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Old October 21st, 2005, 05:35 PM   #81
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Gulf Air CEO: To Begin Scheduled China Flights in 2H 06
21 October 2005
By Bruce Stanley
Of The Wall Street Journal Asia

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Gulf Air is charting a course for the booming China market, but meanwhile the airline, which only recently returned to profitability, expects to lose money this year due to higher fuel prices.

In an interview, President and Chief Executive James Hogan said the Persian Gulf-based regional carrier plans to begin scheduled flights to at least one major city in China-Beijing, Shanghai or both-during the second half of 2006. The airline hopes eventually to increase the frequency of its China flights to one a day from four a week.

One of the markets the 55-year-old carrier hopes to serve is the growing number of construction workers and other Chinese traveling to jobs in the Middle East.

Gulf Air, which has 34 aircraft, is owned by the governments of Bahrain, Oman and Abu Dhabi. After losing money for six consecutive years, it restructured its operations, reduced its debts and posted a profit in 2004 of BHD1.5 million.

However, the relentless rise in jet fuel prices will make it "pretty tough" for Gulf Air to earn a profit for 2005, Hogan said. Although the airline has imposed fuel surcharges, it has not hedged enough of its fuel requirements to absorb the higher prices, he said. Costlier fuel and the likelihood of an annual loss is also forcing Gulf Air to delay consideration of raising fresh capital through a private placement, a strategic investment or a share offering.

"If you're going to go to the market, now is the wrong time," Hogan said.

Founded in 1950, Gulf Air has been overshadowed in recent years by faster-growing regional rivals Emirates Airline (EA.YY), Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways (ETAIR.YY). While Gulf Air's fleet has stagnated, the other three are adding large numbers of new planes. Emirates alone has ordered 45 super-jumbo Airbus A380s.

Gulf Air is making "a major review" of its own future aircraft needs and plans to re-equip its fleet with planes from a single supplier, either Chicago-based Boeing Co. (BA) or Airbus (ABI.YY) of Toulouse, France.

Gulf Air's current fleet is a mix of Boeing 767s and three Airbus models. Unlike Emirates, it has no ambition to become a global airline and is content to serve Asia, North Africa and the Middle East with a fleet of no more than 40 aircraft.

Gulf Air plans to decide by the end of December whether to buy Boeing 787s and 737s or Airbus A320s and A350s, Hogan said. By acquiring all new planes from a single supplier, it expects to achieve better economies of scale and save money on maintenance and spare parts.
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Old October 22nd, 2005, 11:26 PM   #82
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Emirates Airlines to offer non-stop Kuala Lumpur-Dubai service - report
20 October 2005

KUALA LUMPUR (XFN-ASIA) - Emirates Airlines will be operating a non-stop service between Kuala Lumpur and Dubai by the end of this month to take advantage of the strong demand on the route, the Star newspaper reported, quoting the airline's country manager Alban Lee.

Lee said the airline will use Boeing 777-300 aircraft for this service, calling directly at Dubai from Kuala Lumpur eight times weekly.

He added that at present, the airline operates seven flights weekly to Dubai from KL with stops at either Dhaka or Jakarta.

He also said that the airliner is increasing services to allow Emirates to take advantage of the higher arrivals of Middle Eastern passengers in Kuala Lumpur and the increase in the Middle East-bound tourists from Malaysia.

"With additional flights, we expect an increase of 25 pct in passenger capacity," he added.

Lee said growth will be achieved on the back on a load factor of about 70 pct and would generate an 11 pct growth in revenue for the year to March 2006.
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Old October 24th, 2005, 08:57 AM   #83
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Gulf Air seeks to triple flights to Philippines
Sun Oct 23,12:57 PM ET

MANILA (AFP) - Bahrain-based Gulf Air is to begin talks with Philippine negotiators Monday to discuss its proposal to triple its flights to the Southeast Asian country.

"We are looking forward to expand our business, our flight frequencies here in Manila since most of our passengers are Filipinos," Gulf Air president and chief executive James Hogan told reporters late Saturday.

The carrier now flies three times a week to Manila from Bahrain, Dublin, and Johannesburg. The Philippines is a major exporter of skilled workers to the Middle East and elsewhere.

