Tag Archives: flights

Flights scrapped as snow blankets Europe

Photo: Residents clear snow on a road near Holcombe in Somerset, England, on January 22, 2013. (Getty Images: Matt Cardy)  Photo: Snow covers padlocks attached to a fence on a bridge at the main railway station in Cologne, Germany, on January 21, 2013. The padlocks are left there by couples to symbolize their everlasting love. (Reuters: Ina Fassbender)  Photo: A boy toboggans down a snowy hillside in Prague, Czech Republic, on January 20, 2013. (AFP: Michal Cizek)  Photo: A snowman wears a Union Jack hat as snow blankets Buckingham Palace, England on January 20, 2013. (Reuters: Olivia Harris)  Photo: Squirrels have a bite to eat in a snowy tree in St James’ Park, London, on January 20, 2013. (AFP: Andrew Cowie)  Photo: Frost covers the branches of a tree in Schierke, eastern Germany, on January 20, 2013. (AFP: Matthias Bein)  Photo: A man cross-country skis on the Champs de Mars in Paris on January 20, 2013. (Reuters: John Schults)  Photo: A car is stranded on a snow-covered road in Godewaersvelede, northern France, on January 20, 2013. (AFP: Philippe Huguen)  Photo: An activist warms up with a cup of tea at a camp protesting the development of a bypass road near Hastings in south-east England on January 20, 2013. (Reuters: Luke Macgregor)  Photo: Cars drive on a snow-covered highway in northern France on January 20, 2013. (AFP: Philippe Huguen)  Photo: Tottenham Hotspur’s US striker Clint Dempsey (L) celebrates scoring his late equalising goal in the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane on January 20, 2013. (AFP PHOTO: Ian Kington )  Photo: A delayed plane parks on the snow-covered tarmac at the Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport, outside Paris, on January 20, 2013. Heavy snow and strong winds disrupted air, road and rail transport in France and across Europe. (AFP) Gallery: In pictures: Cold snap grips Europe

Heavy snowfall in large parts of Europe has forced airlines to cancel large numbers of flights to London’s Heathrow airport and the main airports in Paris.


Heathrow scrapped a fifth of flights overnight, while the Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports on the outskirts of Paris cancelled 40 per cent, mostly short-haul services.


Flagship carrier Air France said it had managed to go ahead with almost all of its long-haul flights and just over half of its short- and medium-haul journeys, with average delays of about one hour.


Some airports, including in Lille in northern France and in Beauvais, outside of Paris, were forced to close, forcing budget carrier Ryanair to divert several flights to other airports.


More than 120 Ryanair passengers heading from Oporto in Portugal to Lille were left stranded in the western city of Nantes.


Airport officials said they would be brought to their final destination by bus on Monday.


Heathrow, owned by Spain’s Ferrovial, said the reduced schedule – amounting to around 250 fewer flights – would help it cope with the snowfall without making further cancellations.


London’s smaller Stansted and Gatwick airports said they were operating as normal on Sunday morning but that delays and some flight cancellations were likely.


The British Met Office said snow was likely to continue into Monday (local time).


As much as eight centimetres was expected in south-east England on Sunday, it said.


On average, 1,300 flights leave Heathrow daily. The airport, Europe’s busiest, operates at close to full capacity.


“Many airports have plenty of spare runway capacity so aircraft can be spaced out more during low visibility without causing delays and cancellations,” a spokesperson for Heathrow, whose owners have campaigned hard for more capacity at the London hub, said.


“Because Heathrow operates at almost full capacity, there is simply no room to reschedule the delayed flights.”


More than 400 flights were cancelled on Friday, while on Saturday 111 flights, most of them operated by British Airways, were cancelled and hundreds of passengers spent the night in Heathrow’s terminals.


BA said there had been a knock-on effect because many of its planes were in the wrong place after Friday’s snow.


Services by Air France-KLM, Ireland’s Aer Lingus and Germany’s Lufthansa have also been affected.


AFP/Reuters

Topics: snowfall, weather, air-transport, industry, business-economics-and-finance, england, united-kingdom, france

First posted January 21, 2013 12:58:47

Qantas cancels Adelaide-Singapore flights


Qantas will axe its direct flights between Adelaide and Singapore in April as part of a national restructure of its Asian services.


Adelaide Airport says the airline provides three weekly flights direct from Singapore to Adelaide and another three from Adelaide to Singapore via Sydney.


The airport says the decision is disappointing and comes as the number of international passengers using the terminal continues to grow.


Adelaide Airport says the loss of the Qantas flights will be partially offset by Singapore Airlines’ decision to increase its Adelaide services in July.


But Senator Nick Xenophon has labelled Qantas’s decision an insult to the state.


He says Adelaide is being marginalised by the airline.


