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Archive for the ‘Press Releases’ Category

Pakistani experts to participate in International mental health conference

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Two Pakistani experts of mental health, Dr. Zainab F. Zadeh and Dr. Ayesha Mian, who are on the board of advisors of Kazim Trust, will be participating in an international annual conference on mental health to be held on 6th and 7th November. The conference being organized by CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder, an organization which was founded in 1987 in response to the frustration and sense of isolation experienced by parents and their children with ADHD. Co-organizers include ACO (ADHD Coaches Organization), a worldwide professional membership organization for ADHD coaches and ADDA (The Attention Deficit Disorder Association. And for the first time an organization from Pakistan, Kazim Trust is among the sponsors.

It is of significance that 2 experts from Pakistan will be speakers at this international conference. Prof. Dr. Zainab F. Zadeh, a consultant clinical psychologist will be delivering her address on the topic of ‘Bullying and ADHD:  Barriers and Challenges for Pakistani Parents’. The other speaker, Dr. Ayesha Mian’s topic is ‘ADHD and Pakistan – opportunities and challenges.’ Both speakers are highly qualified with vast experience in the field of clinical psychological and neurological health, having provided services to various international and local hospitals, universities and other institutions in different capacities during the course of their careers.

Kazim Trust, which has made the participation of these 2 experts possible, is a non-profit organization established in 2008 in Karachi, with the mission of spreading awareness and creating treatment programs for children and adults facing Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), Learning Difficulties (LD), Autism (ASD), & co-morbidities. It is completely self-financing and does not solicit any donations or funding.

According to an estimate, a significant percentage of Pakistan’s population is afflicted with ADHD issues on variable levels, with a majority of sufferers even being unaware of having this illness, which negatively impacts their personality and lifestyle. Further the awareness that these illnesses are treatable is also missing. This is a cause for concern and even alarm, as the lack of awareness of these genetic disorders means that the illness can run into future generations. As such the work of all organizations in Pakistan and other countries to diagnose and treat the disorders is highly laudable.

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Emirates launches integrated biometric path at the airport for added convenience

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The contactless airport experience reduces human interaction, putting emphasis on health and safety

As part of Emirates’ commitment to continuous innovation and an unmatched customer experience, the airline has launched an integrated biometric path at Dubai International airport (DXB). The contactless airport experience is now open to Emirates passengers travelling from and through Dubai.

 

The integrated biometric path will give passengers a seamless travel journey from specific check-in to boarding gates, improving customer flow through the airport with less document checks and less queuing. Utilising the latest biometric technology – a mix of facial and iris recognition, Emirates passengers can now check in for their flight, complete immigration formalities, enter the Emirates Lounge, and board their flights, simply by strolling through the airport. The various touchpoints in the Biometric path allow for a hygienic contactless travel journey, reducing human interaction and putting emphasis on health and safety.

 

Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer said: “We have always focused on providing a great customer experience at any touchpoint and now it is more vital than before to make use of technology and implement products, and introduce processes that focuses not only on fast tracking customers, but more importantly on health and safety during their travel journey. The state-of-the-art, contactless biometric path is the latest in a series of initiatives we have introduced to make sure that travelling on Emirates is a seamless journey and gives customers added peace of mind.”

 

The biometric touchpoints are currently installed at select First, Business and Economy Class check-in desks in Terminal 3 at DXB; immigration gates including a “smart tunnel”; Emirates’ premium lounge entrance at concourse B as well select boarding gates. Areas where biometric equipment are installed will be clearly marked and additional units will be installed at each touchpoint in the future.

 

The Smart Tunnel, a project by the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA) in collaboration with Emirates, is a world-first for passport control, where passengers simply walk through a tunnel and are “cleared” by immigration authorities without human intervention or the need for a physical passport stamp.

 

Emirates is also the first airline outside America to receive approval for biometric boarding from the U.S. Customs Border Protection (CBP). Customers flying from Dubai to Emirates’ destinations in the U.S. will be able to choose facial recognition technology at the departure gates.

