Malaysian Tourism Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, requested Emirates operate additional services or A380 aircraft to boost capacity to Kuala Lumpur during Ramadan to encourage more Arab citizens to celebrate in Malaysia (Bernama, 06-May-2010). The carrier operates 21 times weekly Dubai-Kuala Lumpur service.
Malaysia asks Emirates for more Ramadan flights to Kuala Lumpur
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Southwest Airlines: Where is the LUV? Rivals have advantages as labour relations crumble
At the turn of the century it would have been heresy to describe Southwest Airlines as embattled. The venerable low cost airline was a perennial passenger favourite, and its employee relations were the most positive and successful among US airlines. But during recent years the company’s admirable relationship with labour has soured, culminating in the recent declaration by Southwest’s union leaders that the company’s top two executives should vacate their positions.
The labour discontent and years-long negotiations have not only damaged management’s credibility in the eyes of many employees, but have also prevented Southwest from taking important steps to create more outlets to generate revenue – including establishing potentially valuable codesharing relationships. As Southwest moves closer toward having the proper technology to support those partnerships, the likelihood that labour groups will approve codeshares is decidedly low as rifts between management and employees deepen.
Southwest had reached an inflection point in its frayed labour relations. Its golden image has tarnished, and the longer that contract talks drag on, the more that scrutiny over management’s ability to mend the strained relationships will continue to intensify.
EU-Gulf open skies negotiations: Qatar CEO Al Baker warns of biased 'fair competition' definition
As the US-Gulf airline dispute loses momentum with the American government, the big Middle East aeropolitical debate will now shift across the Atlantic to Europe, where the European Commission has a mandate to try to negotiate an open skies agreement with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, as well as other countries/blocs, including Turkey and ASEAN.
Qatar Airways CEO H.E. Akbar Al Baker gave a keynote presentation at the recent CAPA-ACTE Global Aviation Summit in Amsterdam and addressed the subject of the EU mandate. Mr Al Baker called for unquestionable third and fourth freedom liberalisation and eventual fifth freedom liberalisation. The devil as always is in the detail; the non-EU airlines in the negotiations are sceptical about how the EU will define a "fair competition" clause, and whether it will be left abstract enough that "fair competition" could potentially be used against airlines in a way they have not envisaged. The Brexit referendum could result in the EU negotiating side losing the UK, whose liberal views have balanced those of the more protectionist France and Germany.