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
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
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
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
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
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
Singapore Airlines flight
Singapore Airlines offers ‘Romance of Travel’
Singapore Airlines ‘Experience the Romance of Travel’ offer has
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
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
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
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)
“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.