SOUTH AFRICAN MINISTER OF TRADE VISITS GULF AIR
South African Minister of Trade and Industry His Excellency Mandisi Mpahlwa visited Gulf Air headquarters in Bahrain, during an official visit to the kingdom.
Mr Mpahlwa, accompanied by South African Ambassador to Bahrain Abdulhamied Gabier and a delegation of 30 trade and businessmen, met with Gulf Air President and Chief Executive James Hogan, Vice President Finance Ahmed Al Hammadi, Vice President Network Fareed Al Alawi and other airline executives.
The minister and Mr Hogan discussed current developments in the aviation industry and notably Gulf Air’s return operation into South Africa in December.
After an absence of more than eight years, the airline will recommence its non-stop flights between the kingdom of Bahrain and Johannesburg from December 2.
The three flights per week will operate on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Bahrain to Johannesburg and Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from Johannesburg to Bahrain with timings specifically designed to connect with Gulf Air’s other new destination – Dublin.
“The benefits of co-operation between the southern African region and the Middle East are immense and with the growing contact between South Africa and the Gulf for business and tourism, we feel it is the right time to return to Johannesburg,” says Mr Hogan.
About Gulf Air
Gulf Air was founded in 1950. Today, it is owned by the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Sultanate of Oman and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and is the only truly pan Gulf carrier in the region. The airline’s network stretches from Europe to Asia and covers 44 cities in 30 countries. The fleet is one of the most modern in the Middle East and comprises 34 aircraft.
The airline, in the last year of a three-year strategic recovery programme, headed by President and Chief Executive James Hogan, is making rapid strides towards regaining profitability in 2005 and aims to further evolve by taking its renowned cultural strengths, which have been gained over more than half a century, into a global environment.
The dramatic turnaround in Gulf Air’s fortunes has won international recognition. In January 2004, The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) presented the airline with the prestigious Airline Turnaround of the Year Award for 2003. Gulf Air was also the recipient of the 2003 Platinum Award for the Best Airline in the Middle East and North Africa, recognising the airline’s commitment to service excellence.