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Old August 14th, 2009, 06:51 PM   #221
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Jazeera Airways posts Q2 loss, sees better H2

KUWAIT, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Kuwaiti low-cost Jazeera Airways reported a loss of 1.26 million dinars ($4.4 million) in the second quarter, but predicted a turnaround in the latter part of 2009 as business travellers turn to budget airlines.

Chief Executive Stefan Pichler, who took the helm at the carrier six weeks ago, said Jazeera was also on the acquisition prowl to expand its network and was looking for a new second hub after stopping flights from Dubai this year.

"We see strong bookings in coming weeks and months ... We are getting more corporate demand than we were getting before," Pichler told Reuters, as companies turn to low-cost airlines to cut travel costs amid the credit crisis. "We will have some significant turnaround in the second half of the year."

"I'm very confident 2010 will be far better than 2009 because we have used this year to consolidate our business."

Jazeera, which started operations in 2005, competes with Sharjah, United Arab Emirates-based Air Arabia and Dubai-based flydubai, which began flying this year.

Pichler said the carrier was keen to take advantage of lower valuations to pick up acquisitions.

"We have the opportunity to do both (second hub and acquisitions) because Jazeera has quite a good cash position right now," he said. "This is good timing, not only today but also within the next 12 months."

"The restructuring of the network from a dual hub to a single hub operation has briefly impacted revenues in Q2," Pichler said earlier in a statement.

He told Reuters that Jazeera would look for a new second hub in the Middle East, especially outside the Gulf region.

"We are more attracted in looking in the whole Middle East and not necessary so much to the (Gulf), where there is huge competition and oversupply," he said.

Jazeera posted a loss of 0.9 million dinars in the second quarter of 2008. Its loss in the first half of the year came in at 2.2 million dinars, it said in the statement.

The airline said revenue in the first half came in at 20 million dinars, without giving comparative figures.

Jazeera, which flies to 28 destinations in the Middle East, North Africa and India, plans to expand that to 82 in the next five years.

"There was a setback in the second hub in Dubai and now we have refocused on Kuwait as a hub, in order to make sure that we can maintain the lowest unit cost operation," Pichler said.

Jazeera has a fleet of 10 Airbus A320 aircraft and expects to receive 30 more in the period to 2014.

On Saturday, Air Arabia, the Middle East's largest low-cost carrier, posted a 10 percent rise in second-quarter net profit to $24.5 million.

Shares of Jazeera were flat on Thursday at 0.250 dinars, as Kuwait's main index <.KWSE> rose 0.8 percent. Earnings were announced after trading hours.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 01:57 PM   #222
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Chicago Becomes Second Destination For Etihad
September 03, 2009 18:06 PM

ABU DHABI, Sept 3 (Bernama) -- Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has started flights from its Abu Dhabi home-base to the American city of Chicago.

Flight EY151 took-off on September 2, landing 14 hours later at Chicago O'Hare International Airport, reported the Emirates News agency (WAM) on Thursday.

For the inaugural flight, Etihad operated its Airbus A340-600 aircraft in the iconic Formula 1 livery, with O'Hare airport fire trucks providing the traditional 'water arch' for the plane on the runway before it docked at terminal five.

The launch of the new service - Etihad's third destination in North America after New York and Toronto - brings to 55 the total number of international destinations served by the Abu Dhabi-based airline.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways' chief executive, said: "We are delighted to start services to Chicago which is our third major destination in North America. Chicago is set to become a key part of our global flight programme with strong traffic expected from cities across our Middle East and Indian Sub-Continent network.

"Etihad's fleet of brand new, fuel-efficient aircraft allows us to launch flights to ultra-long haul destinations, such as Chicago, at the same time providing customers in all three cabins with the most luxurious in-flight experience on offer in the industry."

Richard Olson, US Ambassador to the UAE, said: "The launch of this new service, enhancing strong established links between the UAE and the US, is another very positive example of the strong and expanding commercial relationship that Emiratis and Americans share."

-- BERNAMA
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 05:40 PM   #223
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Nepal, Qatar renew air service agreement
2 September 2009
The Katmandu Post

DOHA, Sept. 2 -- A fresh agreement on the bilateral air service between Nepal and Qatar has been signed here in Doha on Tuesday. Following the agreement, the officials from both the countries prepared a five-point Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). As per the new deal, the two countries will be allowed to operate 28 flights in a week. Currently, Qatar Airways has been carrying out 14 flights and Nepal Airlines, the national flag carrier, has been operating four flights in a week.

