MANAMA: Gulf Air has unveiled and new five-year strategy to revamp the airline through fleet modernisation push with 39 new aircraft and adding 200 flights weekly.
A total of seven new aircraft, 5 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and 2 Airbus A320neo aircraft, will enter the airline’s fleet before the end of the year. In addition to enhances frequency there will be a network expansion adding eight new destinations in 2018.
This was revealed by the Gulf Air CEO on Sunday during an event gathering key government officials, dignitaries, trade and corporate partners, Falconflyer members, the airline’s workforce and media outlets from across the Kingdom.
Zayed Bin Rashid Alzayani, Chairman of Gulf Air’s Board of Directors welcomed attendees and introduced Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer Krešimir Kučko. Kučko rolled out the airline’s new corporate strategy, 2018 network expansion plans to 8 new routes, details surrounding Gulf Air’s incoming fleet and new, best in class products and services among other positive developments.
“Our national carrier is an integral part of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s economy and a critical component of its aviation infrastructure. Gulf Air’s new corporate strategy includes expansion plans and is geared towards elevating the passenger experience, promoting Bahrain’s tourism economy and bolstering the Kingdom’s aviation, transport, tourism and business infrastructures and the aviation industry as a whole. I commend the airline’s workforce and management team on their efforts towards realising this plan for our national carrier’s future. Gulf Air’s future plans bode well for the Kingdom of Bahrain’s aviation, transport and tourism infrastructures and the Kingdom as a whole,” Al Zayani said.
“It is an honour to share some of our airline’s upcoming developments and to invite a broad spectrum of key stakeholders to be a part of the great journey that lies ahead for both the Kingdom of Bahrain and its national carrier. Our new state of the art fleet and best in class products and service will pave the way for Gulf Air’s growth and expansion. This will have a positive impact on the entire Kingdom of Bahrain, cementing our role as the regional airline of choice with a global footprint and best in class. As a proudly Bahraini enterprise, operating in the interests of the Kingdom of Bahrain, people look at Gulf Air today and see much more than an airline. They see a national carrier, a local employer, a tourism driver and a link to our business partners and political allies across the globe. They see an airline that, like all airlines around the world, reflects and supports its country and economy. We believe Gulf Air’s pioneering legacy, which dates back to our establishment in 1950, will continue to positively shape our future,” Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer Krešimir Kučko, said.
Earlier, Gulf Air had carried out a strategic 360-degree assessment of its business. This included looking into how the airline can best nurture and develop its network, fleet, product, workforce, customers and much more. At the event, Kučko unveiled the airline’s new corporate strategy for 2018 and beyond, outlining its key pillars. They are: Safety, Network Growth, Innovation, Human Resources, Customer Focus, Revenue Vs Cost and most significantly the national carrier’s role as a contributor and key driver of the local economy as it promotes the Kingdom of Bahrain globally and operates as its ambassador worldwide.
In the coming months, Gulf Air’s highly anticipated incoming fleet of 39 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft will commence delivery.
With this development, major positive change is on the horizon. Gulf Air’s new fleet will be outfitted with superior on-board products and services (some of the best in class: seats, Inflight Entertainment and much more). With aspirations to be best in class across both its wide and narrow body fleet, Gulf Air’s new business class offering will compete with the first-class standard of other airlines while its economy class product will afford enhanced onboard comfort.
The airline plans major network expansion coinciding with its new aircraft deliveries. Gulf Air will add eight new destinations to its network this year. In India, its current operations to Delhi, Chennai, Kochi, Mumbai, Trivandrum and Hyderabad, will be enhanced by flights to Bangalore and Calicut. Gulf Air will also commence flights to the Saudi Arabian cities of Abha and Tubuk. This will expand its Saudi Arabia operations to complement its current service to Dammam, Riyadh, Madina Al Munawarah, Jeddah and Gassim. Gulf Air’s Cairo operations will be supplemented by direct flights to Alexandria and flights to Sharm El Shaikh. The airline will also launch operations to Baku in Azerbaijan and to Casablanca in Morocco.
Alongside this, frequency changes to key routes in 2018 will enhance Gulf Air’s offering of seamless movement to and from the Kingdom of Bahrain – and across its network. Gulf Air will increase its flights during the peak summer period by 200 more weekly flights compared to 2017.
Kučko also spoke about a new brand identity expected to be rolled out very soon. The new look and feel for Gulf Air will, alongside its new fleet, new network, new products and services, represent the “Gulf Air of tomorrow”. Shedding light on the national carrier’s more long-term development he elaborated that the airline’s planned strategic growth in the years 2019-2023 will see it strengthening its regional base and then supplementing that with an expanded network that will reach various points across the globe. This includes: Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, the Indian Subcontinent and, ultimately, North America. By 2023 Gulf Air’s reach will have expanded to over 60 destinations.
“2018 represents the beginning of a new era for Gulf Air and for the Kingdom of Bahrain. In 2018 and beyond, Gulf Air will challenge the traditional definition of travel, broadening its scope and making it more convenient and appealing for every traveller,” he added.
Gulf Air is committed to being an industry leader, continually enhancing its services and tailoring a product offering that best fits its passengers’ needs. The airline is famous for its traditional Arabian hospitality, evidenced by its signature family and business friendly products. Today, Gulf Air operates one the largest networks in the Middle East with double daily flights or more to select destinations across the GCC, MENA region, Indian Subcontinent and Europe. The airline provides seamless connectivity for passengers travelling across its network via its efficient Bahrain International Airport hub.