Information Interesting Travel

Jazeera Airways answers your questions

Jazeera Airways

Hello everyone, my name is Fawaz and I am responsible for marketing communication at Jazeera Airways, in addition to being an amateur blogger of course. We have been reading your questions about Jazeera Airways on this blog over the past few months. Questions that ranged from “how can we afford fares as low as KD 5?” To questions about our brand name. In an effort to answer all your questions, we recently asked Mark to gather questions you had for Jazeera Airways and in return we promised him that we would answer all of them, exclusively on this blog. Lets start

Mark: How can you afford to offer super low fares?

This is a great question that I will answer in two parts. First, we prefer to fly our planes full of travelers paying less per seat rather than flying with less travelers paying more. Other airlines prefer high fares and less passengers, which does not make sense to us. Why would they want to impact less people? For us, we enjoy flying people and being part of their lives.

The second part involves our business model that works to achieve high efficency and a lower operational cost base. In other words, we do more with less. We achieve our high efficiency by employing

1. state of the art technology to streamline processes
2. hardworking, multitasking, highly motivated team

In sum, we can afford super low fares because our business model is based on volume more than yield, and because we depend on leading technologies and great team to lower our cost.

Follow-up: How are you able to lower your cost?

We are able to maintain a lower cost base and high level of quality and safety through three main ways:

1- Recruitment- We recruit highly motivated and committed team members. This is crucial as it has direct impact on day-to-day cost. Being able to wear different ‘hats’ (so to speak) and do the work of several people is a quality we seek in and build in our team members. That’s why we call our people our ‘high flyers’.

2- Aircraft utilization – Aircraft on the ground do not make money, so we keep our aircraft in the air where they do make money. We achieve this through quick turn-arounds at the gate. Our planes arrive at a destination, wait for our travelers to disembark, board return travelers, and fly back to base ready to take off again in less than 45 minutes.

3- A fleet of single-type fleet: the Airbus A320.

If you had Porsche and a Ferrari and Lamborghini in your drive way, you would need three different specialized garages to service them with three different mechanics and three different spare parts inventories. On the other hand, if you had three Porsches you would only need to contract a single garage to service all three and your maintenance costs would be much lower. Aircraft are the same, though much more sophisticated. Allow me to elaborate.

If an airline had an A320, an A310, an A340, and a 777, they would need certified captains, first officers, cabin crew for each type of aircraft. In this case, if a 777 pilot falls sick with the flu, an A320 pilot cannot just jump in the captain’s seat of a 777 unless she is trained on a 777. Because of this, airlines with multiple aircraft types in their fleet need to have more pilots to cover scenarios like this, more engineers who do nothing but wait for someone to get sick, and spare parts inventories to cover all types. This creates redundancies and inneficiency.

In our case, we have an all-A320 fleet. We do not need to hire more crew since any of our crew can jump in any of our aircraft and take-off and any of our engineers is licensed to work on any of our aircraft, and our spare parts inventory covers all our aircraft.

4- Investment in Technology – By investing heavily into technology, we were able to raise efficiency, reduce operational cost and drive the price of tickets down even further. We currently employ over a dozen world class technology systems and tools that range from the booking systems we use to satellite aircraft monitoring that tells us the status and integrity of each aircraft while it is in the air no matter where it is on earth, and automatically dispatches support teams and parts to the destination airport if the situation required. These are only some of the benefits of having world class Lufthansa Technik engineers and technology working with us and for us.

Kuwait Technology

Video Calling on MTC

A while back K.thekuwaiti posted about how to get video calling on MTC to work. Basically they are on trial period now and you can video call for free, the only problem is trying to find someone to video call.

If you have a 3G phone with video calling capabilities then all you need to do is send an SMS to the number 99999 with the word vc in the message and you should get a reply back telling you that video calling has been activated. If you get a message back and video calling is still not working, then turn off your phone, take out the battery and simcard and then put them back together. I had to do this to get 3G working on my phone and now I have a little 3G icon on my phone.

I tried video calling yesterday with K.thekuwaiti since he is the only person I know of that has video calling and it felt like video chatting using MSN. I don’t think I would use video calling to chat with a friend but I think I would use it to call a friend up and show him something. Like I could be at a party and I could call a friend up and show him with video what was going on at the party, that sort of thing.

Maybe once more people I know get 3G phones video calling could turn into a norm…

Geek Information Video Games

High Speed or Regular, which Memory Stick for my Sony PSP?

Memory Stick Duo

When I was looking for a Memory Stick for my Sony PSP I didn’t know if it was worth paying extra and getting the high speed version (the Ultra II for example) or getting the regular and more affordable version. I did some research online to see if I could find information on this and what I found was very confusing.

The faster Memory Stick allows you to read and write data onto it faster then the regular card but according to some users the PSP doesn’t take advantage of the faster Memory Sticks. This means if you get a regular speed Memory Stick and a hight speed one, the PSP will treat both of them equally and read and write onto both at the same speed.

Some users on the other hand stated the opposite. Their views were that the PSP did take advantage of the high speed cards and that games would load faster when using them.

