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Old October 5th, 2006, 02:43 AM   #161
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Iran: US to allow repairs to airplanes
4 October 2006

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - The U.S. will allow Iran to repair its aging fleet of airliners in a third country, Iranian state-run radio reported Wednesday.

Air accidents are frequent in Iran, where most passenger planes are 16 years old, on average. Tehran blames the accidents on U.S. sanctions that bar American companies from selling new aircraft to Iran. The country's 13 carriers have tried to upgrade their fleets with European aircraft, but the U.S. has pressured Europe not to sell.

Nearly 30 people died in September when a Russian-made Tuplev-154 caught fire on landing in northeastern Iran.

Western nations have offered to sell Iran new planes and spare parts as part of an incentives package aimed at getting Tehran to roll back its nuclear program. Iran says its nuclear activities are to generate fuel, not weapons, and it refuses to give up the program.

Iranian state-run radio said Wednesday that the United States had agreed to allow Iranian Airbus models to be repaired in a third country, but it did not specify where.

The broadcast also quoted the head of Iran's civil aviation organization, Nourollah Rezai Niaraki, as saying Iranian officials had recently complained to an international aviation group about Washington's sanctions.

"In recent meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization in Canada, we complained that the U.S. sanctions on Iranian civil aviation are against the law. The ICAO authorities promised to solve the case," Niaraki said.

He added that Iran was ready to work with American manufacturers to repair the planes.

After the news item, the radio aired a commentary criticizing the U.S. sanctions and their effect on Iranian aviation.

"Americans are trying to raise the difference between the Iranian nation and the Iranian government. This sort of activity will not improve the U.S. image in the minds of Iranian people," it said.

The country's main carrier, Iran Air, has seven Tupolevs in its 43-plane fleet. It also has seven Boeings bought before the 1979 Islamic revolution, and 28 European Airbus and Fokker aircraft.

The United States and Iran have not had diplomatic relations since the 1979 hostage standoff at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.
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Old November 29th, 2006, 05:34 PM   #162
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Private UAE airline to launch Eritrea-Kenya flights

ASMARA, Nov 29, 2006 (AFP) - A private airline from the United Arab Emirates announced plans Wednesday to begin flights between Eritrea and Kenya, opening a route now unserved due to tight Eritrean currency restrictions.

UAE-based Nasair said it would begin twice-weekly flights from Asmara to Nairobi via Khartoum on December 5, linking Eritrea to its main east African neighbors for the first time in years.

"Initially, we will have two return flights a week," Sultan Saleh, Nasair's manager in Eritrea, told AFP, adding that the number could grow depending on demand.

The flights are seen as an important transport boost for Eritrea, which is isolated and difficult to reach from much of the rest of Africa.

Travellers must currently take a complicated route via Sudan, Egypt, Yemen or Dubai to reach Eritrea, which is now served by just five airlines: Lufthansa, Egyptair, Yemenia, Eritrean Airlines and Saudia Airlines.

In April, Kenya's rapidly expanding national carrier Kenya Airways scrapped its proposed Nairobi-Asmara service, complaining that Eritrea's currency restrictions would negate any profitability.

Nasair is also hoping to begin internal flights in Eritrea with proposed daily service between Asmara and the Red Sea port of Massawa and thrice-weekly flights from the capital to the port of Assab, it said.

"It is big plus for us that they are beginning to start," said Araya Tsegay of the Eritrean Free Zones authority that runs two newly opened tax-free areas in Massawa and Assab. "We have some way to go in terms of transport of cargo."
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Old December 7th, 2006, 03:54 AM   #163
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Saudi gives go-ahead for first private airline

RIYADH, Dec 6, 2006 (AFP) - Saudi authorities have authorised business travel specialist National Air Services (NAS) to launch the kingdom's first private domestic airline, the company said Wednesday.

The company will operate as a low-cost carrier and is the first to be awarded a licence since a 2003 royal decree ended state-owned Saudi Arabian Airlines' monopoly on domestic flights.

The new airline, whose name is as yet undecided, will begin operating early next year, a statement said, with five aircraft flying to 22 Saudi destinations from Riyadh. The company hopes for its fleet to reach 18 aircraft by 2010.

