In Brief


Cathay Pacific adds new services
Cathay Pacific Airways announced a second daily non-stop service to Jakarta offering passengers the choice of making a morning or afternoon departure and quicker access to connections through the Hong Kong hub.

The new service, operated by a two-class Airbus 330-300, will start on November 1. It will also replace the current daily one-stop service to Jakarta via Singapore. Cathay Pacific has also added a third daily service to Los Angeles and will soon operate a fourth daily flight to London as part of its ongoing programme to strengthen Hong Kong as a global hub and gateway to the Chinese Mainland. The airline has so far this year launched services to Xiamen and freighter services to Shanghai and added more flights to Amsterdam, Beijing, Denpasar, Frankfurt, Ho Chi Minh City, Johannesburg, Nagoya and Perth.

SriLankan launches internet booking service
SriLankan Airlines has introduced an internet booking service for passengers in Dubai, which will then be rolled out across Arabia by the end of this summer.
The airline’s upgraded website permits online reservations for destinations throughout its network as well as e-ticketing facilities, enabling passengers to download and print their tickets. Internet reservations are now available on for those travelling out of Dubai, and the service is being phased in throughout the Middle East this summer. The new facility has been introduced in tandem with a major expansion of SriLankan’s route network that will see the launch of extra flights to Europe, the Far East, India and the Middle East as new aircraft are inducted in to its fleet this winter.

Gulf Air awarded IOSA certification
Gulf Air has been placed on the IOSA registry following its successful completion of the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). The certification was formally awarded to Gulf Air Head of Flight Safety and Quality Assurance Captain Manin Al Said at a ceremony in Geneva. “The IOSA audit was conducted and completed in a record time of 30 days and that in itself is a significant achievement by the Gulf Air team,” he said. “This award is a testament to the commitment of every Gulf Air employee towards upholding and maintaining world class safety and quality standards.” The programme aims to standardise and promote air safety practices and is recognised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and other aviation authorities around the world. The successful completion of the audit positions Gulf Air amongst world major airlines that comply with internationally-recognised safety standards, regulations and best industry practices. There are just four airlines in the Middle East that are IOSA certified, Gulf Air being one of them.

New-look to be launched
Air Arabia has announced four winners following their first online survey. Air Arabia’s CEO Adel Ali said, “Our website is key to our communication with our customers and we have seen a steady increase in our users online. We have recently had an online initiative to ask our users for suggestions on our website and we will introduce a new version very soon. So log on to because we will soon be launching the website with an exciting new look and benefits for all our customers.” Air Arabia has rewarded winners with a return trip to any of the airline’s destinations.

Qatar Airways to fly to Berlin
Qatar Airways is to launch flights to Berlin on December 15, as part of a route expansion programme in Germany over the next 18 months. Berlin will become the third German city served by the airline. Qatar Airways will operate four scheduled flights a week using an Airbus A319 in a two-class configuration of eight seats in Business and 102 in Economy on the Berlin route. The airline already operates daily services to Frankfurt and non-stop to Munich five-times-a-week and also has a dedicated freighter service to Munich.

Gulf Air and PIA explore areas of cooperation
Gulf Air’s president and chief executive James Hogan received the chairman and chief executive of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Tariq Kirmani, and his delegation at the airline’s head office. The leaders of the two carriers discussed areas of future cooperation including the synchronisation of schedules over PIA main hub markets of Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar and Gulf Air’s three hubs of Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Muscat and on to other destinations beyond the respective networks. Kirmani said: “Our discussions were very positive and explored a number of new avenues that will support the operations and integration of the PIA and Gulf Air with the aim of enhancing the capabilities and the position of both airlines on a regional and global level.”

Ink Publishing bags Tiger Airways contract
London-headquartered Ink Publishing, which produces more in-flight magazines than any other company in the world, is expanding its fast-growing operations to Asia with the announcement that it has now added the in-flight publication for low-cost carrier Tiger Airways to its burgeoning portfolio. The announcement coincides with the opening of an Ink Publishing office in Singapore to complement its European and North American operations. Tiger Airways, based at Singapore’s Changi International Airport, now serves ten cities in six Asian countries – Singapore, Thailand, Macau, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia – with a fleet of new Airbus A320 aircraft.

Air France offers extra comfort with an additional seat
Air France now offers passengers requiring extra comfort a discount on the purchase of a second seat in the ‘Tempo’ cabin. The discounts, applicable on all flights operated by Air France, Brit Air, CityJet and Régional, are valid for practically all fares on departure from French and foreign destinations. There is a 25 per cent discount on the price of a fare paid for a short-haul flight (excluding tax and airport fees) and 25 to 33 per cent discount on the price of a fare paid for a medium- or long-haul flight (excluding tax and airport fees). The additional seat providing extra space may be required for medical reasons, corpulent passengers, special baggage or for those requiring additional calm.