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Cruise DESTINATIONS


Dubai is a major fly- cruise player


The facility in Dubai is user-friendly


and has enough capacity to cater to the cruise business. “Dnata has set up a core cruise charter operational team that liaises with the cruise companies outside the airport and also the charter airlines that fly in to Dubai,” says D’Souza. “This core team deals with charter flights for the six months of cruise charter operations.” Changes have been made to existing


processes at the request of the cruise companies. Arrival bags for Costa passengers, for example, are put in 40-foot container trucks that are driven to the port. It means the cruise operator’s passengers do not pick up their arrival bags from the baggage belt. D’Souza says planning and


communication are key to successful cruise charter operations every year. “It is of paramount importance that the airport operational cruise team liaises with the port teams with regards to the transportation of passengers from the airport to port and vice versa,” he suggests. “For example, if a charter flight arrival is delayed by a few hours then prompt communication to the port agents can assist in keeping the 200-300 passengers at the port rather than having them arrive at the airport. The other flights running on schedule can then be well serviced by bringing in that flight’s passengers on time. Dnata keeps learning every year from the cruise charter business. We get better every season as every cruise charter season has its different challenges.” Partnerships with other transport


providers have been a part of airline and airport life for a while. The cruise business adds a new dynamic to collaboration and will cause a rethink in route strategy as well as infrastructure and operational development. It is definitely making waves. £


routesonline.com ROUTES NEWS 2017 ISSUE 5 105


Taking the stress out of the last day


Virgin Holidays has


been working hard to make the last day of a fly-cruise holiday stress- free. Taking Barbados as


an example, most passengers need to be off the cruise ships at


around 8am but return flights to the UK do not depart until the evening. It has led to a lost day of holiday where travellers simply kill time until they fly home. To improve this experience, Virgin


has created The Departure Beach; a Virgin-branded area on Brownes Beach that is designed to wring every last minute of pleasure from a holiday. The facility opens in May 2018 and will include a private air-conditioned lounge, premium bathroom and showering facilities, a beach-friendly bar and restaurant and a Virgin Atlantic check-in and transfer service.


Virgin is working in Barbados to ensure the last day is not ‘lost’


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