Unrest has little effect on Middle East airlines



Unrest in Bahrain, Yemen and Syria had only a marginal impact on Middle East airlines in April as demand for air travel surged 12.1 per cent compared with the same period last year.

The growth was more than double the gains reported in March, according to data from the International Air Transport Association (Iata), and reflected broader gains for April for airlines around the world.

The performance indicates "a return of confidence" to the region's long-haul operations, Iata said. "While political unrest in Bahrain, Yemen and Syria continued through the month, the impact was small as the three markets combined account for only 6 per cent of Middle East traffic", it said.

The Middle East, home to a number of full-service airlines that serve the transfer market between Asia and the West, benefited from a rebound in international markets. Demand for international flights grew by 16.5 per cent in April compared with the same month last year.

"While this is exaggerated by the comparison with April 2010, during which European airspace was closed due to the volcanic ash crisis, international travel markets in April had grown to reach a level 7 per cent higher than the pre-recession peak of early 2008," Iata said.

However, the airline industry outlook was clouded by cyclical events, such as the fallout from the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis, said Giovanni Bisignani, Iata's director general and chief executive. "Unfortunately two things are spoiling the party - demand shocks and high jet-fuel prices," he said.

North African carriers dragged down the continent's performance due to lingering effects of the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions as well as ongoing civil war in Libya. However, African carriers reported a modest 1.2 per cent growth in international markets compared with April last year, an improvement from the 7.1 per cent decrease recorded in March. The number of flights operated into and out of Egypt and Tunisia is down by about a quarter compared with last year.

Elsewhere, Latin American carriers reported a 25.9 per cent increase in international demand in April, higher than the 22.7 per cent recorded in March. "The region's airlines are continuing to benefit from the strong demand for commodities, and the dynamic growth of trade within the region and along trade lanes with Asia," the Iata report said.

North American carriers are also reporting strong demand in international markets, with travel up by 11.9 per cent, but domestic flights grew by only 1.2 per cent.

Domestic demand rose the most in many of the Brics nations, with Indian domestic expansion tripling over the past five years, while demand in China and Brazil doubled over the same period.

Representing UAE overseas

If Catherine Richards debuts for Wales in the Six Nations, she will be the latest to have made it from the UAE to the top tier of the international game in the oval ball codes.

Seren Gough-Walters (Wales rugby league)
Born in Dubai, raised in Sharjah, and once an immigration officer at the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi, she debuted for Wales in rugby league in 2021.

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With an Emirati father and English mother, Shams excelled at rugby at school in Dubai, and went on to represent England on the sevens circuit.

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EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

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Group A

Paraguay
Japan
Switzerland
USA

Group B

Uruguay
Mexico
Italy
Tahiti

Group C

Belarus
UAE
Senegal
Russia

Group D

Brazil
Oman
Portugal
Nigeria

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Company name/date started: Seez, set up in September 2015 and the app was released in August 2017  

Founder/CEO name(s): Tarek Kabrit, co-founder and chief executive, and Andrew Kabrit, co-founder and chief operating officer

Based in: Dubai, with operations also in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon 

Sector:  Search engine for car buying, selling and leasing

Size: (employees/revenue): 11; undisclosed

Stage of funding: $1.8 million in seed funding; followed by another $1.5m bridge round - in the process of closing Series A 

Investors: Wamda Capital, B&Y and Phoenician Funds 

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
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Founders: Michele Ferrario, Nino Ulsamer and Freddy Lim
Started: established in 2016 and launched in July 2017
Based: Singapore, with offices in the UAE, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand
Sector: FinTech, wealth management
Initial investment: $500,000 in seed round 1 in 2016; $2.2m in seed round 2 in 2017; $5m in series A round in 2018; $12m in series B round in 2019; $16m in series C round in 2020 and $25m in series D round in 2021
Current staff: more than 160 employees
Stage: series D 
Investors: EightRoads Ventures, Square Peg Capital, Sequoia Capital India

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Starring: Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, Kristen Bell, Susan Sarandon, Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines
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Company name: OneOrder
Started: March 2022
Founders: Tamer Amer and Karim Maurice
Based: Cairo
Number of staff: 82
Investment stage: Series A

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Bitcoin is the most popular virtual currency in the world. It was created in 2009 as a new way of paying for things that would not be subject to central banks that are capable of devaluing currency. A Bitcoin itself is essentially a line of computer code. It's signed digitally when it goes from one owner to another. There are sustainability concerns around the cryptocurrency, which stem from the process of "mining" that is central to its existence.

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