In Brief


Etihad to fly to South Africa
In line with its plan to link Abu Dhabi to the world’s most important commercial and cultural centres, Etihad Airways has announced that it will fly to Johannesburg.

“Etihad Airways is determined to challenge the traditional ways of the aviation industry and take a fresh look at how best we can serve our valued guests, as well as our cargo business customers,” said Nick Howarth, head of corporate planning and strategy, Etihad Airways. Etihad will fly nonstop from Abu Dhabi to Johannesburg (EY 603) at 0045 and from Johannesburg to Abu Dhabi (EY 604) at 0950 each Thursday and Saturday.

Qatar Airways lends helping hand
Qatar Airways is spearheading a rebuilding project of housing in a fishing village devastated by last year’s tsunami disaster in Sri Lanka. The airline has worked closely with Habitat International – a non-government organisation that assists in building houses for the homeless – to identify one affected site and help the local community get back on its feet. Qatar Airways is also contributing towards building a new community centre in Jambuwatte. Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said, “By rebuilding homes damaged or destroyed by the tsunami, we are helping a community get back on its feet. Tourism is one of Sri Lanka’s largest industries which we help support by flying in holidaymakers and friends and families to the country.”

Air Arabia to fly to Nagpur
Air Arabia has been granted rights to fly between Sharjah and Nagpur in India. It will start operations to Nagpur three times a week in the second half of October to help people travelling home for Eid. Once the operations take off, Air Arabia will be the first scheduled international airline to operate to Nagpur. The operations will benefit customers as well as trade and commerce from the nearby cities like Indore, Aurangabad, Bhopal, Jabalpur and other cities around Nagpur by connecting them to the Middle East.

SriLankan Airlines cuts taxes
SriLankan Airlines has cut taxes and announced a number of special packages for Gulf travellers. The tax reduction has made Doha-Colombo-Doha flights cheaper by QR105, Lakshman Weerasooriya, the airline’s manager in Doha. SriLankan passengers to India will also benefit from this tax reduction, he said. The airline, which is celebrating its 26th anniversary, offers packages to a number of destinations in Sri Lanka, the Far East and China at ‘attractive’ prices, the manager said. The holiday packages, which range from six to eight days, are valid from October 30 to November 15. The hotels are in the three to five-star category and the prices begin from QR580 per person, excluding the air fare.

Qatar Airways upgrades Cebu route
Qatar Airways has upgraded its Doha-Cebu route with the new state-of-the-art Airbus A330-200 aircraft offering the latest in inflight comfort and amenities. The A330 is the backbone of Qatar Airways’ long-haul fleet to destinations as far as Europe, South Africa and the Far East with aircraft equipped with either two-class or three-class cabins.The bigger capacity aircraft being used to the southern Philippine city of Cebu operates three-times-a-week via Singapore. Until now, the service was operated with the smaller Airbus A300.