Airline officials would meet officials of the transportation and foreign departments as well as the Civil Aeronautics Board to discuss its request, said Gulf Air country manager Roberto Hukom.

He said the airline wants six more flights a week.

"We hope that we would be able to persuade them given the huge market that is available now," he added.

"We are expanding our office here to be able to meet the huge demand," he said.

Gulf Air is owned by Bahrain, Oman, and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
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Old October 25th, 2005, 06:49 AM   #84
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Iraqi Airways Plane Lands In Lebanon
1st Time In 24 Years

24 October 2005

BEIRUT (AP)--An Iraqi Airways plane landed in Beirut on Monday, making the first flight between Iraq and Lebanon in 24 years.

The Boeing 737-200 arrived at Rafik Hariri International Airport carrying an official delegation headed by Iraq's Transport Minister Salam al-Maliki and 50 journalists representing various Iraqi media outlets.

Al-Maliki held talks with his Lebanese counterpart Mohammed al-Safadi and, at a joint conference, spoke of the importance of resuming flights between both countries.

"We will seek to open channels with all neighboring countries so that Iraq can return to its Arab, Islamic and international fold," said al-Safadi, who added there were several projects between Lebanon and Iraq that the two government were working on achieving.

The ministers, however, did not say when Lebanon's flag carrier, Middle East Airlines, would resume flights to the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

After about an hour at the airport in Beirut, the Iraqi Airways plane returned to Baghdad with 16 Iraqi and Lebanese passengers as well as nine Iraqi deportees who had illegally entered Lebanon.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 02:12 PM   #85
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Contributed $25 billion to UAE economy in past two decades!

Emirates celebrates 20 years
October 26

Dubai-based Emirates Airline marks its 20th anniversary of successful operations.
Emirates' Chairman HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum said, "There's a sense that the airline has 'come of age', and with its solid grounding is ready to take on even bigger challenges as a leading player in global air transport."
Carrying some 12.5 million passengers and 838,000 tons of cargo last year, Emirates is the world's second most profitable and one of the 20 largest international carriers*. The airline has come a long way since 1985 when it had just three flights from Dubai - to Karachi, Mumbai and Delhi - operated by two leased aircraft.
Today, Emirates operates close to 200 scheduled flights per day around its network which covers 77 cities in 54 countries - an average of one flight taking off or landing every eight minutes.

Sheikh Ahmed said, "The springboard for our success has been the vision and ambition of HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum. Since its inception, Emirates has experienced tremendous and consistent growth averaging over 20 per cent per year. In the past 20 years, we have flown more than 80 million passengers to their destinations, carried over 4.6 million tons of cargo, and as a group, contributed some $25 billion in both direct and indirect expenditure to the UAE economy.
"From the outset, our vision was to develop an international airline that maximized Dubai's geo-strategic location to connect people and cargo to their destinations quickly and conveniently. We are proud to have lived up to that goal, and we will continue to play our part in developing Dubai as a hub for air transport, tourism and commerce."
Financially self-sustained and unprotected, Emirates has consistently bucked industry trends to post record profits for the past 17 years. It is also investing in future growth with firm orders for 92 new wide-bodied aircraft including 45 super-jumbo Airbus A380s.
Sheikh Ahmed credited the airline's performance to having a strong customer focus; a solid long-term strategy supported by a steady management team; talented staff recruited from over 100 countries around the world; and a dynamic corporate culture that encourages innovation.
He added, "Our success is also intrinsically linked with Dubai. We are lucky to be based here, where a visionary government is investing billions of dollars to develop the city into a major center for commerce and tourism. Dubai grows at around 17 per cent annually, and by 2010 it expects to have five million residents and some 15 million visitors. Emirates needs to be ready to support and tap into this growth, and that is why we are investing heavily in our fleet, in technology and support infrastructure, as well as in recruiting and training the right people."
By 2012, Emirates expects to carry 33 million passengers annually on some 150 aircraft. To support its fast-expanding fleet, which increases by one new aircraft per month on average, Emirates is constructing a $353 million engineering center and a new jet engine testing facility. When completed next year, Emirates' engineering center will be one of the biggest civil aviation maintenance facilities in the world with eight hangars fully equipped to handle heavy and light maintenance for the airline's entire fleet including the soon-to-be-delivered A380.
Sheikh Ahmed said, "The future looks bright for Emirates, with opportunities brought about by Dubai's development as well as the steady growth in demand for air travel globally. We will continue to focus on innovation, quality and customer service; expand and strengthen our network to provide more air connections that will facilitate trade and tourism flows; and invest in advanced aircraft which are not only efficient to operate but will also allow our passengers to travel further, in greater comfort."
Being based in Dubai, where over 110 airlines compete freely in an open skies regime, Emirates has honed its skills and abilities to stay at the cutting-edge of customer service. It also challenges the airline to keep finding new ways of operating more efficiently while delivering a superior experience to its customers.
An industry trailblazer from its early days, the airline has already marked several "firsts" in its relatively short history including - the first to introduce personal in-seat television screens in all classes across its entire fleet in 1992; first to operate the ultra-long haul A340-500 aircraft in 2003; first to offer "live" BBC news headlines on board; and first to introduce the concept of privacy suites in its luxurious First Class service.
The airline currently employs 15,800 staff, and operates services to 77 cities in 54 countries via its fleet of 81 wide-bodied jets. Between the beginning of last year and early next year Emirates will have launched services to a dozen new cities and increased frequencies to more than 30 existing destinations. New destinations to be introduced in coming months include Hamburg and Beijing.

