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Old April 9th, 2005, 11:29 PM   #21
hkskyline
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Emirates Favors Luxury in an Era of Cuts
By Joe Sharkey
The New York Times

SEATTLE, March 25 -- Why is this man smiling? He runs an airline, for Pete's sake.

In fact, Sheik Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, the chairman of the Dubai-based Emirates Group, which owns Emirates airline, has reason to be feeling optimistic, unlike his colleagues in the United States at least, where some major airlines are starting to see themselves as dinosaurs lurching toward the tar pits.

Emirates, which began its first service in the United States last June with flights between New York and Dubai, makes money. For the 2004 fiscal year, the airline reported a 73.5 percent increase in profit, to $429 million, on $3.6 billion in revenue. For the 2005 fiscal year ending this month, the airline has said it anticipates about a 25 percent increase in profit, despite soaring oil prices.

Emirates, which says it is not subsidized by its owner, the government of Dubai, is also on a $28 billion buying binge for big airplanes. While airlines in the United States have desperately retired big planes to the aviation boneyards in the deserts of the Southwest, Emirates has gobbled up new long-range airliners from both of the major manufacturers, Boeing and Airbus, and brought them home to the desert of Dubai. As quickly as they can be delivered, the planes are being put into service on a network that now encompasses 77 destinations in 54 countries.

Sheik Ahmed came to Seattle, Boeing's headquarters, to buy another couple of new planes: two 777-300ER's, the first of 10 of that long-range model due for delivery to Emirates this year, and the initial installment of a total of 30 to be delivered by 2007.

Emirates, which began operations with two planes in 1985 and which expects to take delivery of one new long-range jet each month for the next six years, is also a major customer for Airbus's A340 aircraft, and it was the initial customer for the ultra-long-range A340-500 aircraft in late 2003. It has the biggest order by far -- 45 planes -- for the superjumbo 450-to-850-seat Airbus A380 double-decker aircraft, which is still in development and will start joining its fleet next year.

International air travel demand is expected to increase robustly for the foreseeable future, and more American business travelers than ever are finding themselves contemplating longer trips to more faraway places. Increasingly, major airlines -- including financially struggling domestic giants like AMR's American, UAL's United and Northwest -- are having to compete with well-heeled international carriers like Emirates. As competition grows, so does the length of some flights. Last summer, Singapore Airlines started the world's longest nonstop, 181/2 hours between Singapore and New York.

For Emirates, as for its top-level competitors like Singapore, Cathay Pacific, British Airways and others, the real race in long-haul travel is largely a competition for onboard service, whatever the marginal differences in fares.

Since its inception, Emirates has deliberately marketed itself to travelers who like to fly in comfort, wherever they are sitting.

''We are very much focused on the high-yield passenger,'' Sheik Ahmed said during an interview at a downtown hotel after a ceremony at Boeing for the delivery of the new planes. Still, like its top-niche foreign competitors, and unlike most airlines in the United States, Emirates has spent money on roomier coach cabins with premium amenities like in-seat video monitors.

''We are not ignoring the back of the aircraft because that is one part of the business that is not affected by any crisis,'' Sheik Ahmed said. ''Even though they pay less, those people are very determined to travel. Whenever there's a crisis, the first things you will see hit are first class and business class travel. So that's why we try to focus on providing good service in all three classes, including economy. It costs us more, but we win loyalty.''

Emirates planned to start nonstop service to San Francisco and Houston this year, but that has been delayed because of the turmoil in oil prices. This year, he said, the airline will concentrate more on its service between New York and Dubai, probably adding a second daily flight.

As international competition grows and more foreign airlines join the fray, long-haul carriers are locked in escalating battles that often turn on service. It never ends, said Sheik Ahmed, who said that he believed that the demand for the most expensive seats -- like the current walk-up round-trip fare of $9,828 for a first-class seat between New York and Dubai -- continues to grow strongly.

Not many years ago, British Airways shook up premium service when it introduced seats that folded down flat into beds. Competitors quickly matched the move. Next came in-flight entertainment systems that now routinely offer hundreds of on-demand choices on personal monitors.

''It's always something,'' said Sheik Ahmed. On the New York-to-Dubai route, for example, Emirates now offers private cabins in first class. With doors.

''You can have complete isolation,'' Sheik Ahmed said. ''When you want to have a meal, you have room service. You pick up your phone and order whatever you want on the menu.''

What about the A380, with a huge capacity that conjures up the probability that at least some airlines will turn them into cattle cars? Emirates is already committed to the configuration and design for its initial batch of A380s, which will carry fewer than 500 passengers in three classes.

The major first-class innovation will be a cabin with a shower. ''A full shower, with space for dressing,'' Sheik Ahmed said.

Are any competitors planning to top that?

''Not so far,'' he said.
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Old April 11th, 2005, 07:08 PM   #22
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Emirates to launch flights from Dubai to Alexandria

DUBAI, April 10 (AFP) - Dubai's Emirates airline said Sunday it will launch a daily service to the Egyptian city of Alexandria next month, marking the flagship carrier's 79th route.

"Emirates has carefully scheduled services to enable tourists and business executives from the UAE and the (Gulf) to connect quickly to Egypt, slashing transit times significantly," it said in a statement.

The flights will begin from May 15.