Founded by private Saudi investors in 1999, NAS is the biggest private business travel operator in the Middle East, with 33 aircraft, the statement said.
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Old December 10th, 2006, 10:49 AM   #164
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Emirates to increase flights to Bangladesh

DHAKA, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Dubai-based Emirates [EMAIR.UL] airline plans to add three more weekly flights to Dhaka raising the number to 14 from March 2007 as part of its plan to expand business in Bangladesh, an official of the airline said on Saturday.

"From March next, we will operate two Dhaka-Dubai flights daily," Emirates area manager Hanif Zakaria told a news conference. Currently Emirates operate 11 flights to Dhaka every week.

Emirates commenced services to Dhaka, its seventh destination, in October 1986, and was celebrating the 20th year anniversary in Bangladesh.

"We have decided to increase flights to accommodate more passengers to and from Bangladesh," he said, without giving any figure.
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Old December 12th, 2006, 04:48 PM   #165
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Saudi aviation firm to spend two billion dlrs on planes

RIYADH, Dec 12, 2006 (AFP) - Saudi private aviation firm NAS said Tuesday it plans to spend two billion dollars over the next four years on expanding its fleet to launch a low-price domestic service.

The expansion will include the purchase of 75 new aircraft by 2010, raising the overall number to more than 100 planes, National Air Services, a business travel specialist, said in a statement.

The new aircraft -- including Airbus, Gulfstream and Raytheon planes -- will "form the core of NAS's newly licensed low-cost carrier to be launched in early 2007", it said.

The company said the expansion would be financed by Saudi, regional, and international financial and leasing institutions.

NAS announced on December 6 that Saudi authorities had authorized it to launch the kingdom's first private domestic airline, under a 2003 royal decree that ended state-owned Saudi Arabian Airlines' monopoly on domestic flights.

The new airline, whose name is as yet undecided, will begin operating early next year, the company said at the time, with five aircraft flying to 22 Saudi destinations from Riyadh.

Founded by private Saudi investors in 1999, NAS says it is the Middle East's biggest private business travel operator, with a current fleet of 33 aircraft.
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Old December 18th, 2006, 06:38 PM   #166
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18th Dec 2006
EMIRATES TO LAUNCH VENICE FLIGHTS NEXT SUMMER

Emirates Airline will launch flights to Venice from 1st July 2007, using an Airbus A330-200


DUBAI, UAE, 18th December 2006 – Dubai-based Emirates Airline today announced it will launch non-stop services to the city of Venice, its third Italian destination after Milan and Rome, from 1st July 2007.

The service, initially five-times-a-week on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, will increase two months later to a daily service from 1st September 2007. Emirates will operate an Airbus A330-200 on the route offering 27 Business class seats, and 251 in Economy; plus 13 tonnes of bellyhold space for cargo.

Emirates' Dubai-Venice flight will create a new non-stop connection that is expected to foster a greater flow of tourism and business traffic between one of the Middle East's fastest-developing leisure and business hubs, and the thriving commercial region of Veneto in northern Italy.

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to expand our services to Italy and are pleased to offer a new direct link between Dubai and Venice.

"Venice is a popular tourism destination and an important gateway in northern Italy for commerce. Our new service will contribute to Italy’s many flourishing small and medium-sized businesses by providing increased access from Venice to other major cities around the globe via Dubai, and vice-versa. Our flights will also provide added capacity for the transportation of goods vital to Italian industries.”

He added: “We look forward to continue providing our Italian customers with excellent travel services, and to working with our industry partners to promote Venice around our global route network.”

Enrico Marchi, S.A.V.E. Venice Airport Chairman said: "Venice has long needed a non-stop connection to the Middle East, a region which is currently served only via European hubs. We are really pleased to welcome Emirates to Venice airport, and we believe the new service will satisfy the existing demand and generate even more traffic into Venice from the Middle and Far East."

Mr. Marchi added: "When new flights connecting Venice to North America were launched, we saw the number of passengers from this new source market increase five-fold, and we expect Emirates' new flight to Dubai to similarly boost traffic, particularly given Dubai's growing status as a transport hub."

Providing convenient connections to travellers flying Emirates from Africa, Asia and Australasia, flight EK135 is scheduled to depart Dubai at 09:45 hours, arriving in Venice at 14:15 hours on the same day. The return flight EK136 will leave Venice at 15:45 hours, arriving in Dubai at 23:35 hours that same evening.