“We now have a crazy situation where other countries’ airlines are bringing more and more flights into Adelaide from overseas yet Qantas has now severed its last remaining flights in and out of Adelaide on an international route,” he said.


“That, to me, is a disgrace.


“Qantas says that they’ve been losing money on the Adelaide-Singapore route when Qantas employees tell me that they’re flights out of Adelaide to Singapore have invariably been incredibly full.”


The Transport Workers Union says it expects the airline’s decision will lead to job losses.


Branch organiser Matthew Spring says Qantas workers were given no warning about the changes.


“They only found out in the same that way we did, through the media and through us ringing them. They’re shocked,” he said.


“One of my delegates said ‘I don’t understand that, those flights are coming in loaded, they’re not empty, they’re coming in fully loaded. Why would you want to get on a domestic flight and fly to Melbourne to fly out to Singapore, when you go straight from here to Singapore on another flight?’”


Qantas says it is working on a deal with Dubai-based airline Emirates.

Topics: air-transport, travel-and-tourism, sa, adelaide-5000, singapore

First posted February 04, 2013 17:18:36

ANA to cancel more Dreamliner flights: media

anaTOKYO: Japan’s All Nippon Airways plans to cancel at least 379 flights in February due to the worldwide grounding of Boeing’s Dreamliner, local media reported on Saturday.


The cancellations — 245 flights on domestic routes over 12 days from February 1 and 134 on international routes over 18 days — are expected to affect some 24,300 passengers, Jiji Press and Kyodo News said.


The total number of ANA cancellations since a January 16 emergency landing in western Japan will now amount to 838, with 82,620 travellers affected, Jiji said.


International flights expected to be hit next month will include those from Tokyo’s Haneda and Narita airports to Frankfurt, San Jose, Seattle and Seoul.


Boeing’s cutting-edge new planes suffered a series of glitches earlier this month, prompting a global alert from the US Federal Aviation Administration that led to the worldwide grounding of all 50 operational 787s.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2013

More flights to be added on Taiwan, China routes

taiwan china flag 400TAIPEI: The number of direct flights between Taiwan and China will rise more than 10 percent this year to 616 flights a week as ties between the two former rivals grow closer, an official said Monday.

The two sides have agreed to add 58 flights to the present 558 weekly trips, Lee Wan-li, deputy director-general of Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration, said.

“It is fair to expect the new flights no later than April, but in the end it will be up to the carriers from the two sides which provide … services on the routes,” he told AFP.

China will put eight more destinations on the map, including Lijiang, a popular scenic spot in the southwest, while Taiwan will add Chiayi city in the island’s south, Lee said.

Direct chartered flights began in 2008 and scheduled flights the following year, as relations thaw between Taipei and Beijing following the election of Taiwan’s China-friendly President Ma Ying-jeou five years ago.

He was reelected last year for a second and final four-year term.

Travel between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland stopped at the end of a civil war in 1949. A ban on solo Chinese travellers was lifted in June 2011.

Previously, mainland tourists had only been allowed to visit Taiwan as part of official tour groups due to fears they might overstay their visas to work illegally on the island.

A record 2.23 million visits were made by Chinese travellers to Taiwan in 2012, up almost 50 percent from the year before, according to Taiwan’s National Immigration Agency.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2013

Flights scrapped as snow blankets Europe

Updated January 21, 2013 16:28:04

Squirrels have a bite to eat in a snowy tree Photo: Squirrels have a bite to eat in a snowy tree in St James’ Park, London, on January 20, 2013. (AFP: Andrew Cowie) A snowman wears a Union Jack hat Photo: A snowman wears a Union Jack hat as snow blankets Buckingham Palace, England on January 20, 2013. (Reuters: Olivia Harris) A boy toboggans down a snowy hillside Photo: A boy toboggans down a snowy hillside in Prague, Czech Republic, on January 20, 2013. (AFP: Michal Cizek) A man cross-country skis on the Champs de Mars in Paris Photo: A man cross-country skis on the Champs de Mars in Paris on January 20, 2013. (Reuters: John Schults) Frost covers the branches of a tree Photo: Frost covers the branches of a tree in Schierke, eastern Germany, on January 20, 2013. (AFP: Matthias Bein) A car is stranded on a snow-covered road Photo: A car is stranded on a snow-covered road in Godewaersvelede, northern France, on January 20, 2013. (AFP: Philippe Huguen) An activist warms up with a cup of tea Photo: An activist warms up with a cup of tea at a camp protesting the development of a bypass road near Hastings in south-east England on January 20, 2013. (Reuters: Luke Macgregor) Cars drive on a snow-covered highway Photo: Cars drive on a snow-covered highway in northern France on January 20, 2013. (AFP: Philippe Huguen) Clint Dempsey scores the equaliser for Spurs Photo: Tottenham Hotspur’s US striker Clint Dempsey (L) celebrates scoring his late equalising goal in the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane on January 20, 2013. (AFP PHOTO: Ian Kington ) Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport Photo: A delayed plane parks on the snow-covered tarmac at the Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport, outside Paris, on January 20, 2013. Heavy snow and strong winds disrupted air, road and rail transport in France and across Europe. (AFP) Gallery: Cold snap grips Europe

Heavy snowfall in large parts of Europe has forced airlines to cancel large numbers of flights to London’s Heathrow airport and the main airports in Paris.