Government-owned Emirates, whose net profit jumped more than 40 percent to 236 million dollars in the first six months of the financial year to March, is a symbol of Dubai's ambition to become the Gulf's leading transport and tourist hub.
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 05:57 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanphx
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.
about 1mil and UAE abt 2mil.. as in other gulf nations, there is sizable expats (Indians, Pakistanis, etc..) pops. DXB serves as transit point.. mostly. DXB also hosts large multinationals based there (esp in Jebel Ali FTZ).. but all these mentioned, large aircraft will no doubt by pass the airport in the near future..
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Old April 24th, 2005, 08:48 PM   #24
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UAE has a population of 4,200,000, UAE nationals is 1,000,000 others are expats.
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Old April 25th, 2005, 10:38 PM   #25
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Gulf Air back in black with $4 mln 2004 net profit

MANAMA, April 25 (Reuters) - Gulf Air said on Monday it made a $4 million net profit in 2004 compared with a net loss of $52.8 million the previous year.

The Bahrain-based airline said at a news conference that revenue in 2004 was $1.3 billion, up from $1.02 billion in 2003.

The airline last year said it hoped to break even in 2004 and return to profitability by 2005, after years of losses.
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Old April 25th, 2005, 11:04 PM   #26
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Gulf Air : Upgrade aims to regain glory days
The carrier is coming back with a comprehensive revamp of services and equipment to regain its title as king of the skies

25 April 2005
South China Morning Post

GULF AIR IS carrying out a US$10 million upgrade of its cabins and services to regain its position as the airline of choice, as it was in its trendsetting heyday in the 1970s and '80s.

The first aircraft to be refurbished with state-of-the-art first-class and business-class sky beds took to the skies on March 25, and the upgrade will eventually be extended to the entire fleet.

The upgraded first-class cabin has only eight seats, each able to recline 180 degrees into what the airline claims to be the longest and widest beds in the sky.

The seats, upholstered in New Zealand wool and leather, are enhanced by adding cotton fitted bed sheets, duvets, pyjamas, silk cushions, fluffy pillows and sleeping comfort packs. Partitions provide full privacy.

The seats also feature extra-large side stowage areas, mood lights, lumbar support, adjustable headrests and folding lateral armrests. There are 15-inch monitors for in-flight entertainment with noise- cancelling headphones, PC points, and Sky phones.

The 24 seats in business class, in two-two-two configuration, are ergonomically designed using a lounge-bed profile and can recline within a pod to a pitch of 63 inches. They come with privacy screens, advanced swivel-type tray tables, retractable lateral armrests and extra space to accommodate laptops and storage for personal items.

In-flight dining is also enhanced with first class and business class offering contemporary modern European and classical Middle Eastern gourmet choices, which are served on request.

There is an additional touch in first class - the food is freshly prepared by in-flight chefs trained at five-star hotels.

"In September 2002, we introduced our five-star chefs in the first-class cabin along with dine on demand options and superior menus," Gulf Air president James Hogan said.

"In line with the customer centric basis of Project Falcon [Gulf Air's three-year restructuring programme], we have enhanced our products and services across the airline both on the ground and in the air."

A selection of vintage wines from Gulf Air's Sky Cellar as well as spirits, soft drinks, speciality teas and coffee are available in both first and business class.

One unique service Gulf Air introduced in November 2003 is Sky Nannies - flight attendants who double as nannies to help passengers look after their children. "This service is available on all long-haul flights to assist parents and ensure that they have a more relaxed travel experience," Mr Hogan said.

On the ground Gulf Air operates "two exceptional first- and business-class lounges" at Bahrain International Airport and Terminal Three at London's Heathrow.

"The contemporary Arabic setting provides a relaxing but sumptuous ambience as part of the greater travel experience. Both have been recognised for two successive years with prestigious Skytrax awards," Mr Hogan said.

The latest technology has been used to provide better service. Examples include the e-kiosks, SMS (systems management server) global traveller notification and the establishment of a worldwide contact centre in Oman, which provides a central contact point for customers, handling everything from reservations, mileage scheme redemptions and package holiday bookings.
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Old April 26th, 2005, 03:33 AM   #27
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Monday April 25, 8:51 PM
Saudi Arabia Orders 15 Embraer Jets

AP - Saudi Arabian Airlines has placed a $400 million order for 15 mid-sized jetliners made by Brazil's Embraer in the biggest purchase for the state-owned airline in a decade, the companies said Monday.

Embraer, the world's fourth-largest commercial jet maker, said the contract for the purchase will be signed in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh on Wednesday.

While the companies used the list price of the jetliners for announcing the deal's value, most airlines negotiate big discounts on major orders.

But the order is the largest for the airline since 1995, when it announced a $6 billion deal for much larger Boeing and McDonnell Douglas jetliners.

The Embraer 170 jets will be used for domestic and short-haul regional flights in the Middle East. While the planes can carry up to 78 passengers, the version for the Saudi carrier will be configured for 66 passengers to include a six-passenger first class section.

"Embraer's new jet will provide Saudi Arabian Airlines with the possibility to expand our domestic and regional aviation activity," said H.E. Dr. Khaled A. Ben-Bakr, the airline's director general. "By right-sizing our fleet with the Embraer 170, we are aiming at better serving our domestic and regional markets."

The carrier will use the planes to set up regional hubs in northern and southern cities in Saudi Arabia, Ben-Bakr said.

