Lufthansa's fares are to rise by €60 on long-haul routes. EPA
Lufthansa's fares are to rise by €60 on long-haul routes. EPA

Fares fly at Lufthansa as business travel recovers



Lufthansa plans to increase air fares today in the business and first-class sections of its planes amid signs of recovery in the business travel sector.

The German airline's business fares are to rise by €60 (Dh318) on long-haul routes, while first-class fares in Europe are to increase by €100. Lufthansa plans to increase its economy fares by up to €40. Increases on US routes are to be slightly lower.

The business travel sector saw a sharp decline after the start of the global economic downturn as companies cut their budgets. But there are some signs of improvement, travel agents and analysts say.

"We have definitely seen that companies are more willing to go abroad for short trips," said Albert Dias, the co-founder of Musafir.com, an online travel agency based in the UAE. "That's really coming back. We are seeing a resurgence. Budgets have freed up a little more. Companies are being less tight than they were in 2009."

Mr Dias said he believed there was a chance Emirates Airlines could raise its fares for business travellers, but cautioned that fierce competition from other Gulf carriers could keep this in check.

Carriers globally have also been negatively affected by rises in fuel prices.

Corporate travel traditionally declines in the Gulf region during Ramadan, as working hours are cut and local residents generally prefer to stay at home.

Gulf carriers launched an array of promotional fares last month to encourage people to travel.

"This most recent quarter, more than any since the recession began, showed indications of a real corporate travel recovery across every industry," said Michael Steiner, the executive vice president at Ovation Travel, based in the US. International travel was up, he said. In addition, law firms, financial services companies and corporate clients were all making greater use of business and first-class tickets. "People were flying more, they were flying premium class, and they were flying overseas more than they have in years."

The UN World Tourism Organization is predicting growth of between 4 and 5 per cent in international tourism arrivals this year compared with last year, as the global industry continues its rebound after the sector was battered by the economic downturn.

International tourism arrivals last year rose 6.6 per cent from the previous year to 940 million, according to the organisation. International tourism receipts reached US$919 billion (Dh3.37 trillion) worldwide last year, up from $851bn in 2009. Spending is still down from the 2008 peaks of $939bn, however.

Last year, 51 per cent of people travelled for leisure, the figures show. A further 27 per cent travelled for purposes including religious trips and 15 per cent were business travellers.

Normcore explained

Something of a fashion anomaly, normcore is essentially a celebration of the unremarkable. The term was first popularised by an article in New York magazine in 2014 and has been dubbed “ugly”, “bland’ and "anti-style" by fashion writers. It’s hallmarks are comfort, a lack of pretentiousness and neutrality – it is a trend for those who would rather not stand out from the crowd. For the most part, the style is unisex, favouring loose silhouettes, thrift-shop threads, baseball caps and boyish trainers. It is important to note that normcore is not synonymous with cheapness or low quality; there are high-fashion brands, including Parisian label Vetements, that specialise in this style. Embraced by fashion-forward street-style stars around the globe, it’s uptake in the UAE has been relatively slow.

Dengue fever symptoms

High fever (40°C/104°F)
Severe headache
Pain behind the eyes
Muscle and joint pains
Nausea
Vomiting
Swollen glands
Rash

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

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Tips to keep your car cool
  • Place a sun reflector in your windshield when not driving
  • Park in shaded or covered areas
  • Add tint to windows
  • Wrap your car to change the exterior colour
  • Pick light interiors - choose colours such as beige and cream for seats and dashboard furniture
  • Avoid leather interiors as these absorb more heat

Company Profile

Company name: Yeepeey

Started: Soft launch in November, 2020

Founders: Sagar Chandiramani, Jatin Sharma and Monish Chandiramani

Based: Dubai

Industry: E-grocery

Initial investment: $150,000

Future plan: Raise $1.5m and enter Saudi Arabia next year

US tops drug cost charts

The study of 13 essential drugs showed costs in the United States were about 300 per cent higher than the global average, followed by Germany at 126 per cent and 122 per cent in the UAE.

Thailand, Kenya and Malaysia were rated as nations with the lowest costs, about 90 per cent cheaper.

In the case of insulin, diabetic patients in the US paid five and a half times the global average, while in the UAE the costs are about 50 per cent higher than the median price of branded and generic drugs.

Some of the costliest drugs worldwide include Lipitor for high cholesterol. 

The study’s price index placed the US at an exorbitant 2,170 per cent higher for Lipitor than the average global price and the UAE at the eighth spot globally with costs 252 per cent higher.

High blood pressure medication Zestril was also more than 2,680 per cent higher in the US and the UAE price was 187 per cent higher than the global price.

Director: Paul Weitz
Stars: Kevin Hart
3/5 stars

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