Heathrow scrapped a fifth of flights overnight, while the Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports on the outskirts of Paris cancelled 40 per cent, mostly short-haul services.

Flagship carrier Air France said it had managed to go ahead with almost all of its long-haul flights and just over half of its short- and medium-haul journeys, with average delays of about one hour.

Some airports, including in Lille in northern France and in Beauvais, outside of Paris, were forced to close, forcing budget carrier Ryanair to divert several flights to other airports.

More than 120 Ryanair passengers heading from Oporto in Portugal to Lille were left stranded in the western city of Nantes.

Airport officials said they would be brought to their final destination by bus on Monday.

Heathrow, owned by Spain’s Ferrovial, said the reduced schedule – amounting to around 250 fewer flights – would help it cope with the snowfall without making further cancellations.

London’s smaller Stansted and Gatwick airports said they were operating as normal on Sunday morning but that delays and some flight cancellations were likely.

The British Met Office said snow was likely to continue into Monday (local time).

As much as eight centimetres was expected in south-east England on Sunday, it said.

On average, 1,300 flights leave Heathrow daily. The airport, Europe’s busiest, operates at close to full capacity.

“Many airports have plenty of spare runway capacity so aircraft can be spaced out more during low visibility without causing delays and cancellations,” a spokesperson for Heathrow, whose owners have campaigned hard for more capacity at the London hub, said.

“Because Heathrow operates at almost full capacity, there is simply no room to reschedule the delayed flights.”

More than 400 flights were cancelled on Friday, while on Saturday 111 flights, most of them operated by British Airways, were cancelled and hundreds of passengers spent the night in Heathrow’s terminals.

BA said there had been a knock-on effect because many of its planes were in the wrong place after Friday’s snow.

Services by Air France-KLM, Ireland’s Aer Lingus and Germany’s Lufthansa have also been affected.

AFP/Reuters

Topics: snowfall, weather, air-transport, industry, business-economics-and-finance, england, united-kingdom, france

First posted January 21, 2013 12:58:47

NT airline to resume flights after CASA challenge

Updated December 14, 2012 17:41:32

Northern Territory airline Hardy Aviation expects flights by its subsidiary Fly Tiwi to resume next week.

It follows the threat of legal action against the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) over the grounding of Fly Tiwi.

Fly Tiwi’s daily flights to the Tiwi Islands were grounded by CASA late last month because senior pilots failed a review test.

Hardy Aviation has been working with CASA in an effort to resume flights.

Managing director John Hardy says was been left with no choice but to take action against the “onerous” conditions imposed by CASA, which include a review of all Hardy Aviation aircraft and pilots.

Appearances by the two parties in the Federal Court of Australia today resulted in CASA relaxing some its conditions.

The court did not take any action and the matter remains on hold.

Mr Hardy says this will be enough to allow Fly Tiwi to resume services to the Tiwi Islands, possibly by early next week.

He says he has more than 120 staff, and they have worried about the situation.

He says the grounding left hundreds of people in Tiwi Islands communities without freight and transport.

Topics: air-transport, regulation, courts-and-trials, darwin-0800, nguiu-0822, nt

First posted December 14, 2012 11:55:43

Alitalia gives wings to direct flights between Rome and Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi: Italy’s national carrier Alitalia has started direct flight services from Rome to Abu Dhabi, with the arrival of the first flight at Abu Dhabi International Airport on Tuesday evening.

The flight was greeted by Shaikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister for Foreign Trade, Giorgio Starace, Italian Ambassador to the UAE, Ali Majed Al Manoori, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Airports Company and Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer.

Alitalia will fly four weekly return Airbus A330 services between Rome and Abu Dhabi. Onward codeshare connections for Etihad Airways customers will be from Rome to Athens, Milan, Frankfurt, Munich, Geneva, Venice and Zurich. Codeshare connections for Alitalia customers will be over Abu Dhabi to Bahrain, Muscat, Johannesburg, Bangkok, Melbourne and Sydney.

Etihad Airways and Alitalia prior to this have had a codeshare partnership on the basis of Etihad’s Abu Dhabi-Milan operations.

