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Etihad Airways has announced it has ordered two more Airbus A330-200 cargo planes worth $423 million with an aim to double the size of its Airbus A330-200F fleet. “We are strongly committed to building our presence in the cargo sector with the platform of Abu Dhabi as our hub to connect global trade lanes,” Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, James Hogan, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, reports coming from The Philippines said the national flag carrier is for sale. The Philippines Airlines’ chairman and chief executive officer, Lucio Tan, told Manila Bulletin newspaper that the sale will only take place once the right price is offered to PAL. The article suggested that Tan’s PAL Holdings Inc. owns 94% of the airlines with a fleet that comprises of five Boeing 747-400s (bought more than 20 years ago), two B777-300ERs, four Airbus 340-300, eight A330-300s, 13 A320-200, and four A320-319s.

On the other hand, European plane maker Airbus insisted it is working to fix cracked wing brackets on its A380 after reports questioned the flight safety of aircraft wings with cracks on them. ?The A380 is safe to fly. We?ve taken short-term steps to address the issue and we are working on a longer-term solution,? Tom Williams told at a news conference in Dublin. He added that the cracks can be traced to the choice of a less flexible aluminium alloy used to make the wing brackets, the fashion in which fasteners are put through holes, and the stresses involved in fitting portions of the wing together.

Dubai Holding, owned by the Government of Dubai, will be making a timely repayment of a $500m bond owed by one of its unit by using its own internal cash flow, a Reuters report said while adding that two larger Islamic bonds owed by state-linked firms are to be repaid when they mature later this year. According to the International Monetary Fund, the emirate is set to repay maturing bonds and loans worth around $15 billion this year.

Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim Alassaf claimed supply to global oil markets was adequate amid rising oil prices and jittery performances of oil exchanges in New York and London. “Our long-standing policy is to have stability and that’s why we’ve always provided excess capacity for the market and we’ve been there during, during growth, during all kinds of events in the market. And in my view the supply is adequate at this point,” the top finance ministry official said in a CNBC TV interview.

China has blasted latest EU sanctions on Iran and termed the move as ‘counter-productive’. “To blindly pressure and impose sanctions on Iran are not constructive approaches,” Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi was quoted as saying by the state news agency Xinhua, in response to a question on the EU measures. According to Xinhua, the foreign ministry said China “hopes relevant parties will take approaches which are conducive to regional peace and stability.”

(By Moign Khawaja – Editor: Arabian Gazette)

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