 

The biometric path is the latest in a host of initiatives by Emirates to provide a smart contactless journey. In the last month, the airline has introduced other services including self-check-in and bag drop kiosks at DXB for a smoother airport experience.

 

Flexibility and assurance: Emirates’ booking policies offer customers flexibility and confidence to plan their travel. Customers who purchase an Emirates ticket for travel on or before 31 March 2021, can enjoy generous rebooking terms and options, if they have to change their travel plans. Customers have options to change their travel dates, extend their ticket validity for 2 years, or convert their ticket into a travel voucher to use against any future flight-related purchase for themselves or their family and friends. More information here.

 

Free, global cover for COVID-19 related costs: Customers can now travel with confidence, as Emirates has committed to cover COVID-19 related medical expenses, free of cost, should they be diagnosed with COVID-19 during their travel while they are away from home. This cover is immediately effective for customers flying on Emirates until 31 December 2020, and is valid for 31 days from the moment they fly the first sector of their journey. This means Emirates customers can continue to benefit from the added assurance of this cover, even if they travel onwards to another city after arriving at their Emirates destination. For more details: www.emirates.com/COVID19assistance.

 

Health and safety: Emirates has implemented a comprehensive set of measures at every step of the customer journey to ensure the safety of its customers and employees on the ground and in the air, including the distribution of complimentary hygiene kits containing masks, gloves, hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes to all customers. For more information on these measures and the services available on each flight, visit: www.emirates.com/yoursafety.

 

Tourist entry requirements: For more information on entry requirements for international visitors to Dubai visit: www.emirates.com/flytoDubai.

 

Dubai residents can check the latest travel requirements at: www.emirates.com/returntoDubai.

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Emirates Group announces half-year performance for 2020-21

Friday, November 13, 2020

  • Group: Revenue down 74% to AED 13.7 billion (US$ 3.7 billion), and loss of AED 14.1 billion (US$ 3.8 billion) after last year’s profit of AED 1.2 billion (US$ 320 million). Results significantly impacted by unprecedented flight and travel restrictions worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Emirates: Revenue down 75% to AED 11.7 billion (US$ 3.2 billion), and loss of AED 12.6 billion (US$ 3.4 billion) after a half-year profit of AED 862 million (US$ 235 million) for the same period last year. Revenue mainly supported by strong cargo business.
  • dnata: Revenue down 67% to AED 2.4 billion (US$ 644 million), loss of AED 1.5 billion (US$ 396 million) after last year’s profit of AED 311 million (US$ 85 million), reflecting the impact of COVID-19 across all dnata business units globally. The loss includes impairment charges of AED 689 million (US$ 188 million).

Karachi / DUBAI – November 12, 2020: The Emirates Group today announced its half-year results for its 2020-21 financial years.

Group revenue was AED 13.7 billion (US$ 3.7 billion) for the first six months of 2020-21, down 74% from AED 53.3 billion (US$ 14.5 billion) during the same period last year. This dramatic revenue decline was due to the COVID-19 pandemic which brought global air passenger travel to a halt for many weeks as countries closed their borders and imposed travel restrictions. As part of pandemic containment measures, Emirates and dnata’s hub in Dubai also suspended scheduled passenger flights for 8 weeks during April and May.

The Group is reporting a 2020-21 half-year net loss of AED 14.1 billion (US$ 3.8 billion).

The Group’s cash position on 30 September 2020 stood at AED 20.7 billion (US$ 5.6 billion), compared to AED 25.6 billion (US$ 7.0 billion) as at 31 March 2020.

His Highness (HH) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group said: “We began our current financial year amid a global lockdown when air passenger traffic was at a literal standstill. In this unprecedented situation for the aviation and travel industry, the Emirates Group recorded a half-year loss for the first time in over 30 years.