Inking the deal, the six-member Nepali team returned to Kathmandu on Wednesday. The agreement has open up the ways for Nepal's private companies to conduct direct flights to Doha. However, the national flag carrier cannot fill the 28 flights in a week without support of private companies.

Secretary at the Ministry of Civil Aviation Nagendra Ghimire and Chairman of Qatar's Civil Aviation Abdul Aziz Mohammod Al - Noaimi put in their signatures on the agreement paper that was reached after a two-day negotiation.

The two countries had signed the first air service agreement on 2002. The past agreement was renewed this time. Secretary Ghimire said that this agreement will assist in the promotion of tourism sector in Nepal. He claimed that the new agreement with Qatar will increase the number of European and American tourists and thus will also make visit Nepal year a success. Nepal government has announced its paln to celebrate 2011 as 'Nepal Tourism Year' with an objective to increase tourist arrival above the 1 million mark.

The agreement has permitted the two countries to run seven cargo flights in a week. This kind of services was introduced for the first time. Likewise, Nepal can pick up passengers from three transit points while coming to Doha from Kathmandu.
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Old September 4th, 2009, 08:08 AM   #224
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Originally Posted by nazrey View Post
Chicago Becomes Second Destination For Etihad
September 03, 2009 18:06 PM

ABU DHABI, Sept 3 (Bernama) -- Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has started flights from its Abu Dhabi home-base to the American city of Chicago.

Flight EY151 took-off on September 2, landing 14 hours later at Chicago O'Hare International Airport, reported the Emirates News agency (WAM) on Thursday.

For the inaugural flight, Etihad operated its Airbus A340-600 aircraft in the iconic Formula 1 livery, with O'Hare airport fire trucks providing the traditional 'water arch' for the plane on the runway before it docked at terminal five.

The launch of the new service - Etihad's third destination in North America after New York and Toronto - brings to 55 the total number of international destinations served by the Abu Dhabi-based airline.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways' chief executive, said: "We are delighted to start services to Chicago which is our third major destination in North America. Chicago is set to become a key part of our global flight programme with strong traffic expected from cities across our Middle East and Indian Sub-Continent network.

"Etihad's fleet of brand new, fuel-efficient aircraft allows us to launch flights to ultra-long haul destinations, such as Chicago, at the same time providing customers in all three cabins with the most luxurious in-flight experience on offer in the industry."

Richard Olson, US Ambassador to the UAE, said: "The launch of this new service, enhancing strong established links between the UAE and the US, is another very positive example of the strong and expanding commercial relationship that Emiratis and Americans share."

-- BERNAMA
A340 is fuel-efficient? When did that happen?
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Old September 8th, 2009, 01:33 AM   #225
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Oman airport tender winner seen in Dec
Published: 2009/09/08

MUSCAT: Oman is evaluating bids from five firms, including India’s Larsen & Toubro, South Korea’s Hanjin Heavy Industries and Austria-based Strabag, to build Ras Al Hadd airport, a tender official said yesterday.

“The plan is to award the Ras Al Hadd airport by December and we are presently evaluating bids submitted by five international firms,” an official said.

Larsen & Toubro lodged a bid of 59.3 million riyals or US$154 million (US$1 = RM3.52), Hanjin’s was 48.5 million riyals and Strabag’s was 49.7 million riyals for the tender. — Reuters
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Old September 8th, 2009, 04:58 AM   #226
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Qatar Airways announces discounts for Ramadan travel
7 September 2009
Airline Industry Information

Doha-based Qatar Airways announced on Sunday the launch of a promotion for passengers booking online for travel to 20 destinations during the holy month of Ramadan.

Customers will receive a 10% discount on First and Business Class flights and a 15% discount on Economy Class flights from Doha to destinations including Bangkok, Frankfurt, Cairo, Beirut, Khartoum, Damascus, Bahrain, Amman, London, Nairobi, Alexandria and Paris.

The offer will be available for the whole month of Ramadan.
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Old September 9th, 2009, 10:26 PM   #227
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Air Arabia launches new no-frills airline in Egypt
Published: 2009/09/10

DUBAI: United Arab Emirates (UAE) low-cost carrier Air Arabia is launching a new budget airline with an Egyptian partner, enabling it to open its third hub and diversify away from increased pressure in its home market.

