Al-Ahram Weekly Online   7 - 13 February 2008
Issue No. 883
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875


Airlines & airports

BA winter offer

BRITISH Airways is offering a special winter return price of LE2,099 for passengers using its World Traveller services from Cairo to London in addition to all UK destinations including Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, New Castle and Aberdeen.

"This is an excellent opportunity to experience the British capital at its very best. We are proud to offer competitive pricing, giving our customers the opportunity to enjoy a superb flying experience," said Mervat Alfi, BA country commercial manager.

The offer, according to Alfi, is available until the end of April 2008.

World Traveller is offering good value for money fares with online options as an increasing number of customers around the world choose to buy tickets online and British Airways aims to enhance the customer experience of using and its associated technology at every opportunity. The key stages of the customer experience through are planning and booking your trip then 'Managing My Booking' including online check-in, giving you the chance to choose your seat and your preferred meal and to pay for extra baggage online and save 20 per cent, making your airport experience a smooth one.

British Airways operates daily flights between Cairo and London, with a wide range of connections via the headquarters of its international operations at Heathrow to New York and many other North American destinations.

Etihad at Al-Ain show

VISITORS to last month's Al-Ain aerobatic show were treated to a unique fly-pass from Etihad Airways' recently unveiled FORMULA 1 branded aircraft.

Etihad Airways has re- painted the A320 aircraft in the livery of a racing car to celebrate the title sponsorship of next year's inaugural FORMULA 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The design on the aircraft sees a break from Etihad's corporate colours, with the plane being painted black with the image of a red FORMULA 1 car together with the official race title logo on the rear and the FORMULA 1 logo on the engines.

"The Al-Ain aerobatic show is renowned across the world with thousands of visitors coming to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to watch the spectacular displays and this year will be no exception with our F1 aircraft fly-pass. The iconic plane will certainly capture people's attention as it flies through the sky giving them a taste of the excitement that Etihad Airways Grand Prix will bring to Abu Dhabi," said Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways' executive vice president of marketing and product.

Etihad Airways is a platinum sponsor of the Al-Ain aerobatic show, a major highlight of the international aerobatics event calendar, which took place between Thursday 24 and Sunday 27 January 2008.

This year's annual event is organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority under the direction of Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoun Al-Nahyan, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and head of the higher organising committee.

New A 380 hangar opens

LUFTHANSA Technik recently opened the first section of the new A380 maintenance hangar in Frankfurt 20 months after the start of construction on the first phase of the facility. On about 25,000 square metres of floor space, there is enough room in the completed stage of the hangar to carry out maintenance work, simultaneously, on two Airbus A380s or three Boeing 747s.

"Frankfurt will be the home and maintenance base of our 15 A380s. We are investing in the Rhine-Main region and thereby bolstering the prospects for growth and employment. With this new hangar, we are ideally prepared for the first of our A380s. Their arrival will once again underline the significance of Frankfurt Airport as a leading air traffic hub," Lufthansa Chairman and CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber said.

The entire hangar system designed with a maintenance capacity for four A380s will be completed in 2015 and will be Europe's biggest aircraft maintenance facility. Lufthansa is investing around 150 million euros in its construction. The airline has signed a 65-year land utilisation agreement with Fraport AG, allowing it to build and operate the hangar on a 17-hectare (about 42 acres) site to the southwest of Frankfurt Airport.

Hotels & resorts:

New services at Marriott

MARRIOTT Cairo Hotel has announced the launch of a number of new services such as the 24-hour service at some of the hotel's restaurants and bars including Roy's Country Kitchen and Omar's Café, the business centre, the health club and the casino in addition to room service.

The Virtual Concierge is another superior service that Marriott is offering its guests.

Virtual Concierge is a web-based communication tool that offers guests the opportunity to request prior to their arrival, amenities or services specific to their needs. It is an online experience that combines the best of Marriott with the latest techniques for positive online interaction.

Best award for Sheraton Montazah

FOR THE THIRD year, Sheraton Montazah in Alexandria has received the " Best in Class Award " for excellent work environment. The award, given by Starwood International for Hotels and Resorts, was based on the hotel's application of many criteria including teamwork, job type and suitability, work tools and equipment, salaries and benefits, career development and growth opportunities, communication, and work environment.

