Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Global airline share prices see first fall since March

Global airline share prices fell by 3.2 per cent in July – the first monthly fall since March. Having risen by nearly 15 per cent over the previous three months, and having outperformed the global equity index over the past year, the monthly decline in airline shares is likely to reflect a degree of profit taking by investors.

According to the Airlines Financial Monitor report released by the International Air Transport Association (Iata), the European and Asia Pacific share price indices both registered modest declines in July (<1 per cent), but the biggest fall was seen in the North America index (-7.6 per cent). The latter has now risen by less than 2 per cent since the start of 2017, although given that mid-2016 marked the peak of investor concerns about pressure on unit revenues, the index still stands nearly 36 per cent higher than a year ago.

The initial airline financial results from Q2 2017 have been robust, and provide the clearest sign that the squeeze on airline profit margins – from weak yields and higher costs – peaked in the first quarter.

Indeed, whereas the industry-wide EBIT margin fell in year-on-year terms in Q1 2017, our small sample of 24 airlines indicates that the margin increased to 13.2 per cent in Q2 2017, up from 12.7 per cent in Q2 2016.

Indeed, whereas the industry-wide EBIT margin fell in year-on-year terms in Q1 2017, our small sample of 24 airlines indicates that the margin increased to 13.2 per cent in Q2 2017, up from 12.7 per cent in Q2 2016.

The latest data from our sample of 19 airlines show that industry-wide free cash flow (FCF) fell to 3.6 per cent of revenues in Q2 2017, down from 7.7 per cent in the same period of 2016.

The fall in FCF was driven by a modest decline in net cash flow from operations, to 17.3 per cent of revenues in the quarter from nearly 21 per cent a year ago.

Capital expenditure in our sample actually increased in year-on-year terms in Q2, to a robust 13.6 per cent of revenues, driven by higher capex in Asia Pacific.

Fuel costs

Brent oil prices rose back above $50/bbl during July and ended the month nearly 10 per cent higher than they were at the end of June.

The price of oil has been on a downward trend since the start of 2017, mainly reflecting the resilience of US shale production. However, the increase in July came alongside declines in US oil inventories as well as signs that OPEC and other large oil producers will continue, and possibly
extend, their efforts to constrict oil supply. The recent weakness of the US dollar may also be starting to translate into upward pressure on prices.

The futures market remains consistent with just a modest increase in prices over the medium-term.

Yields and premium revenues

Having shown signs of bottoming out in late-2016, the latest monthly data indicate that passenger yields have started to trend upwards modestly. When measured in constant exchange rate terms, passenger yields in May were broadly unchanged from their year-ago level – the strongest year-on-year growth rate in more than four years.

The turnaround in the long-standing downward yield trend reflects a combination of factors, including a pick-up in global economic activity, as well as upward pressure on some key input costs, including labour, in a number of countries.

All told, signs that passenger yields are improving are helping to underpin investors’ confidence about airline financial performance over the year ahead.

There has been a wide spread in premium performance by market in 2017 so far. Premium demand growth has been stronger than economy in a number of markets, particularly across the Pacific and Within Asia. This ties in with the recent improvement in global trade conditions, which tends to correlate well with premium travel demand. On the other hand, premium demand, has been relatively weaker in other cases, notably between Europe and the Middle East.

There has also been a spread in airfare performance too: premium airfares have held up better than those in the economy cabin in a number of cases – notably the North Atlantic – but have lagged in others (eg, Europe-Asia).


Global passenger volumes grew by 7.9 per cent year-on-year in H1 2017 – the fastest growth seen in the first half of a year since 2005.

The strong start to the year for passenger demand has been driven by a brighter global economic backdrop and stimulus from lower airfares. That said, the seasonally-adjusted (SA) trend has moderated over recent months, in line with a softening in the exceptionally supportive demand conditions.

Meanwhile, global freight volumes grew by 10.4 per cent year-on-year in H1 2017 – the fastest pace for the period since 2010. However, industry drivers indicate that the best of the cyclical growth upturn may have passed.


Industry-wide available seat kilometres (ASKs) increased by 6.1% year-on-year in H1. In SA terms, ASKs and RPKs have trended upwards at broadly similar annualized growth rates over the past three months or so.

Available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs) grew by 3.6 per cent in H1 2017 compared to the same period a year ago. The SA trend has strengthened: AFTKs have been trending upwards at an annualised rate of around 9 per cent over the past three months. However, this has still lagged behind the strong upward trend in FTKs over the same period.

The number of available seats in the global airline fleet increased by 0.9 per cent month-on-month in June. All told, the number of seats in service in June was 6.0 per cent higher than the same month a year ago.

