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Old February 7th, 2005, 12:27 PM   #1
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Middle East Aviation Thread

Qatar awards $420 million tender within New Doha International Airport construction project

The New Doha International Airport (NDIA) Steering Committee on Sunday signed an agreement with a consortium of four companies formally awarding them the dredging and reclamation works contract for Qatar’s new airport project.

The consortium is made up of Qatar Dredging Company, Dredging International of Belgium, Great Lakes Dredging & Dock Cy of the US and Boskalis Westminster of the Netherlands. According to The Peninsula, they will work on the project to create the 22 sq km platform for the New Doha International Airport.

Qatar Dredging Company is a Qatari-Belgian joint venture between the Belgian firm Dredging International, private Qatari partner UDC and the Government of Qatar.

In January 2004, the Doha International Airport Steering Committee awarded a contract to the US engineering firm Bechtel to design, construct and project-manage the $5.5 billion new airport. Bechtel’s plan calls for the overall project to be split into some 20 parts, each of which will be tendered to local and international companies.

The dredging and reclamation package is the fourth and latest package to be tendered and awarded – and is by far the largest.

The latest contract involves the placing of over 60 milion cubic metres of sand and rock fill over a 24-month period to create the platform and shore protection.

The contract value hits some $420 million. In order to carry out the work, the consortium will require the mobilisation of several heavy-duty cutter suction dredgers and trailing suction hopper dredgers. A total of 11 major dredging vessels will be used to ensure completion of the work within the contractual time limit.
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Old February 7th, 2005, 12:35 PM   #2
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Daily Flights to Mumbai to Start in March 2005

Sharjah, UAE - Committed to addressing the region's travel needs, Air Arabia LLC - one of the UAE's national airlines and the first low-cost airline of its kind in the Middle East & North Africa region - today announced that it has been granted flight rights to fly daily to Mumbai, India from the middle of March 2005. This latest destination in Air Arabia's constantly expanding network grows the airline's reach to 12 countries and 16 destinations within the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian Subcontinent. Flight schedules and fares for India will be announced later this month.


"We are delighted with this addition to our growing network," said Air Arabia's Chairman, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Moh'd Al-Thani. "This is part of our commitment to provide our passengers with the best value and the highest quality of service. By connecting India to our existing routes, we can now offer Indian nationals the opportunity to travel at lower fares throughout the Gulf region and Gulf residents to travel to India at the best possible fares, allowing families to meet more frequently and tourists to enjoy even more destinations," he added.


"India has always been part of Air Arabia's expansion plans and we look forward to addressing more of the region's travel needs with this new destination," said Adel Ali, Air Arabia's CEO. "This is a fantastic opportunity for Air Arabia to assist in increasing tourism within India with the movement of traffic from the Gulf region, as well as offering numerous travel opportunities to the Indian public, whether for business or leisure," he added.


With the recent addition of its fifth Airbus A320, Air Arabia will be offering travellers to and from India the very best in customer comfort with an aircraft combining the widest and most spacious cabins in its class and the largest seat pitch in the market - that of 34 inches - in comparison to 29 and at the most 31 inches offered on most regional airlines. The A320 is the preferred choice in the single-aisle market, known not only for its wide seats, aisles and increased cabin storage, but also for the technological innovation that brings enhanced performance and reliability. In addition, Air Arabia offers an in-flight entertainment system with both video and audio choices to passengers on short and long haul routes.


Adel Ali continued: "I would like to thank the Indian government and aviation authorities for their role in facilitating our operations and their invaluable cooperation in making this possible. We look forward to enabling residents and tourists that have not been able to afford air travel in the past to start travelling and those who do travel to do so more frequently."
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Old February 7th, 2005, 12:40 PM   #3
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Maiden flights to Baghdad from UAE

A Dubai-based airline has decided to operate two flights per week to Baghdad, restoring the civilian airlinks between United Arab Emirates and Iraq for the first time in more than a decade.

Air Horizon will start the maiden flight to Baghdad from Sharjah from February 10.

"We are getting encouraging response from the people. We have got more than 20 enquiries in two hours this morning," an Air Horizon official told 'Evening Post'.

"We are flying McDonnell Douglas aircraft, which can seat 105 passengers. We plan to fly every Thursday and Sunday to Baghdad and return Wednesday and Saturday." People belonging to certain nationalities, such as Philippines and China are not allowed to travel to Iraq because of the tense security situation there.

"The airport tax is high possibily because of the security situation in Baghdad and insurance is high but still we have received some 25 bookings," a Horizon official said.

Royal Jordanian and Iraq Airways are among three airlines now operating passenger flights to Iraq.

The resumption of civilian flights to Baghdad after more than a decade of sanctions will be a boon particularly for Iraqi expatriates who can now do away with the arduous eight-hours road journey from Amman to Baghdad.
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Old February 8th, 2005, 07:04 AM   #4
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Lebanese Air Traffic Controllers Call Strike

Lebanon's air traffic controllers announced a six hour strike on Monday after talks about their demand for a pay rise broke down.

