are bound for Emirates. Photo: Getty Images

More premium economy for Emirates

Every Airbus A380 delivered this year has been accompanied by a bonus for the airline’s passengers. Late last year, Emirates decided to launch a premium economy cabin, bridging the economy and business class gap.

So far, Emirates is yet to retrofit the new cabin to any of its existing double-decker giants. As such, we’ve had to wait for new aircraft deliveries to increase the likelihood of a passenger finding the new cabin. To date, three aircraft have the cabin, equating to 168 seats. With an average age of seven years, the airline’s A380 fleet has a total capacity of roughly 62,000, according to

Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

How many Airbus A380s are Emirates flying?

According to, 22 aircraft are currently active in the Emirates fleet. This excludes the latest jet just delivered, which is yet to enter service. According to data from the aerospace analysts Cirium, the Dubai airline is scheduled to operate 654 A380 flights in June, with some 327,696 seats on offer. This is expected to increase to 1,089 flights next month, with 534,681 seats on offer.

Emirates, Airbus A380, Delivery
Emirates has 11 Airbus A380 routes planned for June. Photo: Cirium

Cairo should see 60 A380 flights this month, two per day. Despite the UAE’s continuing red list status in the UK, London Heathrow will see more A380 flights than most, with 43 on the schedule. The airline’s Manchester A380 plans didn’t last long, with just four flights with the giant planned at the start of the month.

How do you feel about the impending end of the Airbus A380 program? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below.

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Boeing’s largest 737 MAX plane has taken to the skies



Boeing’s 737-10, the largest airplane in the 737 MAX family, has completed a successful first flight as it begins testing.

“The airplane performed beautifully,” said 737 chief pilot capt. Jennifer Henderson. “The profile we flew allowed us to test the airplane’s systems, flight controls and handling qualities, all of which checked out exactly as we expected.”

Today’s flight was the start of a comprehensive test programme for the 737-10. Boeing will work closely with regulators to certify the plane prior to its scheduled entry into service in 2023.

“The 737-10 is an important part of our customers’ fleet plans, giving them more capacity, greater fuel efficiency and the best per-seat economics of any single-aisle airplane,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Our team is committed to delivering an airplane with the highest quality and reliability.”

The 737-10 can carry up to 230 passengers. It also incorporates environmental improvements, cutting carbon emissions by 14% and reducing noise by 50 percent compared to today’s Next-Generation 737s.


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