Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Muscat: Flight Departures, 4 December 2015

Relating to today's previous post, here is a two-hour window stretching from late afternoon into early evening at Muscat International Airport last December. While Oman Air has the majority of operations, Qatar Airways, Etihad, Kuwait Airways and Air Arabia are also on the board. Destinations are limited to the immediate Gulf states, with the exception of Islamabad, Pakistan. 

Muscat Airport: Arrivals on 12 December, 2015

An unfortunately blurry image of the mid-day arrivals screens for Muscat International Airport on 12 December 2015. Dominated, naturally, by Oman Air, with multiple incoming flights from nearby Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, and Makkah, and a spread of subcontinental landings from Delhi, Chennai, Karachi, Colombo, Bangalore, Jaipur, Lahore, Calicut and Male. Longer range operations such as Bangkok and the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur operation arrive at about 1PM, with one of the few domestic flights, from Salalah, come in twice that afternoon. Air Arabia to Sharjah and flydubai put low-cost, short-haul operations on the board. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Delta Air Lines: Dubai to Atlanta, January 2016

A poster-stand placed outside an upscale travel agency in Dubai, advertising Delta's non-stop service to Atlanta, promising connections across the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America and beyond. At the time of the photo had barely a month to go. The flight was scrapped in a high-profile complaint by Delta that Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways have unfair advantage in the market. Although hardly the only market that Delta has retreated from (see Abuja, Monrovia, Cairo, Kiev, Amman, Bucharest, Budapest, Helsinki, Warsaw, Vienna, Cape Town, Delhi, ChennaiIstanbulamong others), Delta also stated in its press release announcing its withdrawal from Mumbai that the failure of the route was also due to the massive capacity that the Gulf 3 have added. It surely stung that Qatar launched a new service from Doha to Atlanta just months later—starting the service with an A380.

United Air Lines also pulled out of Dubai in January, and has also withdrawn the remainder of its Gulf operations, citing the same uncompetitive conditions, although here is an interesting blogpost regarding United's withdrawal from Kuwait, suggesting a different sort of government involvement.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Dubai: Departures from Terminal 1, January 2015 (cont.)

Continuing from the previous post, the second of two screens-shots gets us from the late noon hour until mid-afternoon. The schedule continues to be dominated by regional and subcontinental flights, with the addition of MEA to Beirut and Royal Jordanian to Amman. PIA has three more operations in the afternoon, and Mahan Air has a second flight to Tehran

More exotic flights are sprinkled throughout the time block. Surely the most remarkable is SyrianAir to Latakia, as it is almost unbelievable that the state carrier continues to field its single A320 across the region as much of the country burns. Elsewhere, we find Azerbaijan Airlines to Baku, and TAROM to Bucharest, here referred to only at "Otopeni Intl." The last of the board shows two flight to Moscow: the first on Transaero to "Vnukovo," in what would be the last few months of that enterprise's existence, and a second that at the moment shows a Kenya Airways flight number but is, of course, an Aeroflot operation to Sheremetyevo, which is not specified as the destination airport.

Dubai: Departures from Terminal 1, January 2015

One of two posts today showing the Departures Boards at Dubai International from back in late January 2015. Dubai's remarkable development as a global city is inextricable to the incredible growth of its airport. While the unprecedented burgeoning of hometown Emirates airline has been foundational in this expansion, and in 2014 Dubai overtook London Heathrow to become the most important airport in the world by international passengers. However this is not solely due to Emirates, but also to a myriad of intercontinental and regional air carriers, from its global rivals to exotic and rare birds from Dubai's vast aviation hinterland of South and Central Asia and Africa. 

Here, in a window of less than three hours of activity at Terminal 1, Dubai International demonstrates its role as a global hub. Arch-rivals Virgin and British Airways both depart for Heathrow at the exact same time. Regional kin such as Saudia, Gulf Air, Oman Air and Qatar Airways are off to their hubs. Two Iranian carriers depart for Persian cities: State carrier Iranair to coastal Bandar Abbas, and an A340 sports the green swan of Mahan Air on its way to the capital. At 11:25, Air Astana leaves for Almaty. Further east, Jet Airways, SpiceJet and IndiGo are off to seven Indian cities, and PIA departs for Peshawar at 11:40. 

The African offerings are perhaps even more interesting: TAAG to Luanda, Arik to Abuja, Tunisair to Tunis. Or more specifically, they were more interesting: remarkably, all three operations were scrapped in later 2015, in the face of relentless competition from Emirates and economic struggles across that continent.  

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Kuwait International Airport: Arrivals Board, 14 August 2015 (cont).

Continuing from the previous post, the arrivals board at Kuwait Airport, showing the finally-arrived British Airways flight, shown at the moment as an Iberia codeshare. Hometown Kuwait Airways has more flights in than out, with arrivals from Islamabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Cochin, Colombo, Dhaka, and Istanbul. Rival Jazeera Airways arrives from two central Egyptian cities: Sohag and Luxor. Emirates shows up again, as it always does. Oman Air comes in from Muscat; Qatar Airways from Doha.

Just as with the Departures screen, an obscure Iranian air carrier makes for fun planespotting at KIA: The blue swanned-tail of Iran Aseman Airlines arrives from tiny Lamerd in coastal Fars Province at 7:40. A status is not given. 

Kuwait International Airport Departures Board: 14 August 2015

Screen-shot of the departure monitor at Kuwait Airport, 12 months ago. The issue at hand was the massively-delayed British Airways flight from London, shown here as an Iberia codeshare. Kuwait Airways offers the other European flights on the board, its own service to London, as well as Frankfurt. Kuwait also features regional flights out to Amman, Cairo and Jeddah, the latter matched by low-cost rival Jazeera AirwaysEmirates is on the board, as it always is everywhere, to where else; this service at times is run with an Airbus A380. Gulf Air runs to Bahrain, but probably on an A320. Air Cairo is an interesting one, with a flight to Alexandria, with its hard-to-read, charmingly-outdated double-pyramid logo. But perhaps the most curious is logo-less flight with code ZV, for Zagros Airlines, running to Shiraz in central Iran—the first time either has been featured on The Timetablist.