“As passenger traffic disappeared, Emirates and dnata have been able to rapidly pivot to serve cargo demand and other pockets of opportunity. This has helped us recover our revenues from zero to 26% of our position same time last year.

“The Emirates Group’s resilience in the face of current headwinds is testimony to the strength of our business model, and our years of continued investment in skills, technology and infrastructure which are now paying off in terms of cost and operational efficiency. Emirates and dnata have also built strong brands and agile digital capabilities which continue to serve us well, and enabled us to respond adeptly to the accelerated shift of customer and business activities online over the past 6 months.”

Sheikh Ahmed added: “We would like to thank our customers for their continued support, and express our appreciation for the combined stakeholder efforts that have made it possible for Dubai to resume aviation and other economic activity so quickly and safely. No one can predict the future, but we expect a steep recovery in travel demand once a COVID-19 vaccine is available, and we are readying ourselves to serve that rebound. In the meantime, Emirates and dnata remain responsive in deploying resources to serve our customers and meet demand.

“We have been able to tap on our own strong cash reserves, and through our shareholder and the broader financial community, we continue to ensure we have access to sufficient funding to sustain the business and see us through this challenging period. In the first half of 2020-21, our shareholder injected US$ 2 billion into Emirates by way of an equity investment and they will support us on our recovery path.”

The Emirates Group’s employee base, compared to 31 March 2020, is substantially reduced by 24% to an overall count of 81,334 as at 30 September 2020. This is in line with the company’s expected capacity and business activities in the foreseeable future and general industry outlook. Emirates and dnata continue to look at every means to protect its skilled workforce, including participating in job saver programmes where these exist.

Emirates airline

During the first six months of 2020-21, Emirates retired 3 older aircraft from its fleet as part of its long-standing strategy to improve overall efficiency, minimise its emissions footprint, and provide high quality customer experiences.

As directed by the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, Emirates temporarily suspended passenger flights on 25 March and worked closely with governments and embassies to operate repatriation services until Dubai International airport (DXB) re-opened for transit passengers and later for scheduled passenger flights. The airline also partnered with the health authorities to implement comprehensive pandemic health and safety measures onboard and on the ground, to safeguard its customers, employees and the communities it serves.

The airline also took its customer commitment to the next level, by expediting refunds, offering rebooking flexibility, setting up a COVID-19 travel information hub on its website to offer the latest updates on ever-changing travel requirements, and by launching the industry’s first COVID-19 medical cover for all passengers at no additional cost.

Emirates gradually restarted scheduled passenger operations on 21 May. By 30 September, the airline was operating passenger and cargo services to 104 cities.

Overall capacity during the first six months of the year declined by 67% to 9.8 billion Available Tonne Kilometres (ATKM) due to a substantially reduced flight programme over the past months, including the suspension of passenger flights at Dubai international airport for 8 weeks. Capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASKM), shrunk by 91%, whilst passenger traffic carried measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKM) was down by 96% with average Passenger Seat Factor falling to 38.6%, compared with last year’s pre-pandemic figure of 81.1%.

Emirates carried 1.5 million passengers between 1 April and 30 September 2020, down 95% from the same period last year. The volume of cargo uplifted at 0.8 million tonnes has decreased by 35% while yield has more than doubled by 106%. This reflects the extraordinary market situation for air freight during the global COVID-19 crisis, where drastically reduced passenger flights led to limited available capacity while airfreight demand rose strongly.

Emirates was able to uplift 65% of its cargo volumes compared to the same period last year, which shows its cargo division’s outstanding agility in adapting its operations to provide air freight services in this new environment. In a very short time, Emirates Skycargo completed the partial retrofit of 10 Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft to transport freight on the main deck, introduced new operation protocols to enable the safe uplift of cargo in passenger cabins, rapidly restarted and scaled up its global cargo network, and put in place comprehensive bio-safety protocols for employees.

