In Brief


IN BRIEFKAC launches auto-booking system
KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) has launched an auto-booking system, MARS, and passengers departure system within the framework of efforts to upgrade working procedures in all sectors.

KAC marketing sales and distribution division’s deputy director Saud Al-Mubaraki said, the KAC began developing the booking system and the new services to boost the KAC’s performance to compete with the other international airlines. He added, this system was chosen after detailed studies conducted under supervision of qualified staff for developing the auto-system by employing new techniques that serve its interests, goals and passengers.

Air Arabia, Mashreqbank ink promotion deal
DUBAI: Mashreqbank’s joint promotion with Air Arabia will slash the cost of travel for its WOW! Credit Card holders. The Frequent Traveler Pass (FTP) will cut the average Air Arabia ticket price by 30 to 35 per cent, the equivalent of 50 to 60 per cent less than other airlines. It is open to all Mashreqbank’s WOW! Credit Card and debit card holders till August 1, 2004. The FTP is an e-coupon book that can be exchanged for trips on any of Air Arabia’s many destinations in the Middle East, North Africa & Indian Subcontinent. Each FTP e-booklet costs only Dh1,600 and contains 12 coupons that are valid till end of July 2005.

New Indian route for SriLankan Airlines
DUBAI: SriLankan Airlines begins flights to Calicut, the historical city in southwestern India, from July 1, becoming the first non-Indian airline to operate regular services to Calicut’s International Airport. Calicut will be SriLankan’s tenth destination in India and will be serviced by four flights per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

All UAE airports to levy service fee
ABU DHABI: Passengers travelling out of all commercial airports in the UAE will pay a service charge from September 1, officials said. This includes Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain airports. Dubai had announced the fee earlier. The Department of Civil Aviation, in a letter dated May 30, has directed all airlines to impose a Dh30 charge on every passenger flying out of Abu Dhabi with the exception of infants below two years, cabin crew and transit passengers. Confirming that directives were sent to all airline offices, a civil aviation spokesman said that as a government directive, all passengers must pay the airport tax.

Al Hamra Village beckons
RAS AL KHAIMAH: The Al Hamra Village, an exclusive sea-side resort and residential development in Ras Al Khaimah, is offering luxury homes, leisure activities, and sports and entertainment. Totalling 1,200 units, the resort is comprised of studio, one, two, and three bedroom apartments, two and three bedroom townhouses, four bedroom semi-attached duplexes, and five and six bedroom private villas.  Prices for the units range from Dh200,000 for a studio up to Dh3.1 million for a six-bedroom, sea-view villa. 

Air tickets to go by 2007
SINGAPORE: The world’s airlines have agreed to cost cutting measures such as full electronic ticketing by 2007 in a bid to save up to $3 billion a year to counter soaring fuel prices and mounting competition. The move was agreed by 700 executives of airlines gathered in Singapore for the annual International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the World Air Transport Summit. 'In 2003, the industry survived the four horsemen of the apocalypse – SARS, conflict in Iraq, terrorism and the economy. Now, a fifth horseman – the price of oil – could add up to $1 billion per month to our costs and deny us profitability yet again,' IATA director-general Giovanni Bisignani said. Aside from eliminating paper tickets, Bisignani said the airlines agreed to work on an industry standard for check-in terminals worldwide.

90 free Etihad tickets for Al Diar guests
THIS summer, Al Diar Hotels and Etihad Airways go all-out with a one-of-a-kind summer promo. Ninety airline tickets to destinations from London and Geneva to Bangkok and Colombo are being given away to Al Diar Hotel guests for a period of 90 days until September 15. Guests checking in to any Al Diar hotel in the UAE enjoy a 50-percent discount on room rates and are given a chance at a raffle upon check-out. The offer also includes a buffet breakfast, free accommodation for children upto the age of 12 in their parents’ rooms, a daily newspaper and a fruit basket upon check-in. Only one raffle ticket will be allotted per room per night and winning tickets are neither refundable nor changeable.

Dubai Yacht Company signs new dealership
DUBAI: Dubai Yacht Company has teamed up with Avon, Harken and Selden as this compliments the Bavaria yachts, said its managing director, Debbie Kirkwood. Avon products are recognised world-wide and used by the military and RNLI UK, Harken offers more than 500 types of blocks, travellers, winches and a host of furling systems and the Selden Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of spar and rigging systems for yachts displacing from two to thirty tonnes. 'Our aim is to provide a ‘one-stop shop’ service which includes shipping, insurance, assistance with ports/customs, training/teaching and fitting  equipment required for cruising,' added Kirkwood.

Strong Pakistani presence at Seatrade Middle East
DUBAI: More than 30 Pakistani companies are expected to exhibit at their national pavilion at Seatrade Middle East Maritime in Dubai, the region’s premier conference and exhibition for the maritime sectors, according to the organisers. The event has attracted some of the leading players in the Pakistani maritime industry, said sales director Andrew Callaghan. Top speakers from Pakistan at Seatrade Middle East Maritime will include Vice Admiral Ahmad Hayat, chairman of the Karachi Port Trust and Farouq H. Rahimtoola, chairman of the Pakistan Ship Agents Association. Seatrade Middle East Maritime will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from December 6-8.