In Brief


Transgulf opts for A320
The Airbus A320 has been chosen by Transgulf Express, the first airline in the UAE to operate this modern aircraft type.

Transgulf Express will be the first low-cost airline to operate in the Middle East, offering passengers an inexpensive ‘no frills’ alternative to the other Middle East carriers.
At its formal launch, the Sharjah-based airline signed an agreement with CATX for the lease of three A320s at the Le Bourget airshow in France.

Air India raises fares to Gulf
Air India has raised its fares from Thiruvananthapuram to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Muscat by 135 per cent, said a UAE report.
Just four days ago, Air India and foreign airlines operating in the Kerala-Gulf sector had increased the airfare to Rs12,970 ($284) from just Rs 8,000.
The one-way fare from Bombay to Dubai has gone up to Rs18,825 from Rs12,970, and the return fare from Thiruvananthapuram to Dubai and back is Rs 21,130. The one-way fare from Bombay to London and New York is Rs17,000 and Rs33,000 respectively, said a report in the Gulf News.
Describing the increase as unprecedented in the history of any airline, Kerala Association of Travel Agents president K V Muraleedhran urged chief minister A K Antony and MPs from Kerala to exert pressure on Air India to desist from looting hapless Gulf passengers, taking advantage of the school-reopening season and summer rush. Indian Airlines flies from Bombay to Sharjah for only Rs 11,485.

Dubai facilities praised
A team of visiting Australian travel agents has praised Dubai’s recent and upcoming developments and achievements.
The 10 travel agents visited the emirate to study the tourist places and activities in the emirate.
A large number of their Australian clients residing in Europe fly with Emirates Airlines.
The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) manager, missions, Hamad bin Mejren, said the visitors wanted to gather information about the facilities and activities provided by the emirate to become an all-purpose destination.
“We have always marketed the emirate as an all-purpose destination and that is what motivated the group to know more about Dubai,” said Bin Mejren.
He said the visitors were amazed with the rate Dubai has developed and progressed after knowing the history of the emirate.
Bin Mejren also said Dubai had been a major holiday attraction for Australian visitors.

KLM Baghdad operations sputters
: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines said it had suspended the start of its planned flights to and from Baghdad due to the safety situation at the Iraqi capital’s airport.
“KLM reached this decision based on reports issued by the US authorities in Iraq, that allowing civilian air traffic to operate services to and from Baghdad would not be sensible under the current circumstances,” KLM said in a statement.
KLM had already taken reservations for the flights but has taken the service out of its reservations system.

Palestinian Airlines to fly to Jordan
Palestinian Airlines will resume flights from the Gaza Strip after being grounded by Israel for over a year, the Palestinian Transport Minister Sa’adi Al Krounz said.
The airline will fly thee times a week to connect more than one million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip with the Jordanian capital Amman, Al Krounz said.
The flights will take off from the El-Arish airport in Egypt, located about 70 km from the Gaza Strip, as negotiations with Israel over the reopening of Gaza International Airport are still ongoing, he said.
Israel grounded Palestinian Airlines and tore up the runway of the Gaza Strip’s only airport over a year ago after a wave of bombings.
Officials at Al Krounz’s office said the last time Palestinian Airlines flew was in July 2002. Its two-aircraft fleet has fallen into disrepair and the airline will lease two planes from Canada until they are fixed, they said.