The sale is the first to a Middle Eastern airline for Embraer, whose full name is Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica SA. Delivery of the first Embraer 170 to the carrier is scheduled for December.

Embraer, which competes with Canada's Bombardier Inc. in the regional jetliner market, expects to deliver 145 aircraft in 2005. The company delivered 148 aircraft in 2004, surpassing its forecast by three jets, and currently has a backlog of orders totaling nearly $10 billion.

Analysts said the order was good news, but is not likely to translate into a significant uptick in business for the company.

"For the long term, I think the impact is limited," said airline analyst Carlos Albano of Unibanco. "This doesn't prompt any change in Embraer's long-term expectations."

In trading Monday, U.S.-traded Embraer's shares fell 11 cents to close at $29.89 on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $23.20 to $35.47.
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Old April 27th, 2005, 01:51 PM   #28
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Emirates airline group reports 49-percent jump in net profits

DUBAI, April 27 (AFP) - Dubai's airline Emirates Group made record net profits of 2.6 billion dirhams (708 million dollars) for the financial year to March 31, a whopping 49-percent rise on the previous year despite high oil prices.

"We've had yet another successful year for the company, and the 17th consecutive profitable one for the airline," Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum said in a statement.

The cash balance of the group, which comprises Emirates Airline, Dnata and associated companies, stood at 8.2 billion dirhams (2.2 billion dollars), up 12 percent on the previous year.

The ownership will be paid a dividend of 368 million dirhams (100 million dollars).

Emirates Airline, which alone recorded profits of 2.3 billion dirhams (626 million dollars), carried 12.5 million passengers in the last financial year.

Emirates SkyCargo carried nearly 840,000 tonnes of freight, 27 percent more than in 2003-2004. The division's revenue rose 43 percent to 3.4 billion dirhams (926 million dollars), contributing up to 21 percent of the airline's transport turnover.

Dnata profits were recorded at 260 million dirhams (71 million dollars).

"We are gratified by the strong financial results of the Group. The rapid-growth Emirates business model requires a high rate of return to sustain our enormous investments in people, advanced equipment and facilities, as well as in IT and other support services," said Sheikh Ahmed.

The net profit figure for the group in 2003-2004 was 1.75 billion dirhams (476 million dollars).

"Since we started the airline in 1985, our competitors seem to find it incomprehensible that we can make profits by having a skilful team which works hard, is a market leader and invests heavily in new equipment - surely the criteria for any successful company?" Sheikh Ahmed said.

Emirates has been bucking the world trend. Earlier this month the main industry association warned that major airlines face greater losses than last year because of the surge in oil prices.

"The high price of fuel is robbing our profitability," Giovanni Bisignani, director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said in a statement.

Total losses in the airline industry reached 4.8 billion dollars in 2004 as the fuel bill rose, according to IATA.

But Emirates has expanded its fleet by nine aircraft to 75 during the latest financial year, including 70 passenger aircraft and six freighters.

Serving 79 cities in 55 countries, the government-owned airline has on order 45 Airbus A380-800s, 28 more Boeing 777-300ERs, two Airbus A340-500s, three A310-300 freighters and 20 Airbus A340-600 Higher Gross Weight aircraft, totalling some 30 billion dollars.

The arrival of the first two of 30 Boeing 777-300ERs last month "heralded the start of a new expansion cycle in the airline's huge order programme, which will see another 97 wide-body aircraft being delivered at an average rate of one per month for the next eight years," the statement said.
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Old April 28th, 2005, 12:07 AM   #29
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Embraer sees Middle East demand for 150 planes

RIYADH, April 27 (Reuters) - Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer (ERJ.N) (EMBR4.SA) sees demand for around 150 planes of up to 120-seat capacity from airlines in the Middle East over the next decade, a company executive said on Wednesday.

"It's a strong market and it's a growing one," executive vice president of civil aircraft Frederico Curado told Reuters after the manufacturer signed a deal to sell 15 Embraer 170 planes to Saudi Arabian Airlines.

State-owned Saudia said last week it is the first airline in the Middle East to buy the 66-seat Embraer 170 aircraft.

Curado declined to say which other Middle East airlines may buy Embraer planes but said there were "discussions in the region". Airlines had also shown interest in the Embraer 195, which can carry 118 passengers, he said.

Curado said the Saudi planes will be delivered between December 2005 and the first quarter of 2007, at a rate of about one plane a month. The deal is worth $400 million at list price and includes setting up a maintenance centre and simulator.

The 66-seat planes are powered by General Electric (GE.N) engines.

Curado said the heat and sand in Saudi Arabia, combined with humidity at coastal airports and high altitude of some southern cities, will test the plane's performance and maintenance.

"It will be a very challenging and demanding support because of the harsh environment," he said.
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Old April 28th, 2005, 01:26 AM   #30
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April 28, 2005
Emirates eyes Australia-US route
It is also planning to compete with carriers like SIA by adding new flights in the region

By Goh Chin Lian

DUBAI - AN EMERGING competitor to Singapore Airlines (SIA) is strengthening its position in Asia over the next 12 months, by adding the new destinations of Seoul and Beijing.

Dubai-based Emirates also plans to add extra flights to Sydney through Bangkok, as well as to Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.

