Emirates supports Haji travel

August 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News

DUBAI, UAE, 18 August 2017 – Emirates will slot in extra flights to Jeddah to support thousands of pilgrims heading to and from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Hajj.

Emirates will offer 45 additional flights to Jeddah and 12 additional flights to Medina effective  17 August until 11 September to help serve the 2 million pilgrims expected to travel to the Holy City of Mecca during Hajj this year.

These services will run in parallel with Emirates’ scheduled services to Jeddah. The airline will also be operating a A380 to Medina, which will also support the increased demand during this period. Read more

Saudis open border for pilgrims

August 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Middle east, News

RIYADH, 18 August 2017: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has ordered the reopening of the border with Qatar to Hajj pilgrims, state media said Thursday, despite a major diplomatic crisis roiling the region.

The Salwa border crossing has been closed since 5 June  when Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar over accusations the emirate fostered Islamist extremists. Qatar has denied the allegation.

The announcement to reopen the frontier for Qatari pilgrims came after powerful Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, received an envoy from Doha, the official Saudi Press Agency said, in the first public high-level encounter between the nations since the crisis erupted. Read more

Qatar Airways launches Chiang Mai flight

August 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News, Thailand

DOHA, Qatar, 17 August 2017: Qatar Airways has announced it will launch flights to Chiang Mai, its fourth destination in Thailand  to meet increased demand for Thai destinations from holiday-makers mainly in Europe.

The new route comes in addition to existing services to Bangkok and to popular holiday destinations Phuket and Krabi.

The new four-weekly seasonal service will operate between Doha and Chiang Mai (CNX), using a wide-body aircraft from December through to May 2018. Read more

Adventure travel at its worst?

August 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Middle east, News

EFRAT, 17 August 2017: Foreigners yell “fire, fire, fire” before shooting their automatic weapons as Israeli instructors look on — but this is no military training.

The 20 or so Jewish tourists from South America are on an “anti-terrorism” course run by former Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank. Their targets are balloons nearby.

“The aim of the training is not to teach you how to shoot,” Eitan Cohen, one of the instructors, says to the group, “but to make you understand what we do here in Israel to fight terrorism.” Read more

Qatar takes its money elsewhere

August 4, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News

DOHA, 4 August 2017: Qatar Airways said, Thursday it has decided not to proceed with its proposed “passive financial investment in American Airlines”.

Qatar was  earlier looking at investing up to 10% in American Airlines, news that shocked the US airline’s board.

In a press statement the airline said: “Further review of the proposed financial investment, taking into account the latest public disclosure of American Airlines, has demonstrated that the investment no longer meets our objectives.” Read more

Qatar files siege complaint

August 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Middle east, News

DOHA, 2 August 2017: Qatar has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organisation over an “illegal siege” imposed by its Gulf neighbours, the commerce ministry said Monday.

The gas-rich emirate has been slapped with sanctions and demands after four countries including regional kingpin Saudi Arabia cut ties with it on 5 June, accusing Doha of fostering Islamist groups and of links to Riyadh’s arch-rival Iran. Qatar denies the allegations.

The Ministry of Economy and Commerce said a complaint had been lodged with the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body against the “siege countries”. Read more

Emirates and flydubai join forces

July 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News

DUBAI, UAE, 24 July 2017: Emirates and flydubai have unveiled an extensive partnership, which will see the two Dubai-based airlines join forces to offer more travel options.

Both airlines will continue to be managed independently, but will leverage each other’s network to scale up their operations and accelerate growth.

The partnership goes beyond codeshares to include integrated networks with coordinated scheduling. The new model will give flydubai customers  connectivity to Emirates’ worldwide destinations spanning six continents. For Emirates’ customers, it opens up flydubai’s regional network. Read more

Dusit names regional VP

July 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Hospitality, Middle east, News, People

BANGKOK, 21 July 2017: Thailand-based Dusit International has appointed Prateek Kumar as regional vice president – EMEA region.

He will be responsible for strengthening Dusit’s operations and supporting development efforts in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

For the past two years Kumar was area general manager in charge of Dusit’s operations in Dubai. Read more

Qatar increases flights to Moscow

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

DOHA, 20 July 2017: Qatar Airways will add flights from Doha to Moscow raising frequencies to 21 flights per week between Qatar and Russian.

Commencing 2 August, the airline will introduce an extra daily flight on the Doha-Moscow route to meet growing demand to a destination popular with both business and leisure travellers.

The additional flight will be served by an 132-seat Airbus A320 aircraft. Read more

Middle East airlines slam AA

July 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News

DOHA, 19 July 2017: Qatar Airways and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad said late last week they were disappointed with an American Airlines decision to end its codeshare relationships with them as part of its push against government subsidies of Middle East carriers.

Earlier in the week, American notified both carriers of its decision to no longer share flights with them over what it described as “illegal subsidies”.

“We are disappointed,” Akbar al-Baker, chief executive of Qatar Airways, said in response to the announcement. Read more

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