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LOT Polish Airlines Reveals Plans To Fly Direct To Dubai

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LOT Polish Airlines is launching flights to Dubai in September this year, in time for EXPO 2020 that has been postponed until October 2021. The flights will be operated by both Boeing 737 and Boeing 787 aircraft.

LOT Polish Airlines 787
Some flights may be operated by LOT’s Boeing 787s. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying

A new route for LOT Polish Airlines

LOT Polish Airlines announced yesterday that it would be launching flights from its base, Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW), to Dubai International Airport (DXB) in September this year.

Flights are already on sale and will start on Sunday 19th September, ahead of EXPO 2020 that begins on 1st October 2021 and lasts until 31st March 2022.

LOT’s new route will operate as follows:

  • LO121 departing Warsaw at 07:40, arriving in Dubai at 15:25
  • LO122 departing Dubai at 17:15, arriving in Warsaw at 21:35

Flights will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.

737s and 787s will fly the route

LOT Polish Airlines confirmed to Simple Flying that the aircraft flying this route will be Boeing 737-800NG but that Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft may be used too on days when there is sufficient demand.

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LOT’s Boeing 737-800NG aircraft carry 168 seats, including a separate business class cabin of 12 seats.

Emirates, Boeing 777-300ER commercial airplane lands at
Emirates flies to Warsaw daily but its prices are higher than LOT’s will be. Photo: Getty Images

A new market for LOT Polish

The new route will launch in time for EXPO 2020 in October, but flights are also on sale through the winter to offer Polish travelers an exotic winter holiday destination, in the words of LOT Polish.

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Michał Fijoł, Chief Commercial Officer at LOT, commented on the route launch by saying:

“Within recent years, Dubai has been becoming one of the Poles’ favorite winter exotic destinations. (…) The potential for connection, also in the chartered segment, means that, in addition to the offer of carriers from the Gulf, we can see an opportunity for development for LOT. I am convinced that passengers will appreciate the Polish product, the schedule which is perfectly suited to both visitors to the EXPO exhibition and tourists, as well as attractive price offer.”

The price for this route is indeed a great salespoint for LOT Polish Airlines.

LOT’s fares for one-way Economy tickets to Dubai start at $295 while Emirates’ fares start at $485. For return flights (WAW-DXB-WAW), LOT’s fares start at $471 and Emirates’ at $566.

For the return flights in the other direction, leaving Dubai, Emirates’ fares are no lower than $903 while LOT Polish is selling this return rotation for $712.

LOT
LOT Polish Airlines is offering lower prices on the route than Emirates. Photo: Getty Images

Tourism is the way forward

LOT Polish, like many other airlines, has identified that demand for holiday travel is likely to be an optimal way forward for airlines in the short-term. The ongoing pandemic has inflicted serious harm on the industry.

Michał Fijoł also added:

“Dubai, in addition to Sri Lanka, is another offer for our passengers launched with a view to relax in warm countries during the cold winter months in Poland. Thus, due to the reversed seasonality of traffic, this connection will allow us for exploiting operational resources in the so-called low season.”

It is expected that more airlines will be adding new leisure routes to their networks this year.

Do you think LOT Polish Airlines will compete against Emirates successfully on this route? Let us know in the comments below.

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/lot-polish-dubai-flights/

Aviation

How Do Chinese Jetliners Compare To Their Airbus & Boeing Equivalents?

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Airbus and Boeing have a near-duopoly in the domain of jet-powered commercial aircraft. However, China is looking to become a more significant player in this market, with multiple jetliners set to launch in the next decade. With this in mind, let’s take a look at how these aircraft, and the country’s existing and historic jetliners, compare to similar designs from industry juggernauts Airbus and Boeing.

COMAC ARJ21
The COMAC ARJ21 is the only Chinese jetliner currently in active service. Photo: Getty Images

The Shanghai Y-10

One historical example of a Chinese that bears strong parallels to a Boeing aircraft is the Shanghai Y-10. The Shanghai Aircraft Research Institute developed this four-engine narrowbody jetliner in the 1970s. Of course, by this time, Boeing had already launched a single-aisle quadjet: the 707 family. In fact, the parallels are no accident, with the Shanghai Aircraft Research Institute reportedly having used the 707-320C as a reference point for the Y-10.