A total of 154 new aircraft were delivered in June, down from 161 in June 2016. Twenty-five fewer aircraft were delivered in the first half of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016 (751 versus 776).

Storage activity made the biggest net change to the fleet size for at least three years in June. A total of 142 aircraft re-entered service from storage – broadly unchanged from the case in June 2016. However, just 78 aircraft were taken from service and put into storage, compared to 166 in June 2016.

The seasonally-adjusted passenger load factor remained relatively stable close to an all-time SA record high throughout H1 2017. All regions except the Middle East registered year-on-year increases in passenger loads during the period. Sustained high achieved load factors are continuing to support airline financial performance.

The industry-wide freight load factor continued to recover in SA terms during the first half of the year. Despite falling slightly in June, the load factor is currently around four percentage points higher than its low-point in early-2016. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

$32bn worth urban projects 'at tendering stage in GCC'

As many as 801 construction projects with a combined estimated value of $32 billion (Dh117.44 billion) are currently in tendering stage in the GCC's urban construction sector, according to a report.

These projects will serve as a strong pipeline of projects to be awarded in the near future, according to BNC Network, a comprehensive project research and intelligence provider in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.

By the end of the year 2017, the combined total value of urban construction contracts is expected to reach $50.9 billion (Dh186.8 billion). While this is lower than the peaks seen in prior years, the volume of construction contracts is still tremendous and Dubai remains the most active construction market in the region, the report said.

BNC forecasting model suggests that there would be an increase of 29 per cent in the total value of contract awards to $65.6 billion in the urban construction sector in the GCC in 2018 followed by another 1 per cent growth to reach $66 billion in 2019.

The latest BNC Intelligence report shows that 292 contracts with a combined estimated value of $9.5 billion were awarded in the second quarter of 2017 within the GCC's urban construction sector that includes commercial and residential buildings, hospitality, healthcare, retail, education, religious buildings, leisure and recreation and mega urban developments.

Some major contract awards in the second quarter include Deira Islands Mall project in Deira Island, Dubai; City Centre - Al Zahia in Sharjah; Yas Acres (Phase 1) in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi; and Danat Al Lawzi in Bahrain.

The urban construction contracts constitute 80 per cent of the contracts awarded for all sectors in the GCC and in dollar terms this translates to 49 per cent of the total contracts awarded, it said.

“Events like Dubai Expo 2020 along with stabilisation of the oil price and the drive of the various GCC countries to achieve economic diversification and increase in the living standards will play a vital role in the construction industry contract awards,” Avin Gidwani, chief executive officer of BNC Network, said.

“As the economic growth is expected to pick up pace next year, we expect an increased construction activity across the board in 2018. New project announcements by major developers that have taken place from 2016 till now – will go into tender next year and trigger increased construction activities across the GCC.” - TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Work may restart on Makkah's $3.5bn hotel

Work on one of the world’s largest hotel projects, the $3.5-billion Abraj Kudai in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, is expected to restart, reports said.

The hotel construction was halted in 2015 following the decline in oil prices and the austerity measures announced by the government.

Sub-contractors have been asked to submit pricing proposals to Saudi Binladin, the main contractor, by mid-September, a Reuters report said quoting sources.

Saudi Binladin, one of the country’s biggest construction conglomerates, has been hit hard by a slump in the building sector caused by the economic decline.

Renewed plans for the government-funded project signal Riyadh is again willing to spend on strategic economic development projects, the report said.

When completed, the hotel will have 10,000 rooms, 70 restaurants, several helipads and a section reserved for the Saudi royal family.

A planned opening date for the Abraj Kudai has not yet been confirmed, but one source said it would take at least 2½ years to complete, the report said.

from Construction Realestate

Ultimate family bonding at Four Seasons Bahrain Bay

Make magical memories together with the new Parent-Child Bonding treatments at Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, offering three carefully curated sessions tailored toward parents and children.

Capitalising upon the unique tranquility of its central Manama location, the new family–focused treatments, available from August 15, aim to promote the importance of bonding - spending precious time together with one’s pride and joy. The parent-child bonding sessions at The Spa are the latest additions to the hotel’s dedicated programme of family activities.

“Our urban resort in the heart of Manama is the ideal destination to spend time together as a family,” said director of Spa Chandarella Luzon. “Creating beautiful, memorable moments with your children is one of life’s greatest pleasures. We encourage our Hotel guests, Spa members and non-Hotel guests to take a break from the everyday and enjoy the tranquillity and serene atmosphere of The Spa along with the picture-perfect surroundings of our private island.”