Beirut Airport's air traffic control committee said in a statement it would suspend services for six hours from 2 pm (1200 GMT) to 8 pm to demand a 50 percent pay rise and overtime payments.

An open strike planned for February 13 would be postponed, but go ahead on February 22 if the government did not meet the air traffic controllers' demands, the statement said.

Talks between airport officials and Transport Minister Yassin Jaber late on Sunday failed to break the impasse, airport sources said.

Civil aviation officials had no immediate comment.
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Old February 8th, 2005, 10:10 AM   #5
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KING ABDUL AZIZ INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT EXPANSION, SAUDI ARABIA
The King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was awarded SAR 2 billion ($530 million) for expansion and modernisation works in 2000. Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz is investing in the project because he believes that the airport's income will gradually pay for the work being carried out. The project was due to start in the first quarter of 2001 after negotiations with the relevant contractors were completed.

MARKET RATIONALE

The project is intended to increase the comfort, satisfaction and service levels provided to travellers in the airport, as well as enabling the airport to be able to cope with increased traffic. The existing southern terminal will need to serve about 21 million passengers per year over the next 20 years to meet growing demand at the airport. Prince Sultan noted that the project would use the highest technology available to bring the airport utilities in line with the latest developments.

King Abdul Aziz Airport is the gateway to Saudi Arabia for a large number of pilgrims. The airport is close to the cities of Mecca and Modina, two of the holiest sites in Islam. During the 2000 Hajj (pilgrimage) season it received 2.6 million travellers and around 1 million pilgrims. The airport has to provide the facilities required for the service of pilgrims and those who visit the country to perform Umrah.

PROJECT TIMESCALE

The project was announced during September 2000 and the designs should be ready within ten months of the date that the successful bidder is nominated. The project will then be implemented. The project's estimated date of completion has not yet been announced.

AIRPORT EXPANSION
The expansion is expected to cost around SAR 2 billion (more than $530 million) and will include: construction of 32 bridges and movable gates that can be attached to airplanes; improvements to the efficiency of current travel terminals; construction of international and domestic travel terminals; and construction of new car parks.

There is no intention of changing the actual site of the airport, as the state has invested a large amount of money in the surrounding infrastructure.

NACO
A design services contract has been signed by the Netherlands Airport Consultants (NACO), a Dutch consultant company specialising in airports. NACO will carry out designs for the complete renovation of the existing station hall, two new passenger terminals for domestic and international arrivals, and a docking pier with 32 passenger gangways linking the terminals with aircraft. The contract also includes some ground water studies and financial appraisal.

RADAR SYSTEM
Prince Sultan, the Second Deputy Premier, the Defence and Aviation Minister and the Inspector General also signed a contract worth SAR 45 million ($12 million) with an international company for the installation of an integrated radar system at the airport. The radar system includes the most sophisticated technology to facilitate air navigation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and at its airports.
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Old February 8th, 2005, 10:12 AM   #6
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BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT EXPANSION, LEBANON
Beirut International Airport (BIA) is a vital facility that plays a major role in linking Lebanon with the outside world, benefiting the country’s business and tourism sectors. BIA is located in the Khaldeh suburb south of the capital and around 8km from downtown Beirut. The airport was opened in 1954, renovated in 1977 and the present runways were rehabilitated between 1982 and 1984.

The execution of the first phase of the new airport started in 1994 and was inaugurated in 1998. The second phase was completed by June 2000. Combined, these projects cost around $450 million, funded by the European Bank for Investment and the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development. Payments for completed projects were taken from a special fund made up of airport taxes and fees, based on the assumption that airport revenues should increase with the development of air travel and increases of passenger numbers. The new airport should be capable of hosting 6 million passengers a year, and in the longer term, this figure may well grow (on the back of new projects) to 16 million by 2035.

PHASE 1 – THE KARAGULLA CONTRACT
The first contract, awarded to the Fahmi Karagulla Contracting Group, included the construction of a new eastern runway and was worked on from 1994 until 1997 with a cost of $60 million. The runway is 3,800m long and 45m wide with two asphalt sides of 7.5m width each. Designed so that planes do not have to stop and turn before leaving the landing zone, the runway can accommodate a touch-down every three minutes, twice as fast as the airport’s other runways. Work on this phase of the project included the diversion of Al Ghadir river and the building of installations on the Al Qassis Canal, used for draining rain water from Southern Suburb. Water channels were installed to divert two rivers away from the airport, and coastal land along the Khalde highway was developed to accommodate further expansion projects. A service road on the eastern side of the airport was also opened, connecting the new runway to the air plane parking zone.

PHASE 2 – THE HOKTEF AND CCC CONTRACT
The German - Lebanese Group, Hoktef and CCC was awarded the largest contract, worth around $390 million, for the redevelopment of the terminal building. Before commencement of the planned work, a preparatory period extending over a number of months saw the construction of a centre for representatives of the consultants, officials from the Civil Aviation Directorate and the Council for Development and Reconstruction, as well as the preparation of Ouzai port to store the necessary demolishing material and equipment. The project also required the appropriations of around 800,000m costing $160 million.

