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Old July 19th, 2005, 08:41 AM   #61
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Qatar Airways aims for profits by 2010, eyes IPO
July 18, 2005
Reuters

Loss-making but fast-growing Qatar Airways hopes to be profitable by 2010 and could list its shares on the stock market by 2012, its chief executive said on Monday.

The state-controlled airline last month ordered $15 billion-worth of aircraft from Airbus and Boeing to add up to 80 planes to its existing fleet of 40 by 2015.

Its aim is to capitalise on a boom in development and tourism in the oil-rich Middle East.

"We hope to be profitable by 2009 or 2010," Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker told a news conference.

"As soon as we are profitable for two consecutive years we will go public."

The airline, which also operates the Doha Airport and owns ground handling and airline catering firms, was launched in 1994 and is expanding rapidly as its state link gives it access to cheap funding.

Its latest order was for a mix of Airbus A350-800 and A350-900 planes as well as Boeing 777-200LR and 777-300ER aircraft.

Al Baker also said Qatar Airways wanted eventually to join a global airline alliance, such as the Lufthansa-led Star Alliance, or Oneworld, which is headed by American Airlines and British Airways .

But, he said; "It is still too early for that".
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Old July 19th, 2005, 08:50 AM   #62
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Royal Jordanian posts first-quarter profit
July 19, 2005

Royal Jordanian Airlines said it posted a profit of 4.3 million dinars ($6.1 million) for the first quarter of 2005, beating company projections of a loss of JOD1.4 million.Revenues reached JOD91.3 million, up 21.6% compared to JOD75.1 million in the prior-year period. Passenger boardings for the January-May period rose 3.5% to 643,700.

"The results of the first quarter of 2005 are satisfactory; however, Royal Jordanian has been facing several challenges that resulted in a decline in the net profit, most significant being the surge in fuel prices," said President and CEO Samer Majali. The increase is expected to add JOD10 million to the fuel budget. The carrier has added a surcharge to help to offset the higher fuel costs.

Separately, Royal Jordanian said revenues for the first half rose 13.1% to JOD145.5 million and six-month passenger boardings climbed 4.2% to 766,000. It carried 154,858 passengers in June, up 7.5% over the year-ago period. June load factor rose 3 points to 72.9%. Cargo grew 5.1% to 5,436 tons.
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Old July 20th, 2005, 08:45 AM   #63
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El Al CEO allays workers' fears
20 July 2005

In an extraordinary move, El Al CEO Haim Romano yesterday issued a written statement to calm workers who fear the company will be harmed by the involvement of its owners, brothers Izzy and Dedi Borovich, in the collapse of the Clubmarket chain.

"Lately we have all been exposed to information regarding what is happening at Clubmarket, information that prompts fears and questions regarding the significance of these events and their impact on us," wrote Romano.

"We reject out of hand any attempts to link Clubmarket's difficulties with El Al's operations. El Al operates as an independent company. The company is publicly traded, and is obligated by law to report all its activities to the authorities, as well as to the public and its workers. El Al's management is a professional and responsible management that will work tirelessly, along with you, to promote the company and make it prosper.

"El Al has always met its obligations to its customers, suppliers and workers, and continues to operate in accordance with its strategic plans," continued Romano. "The company has excellent relations with the banking system in Israel and around the world."
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Old July 21st, 2005, 07:01 AM   #64
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Etihad Launches Cargo Flights on Delhi-Abu-Dhabi Route

NEW DELHI, July 21 Asia Pulse - UAE carrier Etihad Crystal Cargo today launched its weekly freighter services from Delhi, after connecting Mumbai and Chennai earlier this year.

Crystal Cargo, which is the cargo division of Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, would add 39 tonnes of cargo payload every week in addition to the 15 tonnes carried on three weekly passenger flights between Delhi and the Gulf nation.

The freighter service would operate once a week between Abu Dhabi and Delhi, the airline said in a statement.