Upon arrival, children from 6 to 15 years of age are treated to a customised spa robe to feel home away from home, in addition to a decadent welcome amenity sure to satisfy a sweet craving.

Children and parents then are introduced to the gift of touch, wellness and healing at The Spa:

• Relaxed Us - 45 minutes, BD80 ($210.6) - Parents are welcome to enjoy a soothing side by side massage with their child. Relaxed Us has been created to aid muscle tension, release stress and promote positive wellbeing. Specific massage techniques are applied and a special blended selection of aromatic oils enhance relaxation so parent and child will both leave The Spa feeling pampered and wonderful.

• Beautiful Us - 45 minutes, BD85 ($223.8) - The Spa invites parents to introduce their child to the importance of skin care. This 45-minute express facial has been designed to cleanse, gently exfoliate and hydrate the skin. The products used are all natural and organic from ila and Sodashi - perfect for younger guests. Tailored to suit younger skin, this relaxing facial will restore radiance and leave both parent and child beautiful at the end of the treatment.

• Glowing Us - 45 minutes, BD85 - Guests and their little pride will feel extra special after this indulgent full body treatment. Glowing is guaranteed thanks to the gentle body exfoliation to remove dead skin cells, resulting in the restoration of the skin’s luster and improved moisture levels. A selection of natural skin scrubs followed by the application of an aromatic body lotion will nourish and add radiance.

While at the property surrounded by all the comfort of their spacious suite, families can enjoy the fun-filled Kids for All Seasons Club, an exciting range of non-motorised water sports in Bahrain Bay, in addition to the wide variety of dining options available on the five-hectare (12 acre) private island.

The new Parent-Child Bonding treatments at Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay can be booked online or by calling the hotel. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Four strike it lucky in Dubai airport promotions

Two lucky winners became instant dollar millionaires while two others drove away in a luxury vehicle when their winning ticket numbers were drawn in the Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire and Finest Surprise promotions held at Concourse D of Dubai International Airport.

Bronvin S. Muns, an Indian national living in Dubai, has became the latest $1 million winner in Series 249 with ticket no. 3484 and Tomoyuki Kawana is the second dollar millionaire announced in Series 250 with ticket no. 3963.

While, the second dollar millionaire announced today in Series 250 with ticket no. 3963 was Mr. Tomoyuki Kawana.  

Following the DDF Millennium Millionaire draw, a Finest Surprise draw took place to win a luxury car and a motorbike.

Muzammil N., a 36–year-old Pakistani national from Dubai won the Aston Martin Rapide in Series 1661 with ticket no. 1705. A regular participant of the promotion, Muzammil said: “It was an unexpected call and I was really surprised. This was such a wonderful news for my family.”   

Meanwhile, Zaheer A. Asharikandi, a 35-year-old Indian national from Oman, won the stylish motorbike BMW S 1000 R with ticket no. 952 in Series 312 which he bought while transiting in Dubai International Airport.

The winning ticket numbers were drawn by Dubai Duty Free senior officials Ramesh Cidambi, chief operating officer; Salah Tahlak, executive vice president – corporate services; Nic Bruwer, executive vice president – commercial; Sean Staunton, senior vice president – Retail Sales; and Sharon Beecham, vice president – purchasing. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

AviaAM Leasing acquires and sells Airbus A321-211

AviaAM Leasing, a global aviation holding company engaged in the business of commercial aircraft acquisition, has delivered a recently acquired Airbus A321 aircraft to one of its customers under a lease to purchase agreement.

The Airbus A321-211 aircraft was acquired from Russian carrier Aeroflot. Produced in 2004, the aircraft recently underwent a 12-year maintenance check with major modifications to interior design and seating configuration (from 170 to 220 economy class seats) implemented prior to delivery.

Tthe aircraft was then delivered to a new operator under the lease to purchase agreement. The aircraft delivery took place at Kaunas International Airport, Lithuania.

“The Airbus A321 is among the most desirable aircraft types demanded by air carriers across Europe and Asia. We’ve conducted a number of the re-sale projects, including various modifications, and this one is supposedly to be not the last one as well,” said Tadas Goberis, chairman of the Board and CEO of AviaAM Leasing. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

Melbourne crowned 'world’s most liveable city' for seventh year

Melbourne’s reign as the world’s most liveable city has been extended for an unprecedented seventh year by the prestigious Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) annual Liveability Index.

The Index surveys 140 of the world’s cities and Melbourne has come out on top again.

Since the index began in 2006, Melbourne has consistently come in the top three of the index. So what is it that keeps Melbourne at the top of the list? Melbourne ticks all the Liveability Index boxes and many others.
The city is the acknowledged cultural and sporting capital of Australia hosting major events including the Australian Open, the Formula One Australian Grand Prix and the Spring Racing Carnival.