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“What we have now is that they [Alitalia] fly from Rome here and we have our code on their Rome flights and from Rome and beyond to different European destinations. On the other side, they will fly the Alitalia code and beyond Abu Dhabi to serve destinations,” Baumgartner told reporters. “It [Rome] is for us now a new destination. We didn’t have any code or any marketing to Rome before, but it’s not our own aircraft, it’s the Alitalia aircraft but we have our crew on board as well.”

“The connectivity over Abu Dhabi from key Asian markets into Italy is an important traffic airflow and Abu Dhabi is in the middle so it’s an ideal hub to connect those together,” he added.

With the addition of Alitalia, ADAC currently lists 54 airlines as conducting flight operations in and out of Abu Dhabi International Airport. Al Mansoori told Gulf News that the addition of Rome to the network is of great importance for both Abu Dhabi and Italy.

“There is definitely a plan and a strategy to expand our airline network, but it’s difficult to put a number and a time on it,” he said. “However, we expect to reach 70 airlines in the next two to three years,” he added.

Al Mansoori said that in the short term, Abu Dhabi as a destination is going to be a great attraction to travellers, especially with new museums that are scheduled to come online on Saadiyat Island, one that would increase the flow of travellers into the city.

For 2012, ADAC had projected that the number of passengers flying through Abu Dhabi International Airport would reach 12 million passengers.

“So far, we’ve reached 14 million,” he said.

Air Arabia increases Peshawar flights to daily

Sharjah: Air Arabia, one of the first and largest low-cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa, announced on Tuesday the expansion of services to Peshawar, Pakistan.

The three weekly flights from Sharjah to Peshawar is now increased to daily flights, making it easier and more convenient for passengers travelling between the UAE and Pakistan.

‘’We are extremely pleased to announce the expansion of services to the city of Peshawar, Pakistan,” said Adel Ali, Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia Group. “Since launching operations to Pakistan, it has always been a market of focus for us, and the launch of additional services is a result of increasing customer demand from the market. The ever growing appeal for Air Arabia flights, underpinned by the value for money services, signals that Air Arabia continues to be the airline of choice for thousands of passengers who travel between Pakistan and the UAE.”

The increase of flights to Peshawar follows the airline’s recent announcement of increasing flights to Karachi to daily. Air Arabia started operations to Pakistan in 2007 with a launch of direct service to Karachi. Today, it operates 14 weekly direct services to two cities in Pakistan, Karachi and Peshawar.

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Extra flights in doubt

Updated December 02, 2012 11:10:12

A new report reveals extra flights recently put on to Tasmania are unlikely to continue beyond the summer.

The report commissioned by the State Government looks at air and sea access to Tasmania.

It said it was doubtful a 30 per cent boost in flights would be sustained during the winter slowdown.

The report also revealed the Spirit of Tasmania ferries are less than half full of passengers between April and December.

In response, the Tourism Minister Scott Bacon said the government would contribute an extra $1 million in marketing funding.

“We want to use that money to promote Tasmania and get as many people out here as possible,” he said.

The Opposition Leader Will Hodgman said the response was inadequate.

“One million dollars isn’t going to go far enough,” he said.

“It’s a relatively small amount in the scheme of things and once again it’s the government underselling the tourism industry.”

The Tourism Industry Council’s Luke Martin said what Tasmania needed was more winter events.

“We’ve got to create the demand to sustain the flights that we’ve already got in the system,” he said.

The government will also appoint an access development adviser.

Topics: transport, tas

First posted December 02, 2012 06:24:15

Air Arabia increases Karachi flights to daily

Sharjah: Air Arabia,announced on Wednesday the expansion of services to Karachi in Pakistan. The four weekly flights from Sharjah to Karachi are now increased to daily flights, making it easier and more convenient for passengers travelling between both cities. Daily roundtrip flights will now operate between Sharjah and Karachi, departing Sharjah International Airport at 23:00 and arriving in Karachi International Airport at 01:50 (next day). The return flights depart Karachi on the same day at 02:30 and arrive in Sharjah at 03:45. Air Arabia started operations to Pakistan in 2007 with a launch of direct service to Karachi. Today, the carrier offers services to Karachi and Peshawar.

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Al Bateen records more flights during F1 season

Abu Dhabi: Al Bateen Executive Airport, the dedicated business aviation airport of Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), witnessed a spur in traffic during the 2012 Formula 1 season.

The executive airport recorded 210 total commercial aircraft movements during the F1 race period between October 28 and November 5, with the November 3 and 5 being the peak days.

This growth represents a 38 per cent increase in aircraft movements when compared with the same F1 race period in 2011. The executive airport welcomed aircraft from all over the world carrying VIPs, Formula One drivers and other prominent figures of the international community.

In parallel to this traffic surge, Al Bateen registered a tangible increase in the number of visiting aircraft, which made up 63 per cent of the total aircraft movements at its facility within the race season, and recorded 42 per cent increase compared to the period of 2011 race.