Observing that its Mumbai and Chennai routes have shown "very high payloads", Etihad's Area Manager (India & Nepal) Dougie Douglas said the Indian subcontinent was a "very dynamic market" for cargo services.

Etihad Crystal Cargo launched its Mumbai services in February this year and from Chennai in June. (PTI)
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Old July 21st, 2005, 07:11 AM   #65
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Lockheed in pact to upgrade Turkish Air Force aircraft
20 July 2005

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Lockheed Martin Corp. said Wednesday that it has received a $67.7 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to develop a major systems upgrade of F-16 aircraft for the Turkish Air Force. The total contract is valued at about $800 million and is expected to be issued in mid-2006. The upgrade program will focus on Turkey's F-16 Block 40 and Block 50 aircraft, as well as a modest modification to Block 30 aircraft. The Turkish Air Force expects to have initial operational capability with the modifications in 2011.
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Old July 22nd, 2005, 12:46 AM   #66
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Kurdish airline takes flight as northern Iraqi airport opens

ARBIL, Iraq, July 21 (AFP) - The first flight of a Kurdish-owned airline landed in the northern Iraqi city of Arbil on Thursday, linking one of the main cities in the heart of Kurdistan to Dubai.

The sole airplane belonging to the nascent Kurdistan Airlines, a Boeing 737, landed at 10:30 am (0630 GMT) carrying 46 Iraqi and Kurdish businessmen.

The Arbil airport was officially inaugurated on April 15. Another airport equipped for passenger planes in the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah opened for business on Wednesday.

The recently-created Kurdistan Airlines is entirely owned by the autonomous Kurdish regional government, said Rachad Omar, the region's "vice-minister" of transport and communications.

"It has full support from the civil aviation directorate," a branch of the Iraqi ministry of transportation, Omar told AFP.

"It is an Iraqi-owned company just like (government-owned) Iraqi Airways," said Omar, adding that the company plans to hire more passenger airplanes for flights to Europe.

Currently both Iraqi Airlines and a Lebanese airline, Flying Carpet, offer flights between Baghdad and Arbil.

"It is an historic day because it is the first time there is a direct flight linking a foreign country to Arbil airport," said Haidar Faili, the autonomous Kurdish region's minister for transportation and communication.

On Wednesday Iraqi President Jalal Talbani, who is also the head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), inaugurated Sulaimaniyah airport, located some 200 kilometers (120 miles) from Arbil.

An Iraqi Airways plane landed at the airport bringing home an official Iraqi delegation from a visit to Jordan that included Planning Minister Barham Saleh.

There are two passenger airports in the autonomous Kurdish region because of the rivalry between the two main Kurdish parties.
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Old July 25th, 2005, 04:43 PM   #67
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Emirates secures $119 mln Airbus plane financing

DUBAI, July 25 (Reuters) - Dubai's Emirates airline [EMAIR.UL] said on Monday it signed a $119 million financing agreement with China Construction Bank Corporation [CCB.UL] for a new Airbus A340-500 aircraft.

The financing, the first for the fast-growing airline from a Chinese bank, is a 12-year operating lease carrying a margin of 0.78 percent over six-month sterling LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate), Emirates said in a statement.

The A340-500, scheduled to be delivered next month, will be the airline's ninth out of 10 on order.

"This is the first time an Emirates aircraft has been financed by a Chinese bank... This will help us diversify our funding resources further," said Riyaz Peermohamed, Emirates senior vice president, corporate treasury.

China Construction Bank is one of the country's largest commercial banks. The deal was arranged by its Hong Kong branch.
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Old July 27th, 2005, 04:27 AM   #68
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Plane Rolls Into Ditch at Jordan Airport
26 July 2005

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) - A Russian-made cargo plane parked at a Jordanian airport rolled into a ditch Tuesday, causing minor damage and no injuries, Jordan's civil aviation chief said Tuesday.

The plane sat wedged Tuesday evening in a watery ditch at the airport in Aqaba with its tail sticking slightly up.