The Arab world's largest listed airline by market value said yesterday it had set up the joint-venture firm with Egypt's Travco Group, driving shares almost 4 per cent higher on the news.

"The new carrier will serve Europe, Middle East and African markets and will represent Air Arabia's third hub after UAE and Morocco," Air Arabia said in a statement.

The airline is facing growing competition from local rivals including Kuwait's Jazeera Airways and Dubai-owned flydubai, as well as from fully-fledged carriers such as Emirates, struggling to cope with a sharp drop in international passenger travel.

Air Arabia already operates in Morocco, flying from its Casablanca hub earlier this year and said in August it planned to set up a new hub between its base at Sharjah, United Arab Emirates and North Africa to diversify its revenues and boost its catchment area.

Formed in 2003, it has a fleet of 20 Airbus A320 aircraft and has placed an order for 44 more A320s, a unit of EADS.

"The pressure is in the market because there is a lot of supply at the same time so the way they execute their business is very important... it's perfect in execution as we had Morocco, now Egypt so it shows they are on the right path," Dheeraj Lakhwani, analyst at Dubai-based Prime Emirates said.

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

The airline posted a 10 per cent rise in second-quarter net profit to 90 million dirhams (100 dirhams =RM97.81) last month.

Prime Emirates' Lakhwani said he expected Egyptian operations to begin within six months.

The aviation sector received a strong blow in 2008 first from rising fuel costs, then from the global financial crisis, although low-cost carriers typically perform better in an economic downturn than national carriers, by competing on price. - Reuters
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Old September 10th, 2009, 05:51 AM   #228
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Direct Saudi flights elusive
10 September 2009
Bangkok Post

Still holding a grudge against Thailand over the gems scandal 20 years ago, Saudi Arabia has frowned on Thailand's renewed bid to reinstate regular direct flight between the two countries.

Riyadh made its position clear when a team of Thai Airways International executives went to Saudi Arabia recently for talks about resuming non-stop flights between Bangkok and Jeddah.

Technically, THAI can fly to Saudi Arabia based on the bilateral air services agreement concluded five years ago, which allows the designated national airlines to each operate up to nine flights a week between the two countries.

The THAI team sensed an unspoken but clear disapproval for its bid due to Saudi authorities' continued dissatisfaction over Thai authorities' handling of the 1989 jewellery theft, according to an industry source.

Saudi Arabia refuses to resume normal relations with Thailand though many of the culprits have been prosecuted.

The issue began when Kriangkrai Techamong, a Thai cleaner, stole jewellery and valuables worth 500 million baht from the palace of Prince Faisal and escaped to his Lampang home.

Thai police retrieved most of the stolen valuables and returned them to Saudi Arabia. However, the Saudi palace found the main piece of jewellery, the "Blue Diamond", was fake.

"There are still a lot of questions left unanswered by Thai authorities and as long as these questions are not addressed, don't expect them to normalise the relationship, especially economically with Thailand," the source noted.

THAI now realises that it is better off not trying to re-establish service in spite of promising traffic potential.

And even if it insisted on using technical rights to operate flights, the ensuing problems may not be worth the effort, the source explained.

Before the talks, the flag carrier was keen to operate four to five flights a week between Bangkok and Jeddah using the wide-bodied Airbus A330-300s.

Jeddah is the principal gateway to Mecca, Islam's holiest city, which able-bodied Muslims are required to visit at least once in their lifetime.

The bulk of potential traffic on the route, up to 80%, are Muslims from southern Thailand, Indochina and China making the Hajj pilgrimage and conducting other religious activities year-round.

About 13,000 Thai pilgrims, mostly from the southern region, travel to Mecca each year. Muslims constitute 8-10% of Thailand's population of 67 million.

However, THAI has been allowed to a limited number of flights between Thailand and Saudi Arabia on a chartered basis mainly for pilgrims to Mecca.

During the two-week Hajj that starts on Oct 20, THAI will operate 14 flights carrying 3,000 people to Medina airport close to Mecca, according to sources.
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Old September 12th, 2009, 03:16 PM   #229
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Free Wi-Fi, Internet Access At Abu Dhabi Airport
September 12, 2009 16:39 PM

DUBAI, Sept 12 (Bernama) -- Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) on Saturday announced the complete roll out of free Wi-Fi and Internet access throughout the Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Fifty new walk-up kiosks are now fully operational in the newly opened Terminal 3, following the success of 15 walk-up kiosks which were launched at Terminal 1 last year.

