In Brief


Private UAE carrier set for take off
CITY Link General Trading, part of Dubai-based Bin Beleila Group, is launching the UAE’s first privately-owned airline with an investment of Dh65 million.

Smart Jet Airways, being positioned as a low-cost carrier, is expected to take off in June, said a senior official. The carrier’s corporate headquarters will be located in the free zone.

New Skywards Miles incentive offer
EMIRATES customers booking flights online can look forward to even better rewards this year, with the launch of a new Skywards Miles incentive offer. Customers who go online at and book First Class Business and Economy Class tickets earn 150,125 and 75 per cent more Miles than they would normally be entitled to, respectively.

Oman Air launches Bahrain flights
OMAN Air and Bahrain forged a new aviation link with the inaugural Oman Air flight landing at Bahrain International Airport last month. Oman Air will fly five times a week into Bahrain from Muscat. Operations will be on Saturdays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The airline has launched a promotional package to mark the occasion. A return ticket to Bahrain qualifies the buyer for a second ticket at half the price. The offer is valid until December 30, 2004.

Arabic booking engine for Air Arabia
AIR Arabia has unveiled its Arabic online booking engine, offering customers the option of making their airline reservations in both Arabic and English. The Arabic and English websites mirror each other in terms of information and reservation facilities and both sites provide detailed information about flights, discounts and special offers, booking procedures, baggage queries, etc.

Etihad Airways starts new services
ETIHAD Airways has begun direct services between Abu Dhabi and the Thai capital of Bangkok on an initial frequency of four times per week and also launched its first direct flights to London. The launch marked the first flights into Europe from the new carrier. Flights to Bangkok was launched on April 2, 2004, with the airline targeting as many as 16 destinations by the end of the year. “We will continue to expand our services as we acquire new aircraft,” said chairman Dr Shaikh Ahmed bin Saif Al Nahyan.

Royal Brunei to fly more to Dubai
FROM May 2, Royal Brunei Airlines will introduce two new non-stop flights between Dubai and Bandar Seri Begawan. The capital city of Brunei Darussalam, Bandar Seri Begawan is now served eight times a week from Dubai. These new day-time flights will depart Dubai every Thursday and Sunday.

GF increases flights from Muscat
GULF Air will expand its global network and increase flight frequency to accommodate the growing number of travellers to and from Oman, the airline has announced. The airline will launch new flights, as well as an increase flight frequency from Oman to popular destinations in the Indian subcontinent, Middle East and Europe.

Cathay orders widebody aircraft
CATHAY Pacific Airways announced it has placed firm orders for eight more wide-body regional aircraft as part of its plan to grow the airline and further enhance Hong Kong as a leading international aviation hub. The order will expand the airline’s operating fleet to 94 aircraft.