In Brief

Al Sabah and Pereira at the signing of the agreement

Kuwait Airways in deal with Carlson
KUWAIT: Kuwait Airways has signed a deal with Carlson Marketing Group to manage Kuwait Airways’ Oasis Club, including all aspects of the frequent flyer program for five years.

The agreement was signed by Sheikh Talal Mubarak Al Ahmed Al Sabah, chairman and managing director of Kuwait Airways, and Gerry Pereira, president of Asia Pacific and Middle East, Carlson Marketing Group. “Carlson Marketing Group has more than 65 years of success developing and managing consumer loyalty programmes like our Oasis Club,” said Sheikh Talal.

Emirates boosts Australia flights
DUBAI: Emirates has announced plans to launch a second daily service between Dubai and Perth next October operating the advanced A340-500 aircraft.
The airline will also increase its non stop Dubai-Melbourne service from six a week, to daily from December 6. This service extends onward to Christchurch in New Zealand. With the move, Emirates will operate 28 weekly flights into New Zealand – daily into Christchurch, and thrice daily into Auckland. By next October, the airline will offer double daily services to Sydney, Perth and Melbourne, and daily to Brisbane.

Short breaks from GF Holidays
BAHRAIN: Gulf Air’s holiday arm Gulf Air Holidays is offering Short Breaks’ packages until November 30. The package includes return Economy Class tickets and accommodation in twin/double rooms at a three, four or five star hotel. “Gulf Air’s Short Breaks packages were developed with business people in mind,” said Mark Senior, manager, destination and leisure marketing at Gulf Air. Travellers from Bahrain have a choice of many destinations, including Bangkok, Cyprus, Dubai, Jordan or Kuala Lumpur.

Etihad launches Pakistan service
ABU DHABI: Etihad Airways has announced it will begin direct flights from Abu Dhabi to the Pakistan capital of Karachi effective November 2. Initial flight frequency is on a four times per week basis. The airline has Etihad has opened a Karachi branch office, headed by Trevor Manwaring, a former Swiss International executive. “We are easy to find as the office is centrally located in the shopping arcade of the Sheraton Hotel,” said Manwaring. He noted that the airline will offer very competitive fares during its inaugural operations from Karachi to attract more passengers.

Air Arabia ups Jeddah frequency
SHARJAH: To cater to the  increased demand in pilgrim movement during the Holy Month of Ramadan, Air Arabia has scheduled additional flights on its Sharjah to Jeddah route during the month of November. The additional flights have been scheduled to cater to this increased passenger demand, especially of hose travelling for Umrah. Air Arabia will be operating additional flights from Sharjah to Jeddah between November 6 and 19.

Lufthansa introduces etix
DUBAI: Lufthansa German Airlines has introduced etix allowing their sales offices to issue electronic ‘paperless’ tickets from their premises, giving passengers yet another reason to choose the airline. Passengers with a Lufthansa Miles & More, customer or credit card can fly with the airline without a paper ticket to a number of international destinations in Europe, America and the Far East.

QA opens new Beirut office
DOHA: Qatar Airways has officially opened its dedicated new sales and reservations office in Beirut, demonstrating the airline’s commitment to the Lebanese market. CEO Akbar Al Baker was joined by Tourism Minister Ali Abdallah for the official opening ceremony, which was also attended by local dignitaries and the media.

Dubai to host aviation fuel quality group
DUBAI: Dubai is expected to host the Middle East’s first Aviation Fuels International Group. The group, to be established under the Dhahran-based Arabian Fuels Technology Centre (AFTC), is to set up an office in Dubai soon. AFTC has pioneered Arabian Jet A-1 Plus, a jet fuel standard for the Middle East. The fuel standard is expected to enhance the safety, quality and cleanliness of jet fuel in a region with specific climatic challenges. The new standard is more environmentally-friendly because of its reduced sulphur, water and particulate content, as well as reduced gum content, which clogs filters.
Libyan Airlines to be privatised
TRIPOLI: Loss-making Libyan Arab Airlines is to be privatised, announced Libyan Prime Minister Shukri Ghanem. Ghanem also said the state would not purchase any more planes for the national carrier’s fleet, contradicting a claim by chairman Hassan Dabnoune that it would provide one billion dollars to modernise the company and buy 22 new planes.

Emirates in deal with EBG
DUBAI: Emirates has signed a sale and leaseback with the Emirates Bank Group (EBG) of a B777-200 aircraft for $78 million. The aircraft was originally delivered to Emirates as new in 1996, and since then the original lease has been paid out in full. The aircraft was recently refurbished as new and the IFE system replaced with the latest MAS 3000i IFE system. The refinancing, structured as a USD operating lease over a four-year term, was arranged and funded by EBG. The financing is the third aircraft entirely structured by the EBG.

Swiss to link Muscat daily
MUSCAT: Swiss International Air Lines has started daily flights from Muscat’s Seeb International Airport from October 31. The airline, known as Swiss, has also completed a code share agreement with Oman’s national carrier, Oman Air.
Royal Jet to build new terminal
ABU DHABI: The Abu Dhabi-based luxury aircraft charter firm Royal Jet is building a new executive aircraft terminal at an estimated cost of Dh150 million ($46.2 million), the company said. The terminal generally called Fixed Based Operation (FBO) is scheduled for completion in 2007. “The new Royal Jet FBO will bring the luxury aircraft charter industry to Abu Dhabi.

Lufthansa ups Munich flights
MUNICH: As of October 29, Dubai is being serviced daily by Lufthansa German Airlines, said Uwe Wriedt, general manager, passenger sales UAE and director Gulf and Pakistan, Lufthansa German Airlines. He said the decision will not only improve the level of service to and from Dubai, but also reiterate Lufthansa’s commitment to the market. The move is driven by additional demand on the Munich-Dubai-Munich route. The 40-percent increase in capacity comes as a part of Lufthansa’s strategy in the Middle East region. The airline offers now a total of 14 flights weekly from Dubai to Frankfurt and Munich.

MEA to fly Doha
BEIRUT: Middle East Airlines (MEA) is to resume its Doha operations on November 8 with three weekly services. The flights would be operated on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays by Airbus 321-200s. The company suspended its Doha operations in 1997. Darwish Travel Company is the GSA for the airline in Qatar. The airline has a code-share arrangement with Qatar Airways, which operates daily services to Beirut.