Emirates Airline currently operates daily flights to Rome and Milan with wide-bodied Boeing 777 and Airbus 330-200 aircraft. One of the world’s fastest growing and most successful airlines, Emirates flies a modern fleet of 101 aircraft to 87 cities in 59 countries. In 2006, the airline introduced 11 new cities to its expanding global route network: Abidjan, Addis Ababa, Bangalore, Barcelona (cargo-only), Beijing, Hamburg, Kolkata, Lilongwe (cargo-only), Nagoya, Thiruvananthapuram and Tunis.
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 09:38 AM   #167
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IATA sees possible Gulf airport over-capacity -paper

DUBAI, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Gulf states may be building too much airport capacity and airlines could end up paying for facilities they don't need, officials of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) were on Saturday quoted as saying.

"In 2012, the 10 leading airports in the region will have a combined capacity of 320 million passengers," Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's director general, said in remarks published by the daily Gulf News.

"The IATA forecast ... projects 160 million passengers. Even if you captured the entire Asia-to-Europe market, that would only add another 110 million passengers," he said.

"Look at Southeast Asia - Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur have world-class hubs. Two are working to meet growing demand and one is struggling to attract traffic," he said.

"This is with a regional market of 3.5 billion people. The whole Mena (Middle East and North Africa) population is only 380 million. The critical question is: how do we make sure your emerging success story has a happy ending?"

The costs of the extra capacity, built by Gulf states whose economies are booming thanks to high oil prices, may be passed on to airlines that may be unable to carry enough passengers to pay for it.

"We do see revenue growth slowing, and we've got the extra capacity arriving, which is going to mean that it is going to be harder to maintain that profitability," IATA's chief economist, Brian Pearce, was quoted as saying.

While IATA has not recommended curbing expansion plans, it urges that development should be gradual. Gulf states will also need to open up their aviation sectors to draw more carriers.

"To fill the airports of the future, you will need maximum flexibility to develop new markets," Bisignani said. "Liberalisation must be part of that equation. It stimulates traffic and is a catalyst for economic growth."

Huraiz Al Mur, a Dubai civil aviation spokesman, told the newspaper that overcapacity was hardly a problem in the bustling emirate.

"Currently we are running out of capacity. We have seen double digit growth for past few years. We are always .... saturated and have capacity problems," Mur said.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 03:45 AM   #168
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Oman Air boosts capital, plans to acquire planes

MUSCAT, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Oman Aviation Services Co. , which operates Oman Air, approved a measure on Wednesday to nearly quadruple its capital to 50 million rials ($129.9 million) to expand operations and acquire new planes.

Oman Air CEO Ziad Karim al-Haremi said the airline will name a consultant to draw up a strategic plan for the airline that will include fleet expansion.

"The additional funds will be used for expanding our operation," Haremi told reporters. "The government wants the airline to be a vehicle to bring in more tourists."

"The ideal plane for our operation is an aircraft with 230-240 seats," he said, without elaborating.

Haremi was speaking after a shareholders' meeting ratified the capital increase from 13.28 million rials through a placement by the Gulf Arab state's government.

Some 36.72 million shares were being placed in favour of the government at a price of 1.546 rial each, increasing the state's stake in the airline to 81 percent from 34 percent, Haremi said.

"This will bring in an additional 56.77 million rials," he added.

Oman's national carrier has said it is planning to operate long-haul routes, necessitating the purchase of wide-bodied aircraft, to expand in a region which is home to some of the world's fastest growing airlines, such as Emirates [EMIR.UL] and Qatar Airways.

Oman Air, which flies to destinations in the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent, is planning to add flights to India's Lucknow and Jaipur this year.

"Our earlier plan to fly to Tehran and Damascus has been put on hold for the time being," Haremi said.

Oman Air's fleet consists of six Boeing Co. 737s and four ATR 42-500s.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 04:03 PM   #169
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Etihad Air sees profit by 2011 on Mideast demand

ABU DHABI, March 19 (Reuters) - United Arab Emirates-based Etihad Airways, which started operations in 2003, said on Sunday it expects to be profitable in four years amid a surge in air traffic demand in the Middle East.

"The next three years is consolidation and we are targeting 2010 to break even," Etihad Chief Executive James Hogan told reporters on the sidelines of an aviation conference in Abu Dhabi.