*The World Airline Rankings - Airline Business August 2005
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Old October 29th, 2005, 05:48 PM   #86
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Kuwait's first private airline to launch maiden flight

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 29 (AFP) - Kuwait's first private, low-fare airline -- Jazeera Airways -- will make its maiden commercial flight on Sunday, the company's vice president for operations Adel al-Barges said Saturday.

"The first flight will be to Dubai on Sunday evening and will be followed by regular flights immediately afterwards," to Bahrain, Damascus, Amman and Beirut, Barges told AFP.

The airline's operation includes daily flights from Kuwait City to Dubai, Beirut, Damascus and Manama, and three flights a week to Amman. It also plans to operate to Egypt, India and southeast Asia at a later stage.

Jazeera initially planned to start operations in February using two leased planes, but the airline later decided to delay its launch until it receives its own aircraft.

The company on Monday took delivery of one of four Airbus A320s it has ordered. The second plane is due to arrive next week while the remaining two are scheduled for delivery next June.

Jazeera was established in May 2004 as a shareholding company with a capital of 34 million dollars, 30 percent of which is owned by a group of core founders while the rest was offered to the public on May 26.

The airline was founded by Boodai Group, a leading Kuwaiti business group which has key investments in the media, transport and aviation sectors.

The Kuwaiti government in November 2003 opened up the domestic aviation sector to competition by allowing the private sector to establish low-fare passenger and cargo airlines to compete with the state-owned loss-making Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC).

A second private aviation company for cargo is being established.

The decision came after the Gulf Arab emirates of Sharjah and Abu Dhabi in 2003 began operating their own airlines, with Sharjah's Air Arabia billed as the first no frills carrier in the Middle East.

Jazeera is offering fares for as little as 40 percent of the normal rate in the emirate. Travellers in Kuwait can fly to Manama one way for 34 dollars.

KAC reacted to Jazeera's launch by offering a 50 percent discount to the new airline's five destinations for a period of one month starting November 5.

The move was seen by local observers as a price war against the new company but Barges told AFP that the market is open for various operators.

KAC has incurred a loss almost every year in the past decade and its total accumulated deficits have reached hundreds of millions of dollars.
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Old November 5th, 2005, 05:14 AM   #87
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IFC Studies plan to privatize Royal Jordananian Airlines

WASHINGTON, Nov 4 (Reuters) - The World Bank's private-sector lending arm on Friday said it has been appointed by the Jordanian government to study the viability of privatizing Royal Jordanian Airlines.

"Royal Jordanian has made progress, but there is a strong role for the private sector to play in helping it compete in the international aviation sector and improve service to travelers," said Moh'd Abu Hammour, chairman of Jordan's executive privatization committee.

The airline, which began operations in 1963, now serves more than 50 cities in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, North America and Asia, with a fleet of 17 Airbus jets and 10 more on order.