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In addition, the airport marked the November 4, the day of the race, as one of the busiest days for the Al Bateen apron as it registered a 78 per cent increase in number of aircraft on ground compared to last year’s race day, with a total of 32 aircraft either parked or on ground.

In this regard, Ahmad Al Haddabi, Chief Operating Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports Company, stated:

“ADAC had an exciting week during the Etihad Airways Formula One Grand Prix, offering its award-winning services to all of the F1 guests at its international airports, and specifically at its dedicated VIP airport, Al Bateen Executive Airport, which welcomed the “who’s who” of the

Formula 1 crowd. ADAC is glad to always be part of the Abu Dhabi F1 team and jointly celebrate the Emirate’s success during this event.”

Tiger resumes Hobart flights

Updated November 02, 2012 06:25:34

Budget airline Tiger Airways has not ruled out resuming flights out of Launceston.

The Hobart-Melbourne service is operating again, with the first flight arriving this morning.

The airline has added 5,000 seats to the market, with two daily flights on the route.

Spokeswoman Carly Brear says Tiger is not ruling out adding services to the state’s north.

Ms Brear says the airline has resumed the Hobart leg because of a spike in demand.

“The Lonely Planet have obviously backed up how great it is as a tourism destination to visit and so all of those things together have really just lead us to feeling now is the best time ever to returning back to Hobart,” she said.

The airline’s first flight was welcomed by the Premier Lara Giddings.

She said the airline’s return could reignite a price war at the start of the peak tourism season.

“We know that visitors to Tasmania spend an average of more than $1,500 and stay for around nine nights, so every additional airline seat helps to create significant new jobs and opportunities for the state,” she said.

Topics: air-transport, tourism, tas, launceston-7250, hobart-7000

First posted November 01, 2012 10:15:51

Security threat delays flights at Brisbane airport

Posted October 19, 2012 19:21:47

A security threat has caused delays to flights in and out of Brisbane’s domestic airport terminal.

The drama began around 4pm (AEST) when security guards at the Virgin checkpoint reported a problem with their screening equipment.

Virgin Blue spokeswoman Melissa Thompson says some passengers went through without being correctly screened.

“Before we were able to grab those people that had walked through, we realised we needed to vacate the terminal,” she said.

“So while we regret the delay to our guests, it was something that needed to be done and those guests have been rescreened and we will get them on their way as soon as we can.”

Passengers have now been allowed to resume their flights.

Virgin apologised for the incident and said there would be delays of up to two hours.

Topics: air-transport, travel-and-tourism, brisbane-airport-4007

Gulf Air defers resuming Iran flights

Manama: Gulf Air said that it would not resume flights to Iran this month as planned after the Iranian authorities have been slow in approving them.

“Gulf Air regrets to announce its services between Bahrain and Iran have been deferred until further notice,” the company said in a statement. “The postponement has become necessary following the delay in receiving approval from the Iranian Civil Aviation Authority of the airline’s flight schedule as permitted under the terms of the current bilateral agreement.”

Gulf Air said it was looking forward to launch flights early next year and set up a dedicated customer services team to contact passengers affected within the next seven days to offer alternative options.

“The national carrier apologises to the passengers affected and reassures them that it is working hard to get approval from the relevant authorities to re-launch services as soon as possible,” the company said.

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In August, Gulf Air said that it would resume its services to Iran and Iraq on September 20 after they were halted in March 2011, days into the unrest that hit the nation that the local authorities linked to Tehran.

Gulf Air, founded in 1950, said that one of its prime objectives was to connect Bahrain to the Middle East countries and the rest of the world.

“As such the airline currently operates the largest network in the Middle East with non-stop flights while providing seamless onward connections to other international destinations. The airline’s current network stretches from Europe to Asia, connecting 48 cities in 30 countries, with a fleet of 39 aircraft,” the company said.

However, the company has suffered huge losses after its lucrative routes to Iraq and Iran were suspended.

A move by the government to help the company has been resisted by several lawmakers who wanted to impose conditions before funds could be extended to Gulf Air.

King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa this week issued a decree allocating 185 million Bahraini dinars (Dh1.7 billion) to recapitalise Gulf Air in order to actively address the national carrier’s current position and secure its long-term sustainability.

Samer Majali, Gulf Air CEO, welcomed the move and said that the funding will be used to fulfil the airline’s current debt obligations and meet its future restructuring costs.

“Working together with the Government of Bahrain and its shareholder, Mumtalakat, to review its existing fleet and network, Gulf Air will implement an accelerated strategy and aggressive restructuring programme to achieve more dramatic cost and liability reductions and put the airline firmly back on the road to sustainability following a difficult 2011,” he said.

According to Majali, the requirement for funding was “a direct result of a series of unprecedented regional and economic factors, including a significant increase in fuel costs that Gulf Air faced, in common with other carriers around the world since 2011”.

