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Old November 14th, 2007, 10:39 PM   #201
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28 bln? i thought it was more like 83 or 85bln$.
air bus trumped boeing biiiiiig time.
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Old November 14th, 2007, 10:39 PM   #202
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28 bln? i thought it was more like 83 or 85bln$.
air bus trumped boeing biiiiiig time. at dubai air show
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Old November 14th, 2007, 10:41 PM   #203
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sorry for double post
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Old November 15th, 2007, 11:55 AM   #204
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Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post


Damn, do that many people fly between South Africa and the UAE? It looks like something is going on halfway around the world that most of us in here in...well Texas aren't aware about.
they will also be doing daily to Durban and Cape Town in 2008 and double daily in 2009
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Old November 30th, 2007, 06:10 PM   #205
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Qatar Airways inducts the first of Boeing 777

DOHA: Qatar Airways, with a fleet of 59 aircraft and coverage of 79 global destinations, views India as an important hub in view of the long historical and economic ties between the two countries, its Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said here on Thursday.

Addressing an international delegation of mediapersons, invited by the airlines to witness the ‘water salute’ and induction of new Boeing 777 aircraft, Mr. Al Baker said he would talk to the Indian authorities about expanding flight operations.

One of the youngest and fastest-growing airlines in the world, Qatar Airways operates 44 flights to seven destinations in India. Ahmedabad, its eighth destination, will be connected on December 12. Operations to Chennai were launched on March 24.

The airline came into existence in 1994, and Mr. Al Baker was appointed CEO by the Emir of Qatar in 1996 with a mandate to focus on service and take the airlines to the major league.

Unprecedented growth
The growth rate of the airlines was unprecedented in world aviation history. From being a regional airline in 1994, with four planes and a handful of routes, Qatar Airways now owns 59 aircraft, including the elite Boeing 777 inducted on Thursday.

By 2015, the airline will have a fleet of 110 aircraft, almost double its existing size. It has placed orders for 80 Airbus A350s, 60 Boeing 787s and 32 Boeing 777s.

Boeing’s senior vice-president for Middle East and Africa sales, Lee D. Monson, said India and China accounted for a big chunk of its orders, with the latter accounting for a slightly higher number of aircraft.

Reiterating that Boeing was not interested in the small aircraft segment, he said that with demand increasing there was pressure on the company’s ability to build the required numbers.

Describing the under-research gas-to-liquid technology as a “radical shift” from the existing aviation turbine fuel-based technology, Mr. Monson said he expected results in three to five years.
“A national asset”

Updesh Kapur, Senior Media Relations Officer, said Qatar Airlines was considered a national asset and a national icon by the government, and that Mr. Al Baker was chosen to “lead the airlines into a new era.”

Aiming to position Doha as the Middle East region’s aviation hub, the Emirate of Qatar has taken up an ambitious $5.5 billion New Doha International Airport project. Also, Qatar wants to host the Olympics in 2016.

The first phase of the new facility, work on which was commenced in June 2005, aims at handling 12 million passengers annually. While this phase is expected to be ready by 2009, the airport would become fully operational by 2015.

Land reclamation
An important feature of the ongoing project was the “reclamation” of land from the Arabian Gulf. About 60 per cent of the 2,200-hectare land had been reclaimed, said Mr. Kapur.

The new facility is situated about 4 km from the existing airport. The five-star airline boasts of a $100 million premium terminal at Doha.

Scheduled to be dismantled or put to other uses by 2009, the facility offers spa, jacuzzi, sauna, lounge and business centre to business and first class passengers.
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Old November 30th, 2007, 06:57 PM   #206
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Emirates accuses Lufthansa of thwarting its expansion plans in Germany
30 November 2007
Financial Times

Emirates, the Dubai-based airline, has accused German airline Deutsche Lufthansa and the German transport ministry of hindering its plans for expansion in Germany. The airline, which already offers flights to four German airports, is also hoping to operate flights to Berlin and Stuttgart. The ministry of transport is said to have refused to grant Emirates the rights for this, however.