The study will be undertaken by the IFC's technical assistance facility that supports private sector development in the Middle East and North Africa (PEP-MENA)

"The development of Royal Jordanian Airlines will provide a solid foundation for Jordan to compete in the global market," said Jesper Kjaer, the IFC's general manager for PEP-MENA.

Separately, the IFC said it has been appointed by the Algerian government as lead advisor to assist in mobilizing private sector participation in operations of the Houari Boumediene Airport in Algiers.
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Old November 6th, 2005, 03:38 AM   #88
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Emirates and Korean Air Partner Seoul Route
November 1st

From October 30, the two-way codeshare will offer passengers of both airlines greater schedule flexibility and choice, with Korean Air's passengers now able to travel on Emirates' daily non-stop flights between Dubai and Seoul. Similarly, Emirates' passengers between the two cities have the choice of traveling by Korean Air on its scheduled thrice-weekly non-stop services. Both airlines will book passengers under its own code and flight number, deploying their own sales channels, including agents and global distribution systems.
The agreement also forms the basis for members of both airlines' frequent flyer programs to earn Miles, traveling on either airline, on the Dubai-Seoul route. The partnership also provides members the opportunity to use their Miles to redeem free flights on either airline's network.
Richard Vaughan, Senior Vice President Commercial Operations East Asia and Australasia said, "The new codeshare agreement with Korean Air exemplifies Emirates' philosophy of forging strategic partnerships on key routes. It paves the way to offer our passengers, wanting to travel to South Korea, with greater choice and flexibility.
"Emirates' non-stop Dubai-Seoul service, which was launched in May this year, has proved extremely popular, with above-average seat loads that have exceeded our expectations. We are very pleased with this codeshare agreement and are confident that the Emirates-Korean partnership will be extremely successful in the coming months."
Jong Hee Lee, President and COO of Korean Air said, "We are delighted to partner with Emirates on the Seoul-Dubai route. Tourism, travel and trade are on the upswing between the two countries and the codeshare agreement will increase our frequency spread on the route to 10 weekly flights. Both Korean Air and Emirates look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship."
This codeshare agreement comes fast on the heels of Emirates SkyCargo's agreement with Korean Air Cargo to share cargo capacity on the latter's weekly Boeing 747 freighter flights from Mumbai and Delhi.
Over the years, South Korea and the UAE have consolidated their relationship by signing several official agreements for political and economic cooperation. Trade between the two countries have flourished in the last couple of years, standing at more than $10 billion in 2004, with the UAE being the second-largest oil provider to Korea and the largest export market in the Middle East.
The major Korean export items to the UAE include automobiles; mechanical, steel and chemical products; communication and electronic goods; and household items and ready-made garments. The UAE exports oil, oil-related products and aluminum to Korea.

Flight Details
Emirates launched daily non-stop flights between Dubai and Seoul on May 1 with flight EK322 operated by its wide-bodied Airbus A340-300 offering a total of 267 seats - 12 First, 42 Business and 213 Economy Class seats. The flight departs at 3:00 a.m. and arrives in Incheon International Airport at 4:25 p.m.; turns around at 12:30 a.m. the next day and arrives in Dubai at 5:50 a.m. All time local.
Korean Air serves Dubai with an Airbus A330-200 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Flight KE951 departs at 9:15 p.m. from Incheon International Airport and reaches Dubai at 3:25 a.m. the next day. Flight KE952 departs from Dubai at 4:00 p.m. and arrives in Seoul at 5:50 a.m. the next day. All times local.
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Old November 6th, 2005, 08:00 PM   #89
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01st Nov 2005
Emirates Gives Away 100 FIFA World Cup Tickets to Skywards Members
Corporate Press Release



Emirates is introducing the distinctive logo of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ on all its aircraft.

Emirates, the Dubai-based international airline, is giving away 50 pairs of 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ tickets to Skywards members to see their favourite team play in the first round matches.

The tickets will be given to 50 members* who earn the most tier miles when they fly on Emirates from now until 15th December 2005.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Executive Vice President Commercial Operations Worldwide, said: “Emirates is the first-ever airline to become an official partner of the FIFA World Cup. We believe that sponsoring such high-profile sporting events connects the airline with our customers and lets us share their passion.

“Therefore, we are very pleased to offer our most frequent flyers the chance to see their teams play in one of the world’s biggest sporting events for free.”

