In Brief

Airlines in the Middle East are fast moving into recovery. Emirates gets a water canon salute on its inaugural flight to Israel

Mideast Airports show signs of recovery: ACI
The aviation industry in the Middle East and Asia Pacific is experiencing green shoots of recovery, according to the first edition of the Airport Industry Outlook, a quarterly report by Airports Council International Asia-Pacific (ACI APAC).

The report was developed in partnership with Mott MacDonald — a global engineering, management, and development consultancy. It provides a snapshot of how airports in the region have performed during the first quarter of 2022 (Jan to March).

The key takeaways from the report are that capacity is rebuilding in many parts of Asia Pacific and Middle East region; domestic passenger traffic has made considerable progress; international traffic remained largely stagnant due to ongoing travel restrictions in major markets; cargo growth has proved to be resilient and is above pre-pandemic levels; despite some improvements, the financial health of airports in the region remains challenging; and airports in the region continue to provide a safe and high service quality.

IATA launches MBA in Aviation degree
The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has partnered with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University–Worldwide (ERAU) to launch a Master of Business Administration in Aviation (MBAA) as well as a stand-alone certificate in Airline Management.

The jointly developed programme aligns with ERAU’s modular degree programme and Iata’s aviation management expertise. Through three blocks consisting of 36 credit hours, the programme applies modern business concepts, methods and tools to the challenges and specifics of the aviation business, creating an academic degree, which combines core business competencies with a strong aviation foundation.

The first block of this virtual programme will focus on the importance of creating high-reliability organisations by teaching the fundamentals of risk, managing risk and creating resiliency. The second block will concentrate on core business activities and its structure is based on input from the aviation industry. The third block consists of an aviation specialisation in commercial management, focusing on the various airline business models and revenue management strategies.

Qantas trials faster, easier airport kiosks
Australia’s national carrier Qantas has begun rolling out next generation airport kiosks, which will make the airport experience faster and easier for customers travelling on domestic flights.

The airline started a limited trial of new self-service kiosks in Terminal 3 at Sydney Airport. After fine tuning the new technology with customers, the airline had them fully installed in Sydney last month. About 140 kiosks are still in the pipeline, to be installed across all major domestic airports by September. These will replace the existing kiosks that customers use to check in and print baggage tags.

With more than three quarters of customers already checking in online and using digital boarding passes on their smartphone, the new kiosks will primarily be used for bag tag printing. Customers will also be able to use the new kiosks to purchase additional bags.

The new technology is up to four times quicker than the existing kiosks, with the process to print a bag tag now taking just 20 seconds on average.

Saudia ranked fastest growing airline brand
National carrier Saudia Airlines has been classified in the (A) category with its commercial value of identity increasing by 13.1 per cent, according to the “Brand Finance” annual report, which measures the performance of the best (50) strongest airline brands.

The ranking reflects the significant progress achieved by Saudia, on the back of its overall network growth and the increase in the number of passengers, in addition to the high-quality services being provided on board, and in all service locations.

Saudi Arabia’s obtaining this classification is the result of the “Brand Finance” evaluation of more than 5,000 of the largest brands in various sectors and in all countries, through which nearly 100 specialised reports are issued that detail the classification methodology.

Some of the factors that contributed to the high rating: the opening of its largest passenger lounge at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, the on-board chef service and the high-speed internet on the plane.