It is home to universities that consistently rank among the world’s best, producing the highest number of technical graduates in the country and voted as one of the world's top five student cities.

The State Government of Victoria is continuously investing in Melbourne’s infrastructure, including road tunnels and new roads to improve transport links, new trams and trains to enhance public transport, and its world-class convention centre which is undergoing an expansion to host the ever-growing number of conventions and exhibitions the city hosts.  

Fuelled by its unrivalled lifestyle, Melbourne is growing rapidly with Australia’s highest rates of domestic and international migration. In fact Melbourne is now Australia’s fastest growing city, and is projected to overtake Sydney as Australia's biggest city by 2030.  

This is backed up by the announcement that Melbourne has also been awarded fDi magazine’s Asia-Pacific Cities of the Future winner in the category of Human Capital and Lifestyle. The city also ranked in the top five in mid-sized cities for Economic Potential and in the top ten overall for FDI Strategy in the same report.

And in a week of major announcements, Savills World Research’s Tech Cities 2017 report included Melbourne as one of the cities across the world at the forefront of the global tech industry.

As the top ranked ‘tech city’ in Australia, Melbourne offers the infrastructure, business environment, talent pool and lifestyle to place it at the top of global shopping lists for tech companies looking for space in which to locate.
Commissioner for Victoria to the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, Mr John Butler welcomed the announcements.

“Melbourne and the state of Victoria has strong and well established links with this region through trade, tourism, investment, sport and culture,” said Butler. “We are proud to see Melbourne consistently win this coveted accolade, and can only see the connection between the region and Victoria strengthening further on the back of two-way synergies and a mutually beneficial relationship.” - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

New fish market planned in Oman's Ibri

Oman's Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MoAF) will build on a new fish market in Ibri, a city in northwest Oman.

The market will be constructed on an area of 3,000 sq m, with a building area of 1,800 sq m, said an Oman News Agency report.

It will include fish display tables for sellers, fish cutting tables, a table for wholesale display, a five-tonnes daily ice production unit, market staff offices, stores, parking lots for fish transport marketing, and other services, it said.

from Construction Realestate

Drake & Scull to carry out Fairmont Abu Dhabi MEP works

Drake & Scull International (DSI), a regional market leader in engineering and related services, has announced that it will carry out the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) works for the Fairmont Abu Dhabi Hotel and Serviced Apartments under a Dh233 million ($63.44 million) contract.

Strategically located adjacent to the landmark Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi, the Fairmont Abu Dhabi Hotel and Apartments Towers are owned by Abu Dhabi-based National Investment Corporation.

Mohammad Atatreh, board member, Drake & Scull International, said: “Our work for Fairmont Abu Dhabi Hotel and Serviced Apartments reflects the high confidence in our services and capabilities within the local and regional property and tourism sectors, particularly in terms of hospitality development and MEP execution. It also highlights DSI’s involvement in strategic projects that are reinforcing Abu Dhabi’s regional and global stature as a preferred leisure and lifestyle destination. We look forward to extending our support to this major local development.”

The Dh1 billion ($272 million) iconic development is a 39-floor Arabian themed arched structure. It occupies an overall area of 178,000 sq m with an extensive water frontage.

The project's scope of work consists of the 39-storey tower comprising 563 five-star hotel rooms and 249 serviced apartments.

The project features a network of sea water canals where guests can travel in specially designed Arabic boats. The opulent Fairmont Gold rooms and lounge will be situated on top the bridge between the hotel and residences.

The project is scheduled for completion and handover in 2018. – TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Cofely Besix gets ISO certificate for energy management

Dubai’s Cofely Besix Facility Management (CBFM) has been awarded the ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management System (EnMS) certification for the provision of facilities management services at Masdar City.

The EnMS framework ensures energy management activities are carried out in a systematic manner to improve energy performance. Objectives and targets are regularly set and reviewed to drive year on year energy performance improvement for Masdar City.

“We have chosen to integrate the EnMS into our CAFM system to assure ourselves of a standardised use, management and monitoring of utility consumptions and carbon emissions,” explained Bart Holsters, operations manager of Cofely Besix Facility Management.

“Moreover, this integration with our CAFM platform enables us to manage, share and benchmark energy conservation measures (ECMs) in a centralised manner which, in turn empowers knowledge sharing across our organisation.”

The EnMS includes the understanding of the premises efficiency and benchmarking, and setting objectives and targets to improve energy performance. Opportunities are identified and managed through the CAFM system, whilst an operational control plan which includes operational and management best practices is created. Annual energy audits are carried out, and all employees receive the required energy management awareness training to ensure consistency throughout the company.