"The 65 touch screen walk-up kiosks offer 20 minutes of free Internet access and one-hour Wi-Fi access, per session, with users able to reconnect for subsequent sessions," ADAC said in a statement.

The expansion of free Internet access across the entire airport was in line with ADAC's policy to create a technologically-advanced gateway to the world, it added.

-- BERNAMA
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Old September 13th, 2009, 10:42 PM   #230
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New budget airline eyes year-end takeoff
Published: 2009/09/14

CAIRO: A new budget airline formed by Egyptian Travco Group and the United Arab Emirates' Air Arabia hopes to begin operating by the end of 2009 from as many as five Egyptian airports, the head of Travco said.

The airline, Air Arabia Egypt, will seek Egyptian government permission to use airports at Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh to fly to European, Middle Eastern and north African destinations.

"We intend to submit our plan in the next weeks, and depending on the approvals we get we will decide on the operation and conditions of operation," chairman and chief executive Hamed El Chiaty said in an interview.

Travco, Egypt's biggest tourism company, owns 50 per cent of the airline, Air Arabia 40 per cent and an independent Egyptian investor 10 per cent, Chiaty said. - Reuters
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Old September 14th, 2009, 09:36 AM   #231
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Dubai eyes 46m air passengers in 2010

Dubai Airports, home to the biggest Arab airline Emirates, expects to handle 46 million passengers in 2010, it said on Monday.

The figure represents a 13.6 percent growth in passenger numbers compared to the expected 40.5 million passengers this year, the company said in an emailed statement.

“Improving economic conditions, state-of-the-art infrastructure, strong expansion by Emirates Airline and emerging low cost carrier flydubai and an open skies policy that promotes market access to other international airlines are driving this growth,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.

“Dubai is located four hours flying time from one-third of the world’s population and 12 hours from 80% of the population. New aircraft types such as the A380 and B777 ER are shrinking our globe and amplifying the attractiveness of Dubai’s strategic location for international and regional operations,” said Griffiths.

“As a result Dubai International has seen traffic triple in just 8 years. Today we have more than 125 carriers serving 210 destinations on six continents", adding that Dubai airport has the capacity to handle 75 million passengers a year.

Dubai International airport is now ranked the world’s fifth busiest airport in terms of international passengers according to Airport Council International’s (ACI) latest published figures.

Griffiths said Dubai World Central, the new airport set to open in June next year, is also expected to see 1 million passengers pass through it in 2010.

Phase 1 of the airport is being built to accommodate future traffic expansion with a single A380 compatible runway, a passenger terminal with capacity of 5 million passengers per annum (mppa) expandable to 7 mppa, a cargo terminal building capable of handling 250,000 tonnes per annum expandable to 600,000 tonnes per annum and a dedicated road link to the region’s largest port in Jebel Ali.

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/56765...engers-in-2010
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Old September 14th, 2009, 12:53 PM   #232
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Bahrain Air cuts Airbus order to 3 from 4 -paper

MANAMA, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Low-cost carrier Bahrain Air plans to conclude the purchase of three Airbus planes this year but has scrapped plans to buy a fourth one, its managing director said in remarks published on Sunday.

"The announcement of the final deal will be made during the international air exhibition held in the kingdom (of Bahrain) for the first time in January 2010," managing director Ibrahim Abdulla al-Hamer was cited by Al Waqt newspaper.

"The company had planned to buy about four Airbus planes," he said. "Due to the current international financial issues there is a delay in the purchasing process and a reduction in the number to three airplanes."

Regional carriers such as Bahrain's state-owned Gulf Air [GULF.UL], Emirates Airline [EMAIR.UL] and Air Arabia are struggling with a sharp drop in international passenger travel.

Bahrain Air operates eight Airbus A320 and A319 aircraft on 18 destinations in the Middle East and India.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 10:42 PM   #233
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nazrey View Post
New budget airline eyes year-end takeoff
Published: 2009/09/14

CAIRO: A new budget airline formed by Egyptian Travco Group and the United Arab Emirates' Air Arabia hopes to begin operating by the end of 2009 from as many as five Egyptian airports, the head of Travco said.