Lufthansa is said to have expressed fears that jobs could be lost if Emirates begins offering more flights in Germany. The management of Emirates has held talks with German politicians.
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Old November 30th, 2007, 07:20 PM   #207
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Etihad readies fleet plan up to 2020

By Mark Pilling

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways will sign a huge aircraft order next year ranging from new narrrowbodies up to large widebodies, with the choice at the top end between the Airbus A380 and Boeing’s 747-8I.

Etihad still has deposits and delivery slots on four A380s, but whether it ends up taking these aircraft depends on the structure of the order it is currently discussing with the two manufacturers, says Etihad CEO James Hogan.

“When we renegotiated for 12 aircraft at Le Bourget we pushed the aircraft [A380s] to 2013,” he says. As part of the compensation deal with Airbus for the delay to the A380 programme, Etihad chose to take five A330-200s, four A340-600s and three A330-200Fs.

The new order is designed to secure its delivery schedule from 2010 to 2020 with a mixture of incremental and replacement aircraft, said Hogan, as it builds Abu Dhabi as a transfer hub with four daily flight banks.

Although it is introducing leased A320s for its intra-Gulf and Indian routes, Etihad will choose between the A320 and 737 for its narrowbody order. The 777 and 787 or A350XWB are being studied for its mid-sized widebody needs.

The carrier will definitely require a large widebody. “We will need an A380 or 747-8 at some stage for routes to London and Sydney – the order could go either way,” said Hogan.

In the short-term, Etihad will have eight A320s in service by the end of 2008 and will take delivery of two more A340-600s next year. The accident at Airbus in November, when an Etihad A340-600 was severely damaged during ground testing, cannot affect Etihad’s route launches in 2008, says Hogan.

“We have got to continue to meet our development plans,” he said. “We believe Airbus will work with us to find a solution,” he said.

These plans include the launch of a four-times daily service to Beijing in late March, its first route into China. Etihad is looking to add Shanghai and possibly another two Chinese cities to its network in 2008/9. Other route plans in 2008 are a service to Russia and Nigerian capital Lagos, where route rights are currently being negotiated.
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Old November 30th, 2007, 07:30 PM   #208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MALAYSIAN View Post
These plans include the launch of a four-times daily service to Beijing in late March, its first route into China. Etihad is looking to add Shanghai and possibly another two Chinese cities to its network in 2008/9. Other route plans in 2008 are a service to Russia and Nigerian capital Lagos, where route rights are currently being negotiated.
Etihad to launch flights to Beijing
28-11-2007
Corporate Press Release

Abu Dhabi: Etihad Airways will launch flights from its Abu Dhabi home base to the Chinese capital of Beijing on 30 March 2008.

The four flights a week service will be Etihad’s first destination in China and marks a new chapter in the airline’s history as it enters one of the world’s fastest growing air travel markets.

Beijing will be Etihad’s eighth destination in its rapidly expanding flight network in the Asia-Pacific region which already includes services to Brisbane, Sydney, Manila, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Bangkok.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said: “Beijing has established itself as one of the world’s fastest growing and most popular destinations and we anticipate tremendous demand for this new Etihad service from customers across our global network.”

“There is a huge appetite from business and leisure travellers for flights to Beijing, especially ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games, and we look forward to bringing the UAE and China closer together.”

Etihad’s flights to Beijing will operate every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday with EY888 departing from Abu Dhabi at 11.45pm and arriving in the Chinese capital at 11.30am the next day.

Return flight EY889 departs from Beijing every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 7.10pm arriving in Abu Dhabi at 00.20am the next day.

The flight times connect conveniently with many of Etihad’s other services from the Middle East and Europe including London Heathrow, Dublin, Bahrain, Beirut and Jeddah allowing customers to fly long-haul to Beijing via Abu Dhabi.

