In Brief


Emirates ups service to Far East
Trade and tourism are on the upswing in the Far East and Emirates has responded to strong customer demand by reinforcing its route network upping services and streamlining schedules to Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Jakarta.

Emirates has added services between Dubai and Hong Kong with two additional flights every Thursday and Saturday and it now flies directly to Jakarta thrice every week returning to Dubai via Singapore. In addition, the airline has added six more weekly services from Dubai to Singapore and is now offering five weekly direct services to Kuala Lumpur in addition to three flights via Singapore. From early this month, Emirates will also add one more direct flight from Dubai to Bangkok. Besides these five destinations, Emirates also serves Shanghai, Seoul, Osaka, Manila and Taipei (cargo only). In February next year, it will launch daily services to Beijing, the airline’s second destination in China.

Etihad Airways launches Brussels route
Trade between the UAE and Europe is set for a period of rapid growth with the launch of the new Abu Dhabi to Brussels route by Etihad Airways. “Export relations between the UAE and Belgium are already very strong, but this connection between Abu Dhabi and Brussels will provide massive incentive for new business relations to be formed,” said HE Philippe Dartois, Belgian Ambassador to the UAE. “Brussels is the capital of modern Europe and Etihad Airways will be able to carry international business people in style between the UAE and Belgium,” said Raymond Korban, Southern Gulf general manager, Etihad Airways. The opening of the new route is part of a sustained period of expansion for Etihad Airways as the airline increases its global presence.

Qatar Airways to fly to Madrid
In line with its rapid global expansion programme, Qatar Airways has announced Madrid as its newest route, to be launched on December 2, 2005. The Spanish capital will become the airline’s second new European service at the end of the year, as the German capital, Berlin, will come on line two weeks later on December 15. Qatar Airways will operate three flights a week between Doha and Madrid.

Emirates introduces internet check-in
Emirates has introduced a new and convenient option for its customers to check in for their flights via the internet. Passengers departing from Dubai, Kuwait, Australia and New Zealand can now select and secure their preferred seats online and check in for their flights from the comfort of their homes, offices or hotels by logging on to The airline also plans to gradually introduce its online check-in facility to other destinations across its network over the next few months.

Gulf Air ties up with Jet Airways
Gulf Air has signed an agreement with Jet Airways, whereby members of the two respective frequent-flyer programmes will be able to earn and redeem miles, as well as avail premium privileges such as lounge access, extra baggage allowance and many more when traveling on each other’s airlines. Gulf Air frequent-flyer members will be able to earn miles on all Jet Airways services . They will also be able to redeem miles for free flights across the Jet Airways network. Gold and Silver members will also be able to enjoy exclusive benefits when traveling on Jet Airways, including priority check-in, additional baggage allowance and even lounge access. Furthermore, to launch the new partnership, Gulf Air Frequent flyer members will earn Double Miles when flying with Jet Airways until 15 November, 2005.

Air Arabia to fly to Amman
Air Arabia announced the start of operations to Amman from November 11, 2005. Fares start from Dh249 for a one-way flight to Amman. Air Arabia’s CEO Adel Ali said, “Jordanians in the UAE have been waiting to take advantage of the low fares that we offer to destinations across the Middle East and North Africa to take them home.” Air Arabia will now fly three times a week to Jordan.

Emirates receives tenth A340-500
Emirates has received its entire order for Airbus A340-500s with the arrival of its tenth A340-500 aircraft. The airline has invested close to $2 billion (gross order value) for acquisition of its A340-500 fleet. The financing has been obtained from well-diversified sources comprising 29 per cent from European banks, 10 per cent from Islamic sources, 24 per cent from commercial banks within the GCC and 37 per cent from commercial banks outside the GCC, a substantial portion of which came from China and Japan. Emirates’ fleet, with an average aircraft age of only 56 months, reflects the airline’s business strategy of focusing on medium- and long-range routes. The airline has constantly upgraded the fleet to include aircraft with more capacity and longer range.

New deal from Emirates Dubai Stopovers
Emirates Dubai Stopovers, an attractive hotel package marketed by Emirates airline worldwide, has been enhanced to provide holidaymakers even more options and exceptional value for money. In addition to pre-booking the package prior to departure, customers can now also avail of the package on arrival at Dubai International Airport and chose from an expanded range of 54 hotels and hotel apartments in the city and on the beach. The new package is valid from the beginning of this month till October 31 next year and starts from as little as $65 per person per night sharing a double room. The price includes buffet breakfast, a 96-hour visa, hotel transfers and personalised meet-and-greet upon arrival at Dubai International Airport. The packages are available to all Emirates passengers regardless of class of travel.

BA introduces new cushioned seats
British Airways’ Club World customers will be pleasantly surprised when they first enter the cabin when flying from the UAE. The enhanced, embodied aircraft has been introduced to the route and passengers will immediately notice the updated interior with dark blue seat covers and photographs depicting scenes of “Beautiful Britain”. The fresh look is very inviting and the new flat bed with the latest cushioning technology, similar to that used in premium household mattresses, provides customers with more comfort and further ergonomic support. This is the first time such cushioning has been used in an airline seat. The new seat is part of a series of improvements to the airline’s Club World product designed to make the travel experience even better.

Gulf Air inks deal with Evergreen
Gulf Air has signed a memorandum of understanding with Evergreen to work together on a number of joint venture projects. The projects include exploring the feasibility of partnerships in freighter operations to serve regional and long haul markets. The MOU was signed by Gulf Air president and chief executive James Hogan and Evergreen International Aviation founder and owner Delford Smith. “Evergreen is a global leader in cargo operations with Boeing 747. With the different aviation businesses in the Evergreen group of companies, Gulf Air and Evergreen are an ideal fit for future strategies,” said Hogan.