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INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT - AVIATION & AIRLINES

Gulf Air revenues up 11pc in 2003

Posted on 08/02/2004

Strong passenger growth coupled with cost cutting boosted Gulf Air's revenues by 11 per cent to 397 million Bahraini dinars last year. En route, this halved the net losses to 20 million dinars, confirmed airline officials. The airline has forecast revenues of 500 million dinars this year with a passenger growth of one million this year, bang on target with the three-year recovery plan. Ahmed Hammadi, vice-president for finance, said: "Gulf Air's total revenues were 397 million dinars in ...  >>MORE

Dubai Duty Free posts record Dh146m Jan sales

Posted on 04/02/2004

The first month of the year began on a high note for Dubai Duty Free with the airport retailer recording January sales of Dh146 million representing a 35 per cent increase over the same period last year. Colm McLoughlin, Managing Director of Dubai Duty Free said: "January sales have been tremendous and are a good indicator for the year ahead. The buoyant start to the year, which began with the announcement of record annual sales of Dh1.37 billion (USUS$380 million) for 2003, looks set to ...  >>MORE

Air Arabia to operate low cost flights to Teheran

Posted on 03/02/2004

Committed to offering the lowest possible fares at any given date to any particular destination, Air Arabia LLC, UAE's national airline and first low-cost airline in the Middle East and North Africa region, on January 27 announced its starting fares for Teheran and Shiraz. A one-way ticket from Sharjah to Teheran starts at Dh150 while ticket to Shiraz starts at Dh120, excluding government taxes, which vary from one country to another. Flights to Teheran commence on Friday, February 6, and ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi Aviation's profits total Dh 52 m in 2003

Posted on 25/01/2004

Abu Dhabi Aviation Company has raked in net profit of about Dh 52 million last year compared to Dh 79 million in 2002. Financial data revealed in the Abu Dhabi Stock Market here today, show that the company's operating profits have increased to Dh 37.875 million as against Dh 37.870, while total assets surged to about Dh 227 million from Dh 196 million in 2002. Total liabilities totalled about Dh 72 million against Dh 57 in 2002, with the company's reserves dropping to Dh 470 million from Dh ...  >>MORE

Gamco aims to double facilities in five years

Posted on 23/01/2004

Gulf Aircraft Maintenance Co (Gamco) plans to double its maintenance capacity in the next five years from nine lines to about 15. Kirubel Tegene, manager of commercial sales, said the company will require substantial funds to implement its plans and will do so from internal sources. Growing air traffic in the region has helped the company. Tegene said while the global aircraft maintenance industry is expected to grow by around three per cent this year, Gamco estimates its business will grow ...  >>MORE

Gulf Air hopes to be back in black next year as regional travel booms

Posted on 23/01/2004

Gulf Air has benefited from the upturn in the fortunes of the Gulf's airline businesses to further slash its losses. Ever increasing demand for additional capacity has been a boon for most regional carriers, which have been able to show positive results. Gulf Air is no exception and last year managed to further reduce its losses to 20 million Bahraini dinars, in line with forecasts. In the process Gulf Air carried more than six million passengers, more than it had ever done in a single ...  >>MORE

Emirates interested in Dreamliner

Posted on 23/01/2004

Emirates airline, the most profitable carrier in the Gulf, has confirmed Boeing's projected flagship the 7E7 Dreamliner jet remains a candidate for its fleet. But Emirates insisted the aircraft would have to be customised to fit its future requirements before any firm orders are made. Boeing officially approved the Dreamliner for sale last December after it was showcased at the Dubai 2003 airshow. Mike Simon, Emirates senior vice president for corporate communications, told Gulf News: ...  >>MORE

Air Arabia launches new in-flight duty free service

Posted on 20/01/2004

Following the success of the first two months of operations, Air Arabia LLC, UAE's national airline and first low-cost airline of its kind in the Middle East & North Africa region, added further value to its passengers with the introduction of DUFRY - an in-flight duty free service on all its routes. Air Arabia's duty free service will begin in the first quarter of 2004 and passengers have the option of paying via credit card or cash. DUFRY will maintain the stocks on the aircrafts on a ...  >>MORE

Gamco to maintain aircraft in Sharjah

Posted on 19/01/2004

The Gulf Aircraft Maintenance Co has taken over the Sharjah Maintenance Organisation of the Sharjah Airport Authority. Under the new arrangement, Gamco will now handle all the existing airline maintenance services at Sharjah Airport and will take care of maintenance requirements of any new airlines landing at Sharjah Airport. The Sharjah Airport Maintenance Organisation has now become a separate business unit of Gamco. The number of new airlines operating from Sharjah Airport has continued ...  >>MORE