Middle East demand for air passenger services surged 18.1 percent in terms of passenger-kilometres last year, the fastest of any region in the world, according to the International Air Transport Association, which represents 250 airlines.

"In the Middle East we have seen double-digit growth and this will continue in 2007," Hogan told participants at the conference, without being more specific.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 11:42 PM   #170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
IATA sees possible Gulf airport over-capacity -paper

DUBAI, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Gulf states may be building too much airport capacity and airlines could end up paying for facilities they don't need, officials of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) were on Saturday quoted as saying.

"In 2012, the 10 leading airports in the region will have a combined capacity of 320 million passengers," Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's director general, said in remarks published by the daily Gulf News.

"The IATA forecast ... projects 160 million passengers. Even if you captured the entire Asia-to-Europe market, that would only add another 110 million passengers," he said.

"Look at Southeast Asia - Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur have world-class hubs. Two are working to meet growing demand and one is struggling to attract traffic," he said.

"This is with a regional market of 3.5 billion people. The whole Mena (Middle East and North Africa) population is only 380 million. The critical question is: how do we make sure your emerging success story has a happy ending?"

The costs of the extra capacity, built by Gulf states whose economies are booming thanks to high oil prices, may be passed on to airlines that may be unable to carry enough passengers to pay for it.

"We do see revenue growth slowing, and we've got the extra capacity arriving, which is going to mean that it is going to be harder to maintain that profitability," IATA's chief economist, Brian Pearce, was quoted as saying.

While IATA has not recommended curbing expansion plans, it urges that development should be gradual. Gulf states will also need to open up their aviation sectors to draw more carriers.

"To fill the airports of the future, you will need maximum flexibility to develop new markets," Bisignani said. "Liberalisation must be part of that equation. It stimulates traffic and is a catalyst for economic growth."

Huraiz Al Mur, a Dubai civil aviation spokesman, told the newspaper that overcapacity was hardly a problem in the bustling emirate.

"Currently we are running out of capacity. We have seen double digit growth for past few years. We are always .... saturated and have capacity problems," Mur said.

So what's really going on here? Emirates says it's not enough and IATA says it's too much capacity. Although I do love seen the growth of airlines and real estate in the region, it's hard for me to see how they can fill all of this with people.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 01:19 PM   #171
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Emirates says mulling low cost airline

DUBAI, April 26 (Reuters) - Emirates [EMAIR.UL], the largest Arab airline, is "thinking a bit" about starting a budget airline in the coming few years, the state-owned firm's vice chairman said on Tuesday.

"We are thinking a bit about it," said Maurice Flanagan. "It's something for the next few years. The (Airbus ) A380 could be a very good aircraft for that," he said without elaboration.

Emirates is a the biggest client for the A380 with 43 aircraft on order. The airline said earlier on Thursday it was in talks for more A380s.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 10:38 AM   #172
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Dubai could gain from EU aviation carbon-trading plan: US official

DUBAI, April 26, 2007 (AFP) - Dubai's position as a global aviation hub could be enhanced if the European Union introduces a carbon-trading scheme for aircraft, the head of the US civil aviation regulator said on Thursday.

Marion Blakey, admininistrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, said more aircraft could begin using the airport as a hub to avoid the extra cost of the scheme.

"Dubai might benefit from the (carbon-trading) policy ... Air traffic could be diverted to it," she told reporters after meeting aviation officials in Dubai, a member of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Dubai has the busiest airport in the Middle East, handling almost 29 million passengers last year.

The European Commission has proposed including airlines in an emissions trading system, which currently only applies to power generators and energy-intensive industries.

The plan would see airlines landing and taking off in the EU participate in the scheme.

The emissions trading system puts a limit on the amount of carbon dioxide that energy-intensive companies can emit.

If a company overshoots its target, it must buy permits from companies that have undershot their pollution targets.

Dubai airport forecasts that it will handle 33 million passengers this year, rising to 70 million by 2008 through terminal expansion projects.

The facility handled a total of 237,258 flights in 2006, according to its website. It is connected to more than 194 destinations through a network of 113 international airlines.