Skywards members earn tier miles on an annual basis whenever they fly with Emirates or SriLankan Airlines. Tier miles help members progress through the membership tiers from Blue to Silver and Gold and are earned at a rate of one tier mile per mile flown in Economy Class, one and a half tier miles per mile flown in Business and two tier miles per mile flown in First Class.

Less than a year away, the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ is eagerly awaited by football fans who follow the sport in 123 countries around the world, and who will be cheering on their home teams in action-packed matches across Germany.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 07:31 PM   #90
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Baghdad-Tehran flights halted

TEHRAN, Nov 14 (AFP) - A new passenger jet link between Baghdad and Tehran has been halted until further notice just over a week after an historic opening flight, officials said Monday.

Iraqi Airways had been supposed to fly into the Iranian capital twice a week but a spokesman for Iran's state aviation organisation, Reza Jafarzadeh, told AFP that "they faxed us and told us that the route has been postponed."

Jafarzadeh said the problem was not from the Iranian side, even though Iran was waiting for a response from Iraqi aviation officials to start flights to Baghdad.

The inaugural Iraqi Airways flight to Tehran took place on November 6, the first since the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980.
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Old November 19th, 2005, 02:34 AM   #91
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Thursday November 17, 9:33 PM
Dubai hosts airshow despite industry woes, terror threats

DUBAI (AFP) - Dubai will host a major air exhibition amid relentless competition by the world's jet makers for a slice of a booming regional market that has defied surging fuel prices and terror threats.

Authorities in the booming city state boasted Wednesday that the ninth edition of the Dubai Air Show, which was last held in 2003, will be 25 percent bigger this year, with nearly 10,000 square meters more (108,000 square feet) exhibition space.

The four-day event will open Sunday at a sprawling expo centre next to the airport bringing together 726 exhibitors from 46 countries, organisers say.

It is also attracting more players and officials from the defence and military aviation industries than previous years.

"This ... justifies our claim that it is the fastest-growing airshow in the fastest-growing aviation region," said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, head of Dubai's civil aviation department and chairman of flagship carrier Emirates.

Nearly 7.5 billion dollars (6.4 billion euros) in deals were inked at the last show, including three billion dollars (2.5 billion euros) in orders for Airbus jets by Qatar, another rich Gulf emirate flush with cash from growing natural gas sales.

The already fierce competition between Europe's Airbus Industries and Boeing of the United States is expected to be taken to another level this year given the area's growth prospects.

Dubai, Qatar and even Abu Dhabi -- the richest of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates and owner of fast-growing Etihad Airways -- have ambitions to become regional hubs linking Europe to Asia, Australia and Africa.

Global passenger traffic grew by 8.3 percent in the first nine months of 2005, while the Middle East registered growth of 15.3 percent, according to the International Air Transport Association.

The biggest passenger and freight growth over the next five years will be seen on the Middle East to Asia route, and Qatar will rank in the top five countries for international traffic, IATA said.

Airlines in the oil-rich region have been unfazed by the near doubling of oil prices this year, which drove two US carriers into bankruptcy protection in September.

Emirates, which is owned by Dubai, posted net profit of 251 million dollars (216 million euros) for the first six months of 2005, a gain of seven percent on a year earlier, thanks to a cheap-to-use modern airport and low operating costs in the form of cheap labour and a tax free economy.

Sheikh Ahmed bristles at the suggestion that the airline weathered the high fuel costs because of state subsidies.

"I think everybody is in the same boat and it depends on the airline," he said.

Betting on the region's potential, the company has ordered 45 new Airbus A380 super jumbos capable of carrying 555 passengers.

Airbus will also promote its future long-haul A350, which has already secured a 60-unit order from Qatar Airways.

Not to be outdone, Boeing will showcase its 777-200LR, which set a record by completing a 23-hour nonstop flight from Hong Kong to London on November 10.

"The Middle East is very important to Boeing," said Todd Hullin, a senior spokesman for the company, which has named a new president in Saudi Arabia and opened a regional office in Dubai.

Growth in the region's countries, which are enjoying a record windfall from soaring fuel prices, has also been unaffected by the war raging in Iraq and the threat from terror groups like Al-Qaeda.

