Egypt, Sudan airlines sign MoU to boost ties

Egypt, Sudan airlines sign MoU to boost ties
An Egypt Air Boeing 737 aircraft on the tarmac at Cairo International Airport. (AFP)
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Updated 17 April 2021

Egypt, Sudan airlines sign MoU to boost ties

Egypt, Sudan airlines sign MoU to boost ties
  • The partnership aims to transfer Egyptian expertise in the aviation sector to Sudan

CAIRO: Egypt’s national carrier EgyptAir has launched a strategic partnership with Sudan Airways to strengthen aviation ties between the two countries.

Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Mohamed Manar and Khaled Al-Sheikh, deputy Sudanese ambassador to Egypt, attended the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony.

Amr Abu El-Enein, EgyptAir chairman and CEO, and Sudan Airways Director General Yasir Timo signed the MoU.

The Egyptian minister highlighted the importance of the strategic partnership between the airlines and their role in enhancing trade exchange between the two countries. He said the MoU is part of Cairo’s strategy to strengthen bilateral ties in a range of fields, including aviation.The partnership aims to transfer Egyptian expertise in the aviation sector to Sudan.

Manar said the MoU includes training of employees with the Sudanese flag carrier, and helping the country modernize its aircraft fleet by managing network planning, developing maintenance operations, and providing advisory services in quality control and technical approvals. Under the agreement, Egyptian experts will train Sudanese officials in aviation security, ground services and other technical aspects.

The MoU also seeks to increase air traffic between the two countries, leading to increased economic opportunities for both.

A joint working group will have regular meetings to follow up on projects and contracts.

Timo also expressed his happiness at signing the MoU with EgyptAir, due to its expertise, human cadres and technical capabilities.


Saudi property developer Alandalus profits jump on office income

Saudi property developer Alandalus profits jump on office income
Updated 16 min 27 sec ago

Saudi property developer Alandalus profits jump on office income

Saudi property developer Alandalus profits jump on office income
  • Overall revenues gained by a fifth over the period, helped by the acquisition last June of QBIC Plaza in Riyadh

DUBAI: Saudi property developer Alandalus said first quarter net profit rose 55 percent to about SR19 million ($5.1 million), driven by its office business.
Overall revenues gained by a fifth over the period, helped by the acquisition last June of QBIC Plaza in Riyadh.
The high-end office complex located close to the intersection of King Abdulaziz Road with Northern Ring Branch Road in the Al-Ghadeer district of the capital, is fully leased to the Ministry of Housing for a period of three years.
“Despite the continuation of the pandemic and its effects on society, the company’s malls reported healthy footfall rates, which contributed to achieving positive results in the first quarter of the year,” said Alandalus CEO Hathal bin Saad Al-Otaibi. “We also affirm the continuity of the company’s strategic approach to maintaining our tenant mix and progressing steadily toward achieving our future targets, God willing. “
The developer’s offices and malls business helped to compensate for the impact of the pandemic on its hospitality unit where occupancy levels fell.


Long-haul carrier Emirates to ship aid for free into India

Long-haul carrier Emirates to ship aid for free into India
Updated 29 min 59 sec ago

Long-haul carrier Emirates to ship aid for free into India

Long-haul carrier Emirates to ship aid for free into India
DUBAI: Dubai’s long-haul carrier Emirates will begin shipping aid for free into India to help fight a crushing outbreak of the coronavirus, the airline said Sunday.
The offer by Emirates, which has some 95 flights weekly to nine cities, comes as air freight costs have skyrocketed. That’s as air cargo demand has risen to its highest recorded level ever amid the pandemic, which has seen carriers including Emirates fly cargo in otherwise-empty passenger seats.
Emirates made the announcement at Dubai’s International Humanitarian City, already home to a World Health Organization warehouse that’s been crucial to the distribution of medical gear worldwide.
Nabil Sultan, the divisional senior vice president for Emirates SkyCargo, said the initial priority would be shipping aid out of Dubai, rather than elsewhere from its network. He acknowledged airfreight costs were high, but said the priority remained getting help to India.
“At the moment, cost is not the issue,” Sultan told journalists. “India is going through a major crisis.”
The first shipment, including tents to expand hospital capacity and other gear, is being prepared to be shipped later this week, Sultan said.
Since the founding of the long-haul carrier in 1985, Emirates has flown to India. The airline over time grew its network into flying into nine destinations across the country.
As India’s economic fortunes have grown, so too have Emirates as a key link in East-West flights from its hub at Dubai International Airport, long the world’s busiest for international travel. Passenger numbers from India for Emirates, just under 3 million in 2008, grew to 5.5 million a decade later. Millions of Indians live in the United Arab Emirates and comprise a key part of its labor force.
Then came the pandemic and the fierce outbreak now burning through India. Infections have surged there since February, fueled by variants and the government’s permission for massive crowds to attend religious festivals and political rallies. On Saturday alone, India reported over 400,000 new cases and more than 4,000 deaths. Since the pandemic began, India has reported 21.8 million cases and nearly 240,000 deaths, though experts say even those figures likely are undercounts.
The UAE banned in-bound passenger flights from India in late April, though cargo flights continued and passenger planes return with their seats now empty.
All this comes as air cargo has reached record levels after flights around the world halted when the pandemic first took hold. The International Air Transport Association, an aviation trade organization, said in March it saw the highest levels of demand ever as the world’s economy slowly began to pick up.
Per pound, costs for airfreight worldwide are up by some 75 percent, according to data provider WorldACM.