“In addition to this, Gulf Air had specific other factors to contend with. The security situation locally and in the region meant the airline was forced to suspend eight of its most profitable destinations. Further concerns such as visa restrictions and travel bans by several countries significantly cut the number of people travelling through Bahrain,” he said.

Relations between Bahrain and Iran have plummeted after Manama accused Tehran of “blatant interference in its domestic affairs”.

Both capitals pulled out their ambassadors amid the growing tension.

However, Bahrain reinstated its ambassador in Tehran and attended the Non-Alignment Movement summit held in the Iranian capital.

However, Iran did not reciprocate and kept its diplomatic mission in Manama under its charge d’affaires.

On Monday, the foreign ministry summoned the charge d’affaires to protest against Iran’s meddling in Bahrain’s domestic affairs and attributing misstatements to Bahraini officials over an alleged mediation request.

Emirates increases Asia flights

Dubai: Emirates is increasing its services to three of its destinations in South East Asia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia.


From December 3, 2012, there will be an increase in the number of flights on the Dubai to Kuala Lumpur route from three daily to 25 a week, increasing to 26 a week from February 6 2013, the company said in a statement on Monday.


Starting January 1, 2013, Emirates will introduce a third daily, non-stop flight to Manila; with a third daily, non-stop service beginning on March 1, 2013 to Jakarta.


“Due to the strong demand we are experiencing, Emirates has added much-needed seat capacity on its flights to Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Manila. The extra daily flights will increase capacity on the Jakarta and Manila routes by 50 per cent and I would like to thank the relevant authorities in the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia for their support,” said Salem Obaid Allah, Emirates’ Senior Vice-President, Commercial Operations Far East & Australia.


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“The new services offer our passengers with more options of their preferred departure time when travelling to Dubai, or travelling onwards throughout our ever-expanding global network. The extra capacity will also stimulate further tourism and trade between Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, UAE and beyond,” added Obaid Allah.


Emirates began services to the Philippines in 1990, Indonesia in 1992 and Kuala Lumpur in 1996, and since then the airline has continued to focus on these markets.


To Manila, the third daily service will be operated by one of Emirates’ Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, in the same two-class configuration, 42 business class lie-flat seats and 386 economy class seats, as the current double-daily service. The new service EK336 departs Dubai at 1830hrs (local time) arriving in Manila at 0630 the following day. The return flight, EK337, departs Manila at 0845hrs arriving in Dubai at 1345hrs, in time to connect to the afternoon departures to Europe.


To Jakarta, from March 1, the new service EK368 will depart Dubai at 1905hrs (local time) arriving in Jakarta at 0615hrs the following day. The return flight leaves Jakarta as EK369 at 0745hrs arriving in Dubai at 1310hrs. As with the two current flights, the new service will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, in a two-class configuration.


Emirates will introduce an extra four flights a week to Kuala Lumpur from Dubai from December 3 on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with the flight on a Wednesday beginning on February 6, 2013. The new service EK344, operated by an Airbus A330-200, will depart Dubai at 2145hrs (local time) and arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 0850 the following day. The return flight, EK345 departs Kuala Lumpur at 1100hrs arriving in Dubai at 1430hrs. The new service will add an extra 2,370 seats per week between Dubai and Kuala Lumpur.


Cargo will also receive an impetus, with an extra 161 tonnes of capacity introduced per week, per direction on the Jakarta and Manila routes and an extra 85 tonnes per week, per direction on the Kuala Lumpur service.


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All Nippon Airways restarts Myanmar flights

nippon ANA 400TOKYO: Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) on Monday restarted direct flights to Myanmar’s commercial capital Yangon after a 12-year hiatus, underscoring renewed interest in the fast-reforming nation.

The carrier pointed to the rising number of business travellers and tourists headed to Myanmar, a one-time international pariah state that has recently introduced a raft of democratic reforms as it opens up to the world.

ANA, which suspended flights in 2000 due to political instability in the country, said it would have fly three flights a week between Tokyo’s Narita aiport and Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city and former capital.

“Myanmar has high potential for economic growth. A lot of Japanese firms have already decided to make inroads into Myanmar and many others are planning to do so,” ANA President Shinichiro Ito said Monday, according to Kyodo News.

Other airlines including Hong Kong’s Dragonair and Singapore Airlines have announced plans for regular flights to Yangon.

Myanmar, also known as Burma, has seen a number of dramatic changes since last year such as the release of hundreds of political prisoners and the election of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to parliament.

Myanmar officials said in July that the authorities are planning a new airport near Yangon, expected to become operational in 2016, due to the influx of visitors.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2012

Faisalabad businessmen demand international flights

Export­ers travel to Dubai, Singap­ore to meet foreig­n buyers. Of the total textile exports of $12 billion, city is contributing more than $4 billion, but businessmen say they lack the facility of international flights. PHOTO: FILE

FAISALABAD: 

The business community has asked the government to start international flights from Faisalabad – the third largest city of the country and home to the highest number of textile producing units.

