Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Libyan Airlines fights back


Full article in JPG format

Of all the images broadcast during the Libyan uprising, few encapsulated the chaos of war more than the charred tailfin of an Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A300 – caught in the crossfire as rebel fighters descended on Tripoli International Airport.

Alongside the grave humanitarian toll of the eight-month conflict, Libya's fledgling civil aviation infrastructure was razed almost beyond recognition.

Just two of Afriqiyah's aircraft emerged from the war unscathed, and sister flag carrier Libyan Airlines fared no better at escaping the carnage. The older state-owned airline lost one A300 and one Bombardier CRJ900, in addition to suffering gunfire and mortar damage on its remaining seven CRJs and four Airbus A320s...

Qatar's diplomatic act


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In April 2011, Syrian state media reported that Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, had sent a letter to Damascus pledging his support against "the conspiracy targeting its security and stability". Just one year on, and the same government mouthpiece now accuses Qatar of masterminding that conspiracy. Such is the nature of international diplomacy.

Qatar's new perspective of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad could not be clearer – Sheikh Hamad closed the Qatari embassy in Damascus last July, and by February 2012 was openly calling for the arming of Syrian rebels. What is less apparent, though, is how this hawkish approach fits in with Qatar's self-styled reputation for being a regional peacemaker...

Qatar making a noise


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ull article in JPG format: page 46/47 & page 48

Speaking at the Global Aerospace Summit in Abu Dhabi last month, Akbar al Baker, the chief executive of Qatar Airways, surprised no-one when he announced that the flag carrier expects to double in size by 2020. While that prediction would be met with derision if uttered by one of Europe or North America’s legacy airline bosses, Qatar has for years been staking its claim in the rising fortunes of the Gulf aviation market.

From its humble beginnings in 1994, when it started operations with a wet-leased Boeing 767, Qatar Airways has lived up to the emirate’s reputation for punching above its weight...