Emirates takes delivery of first of eight Airbus A340-300 aircraft

Posted on 13/01/2004

Emirates has taken delivery of the first of eight Airbus A340-300 aircraft which are joining its fleet this year to meet demand on key long-haul routes from Dubai. The airline has signed nine-year leases for the fleet with Boeing Aircraft Trading, which acquired them from Singapore Airlines as part of a wider deal. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman of Emirates Group, said: "Even with one of the world's biggest order books, we urgently need ...  >>MORE

Air Arabia connects Alexandria

Posted on 13/01/2004

Air Arabia is looking to connect Sharjah to 20 destinations by the year-end, said Adel Ali, the airline's chief executive officer. Speaking to the Gulf Today during the airline's first flight to Alexandria, Egypt on Sunday, he disclosed that while more destinations were sought, the immediate aim was to increase frequencies to destinations that were already connected. "Destinations is not the important criteria but increased frequencies and punctual operations is what is important right ...  >>MORE

Gulf Air achieves its highest traffic level

Posted on 12/01/2004

Gulf Air flew six million passengers in 2003, the highest ever recorded by the carrier. The figures, released yesterday, revealed that over half a million more passengers flew with it compared to 2002, an increase of more than 10 per cent. James Hogan, president and chief executive, said the re-shaping of the airline was conducted with one goal in mind — to provide the best possible benefits to the customer. The record figure is even more significant considering it took place against the ...  >>MORE

Emirates may lease more aircraft soon

Posted on 12/01/2004

The rapid increase in passenger demand could persuade Emirates to lease additional aircraft in the immediate future. Ghaith Al Ghaith, Emirates vice-president for worldwide commercial operations, said the airline might need more airliners if the actual demand in the coming months exceeds projections. The carrier is expanding its network significantly this year. It is launching services to six new cities including two in West Africa — Lagos and Accra — which were recently inaugurated. In ...  >>MORE

Etihad adopts Lufthansa IT package

Posted on 12/01/2004

Etihad Airways has adopted Lufthansa Systems' 'MultiHost' IT package to fully automate the airline's core ticketing, flight data load, and inventory processes. The airline said yesterday it had signed a five-year contract with Lufthansa Systems and will be the first in the UAE to use MultiHost, an integrated systems solution that is already the choice of more than 40 carriers including Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, British Midland, LOT, Air Berlin and Qatar Airways. Lufthansa Systems is a ...  >>MORE

Etihad to lease Airbus aircraft to meet expansion needs

Posted on 11/01/2004

Etihad Airways is leasing an A340-300 aircraft from Boeing to meet its expansion needs while plans are on tap to order new aircraft. The leased aircraft will be inducted next week and will be pressed into service in mid-February this year, a top airline official told said. Etihad currently operates two wide-bodied Airbus A330-200 passenger jets, both leased, and flies to three destinations, namely, Beirut, Damascus and Amman. By end-April, Etihad Airways will be flying some five or six ...  >>MORE

Emirates offers the world's first inflight e-mail

Posted on 10/01/2004

In another inflight communications first, Emirates airline has announced that soon it will offer its passengers the world's first regular, airborne wireless laptop service, thanks to an agreement signed yesterday with Tenzing Communications of Seattle, Washington, USA. The Dubai-based international airline will launch the new feature in the first quarter of this year onboard all of its new Airbus A340-500s. Emirates is the launch carrier for this new aircraft, which started being operated ...  >>MORE

Gulf Air wins award for turnaround

Posted on 05/01/2004

Gulf Air has been awarded the 'Airline Turnaround of the Year' award from the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA). "Gulf Air languished for a number of years, watching while neighbouring airlines flourished. But over the past year and a half, under new management, led by president and chief executive, James Hogan, Gulf Air has again become an airline to be reckoned with, and a market leader," CAPA said in a statement. Gulf Air, the carrier owned by Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Oman, reported ...  >>MORE

GCAA unveils Dh77m budget

Posted on 03/01/2004

The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) announced its budget for next year will be Dh77 million, a Dh5 million increase. It is also optimistic about traffic, forecasting a 4.9 per cent increase in flight movements for 2004 after its board meeting last Wednesday. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman of Emirates Group, and Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of Communications and Chairman of the GCAA, laid out a blueprint for the future which will see ...  >>MORE