Phase 2 further included the rehabilitation of a number of buildings, including the structures hosting electric generation and air-conditioning, the aviation safety centre, the civil aviation workshop and garage, the fire fighting training centre, as well as the customs, freight and catering buildings. On top of this, new construction projects were sanctioned for a private aviation building, a VIP building, a building with a parking capacity for 2,200 cars and a building for sorting mail. New buildings combined to bring up the total area for the terminal to 150,000m².

CUTE SYSTEM INTEGRATION
In 1998, Beirut International Airport selected SITA to install the CUTE (Common Use Terminal Equipment) system to automate its passenger processing operations. The system is designed to improve the efficiency and speed with which passengers can be checked in, particularly in an environment where passenger numbers at the airport are increasing year after year. CUTE works as a passenger management system and enables airlines or their handling agents to access their own applications in real-time across a shared network and shared set of terminal equipment.
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Old February 8th, 2005, 10:15 AM   #7
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TEHRAN AIRPORT CONSTRUCTION, IRAN
A new airport opened in Tehran, Iran, in February 2001. Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) is equipped with advanced aviation technology and is estimated to have cost almost $1 billion. Associated investment projects, carried out by either private or public enterprises, include aircraft hangars, in-flight catering, hotel, duty-free shops, fuel supply and passenger and cargo handling facilities.

MARKET RATIONALE
This new airport will take over all domestic and international flights from the Mehrabad Airport (Tehran's other international airport). Studies carried out by the Civil Aviation Organisation (CAO) of Iran recognised that the present airport could not be upgraded and expanded to meet the expected growth levels.

Imam Khomeini International Airport is located in a 15 hectare area located some 30km to the south of Tehran on the Tehran-Qom highway. Work on the project began before the Islamic Revolution during the 1970s but was halted due to political circumstances. Overall responsibility for the project rests with the ministry for roads and transportation.

PROJECT TIMESCALE AND SIZE
Work on the airport started in 1994 and is due to progress in various phases. The first phase, completed by February 2001, initially gives a capacity of 12 million passengers and 200,000t of cargo a year. Depending on demand, the design allows for further expansion to 20 million passengers and 375,000t of cargo, with a final phase scheduled capacity of 40 million passengers and 700,000t of cargo.

RUNWAY
Phase 1 included construction of a single runway of 4,200m by 45m, with 10.5m-wide shoulders. A total of 12.8km of taxiway area connects runways with passenger and cargo terminals, hangars and a 30m-wide engine test pad. The apron area is more than 450,000m² wide to accommodate a total of 24 aircraft.

CONTROL TOWER
The 56.9m-high control tower has an area of 1,100m². The four-storey, glass-fronted technical block spans 6,800m². Navigation aids include the 755 DVOR (Doppler, very-high frequency, omni-directional radio range) supplied by the UK company Fernau, the 2020 DME (distance measuring equipment) and the Normarc ILS NM 7000 instrument landing system, providing the airport with CAT III approach and landing capability.

TERMINAL BUILDING
The passenger terminal building of 78,357m² is a three-level structure comprising a basement, departure and arrival halls at ground level, as well as a mezzanine arrivals floor. 14 air bridges link the aircraft, piers and gate lounges. 1,800 car parking spaces in a two-storey car park can be reached via footbridges. Two-level access roads separate arrivals and departures. Supporting structures include administration, services, maintenance, airport police and security guard buildings, and nearly 100 residential buildings on a 10,000m² complex.

UTILITIES
The remote location of IKIA has placed considerable demands on the supply of utilities. A branch line was laid from the main gas trunk line to the east of the Qum highway, while wells were drilled for water supply. This is only sufficient for a few years of operations and the eventual aim is to transfer and treat water from Tehran's reservoirs. Tehran refinery is establishing a fuel supply through a new 250mm-diameter pipeline, 33km long. Distribution of utilities around the airport will be facilitated via a 2,850m concrete tunnel. Telecommunications contracts have been awarded and work is in progress to link the new airport to Mehrabad with around 400 communication lines, increasing to 2,000 lines in the future.

LEAD CONTRACTORS
Aeroports de Paris (ADP) was responsible for the master plan and preliminary design, and is undertaking supervision of procurement, installation, commissioning and testing of airport equipment and systems, as well as co-ordination and integration. The main contractors are two Iranian companies, Dey and Melli Sakhteman. Fernau (UK) is one of the international contractors working on for the project.

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Old February 8th, 2005, 10:18 AM   #8
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DUBAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT EXPANSION PHASE 2, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
The Dubai government has committed to a major expansion plan of the Dubai International Airport and its affiliated divisions. The new expansion programme of the Dubai International Airport (Phase 2) is due to cost $2.5 billion and was begun by the Department of Civil Aviation in 2002. It includes the construction of Terminal 3, concourse 2 and concourse 3, and a Mega Cargo Terminal. Construction work for Terminal 3, concourse 2 and concourse 3 is scheduled for completion by 2006. The Cargo Mega Terminal will be constructed in phases and is due to be completed by 2018. By 2006, Dubai International Airport will have the ability to cater for nearly 60 million passengers a year; its present capacity is 22 million.

