GULF AIR, the national carrier of Bahrain, celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2010, having grown to become one of most recognisable and respectable brands in the aviation industry. With a fleet of 32 aircraft, the airline currently flies to 45 cities in 29 countries and is proud of the fact that it operates the largest network in the Middle East with non-stop flights while providing seamless onward connections to other international destinations.
Reflecting the needs and aspirations of its customers and responding to the changing business scenario in the region, Gulf Air announced a new business strategy in November 2009 focusing on four core areas: network, fleet, product and cost. As part of the strategy, the airline identified and launched services to eight new destinations in a span of just 12 months; Aden, Aleppo, Alexandria, Baghdad, Colombo, Erbil, Medina and Najaf with three more – Addis Ababa, Basra and Isfahan – to be launched in January 2011.
Last month saw the airline take delivery of two new Airbus A320 aircraft, taking the number of new planes in its fleet to 14 in the last 14 months. This completes the first phase of the airlines fleet renewal programme on schedule.
“Now more than 40 per cent of our fleet is brand new, demonstrating our dynamic fleet-renewal plan, which is a core component of the company’s new strategy to create a commercially sustainable business with a strong product offering,” said Gulf Air chief executive officer Samer Majali.
“Besides, having a new, more efficient fleet means we can deliver a better service to our customers and at the same time we can lower our costs,” he added. The technically and environmentally advanced A320 aircraft are now flying on Gulf Air’s short- and medium-haul routes.
Last year the airline launched Falcon Gold class, combining the best of Gulf Air’s first and business class. While the airline is undergoing a major revamp of its inflight entertainment system, it has recently introduced a portable entertainment solution for Falcon Gold travellers that offer a whole range of in-flight entertainment fare.
While proud of its past achievements and the current developments, the airline is looking ahead to the next 60 years and beyond with renewed spirit and commitment to serve the people and the economy of Bahrain and represent the kingdom on the world stage with its new strategy. It aims to be a regional leader and the preferred choice for travel throughout the Gulf and Middle East, connecting more points throughout the region than its competitors.
As the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Gulf Air is proud of the fact that the regional, geographic and cultural values that the airline has embraced over the years are still central in defining the brand and service ethos within the contemporary and global environment.
“As we complete our 60th anniversary year, we are proud of the fact that we are on the right track in our strategy – from receiving new aircraft, launching new routes, offering new products to control cost across the board,” added Majali.