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Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 11 - 06 - 2009

EgyptAir's hot summer
IF YOU have a business trip or a summer trip to or from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago or Washington, don't worry. You can do it daily using EgyptAir's new code share flight with United Airline. The code share flights operate via New York and London.
According to Sherif Galal, EgyptAir chairman, the carrier is also expanding in Africa, opening new destinations.
Early this month, EgyptAir started operating two direct flights weekly to Abuja in Nigeria and four flights weekly to Dar Es-Salaam in Tanzania.
"Africa is a promising market for airlines and Egypt is the gateway to this market," commented Galal. "The increase in flights to Africa is a necessity to serve the increase demand from Europe, Far East and Middle East," he added. EgyptAir operates flights to another 14 routes in Africa.
Turning to Europe, effective Friday 26 June till 24 October 2009, the carrier will operate a new flight on the Cairo-London Heathrow route. During daylight saving time till 21 August, the flight will depart from Cairo at 17:55, arriving London at 21:00. Return flight departs Heathrow at 22:30, arrives Cairo at 05:15.
From 21 August, departure from Cairo will be at 16:55 and arrival will be at 04:15.
EgyptAir is also expanding operations to Amman to be two flights daily instead of one.
New Abha-Cairo service
SAUDI Airlines announced the launch of a new service between Abha and Cairo. The new service will start on 17 June with one flight weekly scheduled on Wednesdays. The carrier announced promotional prices that start from SR1378.
All for community
ON THE OCCASION of World Environment Day, Qatar Airways is supporting a photographic exhibition portraying Qatar's unseen natural beauty. The three-day exhibition, to be held in Doha between 5--7 June, will have a broad range of spectacular images on show.
This year's theme for World Environment Day is "Your planet needs you -- unite to combat climate change."
"As an aviation industry leader, one of our key roles is to help lead the change towards environmental sustainability. The exhibition allows us to express our serious concern for the environment and allows us to make a genuine contribution to society as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility programme," commented Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al-Baker.
Dreamliner coming soon
BOEING officials said that the 787 Dreamliner could be in the air by the end of this month. The company plans to begin delivering the planes by the first quarter of 2010. The plane is considered to be among the lightest and most fuel-efficient in the industry.
Boeing had originally set the first flight date for the new 787 Dreamliner back in the summer of 2007. But Boeing has had to push back the flight date four times because of production problems and a labour strike last fall. Total orders for the Dreamliner, estimated at 866 orders, could be worth $140 billion.
Passenger advice for summer
WITH the start of the summer period drawing near, Etihad Airways has taken the opportunity to advise its customers of the best ways that they can help the airline ensure that punctuality remains a high priority during June, July and August.
"Etihad is making every effort to accommodate the growing demand this summer whereby it continues to be the most punctual and convenient airline connecting travellers from Egypt and the region to a wide-network of the most desired summer destinations," said Shereen Ahmed, Etihad Airways country manager for Egypt.
So far this year, the Abu Dhabi-based airline has achieved consistently high levels of punctuality, with an average of 89 per cent of its flights taking off within 15 minutes of their scheduled time of departure. This represents an improvement of five percentage points on the same period in 2008, despite a 21 per cent increase in the airline's flying schedule. "Delivering good on-time departure and arrival punctuality performance is an integral part of delivering a good customer experience and Etihad is committed to doing everything within its control to get its flights away on time. Initiatives such as online check-in now make a huge difference for customers, especially families, as they can organise their seating the day before the flight reducing significantly the time they need to spend at check-in at the airport," added Ahmed.
The travel tips offered by the airline, via travel agents, advertising and on its website, include asking customers to prepare for all stages of the journey: at home, at the airport and when transferring. Etihad also advises customers to use the online check-in on its website which is available 24 hours before the flight departs.
The carrier is scheduled to launch flights to three key European holiday destinations this month: Istanbul in Turkey, Athens in Greece and Larnaca in Cyprus -- bringing to 54 the number of global destinations on its network. Etihad Airways was voted as having the best business class and best cabin staff at this year's Business Traveller Middle East awards.

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