The airline, Air Arabia Egypt, will seek Egyptian government permission to use airports at Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh to fly to European, Middle Eastern and north African destinations.

"We intend to submit our plan in the next weeks, and depending on the approvals we get we will decide on the operation and conditions of operation," chairman and chief executive Hamed El Chiaty said in an interview.

Travco, Egypt's biggest tourism company, owns 50 per cent of the airline, Air Arabia 40 per cent and an independent Egyptian investor 10 per cent, Chiaty said. - Reuters
This company does'nt cease to amaze me.....with limited resources and a recession, they still come up with innovative expansion plans!!
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 03:17 PM   #234
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Mideast seen leading air traffic growth to 2028

International air passenger traffic in the Middle East is predicted to grow by 6.6 percent over the next decade, making it the fastest growing region in the world.

The latest Global Market Forecast from manufacturer Airbus of global passenger aircraft demand also said the number of planes serving the region would almost triple by 2028.

Middle East airlines are also expected to take about six percent of the world's new aircraft deliveries over the next 20 years, the report added.

The region's carriers are set to take delivery of 730 planes by 2018 with a further 689 on order up until 2028.

The UAE will be the Middle East's biggest customer, driven by Emirates and Etihad's expansion plans, with an estimated $98.2bn of orders over the next two decades, making it the seventh biggest in the world behind the United States which is set to spend more than $450bn on passenger planes.

As well as international travel, the Airbus report identifies potential growth in the Middle East domestic market.

"Several indicators in the region show that the domestic market is about to boom. One of the top priorities for the Middle Eastern air transport industry is to sustain the liberalisation momentum achieved since the open skies initiatives signed in 2004," the report said.

It added that the region's youthful population would continue to drive growth in the domestic market as they "increasingly seek to benefit from opportunities the region can offer, both economically and in terms of leisure activities".

The report predicted that the fleet serving the region would almost triple by 2028 to a total of 1,790 aircraft in service while passenger traffic is expected to grow at an annual rate of 6.6 percent over the next decade and by 6 percent until 2028.

"While domestic and intra-regional markets in the region will continue to grow at an impressive rate...the intercontinental network will grow more quickly, as new routes are added by the region's airlines and their operations expand," Airbus said.

In particular, the Middle East is likely to figure prominently in the delivery of very large aircraft, such as the A380, the report added.

The region is expected to take a total of 189 larger planes by 2028, equating to 14 percent of the global deliveries.

Dubai-based Emirates has placed firm orders for 58 A380s, the single largest order of any airline.

According to the Airbus report, Dubai International Airport will be in the top four in the world for handling the superjumbo aircraft by 2028, behind Hong Kong, Heathrow and Beijing.

Globally, some 25,000 new passenger and freighter aircraft valued at $3.1 trillion will be delivered from 2009 to 2028, according to Airbus.

Emerging economies, evolving airline networks, expansion of low cost carriers and the increasing number of mega-cities as well as traffic growth and the replacement of older less efficient aircraft with more eco-efficient airliners are factors driving demand for new aircraft, the plane maker said.

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/56833...growth-to-2028
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 06:25 PM   #235
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Emirates Airlines will operate Seoul Incheon with A380 from Dec16th

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Old September 26th, 2009, 06:30 AM   #236
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Emirates and Etihad back plan to cut carbon dioxide

Dubai: Following the move of the international airline industry to significantly cut carbon dioxide emissions, both large UAE airlines have said they are supporting the proposal.

"Emirates believes that investing in one of the most modern and eco-efficient aircraft fleets in the world, and operating this fleet efficiently, is our biggest contribution to environmental protection," an Emirates spokesperson told Gulf News. "Emirates supports IATA's [International Air Transport Association] proposal to reduce global emissions, and we have been an active participant in the industry's dialogue on this matter."

The international airline industry has agreed to slash carbon dioxide emissions to half their 2005 levels by 2050, as announced at the United Nations climate summit in New York on Tuesday by British Airways Chief Executive Willie Walsh. He said that it would be the "best option for the planet" and should be taken up at the December Copenhagen climate summit.

The industry had agreed to improve carbon dioxide efficiency by an average of 1.5 per cent per year up to 2020 and stabilise net emissions from 2020, making the industry's growth emission-neutral.

"We recognise the contribution of the aviation industry to global greenhouse gas emissions and are committed to being part of the industry solution," the Emirates spokesperson said.