Its future game plan even includes the prized Australia-US route that SIA is keen to secure.

'When we see there is business, we would increase our services,' said Emirates' senior vice-president of commercial operations in East Asia and Australasia, Mr Richard Vaughan.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a press conference yesterday on the airline's annual results.

The region contributed 28 per cent of revenue last year, up from just 5 per cent in 2003, he said.

The biggest demand in the region now comes from Australia, where Emirates operates daily or twice-a-day flights to Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

The Dubai-Australia route also reaps the most revenue because of the longer distance covered.

Australia could become an intermediate point for the airline's future plans for round-the-world flights. But Mr Vaughan could not say how long it would take the authorities to secure air rights for the leg between Australia and the United States.

Referring to the talks between Singapore and Australia for air rights on the same leg for its competitor, SIA, he said: 'Let's see what happens there... It could be a long, hard fight.'

Emirates will fly to Seoul from Sunday. The same day it will also increase its flights from Dubai to Sydney through Bangkok, from three times a week to daily. It already has non-stop daily services between Dubai and Sydney.

It also plans, from September, to add six more services a week to Kuala Lumpur from seven currently and five more flights a week to Hong Kong from the 12 currently from October.

On Feb 1 next year, it is due to start passenger services to Beijing, besides Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Emirates is looking at a fourth destination in China for passenger services, but has no specific plans yet, Mr Vaughan said.

Beyond the region, the airline sees a 'big market' in North America, where it currently flies only to New York, said group chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum.

But it is more likely to increase services to New York for now, rather than expand to San Francisco, Chicago and other areas.

Despite surging fuel costs that have hit airlines worldwide, the 20-year-old carrier reported its 17th consecutive profit of US$637 million (S$1.06 billion) in the past financial year, a 49 per cent increase over the previous year.

It carried 12.5 million passengers last year, up 20 per cent, and 838,400 tonnes of cargo, up 27 per cent.

As a group, Emirates recorded US$708 million in profit, a 49 per cent increase.

Mr Al-Maktoum, who is also president of the Department of Civil Aviation overseeing Dubai Airport, denied suggestions that Emirates relied on government aid or fuel subsidies for its growth.

The increase in jet fuel prices will be the most formidable challenge to the airline, he said.

Its fuel costs rose from 14 per cent of what it spends on its operations to 21 per cent in the previous year. Increases in fuel surcharges retrieved about 42 per cent of the extra costs, while a programme to manage jet fuel risks brought costs down by US$126 million.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old April 28th, 2005, 04:46 AM   #31
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Link with Germany widens reach of Qatar Airways
27 April 2005
Lloyd's List

QATAR Airways has decided to introduce a freighter service linking Doha with Munich, initially on a three-times-a-week basis.

This is the carrier’s third specialised cargo servic alongside Chennai and Amsterdam and will employ a dedicated freighter, an Airbus A300-600F.

Talks between Qatar and Germany earlier this year resulted in Qatar Airways being allowed to operate dedicated freighter flights to any point in Germany from the start of the summer season. Frequency can increase to seven services a week from the winter of 2006.

Consignments flown to Doha will connect with Qatar Airways’ network of scheduled passenger flights to other points in the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, the Far East and South Africa.

Chief executive Akbar Al Baker says: “Qatar Airways is extremely delighted to be spreading its wings in the cargo market, thanks largely to the successful round of discussions between the governments of Germany and Qatar. Freight traffic to and from Germany is enjoying unprecedented growth and we are pleased to be able to improve our service and accommodate the needs of our customers.”

Qatar Airways says it plans to introduce more freighters to its fleet of 39 Airbuses and create a global network.
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Old April 29th, 2005, 02:06 PM   #32
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Emirates goads Qantas to step outside and fight
Steve Creedy
29 April 2005
The Australian

Open skies will benefit all, Flanagan tells Steve Creedy

EMIRATES vice-chairman and group president Maurice Flanagan has challenged Qantas boss Geoff Dixon to "come out from behind the barricades" and take on the Dubai-based carrier in an open market.

While he says he can understand the Australian carrier's desire to protect its dominance on the Pacific market, Mr Flanagan believes Qantas is overstating the negative effect of further liberalising Australia's skies and even argues it may benefit from the move.

"It's time they stopped claiming to be a street fighter," Flanagan told The Australian this week.

"Street fighters don't hide behind the barricades, behind the Government, they come out into the street and fight."

The Emirates executive's jab at the flying kangaroo comes as a high-level delegation heads to Canberra in mid-June to put Dubai's case for increased access to the Australian market and to raise the longer-term prospect of flying across the Pacific.

Australia has proven a good market for Emirates and the airline will argue its presence has opened up trade with the Middle East as well as access to a wide range of destinations beyond Dubai.

Leisure traffic to and from Australia has also grown strongly enough to prompt the airline to establish its hotel on the eastern seaboard.

Emirates is also moving to set up a global network and it sees the trans-Pacific route as a logical expansion of its services to Australia and New Zealand.

The approach is part of a breathtaking growth strategy by the emirate of Dubai and its airline that has seen billions of dollars being poured into new planes and airline infrastructure as Dubai establishes itself as a major global air transport nexus.

Just two decades old, Emirates has already established itself as one of the world's five most profitable carriers and is ranked 15th in terms of revenue
passenger kilometres.

