In Brief

airBaltic launches Dubai - Riga flights

LATVIAN airline airBaltic has launched direct flights between Dubai and Riga, Latvia. airBaltic now links both the cities with four weekly flights.

Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic, says: “We see a great potential in strengthening the business ties between UAE and Latvia. airBaltic team is glad to launch this new route to Riga which is a vibrant and dynamic city in the Baltic States. The new route will play an integral role connecting the two countries and will be of a significant benefit to travellers both in the United Arab Emirates and Latvia.”

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports: “We are delighted to welcome airBaltic to the DXB family with the launch of their services between Dubai and Riga. Creating this additional connectivity during the year of EXPO adds to the growing strength of the DXB hub, and we are confident that it will boost the number of visitors travelling between Latvia and the UAE.”


British Airways ramps up winter network

BRITISH Airways is set to welcome back its first A380 aircraft in November and operate its biggest schedule since March 2020, with additional services to cities across the globe, including the US.

The UK airline's A380 will initially operate to a number of short-haul destinations to allow for crew service familiarisation in November, shortly followed by operating to Miami and Los Angeles in the US, as well as Dubai in December.

The airline’s A380 aircraft is re-joining its fleet following the announcement that vaccinated Brits will be able to travel to the United States from November. The airline is set to fly to 23 US airports this winter with up to 246 flights a week, more than any other transatlantic carrier.

Across its US network, British Airways will be increasing the number of flights it operates with services to city destinations including New York, which will initially be increasing to five a day, followed by eight in December.


New options to burn Skywards Miles launched

EMIRATES Skywards, the loyalty programme of Emirates and flydubai, has rolled out new offerings with Skywards Exclusives – a loyalty initiative that offers experiences from Emirates' sponsorships portfolio.

The loyalty programme continues to offer members more ways to redeem Skywards Miles on-ground at world-renowned sporting events across cricket, motorsport racing and football matches.

With Skywards Exclusives, members can redeem miles on match tickets to watch the ICC Men's T20 World Cup tournament, taking place in the UAE and Oman from 17 October -November 14.

Starting at 150,000 Skywards Miles, members can witness the thrill of Formula One. They can bid for a pair of tickets to attend the Main Race Day of their choice in Mexico (November 7), Brazil (November 14) and Saudi Arabia (November 28).

Football fans can experience the atmosphere of Arsenal's home games at the Emirates Stadium in the UK, from October 18 until December 28. Members can purchase General Admission tickets staring at 10,000 Miles, among many other benefits.


IATA updates battery verification programme

THE International Air Transport Association (IATA) has launched a new industry certification program – Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators Lithium Battery – to improve the safe handling and transport of lithium batteries across the supply chain.

“Lithium batteries are critical power sources for many consumer goods on which we all rely. And it is vital that we can ship them safely by air either with finished products or as components in global supply chains. That’s why we developed the CEIV Lithium Battery certification. It gives shippers and airlines assurance that certified logistic companies operate to the highest safety and security standards when shipping lithium batteries,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

Shipments of lithium batteries (alone or with finished products) must comply with well-established global safety standards for how they are manufactured, tested, packed, marked, labelled, and documented. These requirements are a key element of the IATA Lithium Battery Shipping Regulations (LBSR) and of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) which combine regulatory and operational input from industry and government experts.