Etihad Airways told Gulf News that it is "supportive of the IATA proposal, which we believe represents an acceptable and unified position for the aviation industry to take to Copenhagen".

"IATA's 'four-pillar' strategy establishes the over-arching strategic principles, whilst allowing the finer tactical details to be developed later, through further discussion and debate," an Etihad spokesperson said.

"For our own part, we are committed to improving our own emissions through a combination of initiatives, including fuel efficiency measures and the adoption of new technologies, such as bio-fuels. We are supportive of market-based mechanisms such as emissions trading, as long as they are developed in such as way as to be globally applied, sector specific, and create no competitive distortion," he added.

Etihad Airways operates one of the industry's youngest and most environmentally friendly aircraft fleets. The new generation aircraft and engines are among the quietest and most fuel-efficient in the commercial aviation market.

Sector analysts say that younger airlines with new fleets have a big advantage in reaching the goals in comparison to decade-old airliners with an older and more environmentally harmful fleet.

http://www.gulfnews.com/business/Aviation/10352260.html
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Old October 8th, 2009, 09:10 PM   #237
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Welcome To The Most Luxurious Toilet In Air
October 08, 2009 19:58 PM

DUBAI, Oct 8 (Bernama) -- After introducing luxury flooring designed to imitate a sandy beach, a leading airlines in the Gulf is now claiming to have built the most luxurious toilet in the aviation industry, reported the Emirates news agency (WAM) on Thursday.

The toilet in the first class suite on Oman Air's brand new A330-300 is, however, accessible only to the pilot and the First Class passengers, Hotelier Middle East reported.

The suite also features a 82-inch-long bed fitted with gadgets such as an eight-point massage system, a 23-inch entertainment monitor with wireless headset and USB, Ethernet and power plugs.

Passengers will also be able to use mobile phones and have access to Wi-Fi, the report said quoting Oman Air CEO Peter Hill.

The new flights will operate on European routes, starting with Paris this week and London in December.

-- BERNAMA
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Old October 13th, 2009, 09:15 PM   #238
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World's First Commercial Passenger Flight Powered By Natural Gas Fuel Lands In Qatar
October 13, 2009 22:16 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 (Bernama) -- A Qatar Airways aircraft on Monday completed the world's first commercial passenger flight powered by a fuel made from natural gas.

The historic journey from London Gatwick to Doha took over six hours and was operated with an Airbus A340-600 aircraft using Rolls-Royce Trent 556 engines.

Shell developed and produced the 50-50 blend of synthetic Gas to Liquids (GTL) kerosene and conventional oil-based kerosene fuel.

The State of Qatar is set to become the world's leading producer of GTL kerosene when it is put into commercial production from 2012.

"Qatar's position as the GTL capital of the world has been further enhanced with today's achievement," said Abdulla Hamad Al-Attiyah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Industry of the State of Qatar, in a statement here.

"GTL technology enables us to produce liquid fuels and other products from natural gas. Commercial aviation is one of the exciting new markets that this opens up, helping us maximise the value from our natural resources," he said.

The fuel, as an alternative to conventional oil-based kerosene, will contribute to diversification of aviation fuel supply.

It also burns with lower sulphur dioxide and particulate emissions than pure conventional oil-based kerosene, making it attractive for improving local air quality at busy airports.

The blend of conventional kerosene and GTL kerosene will be known as GTL Jet Fuel.

The flight was the latest step in over two years of scientific work carried out by a consortium consisting of Airbus, Qatar Airways, Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Science & Technology Park, Rolls-Royce, Shell and WOQOD into the benefits of using GTL Jet Fuel to power commercial aircraft.

Much of this work is being undertaken at the Qatar Science & Technology Park in Doha.

A delegation of consortium members and international media was onboard flight QR076 for the milestone trip.

Data from the GTL flight will be used by scientists in Qatar to further quantify GTL Jet Fuel use benefits.

"Qatar Airways is proud to be associated with this consortium and to become the world's first airline to use this new fuel technology on a commercial passenger flight," said its Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker, who was onboard the flight.

"Once again, Qatar Airways has shown its commitment to the environment and we expect this alternative fuel to provide benefits, particularly the improvement of air quality."

The GTL kerosene will be produced in commercial quantities by the Pearl GTL project, currently under construction by Qatar Petroleum and Shell.