New general manager at Le Meridien Heliopolis

MAMDOUH Farag has been appointed the general manager of Le Méridien Heliopolis.

Prior to his appointment Farag was deputy general manager at Le Méridien Heliopolis, a position he held since December 2002.

He started his career with Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 1985 as assistant financial controller at the Sheraton Heliopolis in Egypt. Two years later he became financial controller at the Le Méridien Heliopolis, where he was promoted to executive assistant manager in 2001.

Serving the community

CELEBRATING the inauguration of the second orphan's villa at the SOS children's village, Magdi Naguib, general manager of the JW Marriott Hotel Cairo, invited all SOS Orphans, hotel's executive committee and the sales and marketing team over breakfast early last month.

Under the slogan "Spirit to Serve our Community", the JW Marriott Cairo's team completed a massive six-month renovation of the villa which included extensive structural and decoration work.

"Making these children live in a healthy environment is the aim behind this renovation," Naguib said.

Syrian food festival

SYRIAN food fans will have a unique chance to savour authentic Syrian dishes during the week- long Syrian food festival at Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano in its premium fine dining restaurant, Byblos, this month.

From 21 to 27 February guests and diners at the hotel will experience Syrian specialities prepared by chef Adham Mohamed, who is being flown into Alexandria from Damascus for the duration of this special promotion.

Mohamed mastered his culinary skills at the Alhalabi kitchen. With over 15 years experience as a professional chef in Syria, spending only two years away from home while working in Saudi Arabia, Mohamed never ceases to amaze, infusing Oriental cuisines with contemporary influences and producing dishes of incredible ingenuity and delicacy.

Every evening the dedicated chef will prepare dishes from a tempting Halabi menu created especially for the occasion. Diners can expect a wide selection of delicacies from his home country, including cold mezzehs such as Jarjer (rocket) salad and Kebbeh Naieh, and hot appetisers like Majoukeh, Toushkeh and Kordieh cheese. Makhloteh or Vermeil's vegetable makes up the delicious soup selection, while enticing main courses include Kofta Halabieh, Kabbab bel Karas and Arman bel Mozzat.

Mövenpick back to Sharm

M…VENPICK Hotels & Resorts has just signed a management agreement with Integrated Development and Tourism Investment (IDTI) Company for two upscale hotel projects in Sharm El-Sheikh. Both holiday resorts are already under construction and are scheduled to open by 2008 and 2009.

The five-star Mövenpick Resort & Spa Sharm El-Sheikh will open in summer 2008 over a total surface area of 103,000sqm. The resort, with its 327 spacious rooms and suites, including 30 luxury apartments, is situated in a prime location in Nabq Bay, on the Red Sea.

Only seven kilometres from downtown Sharm El-Sheikh is the Mövenpick Resort Um El-Sied, scheduled to open in spring 2009. The 268 modern rooms are 30 to 36 square metres in area.

"A long history of success unites Sharm El-Sheikh and Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts," said Josef Kufer, senior vice president Africa Movenpick Hotels & Resorts. "We are delighted to be returning to this key Egyptian destination thanks to Integrated Development and Tourism Investment."

Mohamed Abul-Einein, managing director of IDIT, said the company is looking forward to cooperating with Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts "and is convinced that the two hotels will complement each other ideally. There is no doubt that these exceptional projects will enable us to assume a leading position in Sharm El-Sheikh."

Chinese New Year celebrations

CELEBRATING the Chinese Year yesterday, Spice Restaurant at Four Seasons Nile Plaza prepared a mouth-watering eight- course menu for the festivities. The Chinese New Year is traditionally celebrated as family gatherings and is a time of reunion and thanksgiving, and the underlying message is peace and happiness.

Guests had the opportunity to savour the most authentic Chinese specialties from steamed crystal dumplings, King crab soup, stir fried prawns and sweet lotus soup , all with a warm and welcoming atmosphere, accompanied by Spice's immaculate service and overwhelming Nile views.

In order to enhance the true ambiance, special flower decoration in the lobby and customary Chinese decorations in the restaurant ensured a truly welcoming and memorable evening.

"We are delighted to be able to offer guests a truly authentic experience at Spice, similar to one they would find in China or Hong Kong. Chef Dickey and his team of experienced chefs have created a truly traditional menu for them to enjoy," said Olivier Masson, the hotel's general manager.

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