Air Arabia emerges with flying colours in its first two months

Posted on 21/12/2003

Air Arabia, the Sharjah government-owned budget airline, has been hailed a success since its launch two months ago. More than 18,000 travellers have used the low-cost carrier - the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa - since operations got off the runway last November. Buoyed by its success the airline is expanding its services and yesterday announced additional flights to Beirut, Damascus and Iran. "Within a month of start-up we have recorded a very healthy load factor ...  >>MORE

Emirates announces 2004 Eurobond issue

Posted on 19/12/2003

Emirates, the Dubai-based international airline, yesterday has announced it plans to launch an international bond issue in 2004. The bond will be denominated in US dollars, for an initial amount of US$ 400 million. It will have a maturity of seven years and will offer investors a floating-rate interest. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Emirates, said: "We have taken formal steps to issue this inaugural international bond early in the new year. This will be the first time that ...  >>MORE

Mohammed discusses co-operation with BA Chief

Posted on 16/12/2003

General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and UAE Defence Minister, reviewed, in a meeting in Dubai yesterday, with British Airways, BA, Chief Executive Rod Eddington co-operation between the Emirates Airlines and BA. They also discussed avenues of developing air transport industry in view of the open-sky policy pursued by the UAE and Britain. The Dubai Crown Prince and British Airways CEO further reviewed trade and tourism relations between the UAE and United ...  >>MORE

Air Arabia unveils starting fares

Posted on 14/12/2003

Air Arabia, the UAE's national airline and the first low-cost airline of its kind in the region, yesterday unveiled its starting fares and explained the dynamics of its fare structure. "We are committed to offering the lowest possible market fares at any given date to any destination," claimed Adel Ali, CEO. Air Arabia's starting fares vary according to destination. A one-way ticket from Sharjah starts at Dh159 to Bahrain, Dh222 to Kuwait, Dh99 to Muscat, Dh199 to Beirut, and Dh310 to ...  >>MORE

Etihad expands reach with Jordan service

Posted on 13/12/2003

Etihad Airways yesterday launched its inaugural flight to Amman, its third destination. The airline plans to start services to Cairo early next month and to Mumbai later the same month. Etihad will operate three flights a week to Jordan. However it will be a triangular flight linking Abu Dhabi to Amman and then Damascus once a week and Abu Dhabi-Damascus-Amman twice a week. Etihad currently operates two wide-bodied Airbus A330-200 passenger jets and the fleet will grow rapidly as new ...  >>MORE

Emirates, GE Engine sign pact

Posted on 12/12/2003

Emirates airline yesterday signed a letter of intent with GE Engine Services (GEES) on a long-term maintenance agreement to support the engines that will power the airline's Airbus A340-300 aircraft. Emirates will begin operating eight leased four-engine A340s in 2004. The agreement, which has a potential value of more than $200 million over its life, covers the initial overhaul of the 32 CFM56-5C engines installed on these aircraft, followed by a nine-year maintenance programme. Sheikh Ahmed ...  >>MORE

Dubai investing US$30b in aviation infrastructure

Posted on 10/12/2003

Dubai's total investment of more than US$30 billion will make it the largest aviation hub in the Middle East and transform its carrier, Emirates, into a global airline, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) and chairman of Emirates Group, said yesterday. These investments comprise US$26 billion for the expansion of Emirates airline and US$4.1 billion for that of Dubai International Airport. Sheikh Ahmed yesterday opened the Dubai ...  >>MORE

Royal Jet in tie-up with US’ MedAir

Posted on 10/12/2003

Royal Jet, Abu Dhabi's private charter aircraft company has tied up with US-based Med-Air to provide advanced medical evacuation in the UAE, a service claimed to be the first in the region. The "air ambulance service” claimed to be the first in the region. The "air ambulance service” as it is called will be offered by Royal Med a division of Royal jet which operates a Boeing Business Jet and two new Gulfstream G300 aircraft. Royal Jet has added MedAir's Tempus 2000 an advanced mobile ...  >>MORE

Emirates in US$1.5b engine deal

Posted on 09/12/2003

Emirates airline yesterday announced a huge US$1.5 billion order for engines to power the new additions to its fleet. The GCC's top airline by profitability - and one of the most profitable in the world - has chosen the GE-P&W Engine Alliance for its 23 Airbus A380-800 aircraft on order. The Alliance will supply 92 GP7200 engines, with nine spares, for delivery from 2009. This is in addition to Emirates' earlier order for 98 GP7200 engines, including 10 spares for 22 Airbus A380-800, also ...  >>MORE