Mr Hogan added: “Etihad is committed to offering its customers living outside the UAE convenient connections to our most popular destinations. The flight times for our new Beijing services mean that customers can fly with Etihad from Heathrow, with only an hour stop-over in Abu Dhabi, before flying on to the Chinese capital.”

Etihad will operate a two class Airbus A330-200 configured to carry 262 passengers with 22 in business class and 240 in economy class.

Cargo services to Beijing are also expected to be highly popular with the A330-200 aircraft able to carry 11 tonnes of cargo with full passenger load.
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 03:22 AM   #209
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Emirates accuses Lufthansa of thwarting its expansion plans in Germany
30 November 2007
Financial Times

Emirates, the Dubai-based airline, has accused German airline Deutsche Lufthansa and the German transport ministry of hindering its plans for expansion in Germany. The airline, which already offers flights to four German airports, is also hoping to operate flights to Berlin and Stuttgart. The ministry of transport is said to have refused to grant Emirates the rights for this, however.

Lufthansa is said to have expressed fears that jobs could be lost if Emirates begins offering more flights in Germany. The management of Emirates has held talks with German politicians.
Similar thing happened this year. Serbia’s Jat Airways offered flights to the US by flying to Frankfurt and then passengers would connect to Lufthansa. However after starting flights to Dubai and having successful cooperation with EK on flight continuing to Australia, Jat decided to start flights to Hamburg and connect passengers to the Hamburg - New York flight operated by Emirates. A month later Germany's transpiration authority revoked Jat’s slots in Hamburg and made it continue feeding Lufthansa its transit passengers to the US via Frankfurt.
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Old August 8th, 2009, 10:31 AM   #210
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Bahrain's Gulf Air plans Baghdad, other Iraq flights
Reuters - Thursday, August 6

MANAMA - Bahrain's Gulf Air [GULF.UL] said on Wednesday it will launch flights to Baghdad and the other Iraqi cities of Najaf and Erbil in September.

The five-times weekly service to Baghdad will start on Sept. 1 and flights to the two other cities are to begin by the end of September, an airline statement said.
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Old August 8th, 2009, 10:33 AM   #211
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New era for Gulf Air
By STAN SZECOWKA, Posted on » Friday, July 03, 2009



BELEAGUERED Gulf Air boss Bjšrn NŠf bowed out gracefully yesterday after the airline announced it had replaced him as chief executive officer.

Mr NŠf had been the target of a long-running campaign by Bahraini MPs to oust him from his position, based on allegations of mismanagement and nepotism.

They also criticised the airline's continued losses, despite his efforts to turn the company around.

Some industry pundits suggested the Swiss airline executive had inherited a poisoned chalice when he took over in the summer of 2007, stepping up from his number two post as chief operating officer.

His predecessor Andre Dose had announced Gulf Air was losing $1 million a day before departing after just three months in the job.

Mr NŠf has been instrumental in implementing a revamped network and also spearheading an initiative to boost the carrier's punctuality, which has improved under his command.

Speaking from his home in Switzerland, where he has returned to celebrate his 44th birthday yesterday, he said: "It has been exciting to be a part of building the foundations of the new Gulf Air."

Asked whether he was sad to be leaving, he remained philosophical about the situation.

"The time is right, a new era is coming," he said.

The Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company hopes that new man Samer Majali will bring good fortune to the airline and silence critics, who have been unhappy with its performance under Mr NŠf.

Gulf Air chairman and Mumtalakat chief executive officer Talal Al Zain, who will manage the carrier until Mr Majali takes over, said he was looking forward to the future.

"On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Bjšrn NŠf for his leadership over the last two years and we wish him well in his future endeavours," he said.

"Moving forward, we have important plans for the future of Gulf Air and we believe Samer is the right leader to take the airline forward, as we move into the next phase of our strategy to rebuild the business.

"I'm delighted to welcome Samer to the team as he brings an exceptional track record of successfully managing a leading Middle Eastern carrier.

"His skills will help us to build towards a strong future for Gulf Air."