Another Dubai airport, which aims to be the world's largest and to handle 120 million passengers a year, is now under construction.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 10:28 PM   #173
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Hi hkskyline,

Thank you very much for all your cool posts. They are very informative
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Old May 18th, 2007, 10:29 AM   #174
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EMIRATES’ SUMMER SURPRISES ARE HERE

DUBAI, U.A.E., 17th May 2007 – Emirates’ passengers looking forward to the Dubai Summer Surprises packages will be delighted to know that weeks of fun and excitement can be theirs from as little as US$50.

Valid from 21st June until 31st August 2007, the packages must be booked for a minimum of three nights and offer customers a choice of 14 city and beach hotels in various price-brackets. Prices include all accommodation-related taxes and service charges and are available to all Emirates’ passengers regardless of class of travel.

As part of the packages, customers are treated to a personalised meet-and-assist service on arrival at Dubai International Airport. They also receive an Arabian Adventures Welcome Pack including a special discount voucher booklet for Wafi City, one of Dubai’s premier malls. First and Business Class passengers receive chauffeur-driven transfers between Dubai International Airport and the hotel.

Customers will be pleased to know that they also receive an additional 10 kg free baggage allowance on return/onward flights from Dubai to accommodate all the great DSS bargain shopping they do.

For the uninitiated, Dubai Summer Surprises is the summer counterpart of the popular Dubai Shopping Festival. For ten weeks, malls take on a carnival-like atmosphere with some of them adopting special themes. This year, each DSS event will last the whole ten weeks, unlike in the past where one week was dedicated to one event. The festival has a family emphasis focusing on both fun and education.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Emirates’ Executive Vice President Commercial Operations Worldwide, said: “DSS is a rich mix of entertainment, learning for the children and great shopping for their parents. It is not surprising that visitor numbers are growing as word about the festival spreads far and wide.

“Emirates has put together some irresistible packages as part of our worldwide drive to promote Dubai and the DSS. We invite our customers to be part of the fun and entertainment by availing these great deals. We have been sponsoring the event since its inception in 1998, re-enforcing our commitment to Dubai’s trade and tourism initiatives.”

Visitor figures show DSS is growing in popularity year on year. Statistics of DSS 2006 show a huge increase in the number of regional and global visitors over the previous year. Shopping promotions have proved to be a major attraction every year with most malls offering the chance to win attractive prizes.

Emirates flies to 89 destinations in more than 59 countries and is promoting the event worldwide with a full-scale PR and advertising campaign.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 11:31 AM   #175
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Iran to shift international flights to new airport

TEHRAN, April 26, 2007 (AFP) - Iran is seeking to move all Tehran's international flights from the end of next month to a new and still under-used airport outside the city, the Fars news agency reported on Thursday.

Transport Minister Mohammad Rahmati said owing to an increase in domestic traffic, international flights would switch from the central Mehrabad airport to Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA), some 30 kilometres (18 miles) south of the city.

"Since the number of domestic flights from Mehrabad airport has increased and it has a limited capacity, all international flights will be moved by the end of May 22," Rahmati was quoted as saying.

"We are seriously pursuing this plan and many of the international flights have already moved to the IKIA," he added.

However Western airlines in Tehran said that they had not been informed of the decision and emphasised it would be almost impossible to shift their operations in such a short time.

"We are not aware of such a decision," said a representative of Italy's Alitalia, who asked not to be named. A British Airways official said: "We have not heard such a thing from the authorities."

IKIA, named after Iran's revolutionary leader, has had a turbulent history since its opening in 2004 as the Islamic republic's showpiece airport and a hub intended to rival Dubai.

When it first opened in May that year, Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards moved in to shut it down over their objections to the involvement of a Turkish-led consortium in the project.

The Guards said the consortium had business dealings with Iran's arch enemy Israel, making it a danger to national security.

Even when the first flight touched down in May 2005, Britain and Canada told their citizens to use flights from Mehrabad amid concerns about runway safety at IKIA.

Currently all major European airlines operting in Iran such as British Airways, Lufthansa and Air France use Mehrabad airport. Iran has no direct airline links to North America and IKIA is currently only used by carriers to the Middle East and Asia.

