In Brief


Gulf Air codeshares with Malaysia
GULF Air and Malaysia Airlines entered a code-sharing agreement opening up routes and services to each other in their respective networks effective September 18.

The agreement allows Malaysia Airlines to market seats under its code on Gulf Air-operated flights from Kuala Lumpur bound for Bahrain and Oman. During the summer, Gulf Air flies six flights a week to Kuala Lumpur. Later this year Gulf Air and Malaysian Airlines will expand the commercial relationship further with Gulf Air adding its code on parts of Malaysian Airlines domestic and international network. According to Malaysian officials, around 147,646 Gulf tourist visited Malaysia last year up from 123,000 in 2004.

Saudi to privatise catering unit
SAUDI Arabian Airlines has kicked off a long-awaited privatisation by inviting bids for a stake of up to 49 per cent in its catering unit. The catering division is one of five the kingdom's flag carrier plans to privatise by the end of next year before floating a stake in its core transport business. The airline is looking to sell between 30 per cent and 49 per cent of the catering unit and has set a September 27 deadline for bids. Bidders will also get a role in the new company's management and should bring some expertise in the catering business. Launched in 1981, the catering business, including onboard duty free sales, generated a turnover of 643 million riyals ($171.5 million) in 2005, a net profit of 142 million riyals with a net operating margin of 25 percent.

Lufthansa lifts first-half profits
LUFTHANSA has continued its successful course and reports significantly higher profits for the first six months of 2006. The group lifted operating profits by 44 million euros to 297 million euros. Net profit for the term rose against the break-even result in the first half 2005 to 85 million euros. The second quarter was especially gratifying for the group. Operating profits in that quarter were up by 93 million euros to 372 million euros. Last year, the Lufthansa Group returned a profit of 577 million euros.

Air Arabia enhances tie-up with Empost
AIR Arabia has enhanced its partnership with Emirates Post, offering customers a more convenient and secure method of paying by cash for flights. The initiative will make air travel more accessible and provide quick and easy payment points to all customers. This additional service now offers customers the opportunity to pay cash at any Emirates Post outlet if they have already made their flight booking through the Air Arabia Call Centre, by simply presenting their reservation number at Emirates Post outlet within 48 hours of making the reservation.