DEWA arm to build region’s ‘largest solar-powered’ data center with Huawei

DEWA arm to build region’s ‘largest solar-powered’ data center with Huawei
Updated 39 min 13 sec ago

DEWA arm to build region’s ‘largest solar-powered’ data center with Huawei

DEWA arm to build region’s ‘largest solar-powered’ data center with Huawei
  • The data center, to be built at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Solar Park, will use 100 percent renewable energy

DUBAI: The digital arm of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Moro Hub, has signed an agreement with Huawei to build the largest solar-powered data center in the Middle East and Africa region.
The data center, to be built at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Solar Park, will use 100 percent renewable energy, according to a statement carried by WAM.
“The center will offer digital products and services using Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, such as cloud services, the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI),” DEWA chief Saeed Mohammed Al-Tayer.
It will enable “global hyper-scalers to access carbon-free computing,” he added.
The partnership follows several initiatives by the Dubai government to pursue sustainable technology, especially across government operations.
“The carbon-neutral center supports Dubai's efforts to exceed the goals of Dubai's Carbon Abatement Strategy in reducing carbon emissions by 16 percent by 2021,” Al-Tayer said.


Almarai expands stake in bakery business in $40m deal

Almarai expands stake in bakery business in $40m deal
Updated 09 May 2021

Almarai expands stake in bakery business in $40m deal

Almarai expands stake in bakery business in $40m deal
  • A bumper year of sales and an increased focus on food security in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic is encouraging a wave of merger and acquisition activity

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia's Almarai has acquired an additional stake in a bakery company.
Almarai, through its Western Bakeries Company unit, has bought an additional 15 percent stake owned by Olayan Financing Company in Modern Food Industry (MFI), which is known for its long shelf-life pastries under the brand name “7Days.”
The transaction totaled SR150 million ($39.9 million), according to a stock exchange filing on Sunday.
A bumper year of sales and an increased focus on food security in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic is encouraging a wave of merger and acquisition activity across the booming regional food industry.
MFI was established in 2009 as a joint venture between Almarai and the Saudi conglomerate Olayan Group. It is known for its sales and manufacture of packed croissants, swiss rolls, and cake bars.
Last week Almarai said it planned to invest SR6.6 billion to expand its poultry business.


UAE-based Dana Gas profits jump on Kurdistan production

UAE-based Dana Gas profits jump on Kurdistan production
Updated 09 May 2021

UAE-based Dana Gas profits jump on Kurdistan production

UAE-based Dana Gas profits jump on Kurdistan production
  • Overall revenues rose 9 percent to $106 million compared to a year earlier

DUBAI: Dana Gas, the UAE energy company, reported a 41 percent increase in first quarter profit to $24 million as it boosted production in the Kurdistan region of Iraq (KRI).

Overall revenues rose 9 percent to $106 million compared to a year earlier, the company said in a stock exchange filing on Sunday.
A reduction in finance costs also helped to boost the Abu Dhabi-listed company’s bottom line.
“In the KRI we are moving ahead with our expansion plans to significantly boost production,” said Dana Gas CEO Patrick Allman-Ward. “This will contribute positively to our top and bottom line.
Group production in the first quarter averaged 64,900 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), a 2 percent increase from a year earlier.
Growth was driven by the KRI, which grew by 9 percent to 35,300 boepd.
However production in Egypt declined by 5 percent to 29,050 boepd, which was more than offset by the increase in production in KRI.
In the KRI, Pearl Petroleum, the company consortium operated by Dana Gas and Crescent Petroleum, fully resumed the expansion project at the Khor Mor field. The first gas train will add 250 million cubic feet per day of additional gas production to supply the local power stations, the company said.
The project construction work had been put on hold due to the COVID pandemic but is now on track for a new target start date of April 2023, after agreement to lift the ‘force majeure.’
Last month, Dana Gas announced its decision to retain and operate its onshore assets in Egypt and it is currently evaluating its Block 6 Concession Area for drilling an exploration well as soon as possible
Established in 2005, Dana Gas is the first and largest private sector natural gas company in the Middle East.