Dubai-based Emirates is among the few foreign carriers to use the new airport and even at busy times it appears spookily empty with the spaces intended for dozens of duty-free shops and cafes still unused.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 04:47 PM   #176
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Jordan's national carrier signs a deal to buy and lease 12 Boeing aircraft
20 May 2007

SOUTHERN SHUNEH, Jordan (AP) - Jordan's national carrier signed a deal with Boeing to buy or lease 12 aircraft to modernize its fleet, the airline's director-general said Sunday.

Royal Jordanian airways has bought four Boeing 787s and will lease another eight, said General Manager Same Majali.

The $1.5-billion deal was signed on the sidelines of the three-day World Economic Forum being held in southern Jordan.

The deal marked the first time Royal Jordanian has bought planes from the Chicago-based Boeing corporation, Majali said. Royal Jordanian's fleet is mostly comprised of Airbus jets.

The Boeing deal will bring to 30 the number of planes flown by the Jordanian airline.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 08:07 PM   #177
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Qatar Airways to increase Muscat flights
Published: Monday, 19 March, 2007, 08:22 AM Doha Time

QATAR Airways will increase services to Muscat with two daily flights from March 25. The airline currently operates 11 weekly flights to Oman’s capital with Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft in a two-class configuration of first and economy.
“With the economies in the GCC rapidly expanding, convenient travel options are becoming vital for many of the region’s business travellers,” Ali Abdul Khaliq, Qatar Airways’ regional manager (Arabian Peninsula), said in Muscat yesterday.
“The volume of traffic between Qatar and Oman continues to grow. We anticipate that the increased frequency of flights will provide more convenience for passengers and further facilitate closer ties between the two countries. Doha is also growing in prominence as a regional hub, feeding passenger traffic from Europe, Africa and the Middle East, through the Gulf states and beyond,” he said.
Khaliq said the increase in the number of flights between Doha and Muscat would give more passengers the opportunity to use Qatar Airways’ new Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport. The terminal is for exclusive use of Qatar Airways’ first and business class passengers departing from Doha or transiting through the city.
Muscat is one of over a dozen existing Qatar Airways destinations that will see an increase in frequency in flights, the airline said in Doha yesterday.
From this summer, the airline will also introduce several new routes to its growing network including Bali, Chennai, Geneva, Ho Chi Minh City, New York, Stockholm and Washington DC, taking its destination tally to 79 cities worldwide.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 08:14 PM   #178
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Qatar Airways set for NY and Washington
by Safura Rahimi on Wednesday, 02 May 2007

Qatar Airways is set to fly to Washington DC and New York, in a move that will expand its international network with first-time services to the US, it was announced on Wednesday.

The company will fly to the US capital starting July 19 and will add four-times-weekly flights to New York - via Geneva - beginning June 28, as part of the seven cities being added to the airline's summer expansion programme.

"Qatar Airways is preparing for its biggest route launches of the year with both New York and Washington DC coming online this summer," Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, said at the Arabian Travel Market event in Dubai.

We are extremely excited to widen our reach to the United States and offer the travelling public a long-awaited service between the Middle East and US east coast," he added.

Commenting on the six month delay of the airline's US launches - the launch was first expected in January - Mr. Al Baker claimed that the airline was ready but that US regulations pushed back the launch date.

"I don't want to blame the US," he said. "They went into an experience [9/11] that I hope no one else in the world goes through, [and] they have to be more careful about all regulatory policies being completed."

"It's fair to say we would have liked the process to be more efficient," he added.

Qatar Airways joins UAE carriers Emirates and Etihad Airways in offering services from the Middle East to the US, a move that will offer connections to and from the GCC markets.

Mr. Al Baker also announced that the airline is stepping up its frequency on the Doha-Dubai route with an additional daily flight, saying, "[we] recognises the importance of key neighbouring markets like the UAE to feed traffic onto its network."

The move means a total of eight daily flights and 56 weekly flights between the two cities.

Qatar Airways currently flies to 75 worldwide destinations from its hub in Doha, including Dar es Salaam, Lagos, Chennai, Bali and Ho Chi Minh City.