In terms of its specifications, the Y-10 was closer to the smaller 707-120. Size-wise, it was around 1.3 meters shorter than the 707-120 (42.93 m vs 44.22 m). Correspondingly, it carried slightly fewer passengers (149 vs 174 one-class, 124 vs 137 two-class).

However, it did match the 707-120 in terms of range. Indeed, both designs could fly for around 5600 km (3,000 NM) with a maximum payload. However, the 707-120 could carry more weight while doing so (123,500 kg maximum takeoff weight vs 102-110,000 kg).

Shanghai Y-10
The CAAC did not favor the Shanghai Y-10 as it was based on an aircraft that, by the time the Y-10 first flew, was more than 20 years old. Photo: Zhangmingda via Wikimedia Commons

Ultimately, just three Y-10s were produced, with the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) refusing to take the aircraft on. As a result of this failure, the Shanghai Aircraft Research Institute turned its focus to the McDonnell Douglas MD-82 instead. It was granted permission to assemble the aircraft under license in November 1986.

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The COMAC ARJ21

In terms of Chinese jetliners that are commercially active today, there is just one example: the COMAC ARJ21 Xiangfeng (‘Soaring Phoenix’). While COMAC (Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China) first revealed the ARJ (Advanced Regional Jet) in December 2007, it did not enter service until June 2016. Today, Planespotters.net reports that 55 have been produced.

Being a small regional jet, the aircraft from the Airbus-Boeing duopoly that the ARJ21 is closest to would have to be the Airbus A220-100. The stretched-fuselage ARJ21-900 is 36.35 meters long, and carries between 98 and 105 passengers.

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COMAC ARJ21
To date, COMAC has produced 55 aircraft from the ARJ21 family. Photo: Getty Images.

This gives it a slight degree of overlap with the 35-meter long A220-100, which has a capacity of 100-120 seats. However, in truth, these two aircraft were built to serve rather different functions. While their size and capacity may be similar, the regional-focused ARJ21-900 has a range (ER version) of up to 3,300 km (1,800 NM). Meanwhile, the A220-100 can fly nearly twice as far, clocking in with an impressive range of 6,390 km / 3,450 NM).

Upcoming COMAC designs

In addition to its existing ARJ21 series, COMAC also has two new designs in the pipeline, which are set to enter service in the next decade. Indeed, its narrowbody C919 is tipped to be certified by the end of the year. While this 158-seater can’t match the range of the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX 8 (5,555 km / 3,000 NM vs 6,500 km / 3,500 NM and 6,570 km / 3,550 NM respectively), Airbus’s CEO believes it will still provide stiff competition.

COMAC, C919, Airbus Competition
Airbus is wary of the threat the COMAC C919 may pose. Photo: Getty Images

COMAC is also teaming up with Russia‘s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) to challenge Airbus and Boeing in the long-haul domain. The two manufacturers hope to have their CRAIC (China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Corporation) CR929 in service by 2029.

Simple Flying took a closer look at the aircraft, and how it compares to its European and US competitors, earlier this year. It will be interesting to see how the project pans out, and whether it will ultimately succeed in penetrating the duopoly when service commences.

Have you ever flown on any of these Chinese airliners? Of the ones yet to enter service, which are you most excited about? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/chinese-jetliners-vs-airbus-and-boeing/

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Emirates Reportedly Gearing Up For Tel Aviv Flights

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Following the normalizing of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last August, it now appears that the state-owned carrier Emirates is gearing up to commence flights to the Jewish state starting in June. When the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement was signed by Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, the UAE became the third Arab country after Egypt and Jordan to normalize relations with Israel.

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER
Emirates to deploy a Boeing 777-300ER on the DXB to TLV flights. Photo: Emirates

A normalization of relations meant that the two countries would set up diplomatic missions and allow visa-free travel, effectively opening up both to business and tourism. Realizing the potential, airlines in both countries almost immediately started planning their routes.

To make matters even better, Saudi Arabia, who does not recognize Israel, agreed to a request by the UAE to open up its airspace for flights between Israel and the Gulf State. This alleviated the need for commercial aircraft to circumnavigate the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, cutting hours off some flight routes.

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Flights between DXB and TLV

Since commercial flights between Tel Aviv and the UAE began in November, EL AL, Israir, Etihad, and flydubai are all operating direct flights between the two counties. It was always assumed that at some point that Emirates would announce that it too would be offering flights between Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Ben Gurion Airport (TLV).

The only concern was that another state-owned carrier, flydubai works in close partnership with Emirates and would negate the need for Emirates to jump into the mix.