"The plane did not crash; it was a minor accident, the aircraft was neither airborne, nor taking off or landing," Civil Aviation Authority Chief Capt. Suleiman Obeidat told The Associated Press.

He said the Antonov An-12 was parked on the tarmac at King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba, near the Israeli border, when it suddenly rolled onto nearby unpaved ground.

Obeidat and Neal Kawar, a cargo expediter for Heston Aviation, the Jordanian firm which handled the aircraft's ground operation, said there apparently were no blocks under the wheels to hold the plane in place.

Aqaba is a 210 miles south of the Jordanian capital Amman, at the southern tip of Jordan on the Red Sea, next to the Israeli resort of Eilat.
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Old July 27th, 2005, 11:28 AM   #69
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Etihad Airways to fly to Brussels
27 July 2005

ABU DHABI — Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, and SN Brussels Airways announced yesterday the start of operations from Abu Dhabi to Brussels, Belgium, at a joint Press conference held in the Belgian capital.

Etihad will operate three direct weekly flights from Abu Dhabi to Brussels starting from October this year. With the opening of its new route to Brussels, Etihad will enter its first global code share agreement with SN Brussels Airways.

For the first time the code share will open a number of important destinations in Europe. Both airlines expressed their optimism for the new route that is expected to significantly enhance the link between the UAE and Europe, as well as provide even more opportunities for business and tourism.
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Old July 27th, 2005, 11:30 AM   #70
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Jordan Aviation still flies to Egyptian destinations after cancelling Sharm flights
27/07/2005

AMMAN (Petra) — Jordan Aviation, a private airline, still flies to Alexandria and other Egyptian cities despite the cancellation of its flights to Sharm El Sheikh, Mohammad Khashman, the airline's board chairman, said Tuesday. The company stopped flying to the Egyptian Red Sea resort following Saturday's terror attacks which killed 88 people.
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Old July 27th, 2005, 11:31 AM   #71
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Moldovan plane rolls into ditch at Aqaba airport
27 July 2005

AMMAN (Agencies) — A Russian-made cargo plane parked on the tarmac of the airport in Aqaba rolled into a ditch Tuesday, causing minor damage and no injuries, the Kingdom's civil aviation chief said Tuesday.

The plane sat wedged in a watery ditch with its tail sticking slightly up Tuesday evening while airport officials investigated what caused the aircraft to move.

“The plane did not crash; it was a minor accident, the aircraft was neither airborne, nor taking off or landing,” Civil Aviation Authority Chief Suleiman Obeidat told the Associated Press.

He said the Antonov An-12 was parked on the tarmac at King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba when it suddenly rolled onto nearby unpaved ground. “It stopped when the front wheel fell in a ditch, or waterway dug in the sand near the tarmac,” Obeidat said.

“Preliminary information suggests there was no block to hold the plane in its parking spot,” he said.

An official at Aqaba's airport said authorities believe the “safety parking brakes had apparently not been activated.”

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because there was an investigation under way, said the plane rolled hours after it landed, and declined to say where it flew in from.

Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority President Nader Dahabi told the Jordan News Agency, Petra, that no one was near the plane which landed at 10:30am.

“After the unloading process, its crew left the area to have some rest at a nearby Aqaba hotel,” Dahabi said, adding the plane rolled for 200 metres before falling into the ditch.

Obeidat said the incident happened at around 5:00pm.

There were no casualties since the crew had long before cleared the aircraft, and there was no one else nearby, Obeidat and the official said.

Obeidat said the aircraft was registered in the Eastern European nation of Moldova and leased to a privately-owned Jordanian cargo firm.

HRH Prince Ali the Regent, visited the airport and inspected the plane, Petra reported.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 02:15 PM   #72
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Qatar Airways celebrates non-stop flight to Singapore
The Peninsula - 28/07/2005

Doha: Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker presented his vision of the airline as a force to be reckoned with over the next few years, during a media briefing held in Singapore.

