In Brief

Hogan and Kanoo open the GF office in Al Khobar

Basra airport to open in July
BASRA International Airport in southern Iraq is due to open for commercial and passenger traffic in July 2005, the US military’s engineering corps said.

“It was never formally opened to large commercial flights, primarily because of war. But, in July 2005, Basra International Airport will officially open for commercial air and passenger traffic,” the military said. The engineering corps said some $4.9 million are to be spent on the airport, in particular the control tower. Meanwhile, the building work has been entrusted to a US company, while contracts to supply air traffic control technology have not yet been awarded. Between 800 and 1,000 Iraqis who used to work at the airport would have the chance to get their jobs back. Basra Governor Ahmed Al Rashid said the airport would be reopened in time for the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia that begins in January.

Swiss joins travel website
DUBAI: Swiss International Air Lines (Swiss) has announced its partnership with, enabling passengers to book through the region’s leading travel website.  Felix Rodel, area manager, ME, Swiss, said: “A number of passengers now book online, and the scope of service provided by means that we can now provide passengers with a greater range of offers, while continuing to provide value for money. As the region’s leading travel portal, is the perfect partner for us.”

QA to fly top tennis players
DOHA: Qatar Airways has been named as the official airline of the Qatar Exxon Mobil Tennis Open 2005 and the Qatar Total Open 2005. Some of the world’s leading players from the men's and women's circuit will converge on the capital of Qatar for these prestigious tournaments being hosted by the Qatar Tennis Federation. The 2005 Qatar Exxon Mobil Tennis Open for men will be staged at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex from January 3 to 8. The women’ event, 2005 Qatar Total Open, will be held at the same venue from February 21 to 26.
Both events promise to attract tens of millions of television viewers worldwide.

ECFT to add 3 simulators
DUBAI: Due to customer demand, Emirates-CAE Flight Training (ECFT) is expanding its aviation training facility with the addition of three full-flight simulators. Emirates’ chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum and Jeff Roberts, group president Civil Simulation and Training, CAE, signed the contract in Dubai. As part of this expansion, Emirates will buy two new full-flight simulators from CAE – a Boeing 777 and an Airbus A320, both to be installed by Spring 2006.

Kanoo is GF agent in Saudi
AL KHOBAR: Gulf Air has announced the appointment of Kanoo Travel as the airline’s representatives for Saudi Arabia. In conjunction with the appointment, the new Gulf Air/Kanoo partnership the airline has moved into new office premises in Al Khobar and Jeddah. James Hogan, Gulf Air’s president and chief executive, who officially opened the office in Al Khobar with Abdullah Ali Kanoo, chairman and CEO of Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo, and Mubarak Kanoo, the deputy group chairman, said the moves are part of the airline’s phased plan to relocate into 14 new offices throughout the Kingdom.

DNATA trio receive awards
DUBAI: Three Dnata baggage loaders at Dubai International Airport have received the Emirates Group’s highest award for their bravery in rescuing two children from a moving baggage belt. Senior loader V V Mohd Kunhi and loaders Ghanbar Shamseddini and Padmakumar P Pillai have won the Chairman’s Award for 2003/4, given annually to Emirates staff who go well beyond the call of duty. In a ceremony attended by the company’ senior management, HH eikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al aktoum, chairman of the Emirates Group, presented each man with a Certificate of Appreciation, a gold Cross pen set and a cheque for Dh10,000.

bml in deal with CEMS
BEIRUT: The UK-based company, bml international, specialising in marketing, promotion and representation, has just signed an agreement with the event organisers Conference & Exhibition Management Services (CEMS) based in Singapore to represent the Beijing International Tourism Expo 2005 (BITE) and Qingdao International Tourism Expo 2005 (QITE). The cooperation allows bml international to expand its extensive exhibition representation division, while giving the Chinese shows maximum exposure for marketing, promotion and sales support outside of China. Following a strong two-headed sales campaign from both bml international and CEMS, many targeted countries are committed to exhibiting at the two events. bml international will represent BITE 2005 and QITE 2005 for the markets of UK and Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, France and the Middle East (Lebanon,  Syria, Qatar, UAE, Bahrain and Oman). BITE’s successful debut in 2004 has received participation from 325 international companies and agents from 27 countries and regions. This success has resulted in the launch of the second event, QITE 2005 (Qingdao International Tourism Expo). Both events promise to be the premium marketplaces for exhibitors targeting the huge market in China.

Learn to sail with Dusail
DUBAI: Dusail is offering sailing lessons from this month onwards on a new 50ft Bavaria sailing yacht, namely Andorra. Thanks to the wonderful weather conditions in the Middle East you can learn in warm waters and sunshine all year round. Whatever your level, Dusail will help you to develop your ability and confident. “We are delighted to be able to offer sailing lessons in Dubai this year.  There are always people looking to develop their passion for sailing as a sport or new hobby,” said Debbie Kirkwood, managing director of Dusail and Dubai Yacht Company. “We will tailormake your sailing programme according to your experience and knowledge, combined with our friendly fun attitude and RYA qualified Yacht Master.”