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News Round Up – 4th January 2017. A Summary of Airline News from the Past Week

News Round Up – 4th January 2017. A Summary of Airline News from the Past Week

an airplane wing above the clouds

Emirates has put its woes to one side to introduce some nice additions to its soft product in First and Business Class.  But Etihad has been forced to counter rumours that it was set to dump its stake in Virgin Australia.

Qatar Airways continues to expand its portfolio of investments with a 10% stake in LATAM.  Meanwhile, despite some tragic aviation accidents in 2016 it turns out that last year was the second safest to fly.

It turned out that 2016 was the second safest year to fly

30th December 2016 – Courtesy Airline Ratings

Despite a series of high-profile air crashes making news headlines around the world it turns out that 2016 was the second safest year to fly.  Preliminary data from the Aviation Safety Network found that there were 19 fatal air crashes in 2016 with a death toll of 325.  This marks an average of 1 fatal crash per 3.2 million flights.

Qatar buys 10% stake in South American carrier LATAM

31st December 2016 – Courtesy CH Aviation

Qatar Airways has completed the acquisition of a 10% stake in LATAM, the largest airline group in Latin America.  The LATAM Airlines Group was formed from the merger of Chile’s LAN Airlines and TAM Airlines of Brazil.  In 2015 the two airlines began trading under the single LATAM brand.  Qatar Airways first announced its intention to buy a stake in LATAM at the 2016 Farnborough Airshow.

Emirates introduces new luxe toiletries and comfy soft accessories in First & Business

29th December 2016 – Courtesy Travel Daily Media

Emirates made a number of enhancements and changes to its onboard soft product offering for First and Business Class passengers.

Skin care products from award-winning Irish brand VOYA have been introduced for use in the Emirates A380 onboard shower and spa, as well as in First and Business class toilets.  For a goodnight’s sleep a luxe faux sheepskin comforter, much like the Etihad premium class blanket, is now available in all First Class cabins and available for purchase from the official Emirates store.   Finally, Emirates made headlines around the world with their new First Class pyjamas that keep you moisturised as you sleep.

Etihad dismisses concerns about investment strategy over stake in Virgin Australia

27th December 2016 – Courtesy Australian Financial Review (Paywall)

Etihad Airways has rebutted allegations that it may consider selling its 21.8% stake in Virgin Australia due to mounting losses from its European investments.  A spokesman for Etihad was reported as saying: “Speculation about a change to Etihad Aviation Group’s investment in and support for equity partner Virgin Australia is incorrect.  The group remains fully committed to its long-term partnership with the Australian airline.”

Heavy fog causes travel misery for travellers in Europe and the Middle East

3rd January 2016 – Original Article

The New Year didn’t get off to a good start for many air passengers travelling through Europe and the Middle East as fog descended on both regions causing travel chaos lasting several days.  The weather caused particularly hard-hitting problems at Dubai International Airport and Heathrow Airport in London – both of which are operating at near full capacity.

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