The project is expected to produce around one million tonnes per annum of GTL kerosene from 2012, enough to power a typical commercial airliner for half a billion kilometres when used in a 50 per cent blend to make GTL Jet Fuel.

GTL Jet Fuel, with GTL kerosene up to 50 per cent, was fully and unconditionally approved as safe for use in civil aviation by ASTM International (originally known as the American Society for Testing and Materials) last month.

The approval followed two years of separate research and discussion by the ASTM specification group, a separate consensus body consisting of producers, equipment manufacturers and consumers of aviation fuel.

-- BERNAMA
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Old October 17th, 2009, 08:21 AM   #239
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Step to tap tourism potential
16 October 2009
Times Of Oman

MUSCAT/PARIS " Oman Air, the national carrier of the Sultanate, officially launched its direct flight to Paris last week as part of its expansion plan.

Providing its first direct link between the two countries, the airline commenced its operations from Muscat International Airport, here to Charles De Gaulle Airport, Paris.

Dr Rajiha bint Abdulamir bin Ali, minister of tourism, graced the ceremony held at InterContinental Paris Le Grand. The gala dinner was attended by guests from France, a delegation from Oman Air and media persons.

Addressing the gathering, Peter Hill, CEO of Oman Air, said that a direct flight between Oman and France was long overdue and this launch of non-stop flight was indeed a dream come true.

On behalf of Ahmed bin Abdulnabi Macki, chairman of Oman Air, we announce the long awaited service from Muscat to Paris, he added.

He pointed out that Oman and France have always enjoyed a special bond and now it was time to strengthen it by creating more tourism opportunities between the two countries. Muscat is a gateway to other countries and we hope people come to Oman and enjoy the land enriched by deserts, coastlines and beautiful beaches, he said.

Flying comfort

Highlighting the exclusive features of the Airbus 330 aircraft, he stated that to start off, service would include the state-of-the-art business class and the well-designed, spacious economy class. By 2010, we intend to introduce the first-class service, Hill informed.

This is a special aircraft and several features have been designed and made in France. The onboard luxury will surprise you, he said.

Former French minister of culture Jack Long, in his speech, said that he was delighted to see the way Oman has grown over the years. He also expressed his gratitude in having Dr Rajiha as the guest. Ahmad bin Nasser Al Mahrazi, ambassador of Oman to France, also attended the function.

Barry Brown, chief commercial officer (COO) of Oman Air, said that France has many attractions to lure tourists but their efforts were aimed at promoting Oman as a major tourist destination. If you want to see true Arabia, you must visit Oman, he said during the closing-in ceremony. The evening also saw some of the finest performances organised by an event management company from France. Prior to the launch of the flight, the officials had a cake-cutting ceremony at the Muscat International Airport to mark the launch.

The carrier offers four weekly non-stop flights from Muscat to Paris. The A330 was introduced as part of the airline's expansion plan to its international fleet. The new economy class seats offer adjustable headrests and footrests along with individual video screens. The business class seat has a fully lie-flat bed, electrically controlled backrest and leg rest, a buddy seat and a 17-inch in-flight entertainment screen. Live TV is also available to every seat on the aircraft.

Oman an attractive destination'

PARIS " The launch of the direct flight between Muscat and Paris is indeed great news, said Rania Khodr, director of the Oman Tourism office in France.

Seven years ago, we opened the Oman tourism office in France and the number of people visiting Oman since then has increased manifold. Last year, approximately 15,000 people from France visited Oman, she said.

Portraying Oman as an attractive destination for French tourists has always been Rania's first priority. After putting in so much effort over the last seven years, it feels good to know that Oman has made a place for itself in the French tourism industry, she said.

It's difficult to take the French out of their country since there's so much within the country itself. So it's never been an easy task, said Rania, though she was confident that the natural beauty of Oman and its unique culture and heritage would attract a lot of tourists in the years to come.

Emphasising her future plans, she said the introduction of combined destination packages would bring in more tourists from France. We are not looking for mass tourism, as the infrastructure will not help otherwise, she added.

Rania is currently on a visit to Muscat with delegates representing the French tourism industry.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 08:46 PM   #240
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More than two weeks earlier, Oman Air launched daily service to Germany. Frankfurt 4 times a week (started on 30 September) and Munich 3 times (since 1 October)
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