Under Mr Majali's leadership, Royal Jordanian has been transformed into a highly successful and profitable business driven by a comprehensive strategy to modernise the airline's fleet and reshape its network of routes.

His achievements include bringing Royal Jordanian into "Oneworld" in 2007, making it the first Middle Eastern airline to join a major global alliance.

In addition, he managed the successful privatisation of Royal Jordanian, a first in the region.

He has also served as President of the Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO), chairman of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) board of governors until last month and holds a degree in Air Transport Management from Cranfield University in the UK. In an agreed statement, Mr NŠf was said to be "leaving the business to pursue other interests".
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Old August 8th, 2009, 10:34 AM   #212
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Qatar Airways caps office openings in US with grand New York ceremony
Web posted at: 8/4/2009 2:27:10
Source ::: The PENINSULA



DOHA: Qatar Airways concluded a series of office openings in the United States with an official ceremony in New York City attended by a host of local dignitaries, celebrities and influential business people.

The opening of new offices in Washington DC, Houston and New York City drew wide interest from the US aviation, business, and travel media, as well as the business community in each city, as Qatar Airways moved to strengthen its presence in the American market.

Since launching its first US destination two years ago, Qatar Airways has experienced robust growth and expansion in the North American market, garnering recognition along the way for its superior in-flight and on-the-ground service.

“We are completely committed to growing our presence and raising the service bar, not only in the United States, but throughout our global network,” said Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar

Al Baker.

This means continued investment in people and in infrastructure as we are seeing in our new offices across the US. The American travelling public is very demanding and very deserving and, rest assured, we deliver what we promise, being focused on delivering best levels of service.”

The New York City ceremony was attended by airline officials, aviation industry personnel and a host of local VIPs, including the internationally known business tycoon Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump, together with Salem Al Shafi, Charge D’Affaires of the Permanent Mission of Qatar to the United Nations.

Located on the 22nd floor of the famed Trump Tower at 725 Fifth Avenue, the new office makes it easier for business and leisure travellers to book their flights across Qatar Airways’ global network, which spans 82 destinations.

Qatar Airways’ foray into the United States began with its New York launch in June 2007. In October last year, Qatar Airways switched its one-stop, four-a-week flights from Newark to JFK International Airport and introduced its state-of-the-art Boeing 777 aircraft on the route to cater to increased passenger demand.

Al Baker said Qatar Airways had made a significant impact in the US market in the two short years it had been operating with a total capacity now of 21 flights a week. Qatar Airways operates daily flights from its three US hub cities non-stop to Doha with onward connections to a diverse range of business and leisure cities across the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and the Far East.
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Old August 8th, 2009, 10:34 AM   #213
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Dubai’s airlines face spectre of overcapacity
Web posted at: 7/28/2009 0:8:46
Source ::: FINANCIAL TIMES
By James Drummond



Airlines - in particular Emirates - are synonymous with Dubai. From the rebadging of Arsenal’s Highbury football stadium in London to high-profile purchases of giant Airbus A380 aircraft, Dubai has used its flag carrier as a pillar of a decades-long marketing effort to project an image of dynamism and club-class luxury.

Emirates has enjoyed a number of advantages over its competitors. Its base at Dubai airport, along with others in the Gulf, is a 24-hour operation, which means aircraft time is not wasted on stand overnight. The emirate also levies little or no corporation tax on profits.

Emirates “has managed to find its niche as this long-haul, low-cost carrier which is almost the holy grail of the airline industry. If you can operate long-haul at low-cost then you are likely to be very profitable,” says David Kaminski of Flight International, a trade publication.

Since its first flight in 1985 Emirates has been engaged in an ambitious expansion programme. It has 135 aircraft in operation and has a further 158 worth a massive $52bn on order, excluding options.

But in May, Emirates announced that its annual profits in the year to the end of March fell 72 percent to Dh982m ($268m). The airline said that sky-high oil prices were to blame for the plunge in profitability. The airline lost Dh1.57bn ($428m) as hedging strategies went awry, according to its accounts.