In the first half of the 2020-21 financial year, Emirates loss was AED 12.6 billion (US$ 3.4 billion), compared to last year’s profit of AED 862 million (US$ 235 million). Emirates revenue, including other operating income, of AED 11.7 billion (US$ 3.2 billion) was down 75% compared with the AED 47.3 billion (US$ 12.9 billion) recorded during the same period last year. This result was due to severe flight and travel restrictions around the world relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emirates operating costs reduced by 52% against the overall capacity decrease of 67%. Fuel costs were 83% lower compared to the same period last year. This was due to a decrease in oil prices (down 49% compared to same period last year), as well as a 76% lower fuel uplift from substantially reduced flight operations during the six months period up to end of September. Fuel, which was the always the largest component of the airline’s cost in past reporting cycles, only accounted for 11% of operating costs compared with 32% in the first six months of last year.

Despite the significant drop in operations during the six months, Emirates’ EBITDA stood positive at AED 290 million (US$ 79 million) compared to AED 13.2 billion (US$ 3.6 billion) for the same period last year.

dnata

dnata’s businesses in ground handling, catering and travel services were heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as customer airlines cut their flight schedules and service requirements or suspended operations entirely, and dynamic border restrictions around the world curbed travel demand and bookings.

Where eligible, dnata participated in job saver and other government support programmes. This included retraining employees and redeploying them in other essential industries with labour shortfalls during the pandemic. dnata also introduced new flexible work models in markets where it was possible to do so, in order to retain more of its skilled workforce.

Robust airfreight traffic across markets was a bright spot for dnata’s airport operations which responded nimbly to meet customer demand. Across its business divisions, dnata implemented enhanced health and safety measures to safeguard employees and communities, and recalibrated its products and services to meet new client requirements. It also tapped on opportunities in markets as these arose, for instance partnering with healthcare providers to offer airline passengers pre-travel COVID-19 PCR tests as part of its home check-in services.

dnata’s revenue, including other operating income, was AED 2.4 billion (US$ 644 million), a 68% decline compared to AED 7.4 billion (US$ 2.0 billion) last year.

Overall loss for dnata is AED 1.5 billion (US$ 396 million), compared to last year’s profit of AED 311 million (US$ 85 million). This figure includes impairment charges of AED 689 million across dnata’s international business divisions, mainly pertaining to goodwill.

dnata’s airport operations remains the largest contributor to revenue with AED 1.7 billion (US$ 454 million), a 54% decline as compared to the same period last year. Across its operations, the number of aircraft handled by dnata declined sharply by 71% to 102,917, and it handled 1.3 million tonnes of cargo, down 12% only.

dnata’s travel division contributed AED 95 million (US$ 26 million) to revenue after AED 1.8 billion (US$ 488 million) for the same period last year, down 95%. The division reported a negative underlying total transactional value sales of AED 246 million (US$ 67 million) for the first time, after a positive contribution of AED 5.9 billion (US$ 1.6 billion) for the same period last year. This reflects the significant refund volume and pay-out in cancelled customer bookings mainly during the beginning of the pandemic.

dnata’s flight catering operation, contributed AED 426m (US$ 116m) to its total revenue, down 76%. The number of meals uplifted declined by 84% to 8.3 million meals for the first half of the financial year after last year’s 51.9m record performance.

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Emirates Group Security’s X-ray training certified by Pakistan Civil Aviation Authorities

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Emirates Group Security’s X-ray training programme has recently been certified by Pakistan Civil Aviation Authorities. The programme, conducted by the Centre of Aviation and Security Studies (CASS), will allow Emirates Group Security to conduct its own training for security staff based in Pakistan.

The course consists of a five day simulation based programme and has been modified to better suit the remote learning environment. Learners get virtual face-to-face interaction and instruction, as well as a hands-on experience with the X-ray software. Apart from the technical aspects of handling the X-ray machine and the general prevailing threat updates, the training program also involves going through simulated X-ray images allowing the trainees to have direct experience evaluating suspected threat objects.