The expansion program has been divided into five major elements. The first element is the expansion of passenger facilities, including Terminal 3, Concourse 2 and Concourse 3. The second element incorporates the expansion of cargo facilities, including the Mega Terminal, and the third element is the expansion of airfield facilities, such as new aprons, taxiways, roads, tunnels, runway extension, etc.

DUBAI AIRPORT TERMINAL 3
Located beneath the taxiway area and directly linked with Concourse 2, Terminal 3 incorporates an innovative design that promotes simplified, easy passenger flow (inbound and outbound) and decreases walking distances. This is the stark difference between the existing Terminal 1, which is linked to the concourse (Sheikh Rashid Terminal) via a tunnel, and Terminal 3.

Terminal 3's features include a multi-level underground structure measuring 300m x 350m wide, first class lounges and dedicated counters, restaurants, 180 check-in counters, as well as 2,600 underground parking spaces.

Terminal 3's departure and arrival halls will be located 10m below the apron and taxiways. By sustaining visual contact with the landside through a fully glazed facade at one end and the brightly naturally lit atrium of Concourse 2 at the other end, passenger orientation will be heightened.

The Terminal incorporates two levels of vehicle parking that is planned within a landscaped area, enabling uninterrupted views of Terminal 3 and Concourse 2 from the Airport road. A commercial centre will be built around a roof-lit central atrium in the parking area.

CONCOURSE 2
Directly connected to Terminal 3, Concourse 2 is dedicated exclusively to Emirates. The building will include a multi-level structure for departures and arrivals at Dubai Airport incorporating 27 contact gates and 59 passenger-loading bridges. Additionally, there will be a direct connection to Sheikh Rashid Terminal located at the control tower structure. There is also a 300-room hotel and health club that will include both five and three star rooms. A further 10,000m² of commercial space will be home to Dubai Duty Free and restaurants.

Concourse 2 will include five aerobridges capable of handling the new Airbus A380 Super Jumbo. The two concourse buildings will be linked via this airbus, enabling transiting passengers to move freely between the two buildings.

CONCOURSE 3
The third concourse has been included in the expansion programme to accommodate the increased number of passengers at Dubai Airport from the new A380 Super Jumbo.

Concourse 3 will be a scaled-down version of Concourse 3, incorporating climate-controlled lounges. It will have 27 contact gates; 12 gates will be for the A380. The two concourses will be connected via electric buses.

CARGO MEGA TERMINAL
Current growth forecasts predict that by early 2004 additional major cargo handling facilities will be needed in order to satisfy demands. Subsequently, plans are in progress to construct the first stage of the Cargo Mega Terminal, which eventually by the year 2018 will have the ability to handle three million tonnes of freight.

Phase 1 of the Cargo Mega Terminal will be executed through a cargo handling equipment specialist and an international building contractor due to the highly specialised nature of its operation, installed equipment and systems. The construction of the facility is due to be completed by the end of 2004.

FLOWER CENTRE
Scheduled for completion in summer of 2004, the innovative and avant-garde flower centre is to be constructed in three phases. It will offer an enhanced level of automation over a five to seven year period for processing flower products. It will incorporate a semi-automated system with manual sortation plus a fully automated facility.

The centre when completed and functioning will have a floor area of approximately 100,000m² including export chambers and offices (aside from product break down and build-up stations, and automated sorting areas). The handling capacity of the centre is expected to be more than 300,000t of product throughput per annum. The entire facility (with the exception of the offices) will be maintained at an ambient temperature of just 2-4°C.

APRONS AND TAXIWAYS
Due to be completed in 2003, the apron area around the new Concourse 2 will provide for 27 wide-bodied aircraft stands. Out of these five stands will accommodate the A380 Super Jumbo.

The new aprons will be constructed with taxiways and taxi-lanes capable of accommodating the new A380 super jumbo aircraft. A few existing taxiways will be expanded in order to complete the work associated with the newly commissioned second runway. The existing apron that currently serves Terminal 2 will additionally be extended to provide extra remote parking stands.

CONTRACTORS

The Department of Civil Aviation in the Dubai government is completing the new expansion programme of the Dubai International Airport (Phase 2).

Aeroports De Paris International has been drafted in as project design consultant for Terminal 3.

Design group Dar Al-Handasah Consultants will design Concourse 3.

Messrs Al Naboodah Engineering Services, in collaboration with the sister M & E contracting company, Messrs Trans Gulf Electro Mechanical, is contracted for the expansion of storm water facilities, and has again turned to Blackburn Starling for the supply of the pump station motor control equipment.

Siemens was awarded the contract for the complete airfield lighting and airfield lighting control system for the expansion project. This includes approximately 4,200 light fittings for the runway, the taxiway, the guidance signs and the control system with BRITE® that covers 4,200 units.