“Implementing and obtaining the ISO50001 certification for our developed EnMS was a very important step within Cofely Besix FM’s overall sustainability programme,” added Holsters.

“We are very pleased with this achievement which will help us to further improve on our operational efficiency service delivery models and also to continuously reduce carbon emissions and utility expenditures within our operation.”

“In partnership with Masdar City, we have proven that an energy management system a client might already have in place can be shaped easily into a standardized ISO50001 EnMS model. Ultimately our goal is to make sure energy efficiency becomes a mandatory target, whilst preserving our precious environment,” concluded Holsters.

CBFM was initially awarded the 3-year facilities management contract for Masdar City in January 2017. The scope of services includes full hard, soft and civil facility management services including operations and maintenance of electrical systems, HVAC and ventilation systems, potable water, fire detection systems, life-safety critical systems, elevators, BMS, low voltage systems and civil infrastructure work.

“At CBFM, we regard energy consumption as a business cost, like all other business costs,” explained Andre Mars, Quality Health Safety & Environment Manager of Cofely Besix Facility Management.

“Being certified to ISO 50001 standards, will not only yield benefits in terms of cost reduction to us as a business, but it also generates additional gains for our clients through energy savings, as we continually monitor their energy consumption and resolve anomalies that may cause energy waste.”

Masdar City, one of the world’s most sustainable urban communities, is a rapidly growing clean-tech cluster, business freezone and residential neighbourhood containing one of the largest groups of low-carbon buildings in the world.

“The application of sustainable best practice is at the heart of Masdar City’s vision, from planning and design through to construction and operations, and it is essential that our suppliers have the same philosophy,” said Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, executive director of Sustainability and Brand at Masdar.

“We welcome the award of this certification, which demonstrates the robustness of energy management activities at Masdar City, as well as reflecting our commitment to constantly improving energy performance.”

Masdar City is currently experiencing the most rapid development in its history. More than 176,000 sq m of completed buildings are fully leased and occupied, while a further 740,000 sq m of projects at Masdar City have firm development agreements in place, including schools, offices, hotels, shops, restaurants and private homes. – TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Spend the summer by the bay at Jannah Marina Bay Suites

As the ending of the summer season draws near, Jannah Marina Bay Suites introduces its bespoke room rates for families and friends looking for a short getaway in Dubai Marina.

A unique relaxation venue overlooking the majestic Dubai Marina, the bespoke luxury hotel apartment is offering 20 per cent off on best available rates when booking direct. This exclusive rate brings guests to cutting edge kitchen facilities, premium Jannah spa beds and organic bath amenities featured in every spacious suite and room. Bask in the summer goodness by the rooftop swimming pool and the bubbling Jacuzzi as you are surrounded by picturesque views of tall buildings and lavish yachts. Dining and shopping just got better with Dubai’s leading malls and recreation areas just a few steps away from the hotel, creating a stress-free experiential holiday scene in the city.

Jannah Marina Bay Suites offers guests an unprecedented level of service founded on the noble Bedouin hospitality. The hotel is known for its signature Karim services, tending to all of the guest’s needs 24/7 and its first class limousine services for a truly extravagant staycation.

This offer is valid until September 30. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality

New executive sous chef at Amwaj Rotana Jumeirah Beach

Siddhesh Sukhathankar has been promoted to the position of executive sous chef at the Amwaj Rotana Jumeirah Beach - Dubai, moving up from his previous position as executive pastry chef.

Sukhathankar first joined Amwaj Rotana in December 2014, having previously worked with renowned chefs such as Marike van Beurden of Caprice at Four Seasons Hong Kong, Vikas Bagul of The Oberoi and Trident in Mumbai, and Claire Clarke from French Laundry.

Prior to his working career, Sukhathankar obtained his degree from the Institute of Hotel Management in Mumbai as well as a Post-Graduation Diploma in Kitchen Management from The Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development.

With this promotion, Sukhathankar has joined a team of talented individuals who have progressed within the hotel. This highly creative, quality-oriented chef, who first moved to the UAE in 2010, is the proud recipient of numerous medals, awards, certificates and nominations from various prestigious institutions earing him the title “chef extraordinaire” within his team, the hotel said in a statement.

In his new position, Sukhathankar will bring new ideas for the Amwaj Rotana’s five food and beverage outlets, oversee the procurement of ingredients and ensure that every dish lives up to the strictest standards of quality. The chef will also pay special attention to the hotel’s corporate sustainability plan from a culinary perspective. - TradeArabia News Service

from Travel Tourism Hospitality