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Emirates delivers premium lounge experience with re-opening of over 20 airport lounges across its network

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In line with the restoration of Emirates’ network and upsurge in travel demand, passengers traveling in premium cabins as well as Skywards members in select membership tiers will have access to more than 120 lounges by February.

Emirates, which has resumed operations to over 90 percent of its pre-pandemic network, currently flies to more than 120 destinations worldwide via its hub in Dubai. Customers travelling in First Class and Business Class will be able to complement their travel experience with Emirates’ signature premium lounge service at over 20 airports in its network, comprising popular destinations across Europe, Africa, US and Asia.

By late December, Emirates lounges at a host of airports in the UK will have re-opened their doors for customers to immerse themselves in the pre-flight premium experience, including London Heathrow, Birmingham, and Manchester while the lounges in London Gatwick and Glasgow will welcome customers in January 2022.

In Europe, Emirates lounges in Germany, namely Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Dusseldorf, in addition to lounges in Milan and Rome, have already re-opened for passengers to enjoy their premium facilities, while the lounge in Paris is scheduled to open later this month.

In the US, travellers on Emirates flights can access the premium lounge experience at Los Angeles International Airport, Boston Logan International Airport as well as New York JFK, with Emirates’ San Francisco lounge to re-start its services in February 2022.

An additional Emirates Lounge, to serve passengers travelling through Cairo, has resumed operations earlier, while premium class customers and eligible Skywards members will soon be able to relax and dine in its lounges in Colombo and Bangkok prior to flights.

At Emirates’ exclusive Terminal 3 at Dubai International airport, Emirates’ premium class customers and eligible Skywards members are also able to enjoy the airline’s premium lounge service at five of its dedicated lounges, which are now fully operational.

In Concourse B of Terminal 3, both Emirates’ First Class Lounge, offering a private Lounge experience for customers flying in First Class, as well as its Business Class Lounge, have re-opened with full service offerings. Customers flying in Business Class in addition to Skywards Platinum and Gold members can look forward to enjoying gourmet dining with premium beverages prior for up to four hours prior to departing on flights or utilising the complimentary wi-fi to catch up on emails, browse the internet or stay connected with family and friends. The new menus also include vegan, vegetarian and healthier options to cater to passengers’ preferences.

Emirates’ First Class and Business Class Lounges in Concourse A have also resumed operations in the East Wing and, in the West Wing, the First Class and Business Class Lounges are set to re-open for customers in the coming weeks. Furthermore, plans are underway to ensure two Lounges in Concourse C are fully operational by early next year to provide an even more rewarding experience.

Emirates’ First Class passengers and Platinum Skywards members can enjoy complimentary access for the first passenger and up to three additional guests, including one adult and two children under 17 in the airline’s lounge facilities. Before flights, passengers in Concourse A can savour the unique flavours of gourmet dishes prepared by chefs in show kitchens, enjoy a drink at the Cigar Bar or let expert sommeliers guide them on the best vintages to indulge in, at Le Clos Wine Cellar. The lounges also feature spa services and shower facilities, a dedicated duty-free shopping area in First Class and a Concierge Duty-Free service in Business Class. Customers enjoying the lounge facilities will also have direct access to boarding gates at the airline’s dedicated A380 hub.



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Business

Seven factors of concern at upcoming Monetary Policy Review

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by Sanath Nanayakkare

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) is scheduled to announce its latest monetary policy review on 20th January 2022, with all eyes on dwindling foreign reserves and foreign currency exchange in the country.

In this context, First Capital Research has named 7 factors of concern that could be taken into account at the upcoming monetary policy review. They are as follows.

* Foreign Reserves USD 3.1 billion – Dec 2021

* Inflation CCPI 12.1% – Dec 2021

* GDP Growth -1.5% – 3Q2021

* Private Credit LKR 60.5 billion – Nov 2021

* 03M T-Bill rate 8.38% as at 12.01.22

Liquidity and CBSL Holdings LKR -364.0 billion and LKR 1.42 trillion

Balance of Trade (BOT) and Balance of Payment (BOP) USD -6.5 billion and USD -3.3 billion for Jan-Oct 21

First Capital Research’s Policy Rate Forecast – Jan 2022-Apr 2022 notes that they believe the CBSL may highly consider tightening the monetary policy rates in this policy review but given the concerns over economic growth, there is a probability of 40% for CBSL to maintain its policy stance at current levels.

“With high frequent indicators improving in line with expectations, we have eliminated any probability of a rate cut. We expect a continued increase in probability for a rate hike in order to prevent overheating of the economy amidst the given fiscal and monetary stimulus,” they said.

As per First Capital’s view, CBSL either can choose to hike policy rates by 50bps or 100bps or hold policy rates steady, while a rate cut is off the table due to the high debt repayment and the high domestic borrowing requirement.

First Capital believes that there is a 60% probability for a rate hike due to the remedial actions required in achieving external stability.

However, there is also a 40% probability to maintain the policy rates at its current level in order to further improve the high frequency indicators.30%, they noted.

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Sri Lanka’s dash brand enters international markets

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Multichemi International Ltd, which manufactures and distributes a wide range of products under dash, one of Sri Lanka’s leading detergent and household care brands, has begun exporting its products to several international markets in Asia and Oceania, with plans also to enter Africa. The dash brand includes a wide range of products in car care, household care, home fragrances and laundry care sectors. Multichemi International Ltd, which has been awarded ISO 9001:2015 certification, is a Sri Lankan pioneer in environment-friendly cleaning products, having launched the country’s first biodegradable, safe cleaning products over 28 years ago.

Amila Wijesinghe, General Manager of the Company said,”Having conquered the domestic market, we are now ready to capture the international market. We are confident that our products which are of high quality will receive a good demand overseas as well. The feedback we have received so far from our overseas customers is extremely encouraging. We are dedicated to taking our products to the international market, to bring in foreign currency to the country and help uplift the economy”,

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Janaka Abeysinghe appointed SLT CEO

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Sri Lanka Telecom PLC has announced the appointment of Janaka Abeysinghe as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from February 1, 2022.

The incumbent CEO Kiththi Perera will be overseas on leave for a period of two years to pursue higher studies, according to a stock market filing by the company.

Abeysinghe joined SLT in 1991. In his present role, he leads the enterprise and wholesale business of SLT that provides integrated voice and data solutions to enterprises, government institutions, domestic telco operators and global wholesale carriers.

In his career at SLT spanning 29 years, he has held a number of senior positions, including general manager Enterprise and International Sales and has extensive experience in the areas of Enterprise Digital Services, Enterprise Communications Solutions, Data Communications, Business Development, Domestic and International Switching Operations and Global Wholesale Voice & Data Business.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Kansas, USA and a BSc degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering with a First Class Honours from the University of Moratuwa.

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