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Ethiopian Airlines celebrates its seventieth anniversary

At ITB Berlin Ethiopian Airlines is taking the opportunity to get the celebrations for its seventieth anniversary under way. A member of the Star Alliance, as part of its ambitious strategic plan under the heading of ’Vision 2025’ it is focusing on expansion, with a special emphasis on South Africa. Thus, the winter schedule features a new route connecting Addis Abeba and Durban, and the number of weekly flights to Cape Town has been increased. In June, New York will become its fourth North American destination.

Air Baltic: record profits and new passenger jets

According to Martin Gauss, the Germany CEO of Air Baltic, speaking at a press conference at ITB Berlin, following the conclusion of its restructuring programme the company is on course for growth again. Last year it posted record profits in the order of around 20 million euros. The arrival of a private investor who has taken over a 20 per cent stake means that, as the majority shareholders, both he and the Latvian government will be injecting 132 million dollars of capital into the airline. This sum is earmarked for purchasing further planes.

With Air Astana via Kazakhstan to Mongolia

Despite a 21 per cent drop in turnover to 738.1 million dollars, last year Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s national carrier, was able to increase profits by 144 per cent to 47.4 million dollars. The number of passengers rose by two per cent to 3.86 million. The summer schedule will now also include Tehran and Ulan Bator, with travel to Mongolia’s capital also connecting with the airline’s European flights. Flights will take place daily to Frankfurt, three times a week to Paris, and four times a week to London, so that Europe to Kazakhstan will be flown twice daily.

With Air Astana via Kazakhstan to Mongolia

Despite a 21 per cent drop in turnover to 738.1 million dollars, last year Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s national carrier, was able to increase profits by 144 per cent to 47.4 million dollars. The number of passengers rose by two per cent to 3.86 million. The summer schedule will now also include Tehran and Ulan Bator, with travel to Mongolia’s capital also connecting with the airline’s European flights. Flights will take place daily to Frankfurt, three times a week to Paris, and four times a week to London, so that Europe to Kazakhstan will be flown twice daily.

Singapore Airlines offers preselected entertainment with an app

Together with MTT and Panasonic, Singapore Airlines has developed a new app which passengers can use with a tablet or smartphone to select their desired on-board programme of KrisWorld entertainment before boarding their plane. During the flight they can then use their own device as a remote control for the on-board wi-fi network. KrisWorld boasts up to 295 feature films, over 470 TV programmes and more than 450 music CDs. Singapore Airlines is modernising its fleet and has taken charge of its first Airbus A350 out of a total of 67.

Qatar Airways announces 14 new flight destinations

At ITB Berlin, where Qatar Airways is presenting a new stand concept, Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker announced it will be flying to 14 new destinations. Routes will include the world’s longest non-stop flight from Doha to Auckland, which will take around 17 ½ hours. Among the new destinations are five European cities: Pisa (from August), Sarajevo (from September), Helsinki (from October), Skopje (from November) and Nice (from spring 2017). Other new destinations include Casablanca, Marrakesh, Douala, Libreville, Lusaka, Chiang Mai, Krabi and the Seychelles.

Eurowings aims to become Europe’s number three low-cost airline

In a few years time Lufthansa’s low-cost subsidiary Eurowings aims to become Europe’s number three airline in this market. However, with its current target of 20 million passengers in 2016 the airline still has a long way to go, said the group’s board member Karl Ulrich Garnadt, speaking on Wednesday at ITB Berlin. The company’s long-haul flights, a recent addition to the programme, are booked to over 90 per cent capacity. Following launch difficulties with only two airliners growth in this segment has now slowed. In May, two additional Airbus A330s will be put into service.