In Brief

Hogan ... upbeat

Gulf Air releases 2003 report
BAHRAIN: Gulf Air has continued its policy of commercial transparency with the publication of its audited annual report and accounts, for the financial year to December 31, 2003, showing its strongest financial results in four years.

The annual report shows a 12.1 per cent increase in revenues to BD384.6 million ($1.02 billion) in comparison to BD343.0 million ($909.8 million) in 2002.
In his review of the year, president and chief executive James Hogan says the airline carried a record six million passengers, posted a reduction in losses amounting to 51 per cent, introduced a new corporate identity and a range of products and services that have made world news.
Gulf Air is among the few airlines in the Middle East region to publish audited accounts to accepted international standards, and the 2003 Annual Report follows the formal implementation of its three-year recovery programme (Project Falcon) in December 2003, the company said.

Qatar Airways woos children
DOHA: Children travelling Qatar Airways can now enjoy new tasty children’s meals and a new range of toys. Children on any of the airline’s routes will now receive a scrapbook, colouring pencils, sunglasses, a wallet, game sets, and a drinking bottle. Children under three years of age will receive a tremble aircraft toy. Qatar Airways has also introduced a new fun children’s meal kit, presented in a complimentary school lunch box containing a hot meal, a pastry, chips, a chocolate bar, juice, a bread roll and butter and a Gumy bottle.
Children travelling the airline’s new A330s can also play a range of video games, while the new Waves in-flight entertainment system offers a range of cartoons, music clips, a children’s channel with fun stories, and the chance to create personal music play lists.

Emirates launches inflight wi-fi
DUBAI: Emirates’ passengers now can access the internet onboard while flying at 40,000 feet, with the launch of the airline’s new broadband wi-fi service.
The new service, available since July 1, enables passengers with wi-fi-enabled laptops to access their regular email accounts via an onboard wireless hot spot throughout the duration of a flight on the airline’s Airbus A340-500, which currently operates between Dubai and five other cities – New York, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and Christchurch.
Through September, Emirates offers wi-fi at a 50-percent discount to encourage usage. The new service will be offered alongside the seatback e-mail and SMS already available on Emirates’ A340-500.
Emirates sourced the software to power the service and networking connectivity from Tenzing Communications Inc. The back office customer support services will be provided by ARINC’s ISP, GlobalLinkmail.

Emirates adds 17th frequency to Tehran
DUBAI: Emirates will start its 17th weekly frequency to the Iranian capital Tehran from Dubai on September 16, following a surge in demand for its services. The new frequency is ideal for the business community as it is operated every Thursday, departing Dubai at 1815 at the close of business week, arriving in Tehran at 2045, in time for dinner. The return flight from Tehran departs at 2215 to arrive in Dubai at 2345 hours.
The new service will be operated with an Airbus A310 which is capable of carrying 198 passengers in a two-class configuration and 10 tonnes of cargo.

Cathay sets new one-day passenger record
DUBAI: CATHAY Pacific Airways has set a new one-day passenger record according to traffic figures for June, 2004. It was also the best June on record in terms of tonnage carried for the airline’s cargo operation. In June, the airline carried 1,142,345 passengers, up from 1,064,516 carried in May. Figures were boosted by the advent of successive public holidays that encouraged leisure travellers to take long weekend breaks. The new one-day record was set on 27 June when 45,331 passengers flew with the airline. The old record of 42,824, set during this year's Chinese New Year holiday, was bested on three other days in June.
High passenger numbers were produced by a 79.7 percent average passenger load factor and an increase in capacity, measured in terms of Available Seat Kilometres, or ASKs, which has risen 19 per cent in the past two years. The airline carried 76,769 tonnes of cargo in June, traditionally a quiet period of the year, making for the highest June total on record. The cargo load factor was 70.2 percent. The number of passengers carried by the airline was up by more than half over the same period in 2003, which was heavily affected by SARS, and by about eight per cent on the first half of 2002. The volume of cargo carried in the first six months of the year rose by more than 15 per cent over the same six-month period last year and by 13 per cent on the first half of 2002.

EK to fly more to Christchurch, Skywards offers more Miles
DUBAI: Emirates’ inaugural
flight to Christchurch
in New Zealand received
a warm welcome on
its arrival on July 2. Operating the new A340-500 aircraft, Emirates’ Dubai-Melbourne-Christchurch service flies thrice weekly. It will be increased to six weekly flights by August 16. Emirates’ Christchurch service is an onward connection from its Dubai-Melbourne nonstop service, launched July 1. Operating the new A340-500 aircraft, Emirates’ Dubai-Melbourne-Christchurch service will double from current three a week to six-weekly by August 16.
Skywards is offering members the chance to earn up to three times more Miles during next month when flying to Christchurch. From August 1 to 31, members can earn double Miles when flying in Business Class and triple Miles when flying in First Class. The offer is available on flights between Dubai and Christchurch, and is valid regardless of where a journey begins as long as part of the journey takes place between Dubai and Christchurch.