Routes 2006: lighting up the Gulf

The world of airline networking planning is gathering this week in Dubai as the World Route Development Forum touches down for its annual get together. Over 2,000 airlines, airports, suppliers and interested parties are here. These include Airline Business with a daily newspaper – Routes Daily News.

Naturally the region’s airport groups are making a big splash, with Dubai taking centre stage with its incredible Dubai World Central project. The 140 sq km complex is not merely an airport but a logistics, business and leisure destination.

The ambitious plans for Qatar‘s New Doha International Airport and the expansion at Abu Dhabi International Airport are also prominently featured here.




The event officially opened yesterday (Sunday 17 September), and the Gulf’s leading aviation lights were there to kickstart proceedings. This picture from the opening shows Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum (right), and Akbar Al-Baker, sharing a friendly word at the New Doha International Airport stand. Al-Baker, the chief executive of the Qatar Airways group, greeted his counterpart from Dubai, who is the chairman of Emirates Group and president of Dubai Civil Aviation, as Sheikh Ahmed conducted a tour of the exhibition hall.

Al-Baker, who is here to help showcase Qatar‘s plans for the New Doha International Airport, told Routes Daily News that he hopes to begin services with his carrier’s newly delivered Airbus A340-600s to New York‘s Newark Airport in the first quarter of 2007. By then the carrier will have taken delivery of four A340-600s.

Al-Baker said he prefers Newark with its convenient rail link to downtown New York over “congested” JFK.

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