The airline's fleet is set to more than double in size to 110 aircraft by 2015 as it plans to buy 80 Airbus A350s and 22 Boeing 777s, with deliveries beginning this November.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 08:30 PM   #179
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Qatar Airways to fly to South America in 2008
Published: Sunday, 13 May, 2007, 09:04 AM Doha Time

Business Reporter
Qatar Airways will fly to South America next year, the airline’s chief executive officer, Akbar al-Baker, has said.
However, al-Baker did not disclose the first South American destination the national carrier will add to its network.
“We will certainly begin our operations to South America in 2008,” he said on the sidelines of a meeting organised by the UK-based Guild of Travel Management Companies at the Four Seasons yesterday.
Al-Baker said Australia was another destination Qatar Airways was looking at in the short to medium-term.
“We are waiting to receive enough planes that give us the capability to fly long range. We set our priorities based on that. We hope to go to Australia but we do not know when,” he said.
Al-Baker said Qatar Airways New York service would become daily by 2008-end. The airline begins operations to the Liberty International Airport at Newark near New York on June 26 with four flights a week through Geneva.
Currently only four flights a week could be operated to Newark through Geneva because the Swiss authorities had given Qatar Airways only “staggered incremental traffic rights”.
“The Swiss authorities have given us the staggered incremental traffic rights to protect their national carrier’s interests. Nevertheless, we hope to add one more service this winter and the sixth weekly service to Newark by mid-2008. By next year end we will be flying to Newark daily,” al-Baker said.
Washington DC will be the second destination for Qatar Airways in the US. Daily non-stop flights to Washington DC will be flagged off on July 19.
Qatar Airways currently flies to some 75 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Far East and the subcontinent.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 07:20 PM   #180
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EMIRATES STEPS UP OPERATIONS TO RAINBOW NATION

Emirates, one of the fastest-growing global airlines will introduce its third daily flight to the South African city every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. The additional frequencies will be operated by a two-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft offering 42 Business and 385 Economy Class seats together with industry-leading comforts such as mood lighting to minimise jet lag, and ice – the Emirates’ pioneered Information, Communication and Entertainment system offering 600 channels of entertainment.

Nasser bin Kherbash, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Commercial Operations Africa said: “There is a strong and growing demand for convenient air travel connections between South Africa and cities in the Middle East. Emirates is delighted to be launching four additional services and stepping up its Johannesburg presence to 18 weekly flights, enabling us to better service our customers’ travel needs.”

The extra flights will introduce over 1700 seats and 66-plus tonnes of cargo capacity per week per direction, benefiting traders and businessmen in the UAE and South Africa; both primary trading and distribution hubs for their respective regions.”

“The UAE offers immense potential not only as a regional hub of trade and commerce but also as the biggest re-export centre in the Middle East. An ideal staging post for business ventures, the UAE and in particular Dubai stands connected to bigger markets beyond with Emirates’ 158 weekly flights to 12 key Middle Eastern gateways.”

South African exports to the UAE, its 22nd largest export destination, comprise gold, metals, steel, minerals and foodstuff, and have been growing annually at 40 percent to touch Dhs 2.04 billion (Rand 3.98 billion) in 2006.

In the reverse direction, the UAE’s exports to South Africa, comprising machinery, transportation equipment, electronic and home appliances have grown at nearly 50 percent per year.

Emirates’ services will also help to boost the promising growth in tourism between the two countries. “South Africa, one of the top holiday destinations for UAE’s leisure travellers, offers outstandingly beautiful scenery, spectacular wildlife parks with big game opportunities, top-of-the-line holiday resorts such as the Lost City and Sun City, and very good shopping – attributes that appeal to UAE-based travellers,” added Orhan Abbas, Emirates’ Regional Manager Southern Africa.

Likewise, Dubai has become a major attraction for South Africans visiting the emirate. In 2006 over 81,000 South African visitors stayed at Dubai’s hotels, bearing testimony to this trend.

Emirates’ increasing services will also positively impact and support the reciprocal skills enhancement programme which involves South African graduates travelling to the UAE to gain hands-on work experience in its booming business environment, and the UAE sending its nationals to South Africa on a reciprocal exchange programme.

Emirates flight EK 765 bound for Johannesburg will take off from Dubai at 14:40 hours every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, arriving at its destination at 20:50 hours. Return flight EK 766 will depart OR Thambo International Airport at 22:30 hours, arriving in Dubai at 08:30 hours next morning, in time to begin business.

UAE and South Africa:
The UAE was the first GCC country to establish its embassy in Pretoria in 1995.
Emirates commenced services to Johannesburg, South Africa in June 1995.
Almost 100 South African companies are present in the UAE.
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