Oil prices have now moderated but Dubai Inc is facing financial problems. The emirate faces a host of financing calls this year amid a crash in local property prices. The question is whether the airline can maintain its dramatic growth in constrained circumstances - or whether it has over-reached itself.

In June Giovanni Bisignani, the director-general of the International Air Transport Association, warned in Dubai: “The ground has shifted. Our industry has been shaken. This is the most difficult situation that the industry has faced.”

However, in the same month, Dubai International Airport saw a 10.3 percent year-on-year rise in passenger traffic to 3.36m. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum, the chairman of Dubai Airports and of Emirates airline, said that the emirate was still committed to an investment programme of $17.2bn in its airports.

This includes the construction of what is intended to be the world’s largest airport, the Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International, at Jebel Ali. The behemoth, the first runway of which his due to opened next year, is due to have five runways in total and be able to cope with 160m passengers a year.

Analysts, mindful of the experience of Gulf Air, counsel caution. In the 1980s, Gulf Air, based in Bahrain and then owned by four Gulf states, expanded too rapidly, they say, and has never been the same since. Moreover other, wealthier, Gulf states - Abu Dhabi with Etihad and Qatar Airways - are venturing into the premium markets occupied by Emirates and can exploit the same cost advantages that it has pioneered.

“I think the issue is the timing. They [Emirates] have a huge number of aeroplanes on order. Sooner or later there will be room for all of them but it is a question of whether their timetable matches that of the world economy and that of Dubai,” says Kaminski. It may then seem an odd time to launch another airline given the worst recession in decades.

At the beginning of June the emirate launched Flydubai, its first foray into the budget airline market. The start-up is facing established competition in the form of Air Arabia, which operates out of Sharjah, Sama of Saudi Arabia and Jazeera Airways of Kuwait. In keeping with the Dubai approach, Flydubai is nothing if not ambitious. The new operation is planning to purchase a total of 54 Boeing 737-800s.

Ghaith al-Ghaith, Flydubai’s chief executive, says that in Europe penetration by budget airlines is about 20 percent of travellers and there are projections that this will grow to 50 percent. In the Middle East, however, budget travellers make up only a low single-digit percentage of passengers. Bill McKnight of AT Kearney, the consultants, says that unless Flydubai publishes separate accounts from Dubai Inc it will be difficult to tell whether the venture is a success or not.

“Any airline can offer lower fares, at least for the short term. The question is always whether an airline can make a profit by doing so and that depends heavily on its cost structure,” he says. Flydubai says no decision has been taken on whether to issue separate financial statements, as Emirates does. Kaminski thinks the Flydubai venture is a defensive move on the part of Dubai’s rulers, perturbed by the success of nearby rivals.

“I think part of it is to stop too much of a drift to other budget carriers in the region because if you can’t beat them, join them,” he says. “I suspect that is keeping part of the market in Dubai rather than elsewhere.”
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Old August 8th, 2009, 10:36 AM   #214
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FlyDubai secures $320m GE finance to expand fleet
Web posted at: 7/2/2009 7:3:32
Source ::: AFP



Dubai: Low-cost carrier FlyDubai said yesterday it struck a $320m aircraft financing deal with GE Capital Aviation Services that would bolster its fleet.

Under the agreement, GE will finance the airline’s purchase or leasing of four planes from Boeing in the second half of this year, to add to the two aircraft which the carrier already has, the firm said in a statement.

“This deal will fulfill our financing needs to receive the four aircraft from Boeing by the end of 2009,” Chief Executive Ghaith Al Ghaith said in the statement.

By the year’s end, the company would have a fleet of six planes that would enable it to launch about 14 new destinations, Gaith said.

Flydubai is scheduled to receive the first two planes in July, one in October and another in December, he added.