Commenting on the recent recognition by the Pakistani CAA, Dr Abdulla Al Hashimi, Divisional Senior Vice President of Emirate Group Security and CEO of Transguard Group mentioned that: “The pandemic and the subsequent disruption to the economy have impacted the way we do things and also the nature of the threats we face. If the threats have changed, then the way the threats need to be managed has to also change. Security now has to be technical as well as tactical. Yet, the cost of security must not overburden the industry, which has several other financial concerns. The use of distance learning through a digital medium is a positive development for meeting the regulatory requirements in AVSEC Training in this challenging situation.”

Dr. Al Hashimi also added: “Aviation security has become an integral, fundamental and indispensable component of the aviation industry. Thus development of a strong collaboration between industry and authorities at the national and international level will certainly allow airlines to develop greater integrated, efficient and cost effective approaches towards aviation security.”

The X-ray training course is conducted by the Centre of Aviation & Security Studies (CASS) division of Emirates Group Security. CASS manages a portfolio of security education courses for aviation management to support the continued professional development of staff in Emirates Group. The centre is also the first organisation to be certified to conduct AVSEC programs on behalf of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

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Ufone join hands with AJM Pharma to facilitate people for the COVID-19 vaccine phase III Clinical Trials in Pakistan

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Pakistani telecom Company, Ufone, has joined hands with AJM Pharma (Pvt.) Ltd. to offer a reliable call center solution. Call center representatives will provide information related to the clinical trials of recombinant Novel Coronavirus Vaccine People can access information about hospitals/research sites performing the clinical trials in the country, register themselves as volunteers for the trial and also get an online prescreening by calling the helpline.

Ufone executed the entire process of call center deployment along with recruitment and training within a week that helped AJM Pharma in timely execution of their new project.

The vaccine candidate Ad5-nCoV, intended to prevent COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2, is jointly developed by CanSino Biologics Inc. and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology. AJM Pharma (Pvt.) Ltd is the local representative of CanSinoBIO. The company is coordinating with the National Institute of Health (NIH), to initiate the Phase III Clinical Trial in Pakistan of Recombinant Novel Coronavirus Vaccine (Adenovirus Type 5 Vector) (Ad5-nCoV).

With the start of second wave of Covid 19 in Pakistan, number of Coronavirus patients has significantly increased.  Many areas all over the country are now once again entering smart lockdown.  All global efforts are now centered towards finding an authentic vaccine which could prove to be an effective cure to this disease.

The CanSinoBIO vaccine has provided some glimmer of hope. A testament to successful clinical results, China’s government has given approval for CanSinoBIO’s Covid-19 vaccine to be used by its country’s military.

CanSinoBIO is committed to making high quality vaccines accessible to people all over the world in a bid to pursue health and give relief in times of disease outbreaks; in wake of this mission they have joined hands with AJM Pharma, Pakistan. For over a decade, AJM Pharma, has been specialising in the marketing and distributing of life saving drugs which includes thalassemia, Oncology, Gastroenterology, Nephrology, Gynecology and Neonatology

Phase I and Phase II studies demonstrate good safety and immunogenicity. CanSino Biologics has started phase III Clinical Trials in different countries including Pakistan where 10,000 volunteers will be recruited on the basis of eligibility criteria.

These clinical trials are in progress in five Research Centers including Shifa International Hospital Islamabad, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre Lahore, and University of Health Sciences Lahore, Aga Khan University Karachi and The Indus Hospital Karachi.

The development of the vaccine will be essential in the fight against Covid 19. Despite a difficult time, Pakistan fought back with great resilience during the first wave of the pandemic. Many organizations stepped forward to support the relief efforts and help as many people as possible. PTCL Group including Ufone has led the way forward in this regard; the company contributed Rs 1.9 Billion including Rs 100 Million to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund and introduced many initiatives to amplify relief efforts.

