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[January 21, 2013]


(Pakistan & Gulf Economist Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Qatar Airways today announced a capacity increase to daily scheduled services on the Doha - Warsaw route, effective February 1.

The current four-times-a-week service is scheduled to move to a daily operation less than two months after the launch of flights to Poland's capital city.

The frequency rise follows a pledge by Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker in December to introduce more flights on the Warsaw route once there was strong passenger demand.

"I have been pleasantly surprised how well the route has performed since adding the latest European gateway to our ever-expanding global network last month," he said.

"When we enter new markets, we do so carefully with limited capacity and then develop routes with more capacity once we see evidence that additional flights are warranted. Today's development is welcome news for the people of Poland with more choice of flights and a great international network to choose from, specifically to Asia, Australia and the Middle East." Similarly, Al Baker explained that passengers from around the world will have more connectivity into Poland each day of the week.

"Serving popular routes with multi-frequency flights is one of our key strategies. We were confident that the Doha - Warsaw service would become a highly popular route, but didn't expect this to happen so soon," added Al Baker.

Marking Qatar Airways' 32nd destination in Europe, the Doha - Warsaw route was launched on December 5th with a grand welcome reception at the city's Warsaw Frederic Chopin Airport.

Warsaw became the 12th and final new route of the year in the airline's expanding global route map covering Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.

Qatar Airways offers the fastest connection times between Warsaw via the airline's Doha hub to popular Asian destinations such as Hanoi, New Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Male, Riyadh, Bangkok and Colombo.

All flights on the Doha - Warsaw route are operated with a modern Airbus A320, featuring 144 seats in a two-class configuration of 12 in Business Class and 132 in Economy. The aircraft offers seatback TV screens providing passengers with the next generation interactive onboard entertainment system and a choice of more than 800 audio and video on demand options, together with an SMS text messaging service from each seat.

One of the world's fastest growing airlines, Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 15 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 116 aircraft to 123 key business and leisure destinations worldwide, the latest being to Gassim in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - the airline's first route launch of 2013.

Over the next few weeks and months, Qatar Airways will launch flights to a diverse portfolio of new routes, including; Najaf, Iraq (January 23); Phnom Penh, Cambodia (February 20); Chengdu, China (March 19); Chicago, USA (April 10); and Salalah, Oman (May 22).

BANK ALFALAH ACHIEVES THE CENTENNIAL MARK FOR ITS ISLAMIC BANKING BRANCH NETWORK Bank Alfalah, owned and operated by the Abu Dhabi Group is pleased to announce that it has surpassed the centennial branch mark with the opening of its 100th branch at Bokhari Commercial, DHA Phase VI, Karachi. Today, the Bank boasts a nation-wide network of 110 Islamic banking branches and is ranked the no.2 Islamic Bank in Pakistan.

Bank Alfalah's Chief Executive Officer, Atif Bajwa said, 'We are pleased to cross the century mark for our Islamic Banking branches - this is a major milestone for the Bank. Since inception in 2003, Bank Alfalah's Islamic banking has evolved into a vibrant entity. I would like to give credit to Mr Ijaz Farooq, Head of Islamic Banking who has ably led a team of dedicated individuals whose efforts and commitment have made this milestone possible. We remain focused on developing an innovative range of Shariah compliant products and services based on the requirements of our customers. We are optimistic that with the addition of new branches, we will be able to further enhance customer convenience and serve our clients even better.' Islamic Banking remains a top priority area for the Bank. It will continue to focus on introducing new products, services and expanding its network for its customers in the country.

PTCL AND MEEZAN BANK WIRELESS BROADBAND SERVICES Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited (PTCL) and Meezan Bank have today signed an agreement for provision of PTCL Wireless Broadband services. As part of this partnership, Meezan Bank customers can now enjoys exclusive PTCL 3G EVO Wireless Broadband services along with the services offered by the bank..

The agreement was signed by Furqan Habib Qureshi, PTCL Senior Executive Vice President (SEVP) Business Zone South and Ariful Islam, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director, Meezan Bank at an impressive ceremony held at Meezan Bank Head Office in Karachi. Sajid Shabir Mangrio, PTCL General Manager, Consumer Business South; Bashir Phulphoto, PTCL Senior Manager, Consumer Business Karachi and Muhammad Raza, Executive Vice President, Meezan Bank were also present at the occasion.