The budget carrier, a sister company of Dubai’s largest Middle East carrier Emirates, took off on its first route to Beirut on June 1, and followed that with flights to Amman, Damascus and Alexandria.

Airlines in the Middle East have been expanding, despite the global economic slowdown, as the region is at the crossroads of three continents—Africa, Asia and Europe—and is home to a huge expatriate population.

Dubai, a tourism and trade hub, had first announced the establishment of Flydubai in March 2008, with a start-up capital of Dh250m ($67m). Dubai has the busiest airport in the region which handled more than 37 million passengers in 2008, a nine percent increase from 2007.

Flydubai competes with Sharjah-based Air Arabia, listed on the Dubai stock exchange, and Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways, which also has a hub in Dubai.
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Old August 8th, 2009, 10:37 AM   #215
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Etihad Airways to launch Chicago service in September
Web posted at: 7/10/2009 0:27:40
Source ::: THE PENINSULA



DOHA: After launching its new services to Astana, Istanbul, Athens and Larnaca, Etihad Airways will launch its Chicago route in September 2009.

Hareb Al Muhairi (pictured), Etihad Airways’ newly appointed Head of Corporate Communications said here on Wednesday that the airline’s fleet will reach 52 aircraft this year and is expected to grow to 65 by 2012. The airline ordered 205 aircraft at the Farnborough Air Show in the UK. The first delivery is expected in 2011.

Etihad has recently opened its new headquarters and new passenger Terminal 3 at Abu Dhabi International Airport enhancing the carrier’s ground services, which are supported by new facilities including a spa, a cigar bar, special meeting rooms and dedicated services for children. The airline has also unveiled its first class cabin which includes individual suites designed to provide the highest levels of privacy and comfort with more space for storage.

The cabin is characterised by the first-class seat, which can be extended to become a wide and full flat bed of 80.5 inches in length. It is also enhanced by the self-massaging unit, as well as the supporting back and head pads that can be adjusted for more comfort. There are also power sockets for computers and mobile devices, such as iPod, along with the usual features of the business class cabin.

In order to provide better air services, Etihad has also announced it has implemented a new position in the cabins, with Food and Beverage Managers overseeing the quality of what is provided to travellers. The team members have joined the airline after having worked for many years in the hospitality sector in luxury five-star brands. The team will work to provide the highest quality standards of food on board flights.

Etihad Airways recently ordered at the Paris International Airshow held in Le Bourget 239 engines, which include 19 spares, which is worth $7bn at list prices, including maintenance contracts. If all options and purchase rights are exercised, the total number of engines will be 469, at a list price value of $14bn, including maintenance. This represents the largest engine order in commercial aviation history.
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Old August 8th, 2009, 10:47 AM   #216
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Etihad Airways
Taken from http://www.flightglobal.com/

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Old August 9th, 2009, 06:18 PM   #217
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UAE's Air Arabia Q2 net up 10 pct, misses forecasts

DUBAI, Aug 8 (Reuters) - UAE's Air Arabia , the Middle East's largest low-cost carrier, posted a 10 percent rise in second-quarter net profit to 90 million dirhams ($24.50 million), missing analysts' forecasts.

Net income in the three months to June was up from 82 million dirhams in the year-earlier period, it said in a statement on Saturday.

Forecasts of four analysts for Air Arabia's second-quarter profit ranged from 100 million dirhams to 151 million dirhams in a Reuters survey in July.
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Old August 10th, 2009, 12:33 AM   #218
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UAE's Air Arabia upbeat, to announce third hub
Published: 2009/08/10

DUBAI: UAE's Air Arabia, the Middle East's largest low-cost carrier, will announce a third hub in weeks and expects full-year profit to be positive despite excess capacity hitting yields in the second quarter.

Group chief executive Adel Ali said in an interview yesterday that the next three to six months would remain difficult for the industry, but was confident Air Arabia would be in "good shape" in 2009 and beyond.

The airline on Saturday posted a 10 per cent rise in second-quarter net profit to 90 million dirhams (100 dirhams = RM97.90), missing analysts' forecasts.