The recent partnership between Ufone and AJM Pharma will allow millions of people, all over the country to get timely information and acquire relevant news related to the clinical trials.

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Enjoy unlimited Facebook with Ufone’s Best day offer

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Pakistani Telecom Company Ufone, has always strived towards facilitating its customers by offering affordable packages packed with convenience. Ufone’s best day offer allows customers to enjoy 500 MB Facebook and 500 U-U and U-PTCL minutes in just Rs. 11.99, giving them the freedom to call or chat whenever they want to and for as long as they desire.

There are no restriction on customers as they can make unlimited video or voice calls to their loved ones throughout the day. No matter the city or distance, people can remain in-touch with those who matter to them the most via 500MBs of Facebook volume allowing everyone to enjoy Facebook to its fullest by giving them the privilege to enjoy video or photo surfing, messaging and Facebook Messenger calls.

Customers can also continue to make voice calls to not only any Ufone number, but also to all PTCL numbers across the country. Prepaid customers can avail this offer by dialing *6060#.

Ufone prioritizes the concerns of its users and provides them with the most competitive offers, just like the best day offer, which promises no hidden charges and yet provide convenience. Customers can chat on Facebook and messenger for as long as they want without any interruption. The offer truly resonates with its tagline which is ‘Poora Din Dil Khol Ke Facebook Aur Calls Hi Calls’.

Currently, while the world remains uncertain and social distancing has become the new norm, Ufone customers can find solace by connecting with their families virtually with convenience.

Ufone has always remained dedicated to its customers and the focus has been to introduce packages and services which make their life easier. Its tagline ‘Tum He Tou Ho’ has remained a central idea for the company. Time and again, Ufone has established itself as a leading telecom company that not only provides quality services but also addresses every need of the customer.

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Kashf Foundation and Coca-Cola aim to train hundreds of deserving women to make sellable products from recyclable materials

Friday, November 13, 2020

Kashf Foundation, with support from The Coca-Cola Foundation, launched 6 state-of-the-art training facilities in Lahore and Faisalabad under a special program titled ‘recycling for women empowerment’ to provide skill based training to hundreds of deserving women belonging to low-income households. This training will equip these women with the skills to make every day use sellable products such as pen holders, envelopes, lamps and bags using recyclable materials such as used plastic PET bottles, newspapers and other plastic materials, which they can later sell at their local market and get economically empowered by earning a decent livelihood for their families.

The program also places Pakistani women at the forefront of fighting the catastrophic challenges of climate change by reducing material wastage. Climate change is costing the world economy around USD 520 billion each year and as a result pushing 26 million people into poverty. According to projections reported by the Asian Development Bank, Pakistan may face major reduction in wheat and rice crop yields, decrease in water availability, and surge in economic and social costs in the future due to climate change effects. Hence, the need of the hour is to utilize all resources to fight the menace of climate change for a sustainable future.

As part of this program, women will also be offered extensive training in portfolio development to showcase their competencies and skills in the market and also undergo market visits to increase their understanding of in-demand designs and trends. The initiative also aims to enhance their technological skills by offering training on how to sell their products to a broader customer base using online marketing tool as well as availing digital financing for their day to day financial transactions.

Highlighting the role and objectives of this program, Roshaneh Zafar, Managing Director at Kashf Foundation said, “The Recycling for Women Empowerment Program is a one of its kind initiative in the country. Not only will the program play an integral part in enhancing the skills of women micro-entrepreneurs to improve employment opportunities but also address the determinable impact of climate change on our country. The program will underscore the importance of empowering women to fight climate change “

Talking about the importance of this initiative, Fahad Ashraf, General Manager and VP at The Coca-Cola Export Corporation for Pakistan and Afghanistan region said, “This initiative will not only help these deserving women to carve a niche for themselves in the local market by offering unique products, but also helps protect the environment by reducing material wastage which would otherwise pollute our lands and oceans. The Coca-Cola Company is leading the industry with a bold and ambitious goal: to help collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one we sell by 2030 – regardless of where it comes from. Coca-Cola is determined to playing its part in helping create a World Without Waste”.