Etihad on fast-track route to Damascus

Posted on 07/12/2003

Etihad Airlines begins its fast-track expansion today when the first flight to Damascus leaves Abu Dhabi. The airline made its first commercial flight to Beirut on November 12 and now serves the Lebanese capital three times a week. Other Middle East destinations will soon be added, followed by the Indian sub-continent, the Far East, and the UK. The new Damascus service will leave Abu Dhabi at noon on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, arriving at 13.35. The return flight leaves at 14.35 and ...  >>MORE

Royal Jet takes off fast with ambulance service

Posted on 07/12/2003

Premium service Royal Jet, the 100 per cent Abu Dhabi government-owned private airline, has made a huge success out of a surprise role - as an ambulance service. The private charter service launched only in May this year has created a niche in medical evacuation, with some 40 per cent of its business and 60 per cent of its flying time employed in providing this service. The luxury airline is more readily associated with VIPs, heads of state, travelling superstars and royalty. Yet it has ...  >>MORE

Engine makers look at lucrative Emirates order

Posted on 06/12/2003

With most of the major deals having been placed already in the last 12 months, aircraft engine manufacturers are looking to Emirates airline's potentially huge order book for units to power the 21 additional Airbus A380s it has ordered. Among the contenders for this heavily contested contract is the alliance between General Electric (GE) and Pratt & Whitney. "The GE-P&W Engine Alliance currently has the largest single order for A380 engines and it is with Emirates," said Lloyd Thompson, ...  >>MORE

Business jets stay on solid footing

Posted on 06/12/2003

Even as new mainstream airlines take to the skies, the regional market for business jet services retains its solid footing with an estimated 300 in operation currently. Not surprisingly, Saudi Arabia remains the biggest market with over 60 per cent of the business jets based there. Only in the past four years has the Middle East's business jet market taken off - a fact that is encouraging many new entrants. Recently, an Abu Dhabi based venture came into being with strong financial backing from ...  >>MORE

Emirates in world's first A340-500 scheduled flight

Posted on 03/12/2003

The world's first regularly scheduled flight of the new, long-range Airbus A340-500 took place yesterday when Emirates flight 412 took off from Dubai International Airport on its maiden non-stop service to Sydney, Australia. Emirates' remarkable A340-500 seats 12 First Class passengers in the world's first enclosed suites with sliding doors that can be closed for privacy, according to reports in the UAE's dailies. The new aircraft also seats 42 customers in Business and 204 in Economy, and ...  >>MORE

Emirates signs US$112m Islamic financing deal

Posted on 30/11/2003

Emirates airline signed a US$112 million Islamic financing deal with Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) as arranger with a share of US$87 million, and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) participating in the funding to the tune of US$25 million, for an A340-500 aircraft. The financing, 12-year Islamic operating lease denominated in US dollars, was structured and arranged by Dubai Islamic Bank. The funding is provided by DIB and ADIB at a competitive rate compared with conventional modes of financing. This ...  >>MORE

Islamic funds to power Emirates

Posted on 29/11/2003

Almost 40 per cent of the financing of Emirates airline's fleet expansion will be met through Islamic facilities against 10 per cent which the airline used in the funding of its present fleet of 56 aircraft. In an interview with Gulf News, Dermot Mannion, president, group support services, Emirates Group, said Emirates will have a 125-strong fleet by 2012. As of now, Emirates is the world's biggest user of Islamic financing for aircraft. He said Islamic financing will certainly be a major ...  >>MORE

Air Arabia targets 15 destinations by 2005

Posted on 27/11/2003

Air Arabia, established by two government departments in Sharjah, is set to fly to 15 destinations by the end of next year as it acquires four leased aircraft from the US-based International Lease Financing Corporation (ILFC). Donald Hubbard, Air Arabia's director of finance, also told Gulf News that the company, a 60:40 joint venture between the Civil Aviation Department of Sharjah and Sharjah Airport Authority, is currently holding talks with several banks in order to arrange a Dh30 million ...  >>MORE

Gulf Air adds new service

Posted on 23/11/2003

Gulf Air's full range of premium services for First and Business class passengers using the Abu Dhabi International Airport is now available in a tailored Business Plus package that offers a number of exclusive benefits. "We are conscious of the multi-segmented nature of the market and the diversity of the customers we serve," said James Hogan, President and Chief Executive of Gulf Air. "It is our aim to serve each of the market segments appropriately with products and services that effectively ...  >>MORE