"We are pleased with the results, but market conditions continue to offer excess capacity and reflects a dilution of the yield," Ali said.

He said influenza A (H1N1) was a bigger threat to the airline industry than the global economic crisis.

"A lot of people are not travelling because of (H1N1) flu," Adel Ali said. "Swine flu is a bigger threat than the economy."

Ali declined to give a profit outlook for the third quarter or full year, but said hedging, lower unit costs and maximising seat factor would help it achieve positive results.

In the second quarter, the airline launched a joint venture in Morocco, flying from its Casablanca hub and has said it planned to set up a new hub between its base at Sharjah, United Arab Emirates and North Africa.

"We are fairly close ... it should be a matter of weeks," Ali said.

Air Arabia, formed in 2003, has a fleet of 20 A320 aircraft and has placed an order for 44 A320s from Airbus, a unit of EADS. Ali said the airline could have as many as 100 planes by 2015 depending on how the airline's business evolved over the coming years.

Forecasts of four analysts for Air Arabia's second-quarter profit ranged from 100 million dirhams to 151 million dirhams in a survey in July.

Earlier this year Air Arabia launched a Morrocan joint venture - Air Arabia (Maroc) - using Casablanca as its second hub to serve nine European destinations, in addition to its main hub in the United Arab Emirates.

The carrier's rivals include Kuwait's Jazeera Airways and recently launched Dubai government-owned FlyDubai. - Agencies
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Old August 10th, 2009, 06:44 PM   #219
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Iranian police helicopter crashes: report
10 August 2009
Agence France Presse

A police helicopter crashed on Monday in the southern province of Kerman, the ISNA news agency reported.

The 205 type helicopter struck mountains in the Sirach area, ISNA quoted the provincial police commander, Mohammad Reza Eshaghi, as saying.

The agency did not give the number of possible fatalities yet but said that the crash occurred at around 16:00 (1130 GMT).

Iran, which has been under years of international sanctions hampering its ability to buy new planes, has suffered a number of aviation disasters over the past decade.

Its civil and military fleet is made up of ancient aircraft in very poor condition due to their age and lack of maintenance.

In mid July, an Iranian airliner en route to Armenia caught fire mid-air and plunged flaming into farmland, killing all 168 people on board in the worst air disaster in Iran in years.

Later in the month an Iranian airliner overshot the runway in the second city of Mashhad and slammed into a perimeter wall, killing 17 people.
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Old August 10th, 2009, 06:45 PM   #220
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Gulf Air to cut 272 jobs, workers mull strike-union

MANAMA, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Bahrain's Gulf Air [GULF.UL] plans to lay off 272 employees this year and workers may strike, a union leader said on Sunday, but the state-owned carrier denied any outright lay-offs were planned.

Mustafa al-Tooq, chairman of the Gulf Air trade union, told Reuters the union has evidence that the airline plans to reduce the number of employees to 4,800 by the end of the year from the current 5,072, by laying off 100 employees until the end of October and the rest thereafter.

Gulf Air said it did not plan to lay off employees beyond cutting positions by employee attrition and firing employees for misconduct.

"Any current positions being made redundant are through natural attrition and those resulting from employee misconduct," its Chief Executive Samer Majali and Chairman Talal al-Zain said in a joint statement. The statement did not detail how many positions would be scrapped.

Tooq said management was trying to cover up lay-offs. "If they don't listen well, we will go on strike, after exhausting all peaceful means (of negotiations)," Tooq said.

Three chief executives have attempted to turn around loss-making Gulf Air since 2002, cutting jobs and realigning its network as previous shareholders Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Oman gave up their stakes in the ailing carrier.

But efforts to resurrect the company, one of the largest employers in the small Gulf island kingdom, have been hampered by political opposition to measures seen too drastic.

Samer Majali, former chief executive of Royal Jordanian , last week took up his post at the helm of Gulf Air.
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