In Brief


Cathay has special offer for rugby fans
DUBAI: Rugby fans who can’t get enough of the December match in Dubai now have a chance to witness the exciting Rugby World Cup Sevens in Hong Kong on March 18-20, with a free three-day pass inclusive in the travel package to the Asian city via Cathay Pacific-the official airline of the international sports event.

As the official carrier of the international match, Cathay Pacific expects more than 40,000 fans all over the world to fly to Hong Kong and watch the action-packed weekend at the Hong Kong Stadium where the match will be held. Cathay Pacific is offering loyal rugby fans Dh3,270 package to Hong Kong.

Qatar Airways announces new Osaka schedules
DOHA: Qatar Airways has released details of its new flight schedules to Osaka, which is set to join the airline’s global network from March 31. The airline will operate four flights a week non-stop between its operational hub of Doha, capital of the State of Qatar, and Japan’s commercial centre of Osaka. The Osaka service marks Qatar Airways’ first foray into the Japanese market.

MEA and Rotana announce partnership
BEIRUT: Middle East Airlines (MEA) and Rotana Hotels have signed a partnership in the Cedar Miles Frequent Flyer Programme. As a result of this agreement, members of the Cedar Miles programme who stay at any of the Rotana Hotels will earn Miles, ranging from 250 Cedar Miles when staying in Rotana Suites to 500 Cedar Miles when staying in Rotana Hotels. In addition, and to celebrate the launch, Rotana is offering double miles to all Cedar Miles members from March 1 to March 31, 2005.

Al Jazeera mobile cards available on QA
DOHA: Al Jazeera Channel in association with Al Majaz Telecom Company has signed an agreement with Qatar Airways to provide airline passengers with latest news from Al Jazeera Channel through Al Jazeera Mobile Prepaid Card. First Class passengers travelling on the twice-daily Doha-London Heathrow route will be able to receive latest news from around the world by registering on the Al Jazeera Mobile Prepaid Card. The service will eventually be available on other European routes over the next few months.

Air Arabia to fly to India
SHARJAH: Committed to addressing the region’s travel needs, Air Arabia announced that it has been granted flight rights to fly daily to Mumbai, India from the middle of March 2005. This latest destination in Air Arabia’s constantly expanding network grows the airline’s reach to 12 countries and 16 destinations within the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

Emirates goes to Beijing
DUBAI: Emirates has unveiled plans to fly daily to services to Beijing. The Chinese capital will be its fourth destination in China after Shanghai, Hong Kong and Dalian (cargo only). Emirates new non-stop service between Dubai and Beijing is slated to commence February 1 next year and will be operating with an Airbus A340-300 aircraft offering 267 seats in a three class configuration plus 13 tonnes of cargo capacity.

Lufthansa wins top award
FRANKFURT: Lufthansa has won another top award for leadership development. The company was honoured in Orlando, Florida, for demonstrating innovation and excellence in aligning corporate learning to business strategies. In 2004, more than 100 globally active companies submitted entries for one of the prestigious awards conferred by the US market research and consulting firm Corporate University Xchange. Lufthansa and the Lufthansa School of Business received an award in the category ‘International Best Practice’.

QA increases flights between Bahrain and Qatar
DOHA: Qatar Airways has increased the number of daily flights between the Kingdom of Bahrain and Doha to five starting 22 February 2005. The new flight was introduced to accommodate the increased traffic generated by the airline’s recent destination launches to London Gatwick, Beijing, Seychelles, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Yangon.

Emirates Lounge opens at Auckland airport
DUBAI: Emirates has recently opened a dedicated airport lounge for passengers in Auckland, New Zealand. Simply called ‘The Emirates Lounge’, the new facility at Auckland International Airport will cater to Emirates premium passengers in First and Business Class as well as to global members of its Skywards frequent-flyer programme.

Etihad Airways inks deal with NBAD
Abu Dhabi: Etihad Airways has signed an agreement with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) to syndicate the financing of five new Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft. In the terms of the agreement, NBAD will act as structuring bank and mandated lead arranger for a select consortium of local and foreign banks for the syndication.