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Old March 16th, 2005, 09:43 AM   #9
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Emirates Airlines to fly Incheon-Dubai route

(Korea Herald)
16 March 2005
Emirates Airlines, one of the world's fastest-growing carriers, will start daily nonstop flights between Dubai and Incheon beginning May 1.
The price-competitive airline's entry to the Korean market is expected to create new demand for tourism and business exchanges, Emirates officials said at a news conference yesterday, also announcing the opening of the airline's new office in Seoul.

"With the launch of our Incheon-Dubai route, we'll stimulate exchanges of tourism and business between the two cities, which both serve as regional hubs for trade and communications," said Ghaith Saeed Khalaf Al Ghaith, Emirates vice president.

At present, Korean Airlines Co., the nation's largest carrier, has a monopoly on the Incheon-Dubai route, offering two nonstop flights each week during the regular season and three flights during the summer peak season.

Asked whether the airline will introduce cheaper fares to take a firm root in the Korean market, Ghaith said, "We didn't come here to undercut local competitors. Instead of a low-price policy, we will offer competitive prices and quality services to Korean customers."

The Dubai-based airline flies to 79 destinations in 56 countries and is fast expanding its operations since its inauguration in 1985. Later this year, it will add Beijing and Geneva to its list of destinations.

Entirely owned by the UAE government, Emirates reported a record net profit of $236 million in the six months ending Sep. 30 last year, a 40 percent increase from the same period a year earlier.

To propel its rapid growth further, Emirates announced this year that it will purchase 45 A380 jets over the next few years, the world's largest 555-seat passenger plane made by Airbus SAS.

Emirates, which has 5,500 cabin crew working worldwide including 220 Koreans, said it will increase the number of Korean flight attendants to cater to a potentially growing number of Korean travelers to Dubai.
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Old March 16th, 2005, 09:46 AM   #10
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Emirates Airlines Pushes for More Flights Into Australia

CANBERRA, March 16 Asia Pulse - Dubai-based carrier Emirates Airlines is pushing Australia to open up the nation's skies to more flights from the Middle East.

United Arab Emirates Transportation Minister Sultan Bin Saeed Al-Mansouri today held discussions on the issue with his Australian counterpart John Anderson.

Emirates already has access to Perth, Melbourne and Sydney, but wants better access, particularly into the growing tourist destination of Brisbane.

Sultan Al-Mansouri said there was strong demand from the UAE for flights into Australia.

"The number one carrier now for passengers from Dubai and the region to Australia," he told reporters.

"There is a continuous demand for the number of flights that is needed for the different destinations in Australia and beyond."
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Old March 16th, 2005, 09:50 AM   #11
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Fast-track underground metro rail line may link Dubai-Jebel Ali airports

A new fast-track underground metro line is likely to link Dubai International Airport and the proposed new airport in Jebel Ali, an official said.

“The growth in air traffic is forcing us to look at new options we can use to provide fast, efficient and safe transit [between the airports],” Mohammad Ahli, director of the Department of Civil Aviation, told Gulf News yesterday.

The non-stop service, currently under study, will transfer passengers between the two airports in less than five minutes.

Service would commence once Jebel Ali Airport begins to receive passenger aircraft. The airport, which is to become operational by the end of 2006, will primarily cater to cargo and general aviation services.

“We will need to fast-track the transfer of passengers between the two airports once the new airport in Jebel Ali begins receiving passenger aircraft,” Ahli said.

Passenger services will be progressively introduced to the Jebel Ali Airport once traffic at Dubai International Airport reaches the projected saturation point of about 60 million passengers in annual traffic.

Dubai International Airport served 21.7 million passengers last year, and has reported more than 20 per cent growth year-on-year over the last three years.

The Dubai aerospace exhibition will be shifted to the Jebel Ali Airport site, where full logistics support for the exhibition
will also be developed, Ahli said.

“Dubai 2005 will be the last airshow to be held at the existing Dubai Airport Expo. The next expo, to be held in 2007, will take place at a new facility in Jebel Ali,” Ahli said.

Ahli heads a technical team working on the expansion of the airport facilities. “The distance between the two runways at Dubai International Airport is 360 metres - well below the required 750 metres.

"This does not allow for simultaneous take-off and landing, thus limiting potential air traffic growth,” he said.

“All these have been considered before finalising the Jebel Ali airport plan,” Ahli said. “The new airport will have six runways, with 1,000 metres of distance separating each runway from its neighbours. The site is being cleared and prepared for construction.”

Dubai International Airport, with its planned $4.1 billion expansion (Dh15.04 billion), will cater to 60 million passengers
per year.

With the new airport in Jebel Ali, Dubai’s capacity in handling passenger traffic will rise to 120 million annually.
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Old March 16th, 2005, 06:43 PM   #12
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Published: 14/3/2005, 08:13 (UAE)
Gulf Air poised to break even
By Stanley Carvalho, Staff Reporter



Berlin: Gulf Air is on course to break even and wipe out its net loss of 20 million dinars when the airline announces its 2004 financial results next week, a spokesman said.

However, he said, 2005 will be more challenging as competition from new airlines intensifies and fuel costs show no signs of retreating.