Of the total textile exports of $12 billion, the city is contributing more than $4 billion, but the businessmen say they lack the facility of international flights.

“Textile being lifeline of the national economy, it is imperative that essential infrastructure facilities are made available to the exporters,” said Mian Zahid Aslam, President of Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a statement.

He pointed out that Pakistan was losing textile export orders because of absence of international flights to and from Faisalabad as foreign buyers wanted to visit the city but were unable to do so. Instead, they go to Delhi, Mumbai or Singapore and ask Pakistani exporters to come to these places for finalising export orders.

According to Aslam, international flights are also necessary for export of fruits and vegetables from the region with time factor playing a key role in shipment of these perishable goods.

The Faisalabad Airport has been upgraded and infrastructure facilities have been provided by the business and trade circles. Direct Hajj flights from the city have also started. In the face of this, “it will not be difficult to start international flights for various destinations from the city,” Aslam stressed.

He said not only the passengers for Manchester and other destinations were sufficient enough from Faisalabad, but also the cargo shipments, which were being diverted to Lahore and other airports.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 13th, 2012. 

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Airport runway closure disrupts 50 flights

Dubai: As many as 50 flights were diverted from Dubai International Airport to other regional airports on Wednesday morning following the closure of the airport’s two runways.

“The closures were caused by the loss of power to a critical runway backup system required during foggy conditions,” Dubai Airports, the airport’s operating body, said in a statement. “The closure of both runways at Dubai International at .645 resulted in the diversion of 50 flights to a number of airports in the region including Dubai World Central, Al Ain, Doha Abu Dhabi, Dammam, Muscat and Bahrain, among others. Runway operations were restored at 8.30.”

Airport’s largest operator, Emirates, said that flights were diverted due to “weather conditions”. “Emirates regrets any inconvenience caused,” the airline’s spokesperson told Gulf News in an emailed statement.

According to Dubai Airports, further flight delays during the day were anticipated as a result of the disruption.

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British Airways marks 80th anniversary of Middle East flights

Sharjah: Imagine if it took you six days and eight stops to fly from London to Sharjah — that was the itinerary 80 years ago when Imperial Airways, the predecessor of British Airways, landed its first flight to the region in Sharjah on October 7, 1932.

It would cost you 84 British pounds for a one-way trip on the Handley Page HP42 aircraft that travelled just 160 kilometres an hour, the airline said on Tuesday at a press conference to mark its 80th anniversary in the Middle East. It was the first airline to fly to the UAE.

Flying from Croydon in South London to Sharjah, the aircraft flew at just 160km at hour.

At each city, passengers would have to disembark to shower or stay overnight, said Jamie Cassidy, area general manager for British Airways. “It was a bit romantic.”

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Carrying just 18 passengers, the aircraft weighed 12,700kg and flew a maximum range of 482km — this was when flying was a novelty and an adventure for the rich and royalty.

It mainly transferred cargo of mail as well as pearls from merchants in the UAE to India and the UK, said Paul Jarvis, director of the British Airways Museum.

The flight was advertised as a luxury carrier with wood and leather interiors and two cabins, he added.

The flight departed from London to Paris, then passengers spent two nights on a train to Italy before flying to Athens, Palestine, Baghdad, Basra, Kuwait, Bahrain and finally landing in Sharjah, Jarvis explained.

It had male cabin attendants until the Second World War when female crew was allowed on board as medical assistants, he said, adding that it wasn’t until 1946 when female cabin crew worked on British Airways.

Eighty years later, British Airways now flies from London Heathrow to Dubai on a Boeing 747-400 that takes about six-and-a-half hours, travels at 988 kilometres an hour and can carry 345 passengers.

British Airways was the first airline to ever fly in the UAE back in 1932, making its 80th anniversary celebration in the country a significant one, said Laila Ali Bin Hareb, executive director of strategy and international affairs at the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

The early flights transported government ministers, top civil servants and the rich and famous, including King Edward the eighth to Europe, the millionaire Barbara Hutton and actor Gary Cooper, according to Jarvis.

Oman Air increases flights in Muscat-Salalah Route

Oman Air increases flights in Muscat-Salalah Route

Oman Air has announced that it has increased flight between Muscat – Salalah route. Nearly 50,000 passengers flew on the route, an increase of more than 20,000 compared with August-September 2011. The extra flights accounted for 40 per cent of the total number of people travelling to Salalah with Oman Air and the extraordinary demand for travel also resulted in an impressive average seat factor of 88% for this festive period. Oman Air has recorded a huge surge in traffic between Muscat and Salalah during August and September this year, resulting from increasing demand at the end of the Holy month of Ramadan, the Eid festivities as well as the natural attraction of the Dhofar Khareef season.

