In Brief


Air Seychelles to choose Dreamliner
AIR Seychelles has plans to replace its current fleet of B767-300 with the highly efficient and cost effective B787 Dreamliners in 2010.

The chairman and chief executive of the national airline of Seychelles, Captain David Savy told media the airline’s choice of the B787-800 Dreamliner is based primarily on the operational savings it brings especially in terms of fuel efficiency and lower maintenance costs.

BA profits up on ticket increases
British Airways has reported an increase in annual profits after the airline filled its planes with passengers on more expensive tickets. Pre-tax profit was £620 million ($1.2 billion) in the 12 months ending 31 March, 21 per cent up on the previous year. Sales increased to £8.52 billion from £7.7 billion, BA said. Operating profit was £705 million, which topped market expectations.

SkyTeam launches Global Meetings
Global airline alliance SkyTeam has announced a new product aimed at the international MICE industry: SkyTeam Global Meetings. The product is designed to streamline the process of arranging travel for large-scale international meetings, from registering the event to simplified booking for event attendees. With SkyTeam Global Meetings, event organizers are able to coordinate all air travel needs across ten member airlines via one single point of contact, while event attendees can receive attractive or discounted airfares and still accrue frequent flyer miles on all SkyTeam carriers.

Jazeera mulls Airbus A320 options
Kuwait's Jazeera Airways is looking to exercise options to buy six Airbus A320 aircraft to expand its fleet to 16 jets, the firm's chairman Marwan Boodai told media. “We signed an option in November and now we are close to discussing the possibility of converting these options into firm orders,” he said.

IAC sees 100pc turnover increase
INTERNATIONAL Air Charter plc (IAC), one of the world's largest independent aircraft charter brokers who started its operations in Dubai in 2002, has announced a total turnover of  $4.9 million during the year 2005, a cent per cent increase when compared to 2004. The company recently announced its intention to expand operations by forging new GSA partnerships in the Middle East region.

Cathay wins OAG award
CATHAY Pacific Airways has been named Airline of the Year 2006 by London-based global travel and transport information company OAG at its 24th annual awards ceremony in London, capping an unprecedented run of coveted best airline awards for product and service excellence as the airline celebrates its 60th anniversary year. Cathay Pacific was also voted Best Airline Based in Asia and Best Transpacific Airline in OAG's awards based its poll of business travellers. The Airline of the Year is chosen from the winners of the eight Best Airline Based in* categories.

EK does New York via Hamburg
EMIRATES will introduce a new service between Dubai and New York via Hamburg on October 29 this year. This service increases Emirates’ flights to New York to three a day, and increases capacity on its recently launched Dubai to Hamburg service. Emirates will operate its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in a three-class configuration on the route.

Virgin launches Tempus
VIRGIN Atlantic will introduce Tempus, the telemedicine device designed for use by non-medical experts during a remote medical emergency, onto its aircraft. The airline has signed a deal up until 2009 which means that all Virgin Atlantic aircraft in the fleet will be fitted with the equipment. Meanwhile, the airline has launched Flying Club Buy Miles, a scheme by which Flying Club members that do not have enough miles to redeem on a flight, upgrade or other reward, can purchase the miles they need online, at

Bmi launches Jeddah
FOLLOWING the successful launch of bmi, the only British airline to operate direct flights from the UK to Saudi Arabia, in September last year, the airline now flies direct from Heathrow to Jeddah as of May 19. The launch of bmi's first long haul routes from Heathrow to Riyadh and Mumbai was a step forward in the group's development. The Jeddah launch marks the next phase of this development.

Eurofly launches Dubai-Milan direct
ITALIAN airline company Eurofly has announced direct flights to Dubai from Milan in collaboration with Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and Alpha Tours. The two weekly flights will start December 2006 and will be offered through the Eurofly multi-channel direct sales. The flights will be operated by new Airbus 330 with 282 seats with 28 in business class.

Emirates UK clicks with agents
EMIRATES has launched a new website aimed exclusively at the travel trade industry in the UK. The new site, is a dedicated one-stop shop for everything an agent needs to know, to sell or book Emirates. The new website gives greater control to travel agents, enabling them to log-on and effortlessly source and manage information on Emirates products, policies and procedures.