"We are extremely optimistic of breaking even as 2004 results come out around March 20. Our cash flow is good at the moment and the debt which the airline inherited will be off our books," Hisham Ali Abu Al Fateh, public relations manager, told Gulf News.

"Except for the high fuel costs, the airline did very well and it is well on the road to recovery.

"But this year is a challenge in flying passengers as we face competiton from new airlines in this region," he said.

"When we launched Project Falcon as part of the three-year recovery plan, we did not take into account new airlines coming in nor could we foretell the shocking hike in fuel costs. We want to maintain our position and that is our challenge in 2005," he added.

Gulf Air carried 7.5 million passengers in 2004 with the same number of aircraft that carried six million passengers in 2003.

The airline has a fleet of 35 aircraft. Plans are on tap to expand the fleet but commercial feasibility will be the overriding factor.

"In 2005 there will be no addition to our fleet. But between now and 2009 there are plans to take the fleet to 50 aircraft and this will largely depend on commercial feasibility," said Al Fateh on the sidelines of the ITB here where Gulf Air has a stand under the Bahrain umbrella.

The airline stopped flying to Colombo and Casablanca due to non-profitability. There are no current plans to add new destinations to its network. The airline faces strong competition from low-cost airlines on key profit-making routes such as the Middle East and the sub-continent, a fact that Al Fateh acknowledges.

Gulf Traveller, the all-economy airline of Gulf Air, continues to be the cash cow, helping the airline with high revenues.

"Gulf Traveller saw a high 70 to 75 per cent passenger load factor throughout 2004 and it continues to see a high load factor this year. We expect it to maintain its growth levels," said the spokesman of Gulf Air.
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Old March 17th, 2005, 06:12 PM   #13
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Iran purchases six passenger flights
11 February 2005
BBC

Text of report in English by Iranian Mehr news agency in English

TEHRAN, 11 February: Three Iranian airliners Iran Air, Caspian, and Chabahar have purchased six Airbus, Fokker 100, and Tupolev planes valued at 200m dollars in total that will join the local fleet by year-end (March 21, 2005), said the head of the Civil Aviation Organization (CVO).

The aeroplanes hold all the international standards and can fly at high altitudes, added Nurollah Reza'i-Niaraki. Iran currently has 92 passenger aeroplanes of which 83 are owned by the domestic companies and the rest are on lease.

He noted that a modern satellite system would be applied in the air industry in Iran which will improve the security of flights. Next year will be the year of replacing the existing systems with the satellite ones.
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Old March 20th, 2005, 01:01 PM   #14
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Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority joins Dubai eGovernment’s AskDubai platform
Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA) has joined Dubai eGovernment’s AskDubai call centre, 7000 40000, to provide callers round-the-clock information on its various services including related issues to Commercial Operations, Lease & Licensing, Sales and IT Services. DAFZA joins an increasing number of government agencies opting to use a centralized response service to handle queries from business and public callers through multiple channels.

Following the agreement with Dubai eGovernment, DAFZA will be able to provide information on several issues in the first phase, including Employment Visas, Requests for NOC Letters, Visit & Transit visas, Collection of Passports, Visas Cancellation, etc.

“With a growing number of registered companies, Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority is flooded with a large number of calls pertaining to our services and procedures,” said Adel Kalantar, IT Manager, DAFZA. “As a result, it was becoming increasingly difficult to handle these calls through in-house inquiry service.”

“As a government department we provided our customer support from 7:30-14:30, but now Dubai eGovernment’s AskDubai provided us with the right solution because it offered advanced interactive response systems,” added Kalantar. “The AskDubai platform incorporates state-of-the-art CRM systems, allowing interactive 24-hour response mechanisms through a combination of agents and electronic systems to deliver customer satisfaction. We have ensured that agents are fully trained to provide accurate and updated information to our valued callers.”

Mahmood Al Bastaki, Acting Director of eServices, Dubai eGovernment, said: “Key government agencies like DAFZA need to move to the next level of caller response technology. As the expense involved in acquiring hi-tech call centre equipment is very high, Dubai eGovernment thought of creating a unified call centre that could be utlilised by all government departments. AskDubai is finding increasing acceptance among various agencies because it provides the ideal solution through multiple channels such as the Internet, Fax, Voice Mail, SMS and Agents.”

Describing the advantages of an integrated and shared call centre for government departments, Al Bastaki said AskDubai served as a single point of contact to government departments in Dubai, and it is accessible round the clock, provides bilingual support through multiple channels and unified inquiries, complaints and feedback.

Since its launch in June 2003, AskDubai has been adopted by several government departments, including Dubai Police, Dubai Development Board, Dubai Land Department, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Civil Defence, DOHMS and Dubai Economic Department.

