Daily News Online

DateLine Monday, 25 February 2008

News Bar »

    News: Forces advance continues in Mannar  ...            Political: Smooth run-up to Batti elections ...           Business: High tech reaches zenith ...            Sports: In-form Lankan juniors take on Kiwis today ...






Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Business Aviation


Qatar launches world’s longest flight

Qatar Airways (QA) will launch the world’s longest air distance flight from Doha to Houston (USA) shortly. QA is one of the fastest growing carriers in the world with unprecedented expansion average almost 40 per cent year on year.

“We have 14 flights for Sri Lanka for a week, is considered as one of the important countries in the region,” Regional Manager, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh Nepal, Myanmar and Maldives Rajeewa Jayaweera said.

Speaking at the Qatar Airway Agents’ Awards Night said that year 2006 was a significant year for them as they were able to achieve all targets in Sri Lanka.

He said that launch of New York flights in June 2007 marked the airline’s entry into the North American market for the first time enabled them to add daily non-stop flights to Washington DC in July 2007.

Jayaweera said that QA currently fly to 80 major destinations covering all continents in the world. QA recently announced the introduction of a fourth daily non-stop flight between Doha and London Heathrow taking the airline’s capacity between Qatar and the UK up to 42 services a week.

The new late afternoon departure from Doha offers passengers more choice to the early morning and lunchtime flights to Britain’s busiest airport.

The flight will be operated with an Airbus A330 aircraft in a three-class configuration of up to 12 seats in First, 24 in Business and 223 in Economy.

Every passenger in all cabins will be able to take advantage of the airline’s fully interactive in-flight entertainment system in each seat offering a multitude of audio and video options to choose from.

Furthermore, there is a live television option enabling passengers to choose from a variety of live TV programming. QA currently operates three flights a day to London Heathrow and daily to both London Gatwick and Manchester with a total capacity of 35 weekly services.

The UK expansion announcement coincided with the Business Travel Show taking place in London this week where QA is participating with a dedicated stand.

QA Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said London Heathrow had been the airline’s flagship route for many years, and stressed the importance of serving the British capital with more frequencies to give travellers more choice.

“We are delighted to be adding capacity on what is an extremely popular route with both business and leisure travellers,” he said.

“By launching a new early evening flight to London Heathrow from the start of the summer schedules, business travellers can spend a whole working day in Qatar before catching their flight.

Passengers from London can take advantage of our first morning departure from London Heathrow and connect onto a choice of many flights to exciting destinations in Doha.”

QA currently operates a modern fleet of 60 Airbus and Boeing aircraft to 81 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indian Subcontinent, Far East and North America from Doha, the airline’s hub and capital of the of Qatar.

“London is a major market for QA and what better place than the highly acclaimed Business Travel Show to announce our UK e xpansion,” he said.

Gabo Travels celebrates 30 years

Colosseum of Rome

Gabo Holidays will be celebrating 30 years of service this year and the company hopes to offer more attractive packages this year.

Managing Director, Savi Peiris said that their Holiday arm, Gabo Holidays would be coordinating these packages this year as well. The company is the local agent for Insight and Trafalgar tours both based in Europe that is famous for Coach tours.

She said that more locals are now patronizing these tours and this was encouraging. She said that these tours are usually for around a week and around 12 to 15 participate in them.

Gabo Holidays would be looking assigning in obtaining Visa and would provide air passages, hotels, meals, transportation and other logistics. “Once the passenger makes a commitment we look after them until they return she said.

She said that many Americans and Australians patronize these tours and there is a new emerging trend from Dubai and Indians for these tours. “Gabo Holidays offers a comprehensive package of services for both Inbound and Outbound travellers,” she said.

Trafalgar is celebrating 60 years this year while Insight would be 30.

Gabo Travels started its operation in 1978 and today has become a major brand name in the “Travel World “. It represent major airlines such as Sri Lankan, Singapore Airlines, Royal Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, British Airways, Qatar Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Alitalia, Indian Airlines, Malaysia Airlines.

With the introduction of information technology, company provides online reservation with global GDS providers together with state-of-the-art web based technologies for today’s modern travellers including recently introduced “ Internet Payment Gateway” for immediate payments.

Singapore Airlines flight

Singapore Airlines offers ‘Romance of Travel’

Singapore Airlines ‘Experience the Romance of Travel’ offer has commenced.

The special airfares are to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Bangkok, Phuket, Langkawi, Perth and London. A minimum of two passengers must travel together to enjoy this special offer and tickets must be purchased before February 29 and should fly out of Colombo before April 30, 2008.


Opportunities and challenges for Asia

Singapore - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on Asia to join in the race for industry leadership. “Asia has over 50% of the world’s population, and will be our largest single market by 2010.

Asia needs to be part of the race to lead the industry with sound policies and innovation, along with the commercial race for market share,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO in his keynote address at the inaugural Singapore Airshow Aviation Leadership Summit.

Bisignani identified the case for industry change in Asia based on three challenges - (i) Middle East competition, (ii) shortage of skilled personnel, (iii) declining profitability. At the same time, Bisignani pointed too three opportunities for Asian leadership to push forward an industry agenda for change - (i) liberalisation, (ii) security and (iii) environment.

“The profitability of Asian carriers has gone from US$1.7 billion in 2002 to US$700 million last year. The 40% capacity expansion over the same period has seen yields decline, as well as profit margins - from 4% to less than 1%. Asian capacity set to expand 8.8% in 2008, and demand expected to grow by only 6.4%. This is not a recipe for long-term health,” said Bisignani.

If Asia acts as a region, it can balance the traditional leadership of the US and Europe, bringing a bolder approach and exploring new ways of doing business,” said Bisignani. He also suggested the formation of a new and unique regional institution for coordination of air policy issues involving both government and industry.

“The industry is much more secure than in 2001. But the system is still an uncoordinated mess. We have not harmonised measures across borders. Singapore took a major step and signed an agreement with the EU to harmonise the security of duty-free items. But why was it not an agreement that covers Asia with mutually recognised standards? Environment: “Aviation is 2% of global carbon emissions,” said Bisignani.

“Asia is our industry’s present and its future. Running an airline is tough business, and Asia has done well.

The race for market share and growth has been won. Now we need a unique race for leadership that involves key players from the region from fast developing China and India, to more traditional players like Japan, Singapore or Australia, and everyone in between.

The leadership vision is needed to build an industry that is even safer, more secure, and delivering an industry that is financially sound and efficient, said Bisignani.



Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Ceylinco Banyan Villas

| News | Editorial | Business | Features | Political | Security | Sport | World | Letters | Obituaries |

Produced by Lake House Copyright © 2006 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

Comments and suggestions to : Web Editor