Royal Jet to start aircraft management services soon

Posted on 23/11/2003

Royal Jet will soon undertake aircraft management and corporate shuttle chartering as part of its new initiatives. The Abu Dhabi-based private jet aircraft service will soon sign its first management contract for aircraft management, said a top company official. Royal Jet is discussing undertaking corporate chartering service with at least two airlines. With more aircraft joining its fleet, Royal Jet "is available for airlines to help them on high yield business routes. We are discussing ...  >>MORE

Emirates to add six new destinations in 2004

Posted on 22/11/2003

Emirates plans to open six new destinations in 2004 including the US, Scotland, Central Europe, China and West Africa in a network expansion touching four continents. The airline will add two more destinations in Africa when it begins flights to Lagos and Accra on January 2. Emirates will also begin flights to mainland China on April 10 when it flies to Shanghai for the first time. Flights to Vienna will begin on May 1. Emirates will launch non-stop services to New York on June 1, providing ...  >>MORE

Gulf Air recovery plan on track to meet target

Posted on 20/11/2003

Gulf Air's three-year recovery plan is on track to meet its financial target as the strategy's first year draws to a close, James Hogan, president and chief executive, said yesterday. He added that the cost of living increase incorporated into the plan will be paid out again next February. "The past year has been a period of unprecedented change and hard work at Gulf Air," he said. In terms of the restructuring strategy unanimously approved by the board last December to recover the ...  >>MORE

Air Arabia gets its second Airbus 320

Posted on 18/11/2003

Air Arabia, the no-frills airline, yesterday announced the arrival of its second leased Airbus 320. The seat configuration of its planes offers two more inches of legroom compared with other airlines, it added. The airline will run short-haul flights with the two aircraft and have a full fleet of six Airbus 320s by the end of next year. On Sunday it launched a "visa change" flight to Muscat for a return fare of Dh220. Nizar said the early morning flight is ideal as it lands as the visa ...  >>MORE

Emirates to offer widest choice of entertainment from next month

Posted on 15/11/2003

Travellers on Emirates' new Airbus A340-500, the world's longest-range aircraft, will relax during flights of up to 19 hours with more than 500 channels of in-flight entertainment, the widest choice in the skies. Its new $8 million ICE (information, communication and entertainment) system available from next month will feature 100 movies and 50 TV channels on demand, 350-plus audio channels and 40 in-flight games — three times more than on any other airline. The Dubai-based carrier is ...  >>MORE

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Quick List

Gulf Air revenues up 11pc in 2003


Dubai Duty Free posts record Dh146m Jan sales


Air Arabia to operate low cost flights to Teheran


Abu Dhabi Aviation's profits total Dh 52 m in 2003


Gamco aims to double facilities in five years


Gulf Air hopes to be back in black next year as regional travel booms


Emirates interested in Dreamliner


Air Arabia launches new in-flight duty free service


Gamco to maintain aircraft in Sharjah


Emirates takes delivery of first of eight Airbus A340-300 aircraft


Air Arabia connects Alexandria


Gulf Air achieves its highest traffic level


Emirates may lease more aircraft soon


Etihad adopts Lufthansa IT package


Etihad to lease Airbus aircraft to meet expansion needs


Emirates offers the world's first inflight e-mail


Gulf Air wins award for turnaround


GCAA unveils Dh77m budget


Air Arabia emerges with flying colours in its first two months


Emirates announces 2004 Eurobond issue


Mohammed discusses co-operation with BA Chief


Air Arabia unveils starting fares


Etihad expands reach with Jordan service


Emirates, GE Engine sign pact


Dubai investing US$30b in aviation infrastructure


Royal Jet in tie-up with US’ MedAir


Emirates in US$1.5b engine deal


Etihad on fast-track route to Damascus


Royal Jet takes off fast with ambulance service


Engine makers look at lucrative Emirates order


Business jets stay on solid footing


Emirates in world's first A340-500 scheduled flight


Emirates signs US$112m Islamic financing deal


Islamic funds to power Emirates


Air Arabia targets 15 destinations by 2005


Gulf Air adds new service


Royal Jet to start aircraft management services soon


Emirates to add six new destinations in 2004


Gulf Air recovery plan on track to meet target


Air Arabia gets its second Airbus 320


Emirates to offer widest choice of entertainment from next month