Furqan Habib Qureshi, PTCL Senior Executive Vice President (SEVP) Business Zone South while speaking on the occasion said "We are delighted to partner with Meezan Bank. PTCL Wireless Internet services offer convenience and ease of on-the-go internet connectivity and create new possibilities for our customers. Through this partnership and others like it, we are enhancing access to the latest ICT applications through our vast infrastructure." PTCL 3G EVO Wireless Broadband is Pakistan's fastest growing Wireless Internet network accessible nationwide. With 3G EVO Dongle, 3G EVO Wingle and 3G Nitro Cloud devices, PTCL is simplifying access to information and online services.

PTCL Dr. A Q Khan, renowned scientist and eminent philanthropist, presenting excellence award to PTCL received by PTCL Executive Vice President (EVP) Wireless Business Omar Khalid, for company’s best performance in telecommunications sector during a ceremony held in Islamabad.

RAHI TRACTORS The 1st tractor roll-out ceremony for "Rahi Tractors" under a joint venture between Ruba Automotive Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd and Shifeng Group was held on the 21st of December at the assembly plant at Raiwand Rd. Director Ruba Automotive, Mr. Asad Afridi along with Mr. Qasim Saeed (Head Marketing) marked this as a major landmark in the agriculture of Pakistan. The introduction of latest technology for the Pakistani consumers will go a long way towards the promotion and betterment of the agricultural sector of Pakistan. The representatives of Shifeng group along with a large number of dealers were also present to bear witness to this historical day which marks the birth of Rahi tractors and finally gives a choice of selection to the consumers.

JS BANK AND CRPL TO LAUNCH CASH MANAGEMENT SOLUTION In line with its continuous efforts to bring its customers a broad range of banking services, JS Bank has signed an agreement with Computer Research (Pvt.) Ltd. (CRPL) for purchasing a state of the art Cash Management Solution. The agreement was signed recently by Mr. Kalim-ur-Rahman, President and CEO - JS Bank and Mr. Khalid Jamil Shamsi, CEO - CRPL at the JS Bank Head Office in Karachi.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr. Kalim-ur-Rahman, said, "The launch of the Cash Management Solution (CMS) by JS Bank is an opportune decision in line with our growth strategy. The CMS will enable its corporate customers to manage their cash flows efficiently and in a hassle free manner, thereby improving their financial management and giving them more time to focus on their core business".

The Cash Management Solution will enable the bank to offer a wide array of payments and collections services to its customers through the internet banking platform and a growing network of branches across the country.

JS Bank is one of the fastest growing and most performance driven banks in Pakistan with a branch network of over 185 branches in 100 cities of the country. JS Bank is part of the JS Group, one of Pakistan's largest and most prominent business entities. JS Bank is a full service bank providing its customers with a wide range of products and services to fulfill their needs for quality banking and financial services.

WOMEN LEADERS SUMMIT As part of the 5th WIBCON (Women in Business Conference) for professional women, the 'International Women Leaders Summit' is being organized on Tuesday, 29th January 2013 at Karachi, Pakistan.

This was announced by Mr. Aamir Niazi, President, Pakistan Society for training and Development PSTD is a non-profit and non-governmental organization, committed to the promotion of professional human Resource Development through organizing training programmes and conferences. The learning opportunities and networking are aimed to assist professionals in achieving excellence in today's competitive environment PSTD is managed by an honorary Board of Governors comprising leading corporate CEOs and Directors, currently led by Mr. Aamir Niazi. Chief Operating Officer, International Textile Limited.

The main theme of this conference is to share the life stories of global icons in building bridges across borders and connecting professional women across cultures. The driving force of this event is to make women draw inspiration from global and Pakistani leaders to overcome the stereotypical barriers which restrict their growth, while maintaining a work-life balance.

The conference keynote international speakers include Nasra Hassan from Austria who has worked for 25 years with United Nations in Peacekeeping, refugee and humanitarian affairs, social development, public information and communication, Gulsun Bulgehen, a senior Member of Turkish Parliament and former fashion supermodel Bibi Russell form Bangladesh, who played a key role in reviving the bangladeshi crafts industry through pioneering ethical fashion in the world. Ambassador Melanne Verveer, the US Ambassador for Global Women Issues will also speak through video address.

Key local speakers include Dean IBA Dr Ishrat Husain and Pakistan's 1st Oscar Award winner Ms. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Panel guests include first elected woman Board of Director on the Islamabad Stock Exchange Ms. Ayla Majid, Shamama Arbad from Sarhad Chamber, Peshawar and more. This conference will be attended by professionals in Pakistan and South Asia, as they face similar challenges in terms of culture, religion and gender biases.

Ms. Yasmin Hyder, Chief Executive, New World Concepts welcome the launch of the 2nd International Women Leaders Summit. "The presence of international speakers lends global learning opportunities for women entrepreneurs and professionals in Pakistan" she stated.

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