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Etihad Airways’ unique ‘Inspired by Sougha’ amenity bags have picked up the award for ‘Ethically Sustainable Amenity Kit’ at the annual Travelplus gala awards ceremony held yesterday in Hamburg.

The Airline Amenity Bag Awards 2013 celebrate the airline industry’s best onboard comfort and hospitality products and the innovation, creativity and design of airlines and their suppliers.
More than 120 submissions and entries in 20 categories were judged using a strict set of criteria covering trend, pleasure, luxury, usability and style.

Launched in February this year, the new kits are the result of Etihad Airways’ partnership with Sougha, a social enterprise initiative launched by the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, which aims to preserve Emirati traditions and promote local artisans.
Peter Baumgartner, Chief Commercial Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “Sougha means ‘a traveller’s gift’ in Arabic and we introduced our new amenity kits to provide something uniquely Arabian to our guests, and more importantly, as a way of supporting and celebrating local Emirati craftsmanship.

“Our partnership with the Khalifa Fund has helped us to promote the diverse artistic heritage of the United Arab Emirates on a global stage, and to simultaneously empower local craftsmen and women in their communities. We are delighted to receive the Travelplus Award in recognition of this.”

The new amenity bags are offered in Diamond First, Pearl Business and Coral Economy Class cabins and feature patterns of Sadou, a colourful, intricate and centuries-old Abu Dhabi weaving craft traditionally used on blankets, cushions and Bedouin tents.

Diamond First Class kits feature exclusive products by luxury New York brand Le Labo, while Pearl Business Class kits feature all-natural products by Athens-based brand, Korres.
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About Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways began operations in 2003, and in 2013 carried 11.5 million passengers. From its Abu Dhabi base Etihad Airways flies to 103 existing or announced passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. The airline has a fleet of 95 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and more than 220 aircraft on firm order, including 71 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777-X, 62 Airbus A350s and 10 Airbus A380s. Etihad Airways holds equity investments in airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia, Aer Lingus, Air Serbia and Jet Airways, and is seeking regulatory approval to invest in Swiss-based regional carrier Darwin Airline. For more information, please visit:

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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