Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air has rolled out its new corporate strategy for 2018 and beyond which includes major network expansion plans adding eight new routes into its regional network this year besides boosting its fleet strength and offering best in-class products and services.
Unveiling its roadmap for the future, Gulf Air said the move is aimed at elevating the passenger experience, promoting the Kingdom’s tourism economy and bolstering its aviation, transport, tourism and business infrastructures and the aviation industry as a whole.
The Bahraini national carrier is embarking on an era of expansion adding 39 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft into its fleet to “give wings to its ambitious plan to expand to over 60 destinations by 2023 covering the key markets of Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, the Indian Subcontinent and, ultimately, North America.”
To begin with, five Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and two Airbus A320neo aircraft will be entering service by year-end.
Focusing on its prime market India, Gulf Air will be launching flights to two major south Indian cities - the IT hub Bengaluru and ‘Land of spices’ Kozhikode - thus complementing its current services to Delhi, Chennai, Kochi, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram and Hyderabad.
In regional circles, Gulf Air will boosting its presence in Saudi Arabia with flights to two key destinations - Abha and Tubuk, enhancing its current service to Dammam, Riyadh, Madinah, Jeddah and Gassim.
Its operations to Egytian capital Cairo will be supplemented by direct flights to Alexandria and flights to Sharm El Sheikh. The airline will also launch operations to Baku in Azerbaijan and Casablanca in Morocco.
Zayed Bin Rashid Alzayani, Chairman of Gulf Air’s Board of Directors, said: “Our national carrier is an integral part of Bahrain’s economy and a critical component of its aviation infrastructure. Gulf Air’s future plans bode well for the country’s aviation, transport and tourism infrastructures and the kingdom as a whole.”
He was addressing a gala dinner event held at The Gulf Hotel, Manama to announce Gulf Air’s five-year growth plan. It was attended by CEO Krešimir Kučko along with leading government officials, dignitaries, trade and corporate partners, Falconflyer members, the airline’s workforce and other senior company representatives.
Alzayani said reducing the losses was a vital step, together with the relentless commitment to boost its services, fleet and network with the opening of new strategic routes. “This has been made possible due to the determination and passion of Gulf Air's workforce and management team who are working towards realizing this plan for the airline's future,” he noted.
“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,” he added.
On the new plan, Kučko said the new hi-tech fleet along with the 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, thus cementing its role as the regional airline of choice with a global footprint and best in class.
Gulf Air, he stated, is committed to being an industry leader, continually enhancing its services and tailoring a product offering that best fits its passengers’ needs.
Gulf Air recently carried out a strategic 360 degree assessment of its business, including looking into how the airline can best nurture and develop its network, fleet, product, workforce, customers and much more.