Officials remain confident they can grow the airline into a major global player that will eclipse many of the existing aviation heavyweights.

So far it seems to be succeeding: Emirates grew its capacity in the financial year ending March 31 by 30 per cent and now has a fleet of 76 aircraft, including six freighters.

Surprisingly, it grew while boosting its load factor -- the percentage of seats filled on its aircraft by paying passengers -- by more than one point to 74.6
per cent.

Emirates has the advantage of a young fleet with a mix of Airbus A320-200s, A340-300s and A340-500s, as well as Boeing 777-300s, 777-300ERs and 777-200s recording an average age of 55 months.

A $US19 billion ($24 billion) aircraft order will see its fleet top 150 aircraft -- including 45 of the new A380s, which will make it the world's biggest operator
of the super jumbo -- as new deliveries arrive at the rate of one a month for the next eight years.

Emirates this week also announced its 17th consecutive profit with a new record for the group of $US708 million for the year ending March 31, and revealed it had $US2.2 billion in cash.

That was a 49 per cent increase on the previous year and headlined a slew of double-digit increases ranging from a 36 per cent rise in group revenue to a 27 per cent increase in freight tonnage.

The airline received 240,000 job applications last financial year as it boosted staff levels from 22,500 to 25,000.

Its employees come from 124 counties with more than 100 nationalities represented among 56,000 cabin crew and 60 among its 1135 flight crew.

It is spending $US353 million to build the world's biggest A380 maintenance facility and one of the biggest aviation maintenance facilities in the world.

The new centre will include seven fully airconditioned hangars and a paint shop, each more than twice the size of a soccer field and capable of accommodating the A380's 80m wingspan and giant vertical stabiliser.

All this is backed by a dramatic multi-billion-dollar airport expansion plan and an even more grandiose long-term design to build a six-runway "airport city"
at Jebel Ali, 40km from the existing airport, with a capacity for more than 100 million passengers.

Dubai International Airport recorded 21.7 million passengers in 2004, making it the 12th busiest in the world and left it struggling to keep pace with growth for the year of more than 20 per cent.

It is now home to 107 airlines connecting to 260 destinations.

With government projections predicting 60 million passengers by 2010, the expansion will more than triple capacity to 70 million passengers and includes 23 gates for A380s.

Flanagan does not believe the projections are over-optimistic.

"It's linked to the sort of place Dubai is," he says.

Passenger traffic is growing at 17 per cent a year because of Dubai's ability to attract business and tourism traffic. "We don't see that changing."

The massive investment flowing from Dubai's determination to establish itself as a major aircraft hub and the fact that Emirates chairman Sheik Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum also runs the Civil Aviation Department help fuel the claims by competitors such as Qantas that the airline is reaping the benefits of unfair government support.

The Dubai carrier vehemently denies this, with the officials pointing out that its accounts are independently audited according to international practices.

Flanagan says Sheik Ahmed has already warned the carrier that it would pay for the new work being done at the airport.

Emirates gets no break on handling fees or other airport costs, he says. "There's no subsidy of any sort. Since the airline started, the owner, the Government, has put in over the 20 years somewhere about $US80 million. We've paid back just about $US300 million in dividends.

"How much has been put into Qantas over the past 20 years by the Government?"

The veteran airline executive says complaints by competitors are a sour grapes story.

"We're just quite smart at running an airline and we don't do it the way anybody else does," he says. "And maybe they should, instead of saying what advantage we have, look at the way they do business and see why they're screwing it up and we're not."

Flanagan does concede one advantage that flows from Emirates's ownership structure. It has, he says, the chemistry of a family business which allows decisions to me made quickly.

But he says it also comes down to keeping things simple and only flying routes which make money.

"We don't employ anybody we don't absolutely need to and we keep looking at management structure all the time -- the way it works, looking for overlaps between jobs, all the boring stuff that you have to do if you want to have a business model that's simple and efficient."

Like all airlines, Emirates is watching fuel prices closely and Sheik Ahmed warned in his annual results presentation that the airline's 2005-06 outlook was clouded by the risk of sustained high fuel prices. However, neither he nor Flanagan believes it will stop the prodigious growth.

Emirates says its fuel is not subsidised, and it has joined other carriers in imposing fuel charges. Flanagan says a fuel management strategy that saved it $US170 million failed to stop fuel costs jumping from about 14 per cent of the total to about 29 per cent now. But he says the effect on traffic of the fuel surcharge is minimal, and takes solace in the reaction to the oil price spikes of the 198Os: "It went up to $US50 a barrel in 1980 prices, that was way above in real terms what fuel is costing now."

Steve Creedy travelled to Dubai courtesy of Emirates.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 06:21 PM   #33
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EMIRATES' FIRST FLIGHT TO SEOUL RECEIVES ROUSING WELCOME

MAY 1, 2005

The first of Emirates Airline’s daily flights between Dubai and Seoul landed at Inchon Airport in South Korea today, to the rousing welcome of traditional drums from a Korean dance troupe performing the Samulnori dance on the tarmac.

Sporting the FIFA World Cup logo on the aircraft livery, Emirates flight EK323 arrived at Inchon International Airport at 15:55hours local time, after flying eight and a half hours from Dubai International Airport.

