Qatar buys American Airlines shares

June 23, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, Middle east, News

NEW YORK, 23 June 2017: Qatar Airways, its Middle Eastern business pressured by a diplomatic row with neighbours, is seeking as much as a 10% stake in American Airlines, the US carrier said Thursday.

Qatar Airways’ surprise investment push was disclosed by American Airlines in a securities filing, Thursday, saying the Qatari company planned to buy at least USD808 million in American shares.

In addition, Qatar Airways’ chief executive told his counterpart at American that the carrier sought a stake of about 10%. Read more

Iran agrees to buy more A320s

June 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News

LE BOURGET, FRANCE, 23 June 2017: Iran’s Zagros Airlines has agreed to buy 28 planes from Airbus, the European aircraft maker said on Thursday at the Paris Air Show.

Zagros, which flies domestic routes in Iran, signed a memorandum of understanding to pick up 20 planes of the A320neo family, and eight of the A330neo type, Airbus said in a statement.

Zagros is already the largest operator of Airbus single-aisle aircraft in Iran with 11 A320ceo planes, it said. Read more

Qatar wins Skytrax’s top award

June 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News

PARIS, 21 June 2017: Qatar Airways has again been named Airline of the Year by the prestigious 2017 Skytrax World Airline Awards, hosted Tuesday at the Paris Air Show.

It marks the fourth time that Qatar Airways has been given this global recognition as the world’s best airline.

In addition to being voted Best Airline by travellers from worldwide, Qatar’s national carrier also won a raft of other major awards, including Best Airline in the Middle East, World’s Best Business Class and World’s Best First Class Airline Lounge. Read more

Hotel group expands in Egypt

June 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Middle east, News

BANGKOK, 21 June 2017: Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts is ramping up its presence in Egypt, revealing plans to add a new integrated beach and golf resort to its portfolio of 16 hotels and river cruisers.

The global hospitality group has inked an agreement with Galalah Co For Touristic Investments to manage the 214-key Mövenpick Hotel El Ein Bay, its second property in the coastal area of El Sokhna.

The first, Mövenpick Resort El Sokhna, is owned by a sister firm of Galalah Co. Read more

End blockade to start talks

June 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News

DOHA, 20 June 2017: Qatar on Monday demanded neighbouring states lift their “blockade” of the emirate as a pre-condition for crisis talks, even as the United Arab Emirates warned its isolation could last years.

Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani called measures imposed against Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and others “an act of aggression”.

“We have to make it very clear for everyone, negotiations must be done in a civilised way and should have a solid basis and not under pressure or under blockade,” he told reporters in Doha. Read more

Air embargo just for Qatar

June 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News

ABU DHABI, 14 June 2017: The air embargo imposed on Qatar only applies to airlines from Qatar or registered there, the United Arab Emirates Civil Aviation Authority said Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain issued identical statements on the air embargo, which came into effect when Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Manama broke off relations with Qatar on 5 June, accusing it of supporting “terrorism”.

The embargo bans “all Qatari aviation companies and aircraft registered in the state of Qatar” from landing or transiting through the airspace of the Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, according to the statements published by the national agencies of the three countries. Read more

Qatar reaches out to Dublin

June 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News

DOHA, 13 June 2017: Ireland’s capital, Dublin, welcomed the first Qatar Airways flight from Doha, Monday, despite a diplomatic squabble that has seen Middle East neighbours closing the airline’s airspace.

The airline’s senior vice president for Europe, Jonathan Harding, travelled on board the inaugural flight and was greeted by Dublin Airport Authority chief executive, Kevin Toland.

An Airbus A350 aircraft was used for the inaugural flight to Dublin, although all subsequent flights will use a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with a two-class configuration; 22 seats in business class and 232 seats in economy class. Read more

Qatar fights sanctions

June 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Middle east, News

PARIS, 13 June 2017: Qatar on Monday denounced sanctions imposed against Doha by Saudi Arabia and its allies as “unfair” and “illegal”, as Britain announced talks to try to resolve the crisis.

“Whatever relates to our foreign affairs… no one has the right to discuss,” Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani told reporters during a visit to Paris.

He called for “dialogue based on clear foundations” over accusations that Qatar supports extremist groups. Read more

No winners in Gulf crisis

June 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News

DUBAI, 13 June 2017: Qatar Airways has made Doha a global hub in just a few years, but barring it from Gulf states’ airspace threatens its position as a major transcontinental carrier, experts say.

Along with its Gulf peers — Dubai’s Emirates Airlines and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad — Qatar’s national carrier has captured a sizable portion of transit travel, capitalising on the Gulf’s central geographic location.

But political differences between Qatar and neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, as well as Egypt, exploded last week into a full-blown regional crisis, including severing air links. Read more

Iran airline orders Boeing jets

June 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News

TEHRAN, 12 July 2017: Iran’s Aseman Airlines has finalised an agreement to buy 30 Boeing 737 MAX jets for USD3 billion, the company said Saturday, with an option to buy 30 more.

The deal, announced in April, was signed at a ceremony in Tehran and the first 30 planes are due for delivery between 2022 and 2024.

“I’m glad that we can… upgrade the air fleet in an appropriate manner so they can take over regional markets,” said Labour Minister Ali Rabii at the signing, according to the ISNA news agency. Read more

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