Gulf Air cuts net losses by 51%
Gulf Air Tuesday reported its strongest financial results for four years, with a 12.1 per cent increase in revenues to BD384.6m (2002: BD343 million) and a 51.1 per cent reduction in net losses to BD19.9 million (2002: BD40.7 million).
Despite what the airline described as the "toughest aviation year ever", with the devastating impact of SARS and the Iraq conflict, the results meant Gulf Air exceeded its Project Falcon turnaround target of halving losses.
Project Falcon is a three-year program that aims to return Gulf Air to profitability by 2005.
The airline had reported record passenger numbers of 6,047,447 in 2003, up 10.4 per cent on 2002 (5,478,556).
Passenger growth was driven by network and service enhancements, competitive pricing in all markets and the successful launch of Gulf Traveller, the airline’s all-economy subsidiary. The year 2004 registered a passenger growth of 32 per cent to date.
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive of Gulf Air, said, "The 2003 was the toughest aviation year ever. The Iraq conflict created massive uncertainty in the region; then SARS took its toll. Together, the impact on airlines was devastating.
Yet in the face of this, the staff of Gulf Air hit their financial targets and cut losses by more than 50 per cent, delivering the best results since 2000. Most importantly, they did this not by arbitrary cost cutting, but by building the foundations on which this business will return to profitability and will grow in the future.
"We are committed to the creation of a sustainable commercial platform. As an airline, we faced the toughest aviation market ever in 2003 and came through not just unscathed but significantly stronger. As an airline, we will continue to deliver world-leading services along the road to profitability and growth.
"Project Falcon could have been derailed by the global events of the first half of 2003. Instead, we delivered the best net income performance since 2000. Project Falcon remains on track and we look forward to putting this airline back where it belongs as a profitable, world-leading innovator." (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)