Customers can contact AskDubai on phone line 7000 40000 or submit their queries to [email protected] available on the portal www.dubai.ae or send a fax on 04 330 3399. Those wishing to post comments can go to “Feedback.” There is a facility to chat online with one of the agents. Users can also go to the “Schedule a Callback” link to be called back at a designated time. They can choose “Chat and Talk” link if they want a representative to call them back on the telephone while they are still chatting online.
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Old March 20th, 2005, 01:03 PM   #15
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Dubai Logistics City will start operations in 2007

Staff Report

Dubai: Dubai Logistics City, which will begin operating in 2007, will encompass a 25 square kilometre area, officials said.




“This major initiative will allow Dubai International Airport to focus on the development of passenger traffic without suffering from congestion or bottlenecks caused by freight and logistics operations,” said Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman of Emirates Group.

Dubai Logistics City (DLC) was launched following an 18-month feasibility and business realisation study by ADI Services FZE.

ADI Services is a division of global logistics consultants ADI Consulting GmbH of Switzerland, Shaikh Ahmad said.

Dubai Logistics City will be adjacent to Jebel Ali International Airport.

This airport will also start operations in 2007 and is designed to eventually handle more than 12 million tonnes of air cargo annually through up to 16 air cargo terminals, project representatives said.

All the terminals will be designed to handle the new generation Airbus A380-800F freighter version of the giant airliner, project representatives said.

DLC and Jebel Ali Airport are being built next to the Jebel Ali Free Zone and Port, which is being extended to handle 15 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent unit) per annum.

“DLC will have its own unique, dedicated, modern road system which will separate professional logistics from public traffic,” said Dr Roland Zibell, DLC project director. “It will offer the full scope of professional logistics services and access to speedy airfreight services.

“All DLC customers will have direct access to Jebel Ali Port and Jebel Ali Airport without having to leave the free zone.

"An ocean container can be transferred from the port’s container terminal to the airport’s cargo terminal without customs clearance and without any delay. This will maximise the freedom to do business,” Dr Zibell said.

Trade and industry customers can opt to build their own facilities, including distribution centres and regional headquarters, on serviced sites with long-term leases or lease space in advanced business units with offices and warehouses provided by DLC.

“Alternatively, companies can outsource operations to contract logistics service providers,” Dr Zibell said. “Hundreds of local and global service providers already operate in Dubai,” he said.

“Depending upon their market position, integrators may either want to be clients of DLC terminal facilities, erect their own sorting and handling facilities on special airside leased plots or even choose DLC as a key regional hub for global operations adding multi-modal, logistics and supply chain services,” Dr Zibell said.
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Old March 20th, 2005, 01:04 PM   #16
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Abu Dhabi, Canada to sign civil aviation pact
BY A STAFF REPORTER

20 March 2005

ABU DHABI — Abu Dhabi and Canada are at an advanced stage of negotiating a pact in the area of civil aviation which will help establish a much needed airlink.


It was stated by William David Hutton, Ambassador of Canada at the launch of the Canadian Business Council (CBC) in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

Ambassador said that the bilateral trade has doubled to $500 million in the year 2004 comparing with $280 million two years ago, showing the enormous potential that exists between the UAE and Canada.

He said that Canadian firms are quite active in the UAE economy and has taken stakes in the health sector, urging the UAE businessmen to take advantage of huge investment opportunities available in Canada.

Earlier, Mohammed Omar Abdullah, Director General of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI) hoped that the CBC would bring the business communities of two countries closer, strengthening trade and commerce.

He said that ADCCI is seeking to strengthen business relations between the businessmen of various countries with their counterparts in Abu Dhabi. The ADCCI board of directors supports the formation of the CBC to act as a bridge between Canadian businessmen residing in the country and their counterparts from the UAE and also with the representatives of the trade and economic institutions in Canada.

The Chairman of the Canadian Business Council, Muwaffaq Ghazi said that the step was of significant importance in triggering partnership between businessmen in the two countries especially as it represents a significant number of Canadian businesses. CBC is deemed an addition to other business councils representing other friendly countries.

He said that CBC has over 100 active members with interests in all areas of economy.
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Old March 20th, 2005, 08:04 PM   #17
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Air Arabia takes off for India
17 March 2005
Middle East Company News

Air Arabia LLC, one of the UAE's national airlines and the first low-cost airline of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa region, today announced the commencement of their daily flights to Mumbai from Saturday 26 March 2005.

Air Arabia's fare structure is based on supply and demand and fares increase as more seats are booked on a particular flight. Fares will be at least 15-20% lower than other airlines. Flights will depart Sharjah International Airport daily at 16:40 and arrive in Mumbai at 21:00 local time. From Mumbai, flights will depart every day at 21:45 and arrive in Sharjah at 23:25 local time. This latest destination in Air Arabia's constantly expanding network grows the airline's reach to 12 countries and 16 destinations within the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian Subcontinent.

'I would like to thank the Indian government and civil aviation authorities for their role in facilitating our operations and their invaluable cooperation in making this possible,' said Adel Ali, Air Arabia's CEO.

With the addition of its fifth Airbus A320 earlier this year, Air Arabia will be offering travellers to and from India the very best in customer comfort with brand new aircraft combining the widest and most spacious seats in its class and the largest seat pitch in the market - that of 34 inches - in comparison to 29 and at the most 31 inches offered on most regional airlines. In addition, Air Arabia offers an in-flight entertainment system with both video and audio choices to passengers on short and long haul routes.