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Daily non-stop Boeing 777-300ER flights

It seems that Emirates will commence flights between Dubai and Tel Aviv starting June 15, 2021. According to One Mile At A Time, an internal Emirates internal communication says that the airline will be deploying a three-cabin configured Boeing 777-300ER on the route. The daily Emirates nonstop flights between Dubai (DXB) and Tel Aviv (TLV) will be as follows:

  • Flight number EK931 will depart DXB at 14:40 and arrive at TLV at 17:05
  • Flight number EK932 will depart TLV at 19:50 and arrive at DXB at 23:50
TLV-DXB
Being able to use Saudi Arabia’s airspace saves time. Image: GCmaps

The Emirates flights between Tel Aviv and Dubai will come as fantastic news for Israeli tourists and business flyers who can now take better advantage of Emirates worldwide network that originates from its massive hub at DXB.

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New premium economy seats

In other Emirates-related news, the Dubai-based carrier plans to showcase its new premium economy seats for the first time at the 2021 Arabian Travel Market. The regions leading travel and tourism exhibition will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre between the 16th and 19th of May.

Emirates new premium economy seats
Emirates’ new premium economy seats will be on display at the 2021 Arabian Travel Market. Photo: Emirates

The highly anticipated premium economy seats will be on display at the Emirates stand for visitors to experience its generous 19.5-inch width and abundant 40-degree pitch. Inspired by automobile-styled stitching, the seats are covered in cream-colored anti-stain leather and have the same wood paneling found in Emirates business class offerings. The seats come with six-way adjustable headrests, footrests, a large dining table, and plenty of storage and powerpoints.

What do you think about the new Emirates flights to Tel Aviv? Please let us know what you think in the comments.

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/emirates-tel-aviv-flights/

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In Flight Chefs Set To Return To Turkish Airlines Flights Over 8 Hours

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Long-haul business class travelers with Turkish Airlines can once more enjoy the carrier’s award-winning Flying Chef service. Since May 1st, the characteristic white hats can again be seen whipping up premium onboard meals on flights lasting longer than eight hours.

Turkish Airlines 777
Turkish Airlines’ long-haul business class passengers can soon enjoy the carrier’s Flying Chef service again. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

For those who have been able to travel at all over the past twelve months, flying has been a very different experience. Social distancing at airports, face masks, and a negative test certificate that is almost as indispensable as your passport have all become part and parcel of air travel. Onboard catering and meal services have mostly shrunk to a shadow of their usual self. However, more and more in-flight dining options are making their way back to a tray table near you.

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Distinguishing aspect of the airline

Turkish Airlines reinstated their onboard dining and hot meal service just last month. At the beginning of May, it took a step further towards the ways of old (meaning pre-pandemic) and brought back its Flying Chefs. The high-flying culinary service is available to business class travelers on flights lasting longer than eight hours.

“Throughout the past year, we’ve had to make many adjustments to our product and service offerings to protect the health and safety of our passengers and employees. Our award-winning dining service and Flying Chefs program is a distinguishing aspect of the airline, and we are happy to reintroduce this to our worldwide guests to make the flight experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible,” Ilker Ayci, Turkish Airlines’ Chairman of the Board, said in a statement.

Turkish Airline Flying Chef
The Flying Chefs are responsible for preparing and presenting food in business class on flights over eight hours. Photo: Getty Images

A step up from cold boxes and no coffee

Turkish Airlines, which recently became the fourth airline in the world on the COVID-19 safety ranking, has repeatedly won acclaim for its in-flight meal service. In 2019, it was ranked number five in the world by the Skytrax World Airline Awards for business class onboard catering.

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The carrier first resumed hot meal service provided by DO & CO on flights over two and 15 minutes at the beginning of last month. During its most severe in-flight dining cutbacks, business class meals were served cold in prepackaged boxes, and there was no coffee or tea onboard.

The airline brought back hot food to flights early last month. Photo: Turkish Airlines

Regular IST lounge service coming back

Regular food and beverage offerings at the airline’s Istanbul Airport lounge will also be returning shortly. Opened in 2018, Istanbul’s new airport has hardly seen the number of passengers predicted for its first two years. However, it could very well still reach a potential target of accommodating 200 million passengers a year by the mid-2020s.