Onboard were Ghaith Al Ghaith, Emirates Executive Vice President Commercial Operations Worldwide; Richard Vaughan, Senior Vice President Commercial Operations Far East and Australasia; and Emirates’ Ambassador for Sport and Social Activities, football icon Franz Beckenbauer, holding the FIFA World Cup trophy.

They were met by a VIP delegation led by His Excellency Ibrahim Al Monsuri, UAE Ambassador to Korea and GeuHae Park, Vice President of Inchon Airport.

Addressing Korean media representatives at the airport, Mr. Al Ghaith said: “Emirates is delighted to launch our new daily nonstop service between Dubai and Seoul. On behalf of Emirates, I would like to thank the Korean authorities and Inchon airport officials for the tremendous welcome and for making Emirates’ service to Seoul possible.

He added: “We look forward to serving Korean travelers with our award-winning service, and providing them with more travel options to Dubai and the many other exciting destinations served by our airline. Emirates will work with our travel industry partners to promote Korea and bring travelers from Dubai and other cities across the world to visit Korea.”

Mr. Al Ghaith also said he is confident of the success of Emirates’ new Dubai-Seoul route, which will support greater trade and tourism exchange between the two cities by providing a speedy daily air link for both travelers and cargo.

Korea is among Dubai’s top 10 trading partners. In 2003, non-oil trade between Dubai and Seoul was AED 4.7 billion (US$1.3 billion). Dubai’s main Korean imports include textiles, automobiles and appliances, while main non-oil exports to Korea include base metals, plastics and animal products.

Emirates operates an Airbus 340-300 aircraft in three-class configuration on the Dubai-Seoul route offering a capacity of 267 passengers and 13 tonnes of bellyhold space for cargo.

Customers flying on Emirates’ Dubai-Seoul service can look forward to international gourmet cuisine with options tailored to Korean palates, a wide selection of the latest inflight movies including some of the most popular Korean shows, and top-class service from the airline’s award-winning cabin crew, which includes over 220 Korean nationals.

To celebrate its new daily service, from now until 30th June, Emirates is offering passengers flying First or Business class to Seoul with complimentary hotel stays in Korea.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 05:06 PM   #34
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Emirates airline eyes IPO, no decision yet-report

DUBAI, May 3 (Reuters) - Dubai's Emirates airline is considering an initial public offering to help its rapid expansion but the government is yet to make a decision, the company's chairman said in published remarks.

"We have one new aircraft coming every month for the next five to six years and that takes a lot of financing," Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, chairman of state-owned Emirates Group, told the Arabian Business magazine.

"Whether we do an IPO is a decision for the government (of Dubai). We are always thinking about it, but we haven't taken a firm decision.

"It's something we have looked at, but I am waiting for the owner to make any final decision," Sheikh Ahmed added.

Emirates reported a 48.7 percent rise to 2.34 billion dirhams ($637 million) in net profits in its fiscal year to end-March. It is owned by the government of Dubai, a regional tourism and trade hub which is part of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates.

The airline is in the midst of an expansion drive, adding nine aircraft in 2004-2005, taking the fleet to 75 at the end of the year. Officials say that figure could double by 2012.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 05:45 PM   #35
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Emirates SkyCargo reaffirmed Best Cargo Carrier Middle East
2 May 2005
Middle East Company News

Close on the heels of winning a clutch of awards in the UK and declaring record financial results, Emirates SkyCargo has won the 'Best Cargo Carrier Middle East' accolade at the 19th Asian Freight and Supply Chain Awards (AFSCA) for the third consecutive year.

The awards ceremony and gala dinner took place at the Intercontinental Hotel in Hong Kong recently and was attended by over 400 senior figures from the travel, transport and logistics industry.

The AFSCAs are widely regarded as the most authoritative and prestigious awards for the industry in Asia and one of the highlights of the Asian freight industry calendar.

The honour comes as Emirates SkyCargo continues its rapid expansion worldwide offering excellent service, innovation and flexibility to its customers.

On receiving the award, Peter Sedgley, Emirates' Vice President Cargo Commercial Operations said: "Emirates SkyCargo is delighted to win this AFSCA award, which is highly respected in the cargo industry. We are flattered to be recognised by the readers of Cargonews Asia, who have voted us as the best cargo carrier in the region. Through our cargo hub in Dubai, we continue to enhance our services to offer customers an ever-increasing choice and convenient access to markets in Asia Pacific, Indian Sub-continent, Africa, Europe and North America."

Emirates SkyCargo now serves a global network of 77 destinations in 54 countries, including 22 destinations with its six freighter aircraft. It has launched belly-hold services to nine routes since January 2004, including Seychelles in January and Seoul on 1st May this year. The cargo division will commence new belly-hold services to Alexandria and Hamburg later this year; and to Beijing in February 2006.

From Hong Kong, Emirates SkyCargo currently offers nine dedicated Boeing 747-400 freighter services each week to Dubai, in addition to belly-hold services in the airline's 12 weekly passenger services. To the existing two weekly direct services, Emirates will add three more in September, increasing it to a direct daily service from 1st October, taking its total number of services between Hong Kong and Dubai to 17 per week.

The AFSCAs awards are organised by Cargonews Asia, the leading trade publication newspaper in the region, with its readers invited to vote for their favourite companies in each category. The awards recognize excellence among companies from Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia, reflecting the global nature of the cargo industry serving Asia's shippers.

