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Arabs show off in Berlin
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 22 - 03 - 2012

Arab carriers have rounded up a successful participation at ITB Berlin 2012. Amirah Ibrahim toured the world's largest travel show
The 46 session of ITB Berlin witnessed a remarkable contribution by Arab carriers which took advantage of Egypt being chosen as the Arab partner of the fair.
The national carrier EgyptAir launched an ambitious progrmme for travel operators under a new brand, EgyptAir Holidays. A delegation headed by tourism manager, Gamal Hammad carried a successful mission to promote the new brand through two pavilions.
Qatar Airways made a showcase of new in-flight products. The airline exhibited its latest suite of amenity kits and its newly-unveiled Boeing 787 Dreamliner Business and Economy Class seats, housed in a custom-designed exhibition stand.
With 14 new routes being added to its international network during 2012, there was huge interest among visitors keen to learn more about the airline's global expansion and about the New Doha International Airport, set to open at the end of the year.
In a press briefing, chairman Akbar Al-Baker revealed plans to launch flights to Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Erbil and Baghdad in Iraq, Belgrade in Serbia and the Myanmar capital Yangon.
During the show, Qatar Airways also announced a number of capacity increases to various destinations, including Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, London Heathrow, Milan, Algiers, Cairo, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, and Kuwait City, as well as new cargo flights to Karachi, Johannesburg, Seoul and Muscat.
Emirates Airlines attracted the attention of visitors with a giant globe stand. "In Berlin, Emirates is showing more of its A380 product than at any other international travel trade event outside our home of Dubai. We are happy to be able to showcase again the premium A380 experience to all ITB visitors at our spectacular stand," explained Thierry Antinori, executive vice president, Emirates Airline.
Emirates Airline's globe stand took 10 days to construct and stands at 9.5 metres with a 65-metre circumference. It can rotate 360 degrees every 37 minutes.
On the ground floor, visitors could see replicas of the Emirates' A380 onboard shower spas and onboard lounge.The stand's first floor provided spacious areas for business meetings, private conference rooms and catering facilities. The top floor provided a VIP area for hosting guests.
On the fringes of the stand, visitors could sample the exquisite Emirates' First Class Suites �ê" available on the A380 and the latest 777-200 and 777-300ER aircraft.
The airline on the other hand took advantage of the event to attract more cabin crew to join the staff and to support the growing fleet of modern aircraft, including flagship A380.
Oman Air, the national airline of the Sultanate of Oman described its participation at ITB Berlin as a success.
Showcasing its multi-award-winning products and services, the carrier hosted a range of events at its stand and ensured that visitors receive a taste of the hospitality for which Oman is renowned.
Oman Air's CEO Wayne Pearce greeted guests to savor Omani coffee and traditional snacks.
"At ITB Berlin, we continue our long association with this most prestigious of travel events," Pearce stated.The carrier demonstrated the remarkable size and comfort of Oman Air's Business Class seat during the course of the ITB, which was recently named Best Business Class Seat in the World at the World Airline Awards.
UAE Etihad Airways the national airline of the United Arab Emirates offered one night's free accommodation to passengers stopping over in Abu Dhabi for a minimum of two nights before December 1st, 2012.
The Essential Stopovers offer, part of the Essential Abu Dhabi program, can be redeemed at 25 hotels, ranging from three to five star.
"This offer is intended to encourage people to make time to get off the aircraft at Abu Dhabi and explore the emirate," commented Etihad Airways chief commercial officer Peter Baumgartne.


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