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Have you had your meal prepared by a Turkish Airlines Flying Chef? What was your experience like? Which airline has, in your opinion, the best business class catering? Leave a comment below and let us know. 

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/turkish-airlines-in-flight-chefs/

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The Huge Potential Qatar Airways Sees In Africa

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Africa is an important and growing part of Qatar Airways’ network, but where could be next and how suited is the airline’s fleet? Qatar Airways’ Hendrik Du Preez, Vice-President for Africa, recently spoke to Routesonline about the airline’s development and opportunities across the vast continent.

Qatar Airways serves some 26 destinations across Africa in its own right this year. The A350-1000, seen here, is mainly used to Johannesburg, and also Cairo to a limited degree. Photo: Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

Qatar Airways’ Africa network now comprises 26 destinations, analyzing OAG data indicates, up from 24 in 2019. Abuja, Accra, and Luanda were all added in 2020, while Abidjan is coming this June. Meanwhile, Cairo and Alexandria have resumed following the end of the blockade.

These additions have offset the loss of Gaborone, Marrakesh, Rabat, and Windhoek. Speaking to Routesonline, Du Preeze singled out both Gaborone and Windhoek –  each very tourist-driven – as likely to return next year.

Johannesburg, Cairo, Nairobi, Cape Town, Lagos, Dar Es Salaam, Casablanca, Tunis, Zanzibar, and Entebbe are the carrier’s top-10 Africa destinations by total flights. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

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Where could be next?

Resumptions are just one part of Qatar Airways‘ plan for Africa.

“We are definitely looking at other destinations in Africa as there is huge potential across the continent for new routes.”

The Democratic Republic of Congo, Somaliland, South Sudan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, were all mentioned by Du Preez as possible future destinations. And the capitals of these countries – Kinshasa, Hargeisa, Juba, Lusaka, and Harare – would make sense. Pre-COVID, Dubai had up to 13 weekly departures to Hargeisa, 11 by Emirates’ partner, flydubai.

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This year, Qatar Airways’ leading African countries, by flights, are South Africa, Egypt, Tanzania, Kenya, and Nigeria. Bilateral agreements remain a vital piece of the jigsaw for growth. Image: OAG.
Find out more: Join our forthcoming webinar to hear from the CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker.

Partners are crucial

Qatar Airways has often relied on partner airlines to reach parts of the continent that it did not serve, and they have been crucial to its development.

“We have an interline agreement with Air Côte d’Ivoire, which is important because we do not have that reach in West Africa. We have interlines with many of the airlines all over Africa.”

He said that negotiation is still ongoing with Rwandair, with data showing Qatar Airways has served Kigali since 2012. And South Africa’s Comair, a British Airways franchisee, may well become a partner too. South Africa is by far Qatar Airways’ number-one country in Africa this year, with Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg served.

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“We are definitely establishing deeper partnerships with key partners around the continent going forward.”

The B787-8 is the main aircraft for Qatar Airways’ Africa operations. 20 airports across the continent will see it this year. Photo: Getty Images.

A mixed fleet enables growth

Du Preez believes that Qatar Airways’ mixed fleet is crucial to its Africa development. This offers flexibility and the opportunity to right-size capacity to demand as passenger traffic picks up; after all, it can take a good while for a long-haul to develop.

It also enables the airline to start a new route – perhaps a secondary destination, of which “there are a many of them” – with a smaller aircraft and to build up over time.

While having fewer than 15% of flights to African destinations, narrowbodies, like this A320, are important for Qatar Airways. If Juba and Hargeisa happen, they’re likely to start with them. Photo: Getty Images.

Qatar Airways uses eight aircraft types to Africa this year. In order of the number of flights, they are the B787-8, A350-900, A320, B777-300ER, A350-1000, B777-200LR, B787-9, and A319. The carrier used the A319 on just one route – to the Seychelles – back in January.

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The end of the Qatar blockade has been significant for certain destinations, including Khartoum and Lagos, which have seen hours shaved off their flight times. This means a huge amount of fuel is saved, and Qatar Airways is again more competitive in terms of flight time. Photo: Getty Images.

Cargo focus

The carrier’s mixed fleet also enables a strong focus on cargo, where it makes sense, which can make a huge difference. As Du Preez said:

“Thanks to the belly hold of the B787s and A350s, a lot of the [trip] cost can be covered by the cargo and at the same time we are building up on the passenger side.” 

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Source: https://simpleflying.com/qatar-airways-africa-potential/

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