The AFSCA award come fast on the heels of Emirates SkyCargo's triumph at the annual awards presented by Air Cargo News, UK, where it won 'Best cargo airline to the Middle East' for an unprecedented 17 consecutive years; 'Best cargo airline to the Indian Subcontinent' for the eighth time and 'Best cargo airline to the Far East' for the second time.

About Emirates SkyCargo:

Emirates' 76-strong fleet, which includes 70 wide-bodied passenger jets and six freighters (four 747-400Fs and two 747-200Fs) is one of the youngest in the skies. Emirates SkyCargo now serves 77 destinations in 54 countries in Europe, North America, Middle East, Africa, the Indian subcontinent and the Far East.

It moved 838,400 tonnes of freight in 2004-05 - an increase of 27 per cent over the previous year - while the division's revenue grew by 42 per cent to Dhs 3.4 billion (US $940 million), accounting for a record 21 per cent of the airline's operating revenue.

In 2005 it has won a clutch of awards: 'Best Air Cargo Carrier - Middle East' from Cargo News Asia for the third consecutive year; 'Best Cargo Airline to the Middle East' (17th year running), 'Best Cargo Airline to the Indian subcontinent' (8th year) and 'Best cargo airline to the Far East' for the second time from Air Cargo News. In 2004 it was declared 'Air Cargo Carrier of the Year' by IFW, UK; and 'Logistics Service Provider Award 2003' by STMicroelectronics, the global semiconductor company.

Emirates SkyCargo's Priority Service assures on-time delivery throughout the world, while the extensive trucking and off-line partner networks ensure comprehensive coverage where customers need it most. SkyChain, the one-stop web shop with many value-added features, enables customers to obtain information as well as transact business online.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 04:10 AM   #36
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Air Arabia adds three destinations
03 May 2005
Gulf News

Air Arabia, the Middle East's only low-cost airline, said it was adding three new destinations Kabul, Sharm Al Shaikh and Luxor as it aims to expand its market share.

Kabul will provide a vital link for the carrier in Afghanistan, while Sharm Al Shaikh and Luxor will raise the number of its destinations in Egypt to four.

The new routes highlight Air Arabia's aggressive expansion plans and further demonstrate market demand for affordable travel, the airline said in a statement.

Air Arabia CEO Adel Ali said: "The popularity of resorts in and around Sharm Al Shaikh and Luxor will allow holiday makers the opportunity to take advantage of the value offered by Air Arabia." Ali said the airline will offer more savings to customers by launching Air Arabia Hotels.

A one-way ticket from Sharjah to Kabul starts at Dh450, the statement said. It will begin at Dh250 to Sharm Al Shaikh and Dh300 to Luxor, it said.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 01:41 AM   #37
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Etihad will begin flights to Frankfurt
04 May 2005
Gulf News

Etihad Airways yesterday announced it would begin flights from Abu Dhabi to Frankfurt on June 1.

The airline also said it is introducing a second regional freighter, an Airbus A310-300F, to expand its cargo services.

Frankfurt will be the airline's second destination in Germany after Munich.

"The addition of the Frankfurt route to Etihad's expanding global network demonstrates our commitment to providing guests with greater access between Europe and the UAE," said Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saif Al Nahyan, chairman of Etihad Airways.

"Frankfurt, Germany's business and financial centre, is an important addition to Etihad's growing network and builds on the airline's strategy to connect Abu Dhabi with the world's major hubs.

"The Frankfurt route will also enable us to build stronger links between East and West, which is one of our major goals."

Etihad Airways currently flies to 16 destinations in the Middle East, Europe and Asia and has drawn up an ambitious strategy to increase this number to 70 by 2010.

The addition of the new route to Frankfurt is an important step in moving forward with this plan and expanding the airline's rapidly growing international network.

"The second regional freighter will enhance our capacity for charter services, responding directly to our customers' needs. "Abu Dhabi is an ideal geo-strategic hub connecting East and West, for both passenger and freighter services.

"This expansion of Crystal Cargo services supports and reinforces Etihad's strategy to position Abu Dhabi as the regional link for cargo and passenger services between the Middle East, Asia, Europe and North America," said Shaikh Ahmad.

In January, Etihad Crystal Cargo took delivery of its first Airbus A300-600 regional freighter, and is now further extending operations by upgrading its services with the addition of this new freighter.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 07:06 PM   #38
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Emirates Traffic Grows To New York, Plans A380 Service
Steven Lott
Aviation Daily
May 3, 2005

Emirates is eager to add a second flight between Dubai and New York Kennedy thanks to strong traffic and loads on its existing daily flight now in operation for 11 months, but the timing hinges on aircraft availability and fuel prices.

Emirates said it was daunting and challenging to launch the nonstop flight, which started June 1, 2004, in a large market such as New York. "There are so many airlines and so many advertisers in New York," said Nigel Page, senior VP-commercial operations for The Americas. "However, the flight has done incredibly well, with traffic growing very quickly." The flights are operated with long-range Airbus A340-500s and hit an 80% load factor after only three months in operation, Page reported.

The load factor spiked to 90% at times in January and February, Page told The DAILY in New York. In March, the flight had a 77% load factor and as recently as last week, it was 75.7% filled. There is some origin-and-destination traffic between New York and Dubai, but Emirates has been slowly convincing travelers that Dubai is a convenient hub to connect with services to Asia/Pacific markets.

