Gulf Air, the national airline of Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has reported that its first quarter performance had exceeded the targets set in the airline’s three-year restructuring plan. Traffic increased by 7.8 percent in the first three months of 2003, reported Gulf Air’s Chief Executive, James Hogan.
The plan aims to reduce the airline’s losses to BD 20 million ($53 million) by the end of 2003, and to break even by 2004, achieving a five million-dinar profit during 2005.
Traffic in premium classes on Gulf Air’s European routes increased by 18 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year. Schedule changes, which offer the convenience of daily services, have also contributed to the improved figures. This was evident in an immediate load increase from 55 to 75 percent on flights between Frankfurt, Paris and the Gulf following the introduction of daily flights.
Despite the negative impact of the Iraq conflict in March, Gulf Air achieved an average 3.7 percent improvement in traffic over the same period last year. There is no doubt the conflict in Iraq is having a detrimental effect on business all over the world, and IATA figures suggest that it will reduce airline traffic worldwide by 10 percent for its duration.
Gulf Air was founded in 1950 and is the only pan Gulf carrier in the region. The airline’s network stretches from Europe to Asia and covers 43 cities in 32 countries. The airline is in its first year of a three-year strategic recovery program to further evolve into a more global company. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )