In Brief


QA goes non-stop to Jakarta
DOHA: Qatar Airways has launched non-stop flights between Doha and Jakarta for the first time to meet growing demand for direct services.

Two of the airline’s seven weekly flights between both cities now operate non-stop. The remaining five flights will continue to be served via the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur. From the beginning of the summer flying programme on March 27, 2005, two additional flights bound for Indonesia have been operating non-stop taking the number of direct services between the two capitals to four-a-week.

Emirates to start non-stop flights to Accra
DUBAI: Emirates boosted services to the West African city of Accra with two non-stop flights each week last month, in addition to the existing weekly four via Lagos. The extra twice-weekly services between Dubai and the Ghanaian capital are the first ever non-stop connection between the Gulf region and Accra.

Etihad to fly to Frankfurt, Muscat
ABU DHABI: Etihad Airways will soon launch direct flights to Frankfurt, the second destination in Germany, as two-way traffic continues to increase, the airline’s spokesman said. “Etihad will soon be linking Abu Dhabi to Frankfurt with direct flights. This is the second city in Germany after Munich where the airline will fly,” the spokesman of the airline said. He added that the airline plans to start flights to Muscat. “Etihad will continue adding one new destination every month according to its plans.” The airline is looking forward to becoming operational from Muscat in the summer of 2005 and from Muscat, the airline is offering special prices to its destinations.

QA offer bonus Qmiles
DOHA: To celebrate the launch of its new scheduled flights to Osaka on March 31, Qatar Airways is offering double Qmiles to members of the airline’s frequent-flyer programme, Privilege Club. Four scheduled flights a week will operate between Doha and Japan’s commercial centre of Osaka. Privilege Club members will earn double Qmiles for the first full month of the new service until the end of this month. Members can also earn and redeem Qmiles when travelling on domestic or international services of Privilege Club partner All Nippon Airways.

QA increases Bangkok flights
DOHA: Qatar Airways is celebrating the start of its new summer flying programme by doubling the number of flights between Doha and Bangkok to twice daily. The seven additional weekly flights, began on 27 March 2005. Qatar Airways will operate morning and evening departures from both Doha and Bangkok to suit individual needs of travellers.

IATA diplomas for Emirates managers
DUBAI: Emirates commitment to career development among its UAE national workforce has received a further boost with the presentation of International Air Transport Association (IATA) senior diplomas to UAE national managers at Emirates. HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Emirates, presented the diplomas to over 30 managers. Sheikh Ahmed said: “This initiative is part of the Emirates Group’s ongoing national career development strategy aimed at preparing UAE nationals for senior management opportunities throughout the company.”

QA announces Tunis, Algiers flights
DOHA: Qatar Airways has announced details of flight schedules to its new summer destinations of Tunis and Algiers as both routes join the airline’s growing network on May 2, 2005. The airline will operate three flights a week non-stop between its operational hub of Doha and the Tunisian capital of Tunis. The flights will continue onto Algiers, the capital of Algeria.

Shaheen ups flights to Karachi
KARACHI: Shaheen Air International of Pakistan has started daily flights on the Dubai-Karachi sector and is also planning to increase frequencies to other destinations in Pakistan, a report said. “We have recently inducted four new aircraft including three Boeing-737s and one Airbus A-320, replacing all our Russian planes,” said Shafqatullah, country manager of the airline, which is run by Shaheen Foundation, a subsidiary of Pakistan Air Force. The airline currently operates 18 flights per week from the UAE to various destinations in Pakistan.

Air Arabia opens two more travel shops
SHARJAH: Air Arabia has opened travel shops in Kuwait City and Alexandria last month. “The Kuwait route was Air Arabia’s second destination and due to passenger demand on this route last December we increased flights to five days a week,” commented Adel Ali, CEO, Air Arabia. “As for the Alexandria route, it is a popular route with both business and leisure travellers and we will continue to offer passengers added value where possible – whether this is through new initiatives, services, routes, promotions and so on,” added Ali

New private jet terminal at Kuwait airport
KUWAIT: The construction of the private jet terminal will start in April at the Kuwait International Airport, says sources. “The terminal will be constructed in two years to receive private aircraft of businessmen. It is also aimed at handling the additional passengers that the Kuwait International Airport can’t handle. Jet Aviation, Kuwait, will construct on build, operate, transfer (BOT) system the new terminal that can accommodate 33 private planes in parking bays and hangars,” sources said.

SriLankan ups flights to Muscat
MUSCAT: SriLankan Airlines has increased its Muscat and Colombo non-stop flight frequency to three times a week. “We had flights going via Abu Dhabi but now we are flying three times a week non-stop from Muscat to Colombo and back,” said Lalith De Silva, country manager for SriLankan Airlines in Muscat.

Air Arabia takes off for India
SHARJAH: Air Arabia has commenced daily flights to Mumbai from March 26. A one-way ticket from Sharjah to Mumbai starts from Dh249 – excluding government taxes and surcharges and similar return fares will also be available. Passengers need to book early to take advantage of these fares as Air Arabia’s fare structure is based on supply and demand and fares increase as more seats are booked on a particular flight. Fares will be at least 15-20 per cent lower than other airlines.

Lufthansa introduces new seats from KSA
JEDDAH: With the introduction of the summer schedule effective March 28, Lufthansa has introduce its new Business Class on the Saudi routes. The state-of-the-art Business Class seat converts into a two meter bed at the touch of a button, a memory function to save favorite seat positions, a built-in massager, a 10.4 inch TV monitor and a lap-top power outlet.

GF to stop Morocco, Lanka flights
MANAMA: Gulf Air has decided to terminate operations to Casablanca in Morocco and Colombo in Sri Lanka as part of its strategy to optimise performance. Fareed Al Alawi, Gulf Air’s vice-president network, said, “This year we will consolidate on the positive strides made in 2004, which necessitates further optimisation of performance across the business and the network, to minimise the impact of the record high fuel price and grow our market share in the face of increasing competition… As a first step, Gulf Air will be implementing changes to its network in Africa and Asia, and has terminated operations to Casablanca from March 24 and services to Colombo from March 26.”