Celebrating the launch of daily non-stop flights to the island state using the state-of-the-art Airbus A330 aircraft, Akbar hosted leading Singapore media figures over lunch at the city's Four Seasons Hotel, during which he spoke of Qatar Airways' meteoric growth since its re-launch in 1997 to become one of the fastest growing airlines in the world. He outlined the company's vision to become a key player in global aviation. Only last month, Qatar Airways, which operates a fleet of 40 all-Airbus aircraft, announced plans at the Paris Air Show to acquire up to 80 planes, comprising 60 of the new generation A350s and 20 Boeing 777s worth a total $15.2bn.

The CEO said the airline would almost triple its fleet size by the year 2015, which he stressed was unprecedented expansion that was being admired with envy by rest of the aviation industry. He described how Qatar Airways had made significant inroads in the industry to become an award-winning airline in just a short few years. As part of the airline's growth strategy, Al Baker said Qatar Airways was introducing new destinations and increasing frequency on existing routes to offer passengers with a greater choice of flights and convenient connection opportunities over Doha.

The Singapore route, he said, had just been upgraded from an Airbus A300 aircraft to the larger A330 offering the latest in in-flight comfort and amenities. The route is being operated non-stop on all daily flights, cutting out the indirect service via Kuala Lumpur to provide a faster flight time. The new daily non-stop service operated with the A330-200 aircraft features a fully interactive in-flight entertainment system in every seat. The A330 is the backbone of Qatar Airways' long-haul fleet to destinations as far as Europe, South Africa and Far East.

Akbar said Singapore had been a highly successful route for the airline since the service was launched in November 2003 and it was only a matter of time before it was upgraded to a bigger capacity aircraft flying non-stop. With Qatar Airways being a key sponsor of the Asian Games in Doha next year, he said, said the airline will spend the next 18 months focusing much of its efforts in Asia to promote the event. He explained that Qatar Airways planned to fly to further destinations in the Far East over the next 18 months.

Al Baker also briefed the media on the current state of the US$5.5 billion New Doha International Airport, of which construction began in January 2005 and was on schedule for phase one to be completed by 2009. Most of the dredging work from the sea has been completed with 60 per cent of the new airport built on reclaimed land, he said.

He described how the new airport would be an architectural marvel, and the first in the world to be designed and built specifically for Airbus's new A380-800 double-decker 'super jumbo' — the largest passenger aircraft ever built. The A380 will be capable of carrying more than 550 passengers, with Qatar Airways a launch customer taking delivery of the first of its four A380s in 2009, the year the new airport opens.
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Old July 31st, 2005, 11:35 AM   #73
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Uzbekistan Terminates US Air Base Agreement
Jul 30, 2005

WASHINGTON - Uzbek officials have formally terminated an agreement allowing the United States to use an air base in southeastern Uzbekistan, ending a nearly four-year-old deal under which the United States was able to provide support for U.S. operations in Afghanistan. The termination follows criticism from the United States and other countries of Uzbek President Islam Karimov over the reported killing of hundreds of civilians by Uzbek security forces in May.

A State Department spokesman said Saturday that its embassy in Tashkent received a diplomatic note late last week from the Uzbek government, terminating the agreement to use the so-called K2 airfield. The Washington Post newspaper reports the military has 180 days to leave the Karshi-Khanabad airbase, but U.S. officials have not confirmed a timetable.

An estimated 800 personnel now work at the K2 airbase, which since October 2001 has been a hub for military and humanitarian supplies that are flown or trucked overland into Afghanistan.

In a news conference earlier this month, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Richard Myers said the base in Uzbekistan and one near Kyrgyzstan's capital city play an important role in regional security.

"Central Asia is important to the United States for several reasons, not just for operations in Afghanistan," said Mr. Myers. "It's important to us for lots of reasons. Security and stability in Central Asia is an important concept and those that can bring security and stability ought to be welcome in Central Asia."

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld traveled to Central Asia this week and won assurances from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan that U.S. forces would continue to have access to facilities in their countries.