Officials in Dubai said they have beefed up security for the show in the aftermath of last week's suicide bombings in Amman which killed 58 people.

"We are prepared for every contingency," said Major General Mohammed Sweidan, who is in charge of security for the show.
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Old November 19th, 2005, 11:00 AM   #92
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Emirates fully painted A380
19th of November 2005

The city’s residents and the international visitors for the Dubai 2005 – 9th International Aerospace Exhibition are in for a colossal treat this year as the Airbus A380 super-jumbo, resplendent in Emirates’ full livery, will for the very first time fly over the city and its iconic beachfront at low altitudes, between 09:00 and 11:00 hours on 19th November. This will also mark the first time the A380 sports any airline’s full livery.
Emirates, the world’s largest customer for the aircraft and Airbus, the manufacturer of the world’s largest commercial airliner the A380-800, have teamed up to bring the massive 600+ seater specifically for the Dubai Air Show.
Set to become a familiar sight in Dubai’s skies from 2007, when Emirates begins to receive the first of its 45 A380s on order, the aircraft will mark its debut appearance in the entire region of the Middle East, Africa and the Indian subcontinent, which have a combined population of more than two billion people.
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Emirates’ Chairman said: “The A380’s test flight to Dubai is historic and significant for the entire region. It underpins the impressive profile Emirates and Dubai have created in the international arena. Dubai’s residents and visitors will now have a fantastic preview of the future of long-haul air travel as the massive A380 takes to the skies".

Pics thanks to airliners.net


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Old November 20th, 2005, 08:12 AM   #93
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DUBAI, 20 November 2005 — Dubai’s flagship carrier Emirates is expected to announce a major order worth up to $6 billion (5.17 billion euros) for Boeing’s new long-haul 777 aircraft, industry sources said yesterday.

“They will announce a substantial order tomorrow (Sunday),” one source told AFP. “I cannot give an exact figure, but there has been a lot of speculation and I heard talk of around six billion dollars,” said the source.

The deal comes on the eve of a major air show opening in Dubai amid relentless competition by the world’s passengers jet makers for a slice of a booming regional market that has defied surging fuel prices and terror threats. Early yesterday, Boeing’s competitor, Europe’s Airbus Industries, promoted its A380 superjumbo, the world’s biggest passenger jet, with a maiden Middle East flight landing in Dubai.

Emirates will begin to receive the first of its 45 A380s on order in 2007.
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Old November 20th, 2005, 05:30 PM   #94
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Kuwait Airways turns small H1 operating profit



KUWAIT, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Debt-ridden state carrier Kuwait Airways Corp. [KA.UL] posted operating earnings of 3 million dinars ($10.3 million) for the six months to September 30, its chairman Sheikh Talal Mubarak al-Sabah said on Sunday.

"The corporation would have achieved operating profits of up to 12.2 million dinars in the first six months if it wasn't for the rise in fuel expenses, which hit 30 million dinars due to the fuel price hike," said Sheikh Talal.

No comparative figures were given for year-ago earnings.

He also told state news agency KUNA total revenues rose to 128.8 million dinars in the first half of the fiscal year, which ends in March 2006, from 113.4 million dinars a year ago.

He attributed the increase to a rise in passenger revenues, rising profitability of subsidiaries and lower interest payments on loans.

Sheikh Talal said expenses rose 9.4 percent year-on-year to 152.6 million dinars, partly due to higher fuel costs.

In July, he had said losses for the year to March 2006 may rise to 40 million dinars from a previous estimate of 28 million if fuel prices remain high.

Kuwait Airways is heavily in debt as it is still paying for a new fleet, purchased after the 1991 Gulf War, which includes 15 Airbus and two Boeing 777s. The carrier lost nearly 85 percent of its assets during the seven-month Iraqi occupation that was ended by U.S.-led forces.

The last year Kuwait Airways made money was fiscal 2000, when it logged a $77 million profit -- partly from compensation for Gulf War losses.
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Old November 20th, 2005, 05:32 PM   #95
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Kuwait's Low-Fare Jazeera Airways Orders 6 Airbus A320s
20 November 2005

DUBAI (Dow Jones)--Kuwait's Jazeera Airways Sunday said it agreed to buy six Airbus (ABI.YY) A320s, bringing the total number of that aircraft type in its fleet to 10.

