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Africa’s crash course on safety

It was inevitable that safety became a topic of heated discussions during November’s Annual General Assembly of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) in Cairo. While it is true that cold statistics clearly show the safety record among airlines on the continent to be considerably worse than that in other, more developed regions of the world, […]

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Qatar’s Al Baker on top form

There is nothing better the Qatar Airways chief Akbar Al Baker likes to do, it seems, is spar with the press.He was positively beaming as he took his seat at the airline’s annual press conference at World Travel Market in London the other day. The room was packed, for Al Baker is good value. He […]

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Mangoes for sale in South Africa

South African Airways (SAA) has taken the wraps of its new low-cost airline subsidiary, Mango, which will launch on 15 November. Mango aims to be the first airline that makes air travel affordable to most South Africans. South Africa already has two low-cost carriers, Kulula and 1time, but Mango claims it will be the first […]

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Jebel Ali to give Dubai low-cost platform

Low-cost carriers will finally be welcomed with open arms at Dubai when the ambitious Jebel Ali airport complex – branded Dubai World Central – opens in early 2008. At present, a lack of capacity at over-crowded Dubai International Airport means that low-cost services are not possible.     “We have turned away low-cost carriers because […]

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Etihad gets in the mood

No your eyes are not deceiving you – this is the interior of an aircraft, not a fancy New York, Dubai (sorry Abu Dhabi restaurant) or Paris restaurant. The mood lighting is not created by candlelight – at least I don’t think so. Middle Eastern carriers are determined to outdo each other in the premium […]

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Etihad’s 30-30 vision

Etihad Airways surely gets the award for the most prolific issuer of press releases over the past year. Hardly a week seems to go by without a new route starting up or a new aircraft being delivered. The latest is worth mentioning because it documents the fact that the Abu Dhabi upstart has brought on […]

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Emirates in a sombre mood

Finding the word sombre in an Emirates press release is a rarity. A carrier that has just set new group and airline profit records, boosted its dividends to new highs and seen revenue growth of 27% would seem to have little to worry about. But sky high fuel prices affect even the most stalwart carriers. […]

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Saudi Arabia welcomes the low-cost revolution

Sama may not be the first low-cost carrier start-up in the Middle East – that distinction goes to Sharjah-based Air Arabia – but it certainly appears to have the loftiest ambitions. As the proposed Saudi Arabian entrant said on its brand launch on 5 February: “Our objective is simple: To be the preferred and most […]

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What do concrete, bicycles and Bryan Adams have in common?

The 10m long steel scaffold pole swings precariously close to the transfer bus door as the ex-patriate Indian worker, clad in full-face scarf to ward off the swirling dust, heaves it up to a colleague on the next level. Work is in full swing in and around the daily operations during a busy peak at […]

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