Mr. Rumsfeld did not meet with Uzbek officials, but he said the military is prepared if Uzbekistan bars use of the K2 air base.

Uzbek officials have tightened restrictions on the K2 base in recent months, barring night flights and limiting the use of some heavy transport aircraft.

The moves followed strong criticism from the United States and other Western nations of President Karimov and calls for a formal inquiry into deadly clashes between Uzbek security forces and civilians in the city of Andijan in May. The United Nations has called the incident a mass killing.

"The trigger was Uzbek anger at U.S. criticism of the Uzbek government for the Uzbek government's failure to agree to an independent international inquiry into what happened in Andijan," said Martha Brill Olcott, a central Asian expert with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "To say that the U.S. leadership and the Uzbek leadership don't see eye to eye with one another today is an understatement. It's probably the tensest point in U.S.-Uzbek relations any time since the existence of an independent Uzbekistan. I don't know that the Uzbek regime would have wanted the base removed if Andijan had not occurred."

On Friday, the United Nations said some 440 Uzbek refugees who had fled to Kyrgyzstan following the Andijan violence had been flown to Romania. Uzbekistan says the refugees are criminals who should be repatriated.
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Old July 31st, 2005, 11:36 AM   #74
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Turkish airline buys 10 Canadian Bombardier planes
7/30/2005

ISTANBUL - Turkey's Izmir Airlines has signed a 275 million dollar contract with Canadian aircraft maker Bombardier for 10 planes, its president told the Anatolia news agency Saturday.

Five of the CRJ900 and Q400 planes would be delivered next year, Ekrem Demirtas, head of the private airline, said.

He said the company was also negotiating with the American firm Boeing and European planemaker Airbus over the purchase of other aircraft.

Founded in June 2005 by a group of 100 businessmen from Izmir in western Turkey, the company aims to begin flying in spring 2006 between several European capitals and Turkey's main cities
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Old July 31st, 2005, 11:38 AM   #75
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Iraqi Air To Launch Flights To Turkey
July 28, 2005

Iraqi Airways will begin passenger flights to neighboring Turkey for the first time in 15 years, its sales representative in Istanbul said on Thursday.

The national carrier grounded its planes in the early 1990s due to UN sanctions, and much of the carrier's fleet and assets were destroyed during the 2003 US-led war and in post-war looting.

It resumed international flights last year. It has since begun rebuilding its fleet, purchasing a 1983 Boeing 737 and leasing another plane of the same type, as well as a Boeing 727 and Boeing 767. It launched flights to Amman and Damascus earlier this year.

"As part of its reconstruction, Iraq has picked up where it left off in air transportation due to long-term sanctions and the war," its Turkey-based representative Fly Service said in a statement.

The flagship carrier will on August 3 begin flights between Baghdad and Istanbul on Mondays and Thursdays. It will also offer cargo flights three times a month, the statement said.

"Iraqi Airways will securely carry both Turkish businessmen involved in Iraqi commerce and their cargo. These flights will help commercial relations between Iraq and Turkey as well as bilateral relations," the statement said.

(Reuters)
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Old August 10th, 2005, 01:08 AM   #76
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One killed as Yemen military plane crash lands

SANAA, Aug 9 (AFP) - One crew member was killed and 28 people were injured Tuesday when an Antonov military transport plane made an emergency landing in the southeastern Yemeni province of Hadramout, an opposition website reported.

Quoting military and medical sources, the website of the Islah Party said the plane, with 49 people on board, was on an internal flight from a border area to Al-Rayyan airport in the city of Al-Mukalla when it made the emergency landing some 30 kilometers (20 miles) east of the airport.

The plane had reportedly run out of fuel.

One of the pilots, Ahmad Abdullah Grandi, was killed while chief pilot Abdullah Saif Ahmad was among seven people seriously injured, it said.