Chief Executive Marwan Boodai said in a statement that each plane would carry 165 people in a single-class layout.

The no-frills carrier expects to take receipt of the new planes sometime between 2007 and 2010. No value for the order was given.

Jazeera, the region's first privately-held airline, said its long-term strategy was to only operate the A320 on its largely regional routes.

The carrier, which began operating flights in October, plans to double its services to its current destinations Damascus, Beirut, Dubai and Bahrain. The low-cost carrier hopes to start services to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Indian subcontinent in the future, but has not given precise dates for when these routes will open.

- By Simeon Kerr, Dow Jones Newswires
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Old November 20th, 2005, 05:33 PM   #96
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Saudi private airline orders 10 Airbus business jets

DUBAI, Nov 20 (AFP) - A Saudi private airline specialising in executive transport said it has ordered 10 Airbus A318 Elite business jets, on the sidelines of the Dubai Air Show which opened Sunday.

Jeddah-based National Air Services (NAS) said in a statement it has made a firm commitment to purchase five A318 Elites and has taken an option for five additional aircraft.

NAS plans to use the aircraft, which can seat between 14 and 18 people, for VIP customers throughout the Middle East, including routes from Saudi Arabia to Europe, it said.

NAS is the largest private operator of business jets in the Middle East with 28 aircraft in its fleet today.

Airbus introduced the A318 Elite, which has a range of up to 4,000 nautical miles, earlier this month.
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Old November 20th, 2005, 05:42 PM   #97
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Qatar Airways Announces Hong Kong As New Route
15 November 2005
Corporate Press Release

World Travel Market, LONDON – Qatar Airways has announced plans to launch scheduled flights to Hong Kong at the beginning of the Summer 2006 season.

The daily flights will operate non-stop from the airline’s hub of Doha, capital of State of Qatar, from March 26 next year.

Hong Kong is one of the world’s most glamorous destinations offering breathtaking views and exciting attractions such as the recently-opened Disneyland. Tourism authorities have designated 2006 as Discover Hong Kong Year, adding more impetus to Qatar Airways’ decision to launch flights to the region.

Hong Kong will become Qatar Airways’ 12th Far East destination that already covers Osaka, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, Manila, Cebu, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Yangon and Jakarta.

In the year that Qatar celebrates being host country of the 15th Asian Games in Doha in December 2006, Qatar Airways is targeting Asia as a growth area for new routes and increased capacity on existing services. Qatar Airways is also the official airline of the Games.

Announcing the new Hong Kong route during a press conference at World Travel Market in London, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the special administrative region of China was a buoyant market that appealed strongly to both leisure and business travellers.

“Hong Kong is a key financial, business and leisure centre which is a must for any airline to serve – and Qatar Airways is no exception,” he said, addressing a press conference in the British capital.

“We are delighted to put Hong Kong on our global map from March next year and pleased to announce that it will be our first Asian service to feature our brand new inflight service.

“Passengers will experience the best levels of inflight comfort and service seen anywhere in the aviation industry. This new service ethos that has already been introduced on the London Heathrow – Doha route will be gradually rolled out on other routes over the next few months.”

Once home to fishermen and farmers, today’s Hong Kong is a city bustling with nightlife, and is a commercial, financial, and vibrant metropolis that merges Chinese and Western influences.

The former British colony became a special administrative region of China in 1997 when Britain’s 99-year lease of the New Territories, north of Hong Kong island, expired.

Added Al Baker: “Hong Kong is spending a lot of money and resource during 2006 and we are only too pleased to be able to launch our flights to this wonderful destination during Discover Hong Kong Year. Hong Kong fits nicely into our growth strategy to serve key capital and secondary cities around the world.”

Qatar Airways currently flies to 67 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and the Far East. With its codeshare partners, the airline serves more than 80 destinations worldwide. Qatar Airways today launched flights to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, while services to the Spanish capital Madrid start on December 2, followed two weeks later on December 15 with flights starting to the German capital, Berlin.

The Hong Kong route will be operated with the modern Airbus A330-200 in a two–class configuration of Business and Economy. Business Class features up to 24 seats reclining 160 degrees in a 2-2-2 configuration, while Economy has 259 seats.