So not wanting to take a risk I decided to purchase the high speed card and thats what I have been using ever since. Recently I realized that 1GB wasn’t enough room since some games like Grand Theft Auto take up 850MB which leaves no room for a second game. So I was checking out prices on Amazon and noticed that once you get to Memory sticks 2GB and larger the price difference between the regular speed and high speed ones increased more.

Thats why I decided to experiment using the two different cards and see if they both worked on the PSP the same way. In short, turns out both cards performed exactly the same which means the people who said the PSP didn’t take advantage of the Hi-Speed cards were right.

I used Nat’s 1GB Sandisk card and my 1GB Sandisk Ultra II for my test. I copied GTA onto both and tried them out. I didn’t notice any difference at all, with both sticks the game loaded quickly and load times were none existent. Having a highspeed memory stick with the PSP is a waste of money..

I know this post might seem weird but I wrote it for people who are googling this memory stick information..

Automotive Interesting


Nissan Figaro

Japanoid. definition: Extremely compact cars from Japan.

I had never seen 80% of these Japanoid cars before and some like the Nissan Figaro pictured above look really cool and funky. [Link]

Update: seems the official name for these kind of cars is “Keicar”. Keicar is a Japanese category of small automobiles, including passenger cars and also vans and pick-up trucks for commercial use. They are mainly designed for sale in Japan, because there are some tax and insurance relaxations and an exemption from the usual requirement of certification of park space that one has adequate parking space at his or her home or has contract for a parking spot.

These relatively relaxed standards came from the post-World War II days when most Japanese were too poor to buy a full sized car, yet had more than enough money to buy a motorcycle. To promote the growth of car industry as well as to offer an alternative delivery method to small business and shop owners, Keicar standards were created.

More information here. [Link]

Information Kuwait Shopping

Mailbox & eBay-Paypal Services

say no to aramex

The other day I mentioned there was a competitor for Aramex, I just got the details now by email so here it is:

Dear Valued Customer,

IEC forwarding services eliminate the difficulties encountered when purchasing from US retailers. In particular:

– Many US retailers will not ship overseas.

– The US retailers that do ship internationally charge very high shipping rates.

With an account at IEC, these problems are solved!

IEC provides you with a genuine US street address that is unique to you. This is not a Post Office Box! This is your own street address that US retailers will accept as a valid shipping destination.

Account holders at IEC also enjoy very low international shipping rates, much less than rates from US retailers. Save up to 70% on international shipping!

Apple Electronics Geek Kuwait

Upgrading my PowerMac

I finally decided it was time to upgrade my aging PowerMac. My Mac at home currently is a Digital Audio Graphite PowerMac with a G4 733mhz processor, 1GB of RAM, 260GB of Hard Disk space, Geforce2 MX and a 8x CD writer. Its a pretty ancient machine but its stable and it has a nice personality. I was stuck between what new Mac to get, I though about getting the soulless PowerMac G5, I have one at work, a Dual 2GHZ G5 and it reminds me of hospitals… it basically lacks character and gives a very sterile feel. Also I would rather wait and get the intel versions that will come out next year. I thought about getting the sleek 20inch iMac but they are very limited when it comes to upgrading. I thought about the 12inch PowerBooks but I dislike them a lot. I have played around and used both my brothers and Nat’s powerbooks and they seem fragile and look PC-ish. The 15inch and 17inch Powerbooks I believe are too big to carry around often and I really also didn’t want my primary Mac to be a laptop.

So, in the end I decided to stick with my current PowerMac except upgrade the hell out of it. I just ordered a Dual G4 1.6ghz chip upgrade from GigaDesigns. I will be upgrading the crappy 8x CD writer to a Pioneer 8x DVD writer (finally will be able to read DVDs on my mac!). I will upgrade the VGA card to an ATI with dual monitor support so I can hookup my extra Sony 17inch monitor to my 21inch Sony monitor I am currently using. I will also get another 160GB hard drive (this brings the total of 4 internal IDE drives, 2 running at ATA66 and 2 at ATA133) since with my recent movie downloads I started running of space. To top things off I will also order a beautiful 12inch Snow White iBook. I had a G3 700mhz iBook a few years ago but it died a tragic death.

This way I will have a total of two Macs. The PowerMac will serve as my primary computer where I will do all my design work on. The iBook will be my secondary computer where I will do all my web browsing on, most probably from the living room. Will take before and after pictures of my PowerMac and posted them here when I am done.

Food Information Kuwait

Bye Bye Sub Club, Hello Americana Club

Just yesterday I posted about the end of the Sub Club here in Kuwait but when I went to Sbarro for lunch they gave me their own version! Its only valid at Sbarro, Hardees, KFC and Baskin Robbins.. but the Fashionway branch. Order anything over KD1.200 from these 4 restaurants and they will give you a sticker. After 4 stickers you get your choice of either a Hardees or KFC combo for free! Offer valid till August 10th.

Food Information

The End of the Sub Club

Subway is ending its long-running Sub Club promotion due to the prevalence of counterfeit stamps. With every sub you buy at Subway they give you stamps. Every 8 stamps gets you a free 6inch sub. Due to increasing counterfeiting Subway has decided to stop the Sub Club promotion. Checking ebay you can find over 200 auctions for Subway Club cards! So starting June 30th, your Sub Club will be useless, so use them now. [Link]