The Coca Cola Foundation and Kashf Foundation have been collaborating since 2010 to economically empower women from low income households. Over the years, this partnership has transformed into a driving force to alter the socioeconomic milieu of women micro entrepreneurs in the country. As a part of TCCF’s 5by20 programme (where the aim is to financially empower 5 million globally by 2020), Kashf has been able to provide loans to over 9,972 women for establishing and expanding their businesses. This partnership has already enhanced the skills of more than 1600 women from low income households through various vocational training initiatives.

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Bank Alfalah Becomes the First Bank in Pakistan to be Recognized as a Market Maker by PSX

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) and Bank Alfalah signed an agreement today at a ceremony held at PSX Trading Hall. Under this agreement, Bank Alfalah has now become the country’s first commercial bank designated as a Market Maker for Debt Securities at the Pakistan Stock Exchange. Mr. Farrukh H. Khan, CEO, Pakistan Stock Exchange, and Mr. Atif Bajwa, President & CEO, Bank Alfalah, signed the agreement. Present at the ceremony were Mr. Sulaiman S. Mehdi, Chairman PSX; Mr Ali Sultan, Group Head of Treasury and Capital Markets, Bank Alfalah, Board members of PSX and senior management of both the organizations.

On this occasion, Mr. Farrukh Khan, the CEO of PSX, said, “Growth of the debt markets is an important strategic objective of PSX and critical for the economic growth of Pakistan. In line with the recent regulatory changes introduced by SECP and PSX, I am very happy that Bank Alfalah has been approved as the first market maker of debt securities at the Exchange. This will usher in a new chapter in the growth of debt markets, thereby ensuring a deep, liquid and transparent secondary debt market in Pakistan. This will benefit both issuers and investors”. He further stated, “Bank Alfalah has a long standing commitment to the capital markets and is one of the few banks with a presence in both the brokerage and asset management industries. Hence, I am particularly happy that they have also taken this step to become the first bank to become a market maker on PSX. This will help to further develop Pakistan’s debt market to regional and international levels. This requires all stakeholders in the financial system to play an active role and we believe that this is a significant milestone in the development of the debt markets in Pakistan.”

On this occasion, CEO of Bank Alfalah said, “Bank Alfalah would like to thank SECP and PSX for their continued efforts in developing and promoting the capital markets of Pakistan. Sharing the same vision, we believe that a well-developed capital market is important from both issuer and investor perspectives. At present, the domestic market is primarily focused on bank loans for financing requirements. This needs to  be complemented by capital market instruments as an alternative and effective financing medium. Corporates should be encouraged to tap capital markets so that the borrowers can diversify their sources of funding, while investors can have multiple options for investments”.

Ali Sultan, Group Head Treasury & Capital Markets at Bank Alfalah stated, “Bank Alfalah remains committed and excited to play a role in bringing efficiency and reducing transaction costs for participants via active market-making in debt instruments. We plan to take this ahead further by assuming a similar active role in other markets such as ETFs”. He further emphasised, “Bank Alfalah remains a firm believer that vibrant markets are critical for developing the savings and investment culture amongst retail investors”.

Bank Alfalah becomes the first Market Maker for debt securities on PSX. Bank Alfalah will be able to perform market making activities for various debt instruments such as Government Debt Securities like PIBs, T-Bills as well as Sukuks.  Market Makers perform the crucial role of providing liquidity and depth to the market by continuously quoting two way, i.e. bid and offer, prices, helping investors to buy or sell securities.

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Emirates tops global ranking in safe travel

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Emirates has been rated the safest airline in the world in its response to the COVID-19 Pandemic according to the Safe Travel Barometer.