A total of 28 people were wounded in the incident, which occurred around 5:00 pm (1400 GMT), according to the sources.
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Old September 11th, 2005, 03:40 AM   #77
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Baghdad's airport reopens after one-day closure over pay

BAGHDAD, Sept 10 (AFP) - Baghdad International Airport reopened Saturday after a one-day closure over a pay dispute between the government and a London-based firm which provides airport security, an Iraqi official said.

The company, meanwhile, said it had accepted payment of half of its dues.

"We have reopened the airport ... No one has the authority to shut down the airport," said Issmat Amer, the chief advisor to Transport Minister Salam al-Maliki.

The guards of the security firm "are back at work", he told AFP, adding that flights had resumed.

Global Security, whose contract was awarded by the US State Department in 2004, said Friday that "normal airport operations (were) suspended until further notice" because of "unresolved commercial issues" with the transport ministry.

In a press statement, the company had said it had not been paid for its services since March and therefore decided to cease operations as of 06:00 am (0200 GMT) on Friday, effectively closing the airport to commercial traffic.

"The problem was caused by the (security) firm, which has done so unjustly, and in contradiction with all conventions," Amer said.

He insisted "there are no unresolved matters" with Global Security.

A company spokesman in London, Giles Morgan, told AFP its personnel were back in position as the Iraqi government had "agreed to pay 50 percent of the total money owed for the past seven months".

The company was hoping to receive the payment within the next few days.

But "the government refused to pay the remaining 50 percent" of the outstanding bills, the spokesman said, adding that Global had "accepted what was on offer".

Global's contract to provide security in the airport was awarded by the previous Coalition Provisional Authority. It runs through until the end of March 2006.

Morgan said there were no discussions about terminating the contract early.

A two-day shutdown occurred in June for similar reasons, leading to a backlog of flights and a severe disruption for passengers.

The airport, which currently runs over 50 flights a day, is the only viable means of entry into Iraq for most international travellers due to the country's precarious security situation.
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Old September 11th, 2005, 03:44 AM   #78
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Qatar signs 60-jet order for Airbus A350s

PARIS, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Qatar Airways signed on Friday a letter of intent to buy 60 Airbus A350 jets, sealing a deal provisionally announced in June.

The letter of intent crowns months of negotiations on the $10.6 billion deal and was signed when Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin met Qatar's First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thanion Friday.

Qatar Airways said in June it was close to signing a deal to buy up to 60 of Airbus's future A350 jets worth $10.6 billion and would also buy at least 20 of Boeing Co.'s larger 777 planes for around $4.6 billion.

The deal comes as the airline industry waits for the official launch of the A350 project which was delayed in June because of initial lack of interest in the aircraft compared with rival Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.

Airbus parent firm EADS co-Chairman Noel Forgeard told reporters on the margins of Friday's signing ceremony that he still expected to launch the A350 at the end of September.

"When the EADS board decided to postpone until the end of September, give or take a few days, the launch of the A350, it was not linked to uncertainties over the commercial viability of the project. We had what we needed; the planned purchase by Qatar Airways was already known," he said.

"It was linked to a study that the board asked us for and the resources needed to carry out this major development, and so this study is being finished and everything should happen by the deadlines that have been set," he added.

BAE Systems Plc owns a 20 percent stake in Airbus.

The launch of the A350 has been potentially caught up in a huge trade dispute between Europe and the United States, which accuses Airbus of receiving illegal subsidies. Airbus says it will apply for reimbursable government loans to help build the plane but denies these are a form of subsidy.
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Old September 24th, 2005, 03:30 AM   #79
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Dubai's Emirates begins direct flights to Libya

DUBAI, Sept 23 (AFP) - The Dubai government-owned Emirates airlines is to begin five weekly direct flights to Libya, the official news agency WAM reported Friday.

The airline has been offering three weekly trips to Libya since March 2001 but with a stopover in Malta, layovers that will now be done away with.
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Old September 24th, 2005, 03:35 AM   #80
nitzomoe
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does anybody noe whether the airport improvements at Jiddah airport sheduled to commence in 2005 is actually occuring? that airport is so overcrowded now its impossible to breathe
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