The Airbus A330-200 features Qatar Airways’ award-winning Audio Video On Demand system, allowing passengers in all three classes to choose from a list of more than 40 international movies, as well as short programmes to view on their individual TV screens.

Passengers can also listen to an extensive list of 250 CDs and 16 audio channels. In addition, there is a choice of 12 video games to play through the interactive TV screens.

Qatar Airways operates a fleet of 42 all-Airbus aircraft which will almost triple in size to 110 jets by 2015. The airline recently signed a letter of intent to acquire up to 60 of the new generation Airbus A350s. And it plans to acquire 20 Boeing 777s with a total value for both orders set to be worth US$15.2 billion.

Qatar Airways is one of a select-few airlines in the world ranked Five Star by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency. Skytrax also named Qatar Airways’ cabin crew as Best in the Middle East for the third year running recently and fifth best in the world following a survey of more than 12 million passengers worldwide.

During the 2004/2005 financial year, Qatar Airways carried 4.6 million passengers, up 35% on the previous 12-month period. Passenger numbers are projected to rise sharply in the 2005/2006 financial period to more than 6 million.
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 02:55 AM   #98
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Saudi private jet operator to launch low-cost carrier

DUBAI, Nov 21 (AFP) - A Saudi private airline specialising in executive transport announced Monday plans to launch a low-cost carrier next year to tap the potential of the so-far heavily regulated domestic market.

"We have designed a business plan and we are in the implementation stage of establishing a low-cost carrier," Mohammed al-Zeer, president and chief executive officer of National Air Services (NAS) told reporters at the Dubai Air show.

"This low-cost carrier will mainly serve the Saudi market."

He said the airline will start flying in the summer of 2006 between major cities including Riyadh and the Red Sea port city of Jeddah where NAS is based. It will operate with 16 planes by 2011, he added.

"The Saudi market is a tremendous market which has characteristics that are different from other markets," said Zeer. "It is an ideal environment for a low-cost carrier."

He said the company has already secured five different licenses required to operate scheduled and non-scheduled flights.

Although a royal decree in June 2003 broke a decades-old monopoly by state-owned Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) on domestic flights, the launch of other operators in the conservative kingdom has been slow.

Kuwait launched its own budget carrier Jazeera in October and Sharjah, a member of the United Arab Emirates federation, has been operating Air Arabia since 2003. Both focus mainly on flights to Arab capitals.

NAS on Sunday announced an order for 10 Airbus A318 Elite business jets.

The company is the largest private operator of business jets in the Middle East with 28 aircraft in its fleet today.
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Old November 30th, 2005, 07:17 AM   #99
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Turkey's Fly Air To Start Flights To North Iraq - Report
29 November 2005

ISTANBUL (AP)--Turkish low-cost airline Fly Air will begin regular flights to the northern Iraqi cities of Erbil and Sulaymaniyah by mid-December, Fly Air's director general told the Anatolia news agency Tuesday.

Fly Air plans to begin flights from Turkey to Erbil on Dec. 6 and to Sulaymaniyah on Dec. 14, Mehmet Hasancebi said. Both routes are planned to be flown three times a week, he said.

Fly Air began service in 2002 and currently owns nine planes. Hasancebi said the airline planned to buy two Brazilian-made Embraer 145s to be landed on smaller airports inaccessible to large aircraft.

Iraq was one of Turkey's most important trading partners before the first Gulf War in 1991 and the international embargo that followed. The two countries share a border, and Turkish businesses have been active in reconstruction efforts following the latest war.
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 01:40 AM   #100
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Jordan's Airline Bans Arabs From Flying To Baghdad
1 December 2005

AMMAN (AP)--Royal Jordanian Airlines (RJA.YY) has banned citizens of Arab nations from flying to Iraq on a request from the Iraqi government, turning away five Arabs Thursday, an airline official said.

The official said it wasn't known how long the ban was in place and gave no reason why Baghdad reqested it.

"Royal Jordanian received a memorandum from Iraq's passport department earlier in the day, demanding that no Arabs be allowed to travel by air to Baghdad unless they have prior clearance from the Iraqi government," the official said.

Royal Jordanian and Iraqi Airways are the only two airlines to make regular passenger flights from Jordan to Iraq. Officials at Iraqi Airways weren't immediately available for comment.
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