The airline, which has set industry-leading safety standards since the resumption of its operations back in May, has topped the ranks with a ‘Safe Travel Score’ of 4.4 out of 5.0 among 230+ airlines evaluated worldwide. The score is based on an independent audit of 26 health and safety parameters evaluating safety protocols, traveller convenience and service excellence announced by airlines.

Safe Travel Barometer is the world’s most comprehensive solution to monitor and benchmark supplier initiatives in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry for the post-COVID world. Its rating mechanism considers safety measures and hygiene standards across all touchpoints of a traveller’s journey which Emirates has consistently delivered on. At every step of the journey, Emirates has spared no effort to prioritise the care, health and safety of its customers, employees and communities.

Enhanced biosafety measures taken by the airline include the distribution of complimentary hygiene kits, protective barriers at check-in desks and immigration counters, personal protective equipment and new safety protocols for cabin crew and airport employees in customer facing roles, and elevated aircraft cleaning procedures including the frequent cleaning and disinfecting of aircraft lavatories every 45 minutes during flights, amongst many other measures.

Emirates has also led the way in traveller convenience which was another sub-category considered by the Safe Travel Barometer. The airline was first in the industry to offer its customers free Covid-19 cover to help them travel with more confidence, knowing that medical expenses of up to EUR 150,000 and quarantine costs of EUR 100 per day for 14 days will be covered if they are diagnosed with COVID-19 during their travel, while they are away from home. Emirates’ booking policies also offer customers great flexibility and confidence to plan their travel. Customers have options to change their travel dates, or extend their ticket validity for 2 years. In addition, the airline launched initiatives to help its loyal Emirates Skywards members retain their tier status and introduce new ways for them to earn and spend their Miles.

The Safe Travel Barometer was launched in 2020 to monitor global traveller health and safety measures, traveler convenience initiatives and overall traveler experience which influences traveler’s decision-making and the actual journey in the new normal. The Safe Travel Score is an industry-first COVID-19 rating initiative, created in the wake of recovery from the pandemic.

Safe Travel Barometer is a B2B solution by Safe Travel Technologies, an independent subsidiary of VIDEC, a travel industry advisory and consulting firm. The coverage includes more than 2,000 companies across 10 industry categories, 50 parameters, and traveller arrival information on more than 80 destinations.

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Emirates crowned Best Airline and Best Long-Haul Airline at Leading UK Travel Awards 2020

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Emirates has been recognised as the Best Airline for 2020 at The Sun Travel Awards, and the Best Long-Haul Airline at The Times and The Sunday Times Travel Awards.

Following an unprecedented year for travel, hundreds of thousands of votes were cast by readers looking to celebrate the best in the industry. Emirates’ range of world-class products and services on board its modern, wide-body aircraft helped to secure the award wins, with passengers able to enjoy over 4,500 channels of entertainment on ice – the airline’s award-winning inflight entertainment system – as well as regionally inspired meals and complimentary beverages.

The award wins come as Emirates continues to safely resume operations and rebuild its network to provide more opportunities for travel, connecting customers to more than 95 destinations via Dubai.

The wins underscore Emirates’ commitment to offer a better and safer customer experience in the air and on the ground across every class of travel. Emirates has re-introduced its iconic A380 products and onboard experiences, including the Onboard Lounge and Shower Spa, as well as social areas in Business Class and First Class on select Boeing 777- 300ER aircraft following a thorough review and the implementation of additional health and safety measures.

Emirates was recently rated the safest airline in the world in its response to the COVID-19 Pandemic according to the Safe Travel Barometer. It topped the ranks with a ‘Safe Travel Score’ of 4.4 out of 5.0 among 230+ airlines evaluated worldwide. The airline has set industry-leading safety standards at every step of the customer journey, including the distribution of hygiene kits, personal protective equipment for cabin crew, and enhanced cleaning procedures including the disinfection of aircraft lavatories every 45 minutes on flights longer than 1.5 hours.

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