Page reported that the new flight has been profitable in six of the last 11 months, and the only reason it was in the red is record high fuel prices. "We've been spot on with our budget, except for fuel," he said. On long-haul routes with flying times of 12 hours of more, "fuel expenses are a major cost component of the operation." Despite the high fuel prices, Page is convinced there enough demand and traffic on the route to launch a second daily flight.

A lot hinges on the fuel cost and aircraft availability, as the carrier's last two A340-500s on firm order will arrive in August and September, and they have been allocated to other routes. The carrier recently took delivery of its first Boeing 777-300ER, and Page said the range performance has "been better than Boeing projected." Because the 777s do not have a lie-flat crew rest area, Emirates can't use them to serve the U.S. The carrier is looking at the 777 long-range models as well as 787s and A350s, and speculates that a new order could come at the Paris Air Show in June.

Emirates already has tentative plans to launch its A380 service in March 2007 to New York when it adds one its first long-range A380 models. The aircraft would have roughly 490 seats, Page said. Assuming traffic holds up for the next two years, the A380 flight would be in addition to the existing A340 service. Beyond New York, the carrier last year had plans to launch flights to San Francisco and Houston, but the additional flights were shelved in January because of fuel costs.

Page believes there are as many as eight "viable" markets in North and South America for Emirates, and the airline is eager to build its network to the region. While growth may not come this year, the airline has 97 widebody aircraft being delivered at an average rate of one per month for the next eight years, so it won't be too long, Page said.
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Old May 9th, 2005, 05:14 AM   #39
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Emirates says no decision yet on Airbus A350

Monday • May 9, 2005

Dubai-based airline Emirates denied a British press report that it had decided to make a six billion dollar (4.6 billion euro) order for 50 Airbus A-350s.

"No decision has been made," said spokesman John Tome.

Apart from the A350, Emirates is also still looking at Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, 777-300ER and 777-200LR "to see if we would need any of them, and if so, how many", he said.

Emirates has already received three of an order for 20 of the 777-300ER, but has not excluded additional orders, the spokesman said.

"We don't have anything to announce now and we don't know when we will have anything to announce," Tome said of the Sunday Times report that the airline was preparing to unveil the new Airbus mega-order at the Bourget air show in France in June.

Emirates is already the largest future client of giant Airbus A380, the largest airliner in the world and due for commercial service next year, with 43 aircraft ordered.

An order for 50 A-350s would have taken the Toulouse, France-based manufacturer over its initial sales target of 50 aircraft orders by June, following the 10 bought by Spanish airline Air Europa.

The A350 project has become a crucial battlefield in the fierce competition with Boeing. The twin-engine, long-haul plane is aimed at competing with Boeing's planned fuel-efficient 787 Dreamliner, which the US company hopes will help it regain the top spot in global commercial aviation.

The latest member of the Airbus family was approved in December 2004 by Airbus shareholders European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, which owns 80 percent, and BAE Systems of Britain, with a 20 percent stake.

The United States has bitterly opposed European Union plans to subsidize the A350 and has threatened to seek arbitration by the World Trade Organization if the EU allows aid to the project before the end of bilateral negotiations. — AFP

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Old May 9th, 2005, 02:11 PM   #40
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Business Times - 09 May 2005

Abu Dhabi airport to get 21b dirham boost


(DUBAI) The United Arab Emirates is planning a 21 billion dirham (S$9.5 billion) expansion of Abu Dhabi airport in an effort to revamp the city's profile and attract millions of tourists. The project includes a new terminal building and second runway, raising handling capacity to 20 million passengers a year when the first phase is completed in 2010, Abu Dhabi officials told an Arab travel fair last week.

Private US firm Parsons Corp will manage the construction work on a design by New York architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, chairman of the expansion project Khalifa Al Mazrouei told reporters. He cited a total cost of 21 billion dirhams, but gave no more details.

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the seven-member UAE federation, last year launched its own airline Etihad which has placed orders with Airbus and Boeing . The plans signal a desire by Abu Dhabi, where most the UAE's vast oil wealth is located, to follow in the footsteps of the emirate Dubai, whose economy grew a record 16.7 per cent in 2004.

Dubai has become the region's business and tourism centre by attracting expatriates with business-friendly policies and a relatively liberal atmosphere in the conservative Gulf. Green and leafy Abu Dhabi is more quiet, traditional and Arab.

Patrick Macdonald, consultant to the new Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, said the emirate wants to attract over three million tourists a year by 2015, compared to 830,000 in 2003. Abu Dhabi has even tried to match Dubai's famed Burj Al Arab hotel - with its distinctive sail shape - with its own Emirates Palace, where some suites cost US$16,000 per night.

Built by Abu Dhabi government for an undisclosed sum, the recently opened complex on the city's beachfront features 114 domes and a vast atrium decked in gold leaf and marble. 'It's important as a symbol and icon on which we can hang the promotion of Abu Dhabi,' Mr Macdonald said. 'It's going to open the door for Abu Dhabi to become one of the world's leading conference and exhibition centres.'

The emirate, benefiting from current high world oil prices, will target west European tourists, Mr Macdonald said. Unlike Dubai, Abu Dhabi has a hinterland of mountains and oases, as well as islands inhabited since ancient times. - Reuters

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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