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Dubai Airports’ runways closure affects 50 flights

Dubai: Dubai Airports said the closure of both runways at Dubai International at 6:45am resulted in the diversion of 50 flights to a number of airports in the region including Dubai World Central, Al Ain, Doha Abu Dhabi, Dammam, Muscat and Bahrain among others.

“The closures were caused by the loss of power to a critical runway backup system required during foggy conditions. Runway operations were restored at 8:30am. Dubai Airports is working with airlines, air traffic and ground services staff to restore operations, clear the backlog and limit customer inconvenience,” according to Dubai Airports.

Further flight delays are expected as a result of the disruption.

Dubai Airports advised passengers to check with their airline or airline websites for further information on flight arrival and departure time.

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Daily flights to Kigali offer more choices

Dubai: Starting November this year RwandAir will increase its frequencies to and from Dubai with a daily flight to Kigali. The new schedule will offer more choice to business travellers between Rwanda and the UAE, at times when the two countries are fostering cooperation in various areas.

“We are looking forward to welcome more travellers onto our brand new aircraft. Connecting through Kigali now becomes a real alternative,” said John Mirenge, CEO of RwandAir.

In a major overhaul of its operations and with brand new aircraft joining the fleet in September, RwandAir also adjusted the frequencies of its flights to other existing cities such that Lagos, Brazzaville, Libreville and Johannesburg will now be conveniently connected to the Dubai flights. Closer to its base in Kigali, RwandAir offers several connecting flights to Nairobi, Entebbe, Kilimanjaro, Mombasa, Dar us Salaam, Mwanza and Bujumbura.

“With the arrival of two new aircraft and the re-design of our current pattern of operations, we are now able to enhance the efficiency of our network. Improving connectivity is the key for our airline to attract more passengers,” said Bert van der Stege, Commercial Director for RwandAir.

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Secretary-level talks: India, Pakistan discuss resuming ‘capital’ flights

Arch-rivals commen­ce two-day trade talks; discus­s cooper­ation on market access, tariff­s. Arch-rivals commence two-day trade talks; discuss cooperation on market access, tariffs. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India are discussing a proposal that seeks to restore direct flights between Islamabad and New Delhi, in a latest move indicating improved relations between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

The idea was discussed during the first day of two-day talks, held on Thursday at the commerce secretary level. Both sides were also exploring the possibility of launching container service between Lahore-Amritsar and Lahore-Ludhiana aimed at facilitating fast-track goods’ movement across the borders.

The negotiations are part of the peace process, which has picked up momentum in recent months. The latest trade talks seek to iron out the remaining outstanding issues, which may delay phasing out of negative-list containing 1,209 non-importable items from India.

Pakistan has in principle decided to abolish the list by end of this year but seeks greater access to Indian markets for providing level-playing field to its exporters.

Head of the Indian delegation, Commerce Secretary S R Rao, also stressed the “need to focus on grey areas (for promotion of trade) rather than in the sectors where the business community on both sides of the border is slightly uneasy and sensitive”.

Rao’s opening statement hints at the biggest thorny issue — the possibility of abolishing Pakistan-specific sensitive list maintained under the South Asia Free Trade Agreement and banning trade in products where Islamabad enjoys competitive advantage.

The Indian delegation comprised officials of the Bank of India, External Affairs, and Power and Heavy Electricals, Gas Authority of India, Ministry of Railways, Civil Aviation and Quality Control Departments.

Rao said the 18-member delegation has a mandate from the Indian government to find a cooperative approach and discover commonalities. He said the way the world trade is moving is the reason why both countries are sitting across the table to normalise trade relations. He said despite multilateral trade arrangements, 60% of the total trade is still bilateral.

Pakistan’s Commerce Secretary Munir Qureshi urged India to resolve the issues of tariffs and non-tariff barriers and deficiency of infrastructure which was hampering the movement of goods. He said the business community was pushing for the resolution of all the outstanding issues. Qureshi stressed the need to provide a level-playing field to local businessmen and urged that the remaining issues should also be addressed in the same spirit of “give and take”.

Both the sides also decided to train exporters in their respective countries so they should be more familiar with quality standards — minimising problems at the time of export. In a bid to lower the cost of conducting business, both sides also reviewed the possibility to sign avoidance of double taxation treaty.

The parties gave final touches to the draft of the three agreements that will be signed today (Friday). Both the sides decided that the rules and regulations to govern these agreements will be framed within three months.

India and Pakistan also explored the possibilities of cooperation in the areas of telecommunication and courier services. They discussed promoting small and medium enterprises aimed at extending benefits to be yielded due to the normalisation of process at all possible levels.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 21st, 2012.