Added Ali: 'By connecting India to our existing routes, we can now offer Indian nationals in the region the opportunity to travel more often at lower fares to India for business or leisure. We look forward to enabling Gulf residents and tourists that have not been able to afford air travel in the past to start travelling and those who do travel to do so more frequently.'

Air Arabia is a Sharjah government owned airline currently flying from Sharjah ten times a week to Alexandria; daily to Bahrain, Beirut, Colombo, Doha and Muscat; five days a week to Damascus and Kuwait; four days a week to Dammam; three days a week to Khartoum and Aleppo; and two days a week to Assiut, Jeddah, Riyadh and Sana'a.

Committed to enabling customers who have not been able to afford air travel in the past to start travelling throughout the region and those who do travel to travel more frequently, Air Arabia offers tremendous opportunities to travellers who are looking for competitive fares. It aims to make air travel more convenient and frequent, while providing the lowest fares in the market without sacrificing the standards of safety, quality or service offered.

Bookings can be made through Air Arabia's call centre in Sharjah on (+971 6) 558 0000, the website, Air Arabia Travel Shops, appointed travel agents and Emirates Post offices.

About Air Arabia LLC:

Air Arabia LLC was established as a fully fledged commercial airline of the United Arab Emirates on 3rd February 2003 by an Ameeri decree issued by His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohamed Al Qassimi, the Ruler of Sharjah and Member of the Supreme Council of the UAE. The Air Arabia fleet consists of five modern A320 aircraft flying directly to destinations in: Bahrain, Egypt, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
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Old March 29th, 2005, 07:50 PM   #18
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Gulf Air Launches Refurbished Airbus A330

MUSCAT, March 29 Asia Pulse - Gulf Air launched completely new seating, furnishing and service in its first and business class cabins at a ceremony held at Seeb International Airport Monday under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah al Harthy, Minister of Transport and Communications and Gulf Air Board Chairman.

The Minister and other attendees were taken on a tour on board the first refurbished Airbus A330s, one of six aircraft of the same model, that has entered service on the Abu Dhabi-London route. The five others will be upgraded by next July.

The Minister said the countries owning Gulf Air adopted in 2002 the Falcon restructuring plan for the company. The three year plan was designed to restructure Gulf Air both financially and technically to regain profitability by 2004.

The Minister said initial figures of unapproved audited accounts indicated that the company managed to realize profits last year for the first time since 1990.

He said the technical upgrading of the company included changing the logo and the aircraft configuration besides the new seating and services and hoped that these improvements would allow Gulf Air to restore its prominent status as the national carrier of the Sultanate, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.

The Minister said the Gulf Air recovery plan helped increase flights. He explained that last year the company transported 1.25 million passengers from Seeb International Airport from a total of 3.416 million travellers.

On new destinations, he said the company had recently operated a direct route to London that proved very much successful and encouraged the company to consider launching new direct flights linking Muscat to major European capitals which he said would be disclosed later on.

On Seeb International Airport capacity to accommodate the increasing passenger traffic, the Minister said as a result of the pressure on current facilities at the airport, it has been decided to make some provisional changes in the current terminal by expanding departure and arrival halls and adding four other gates until the new terminal is built. He expected construction to start next year and said the terminal in its first phase will have the capacity to handle 12 million passengers annually.

He said building a new 3 million passengers per annum terminal at Salalah Airport is being mulled at present.

(ONA)
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Old April 4th, 2005, 04:29 AM   #19
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Emirates Airlines To Build $353M Civil Aviation Center
3 April 2005

DUBAI (AP)--Emirates Airlines is building one of the world's largest civil aviation engineering centers, a US$353 million facility that will occupy 55 hectares, the company said Sunday.

The new center, north of Dubai International Airport, will cater to the airline's 74 aircraft fleet that is expected to double in the coming seven years. Emirates airlines has 99 aircraft on order, including 45 A380 superjumbos.

Consisting of eight hangars - which alone cover the area of 17 soccer fields - the center will be one of the world's largest civil aviation maintenance facilities and the airline's single largest facility investment, an airline statement said.

Emirates' chairman, Sheik Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said the project will support the airline's growth by providing in-house maintenance and generate revenue through third-party servicing contracts.

The center is expected to be completed by the beginning of 2006. Its main consultants are France's Aeroports de Paris and the Dubai-based Fraser Nag Partnership.

Dubai's Emirates airlines, one of the fastest growing in the world, and bustling airport cater to the city's aggressive campaign to serve as a regional business and tourism hub.
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Old April 4th, 2005, 06:18 PM   #20
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This is kind of an off-topic (er, thread) question, but, it's within the general context of most of these articles. I'm trying to grasp something ...

Population wise, how big is Dubai? And, the United Arab Emirates ?

Any info would be helpful. I'm having trouble finding correct figures.

Last edited by urbanphx; April 4th, 2005 at 06:28 PM.
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