Gulf Air appoints new Regional General Manager for Indian Sub Continent

Published October 31st, 2006 - 12:01 GMT

Gulf Air has appointed Richard Hirsch as the Regional General Manager for the Indian Sub continent.

Hirsch comes to Gulf Air bringing with him a wealth of experience of over 18 years gained from British Airways (BA) in various commercial roles.

He has held several positions at BA's headquarters and overseas, which include strategic sales roles in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. He played a key role in the commercial strategic development and direction of BA in the region for the last five years. Hirsch also oversaw the airline's commercial contingency plans for the Middle East post 9/11 and the successful move to offline selling in Saudi Arabia after the suspension of BA flights to the region.

"We are pleased to welcome Richard on board," says Gulf Air Vice President Marketing and Sales Lee Shave.

"His experience within the commercial sales division will be an asset to Gulf Air and will enable us to achieve the challenging targets and objectives we have set for this region."

Hirsch, based in Bahrain, will look after Gulf Air's India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal markets.

"I am very confident that his experiences of doing business in the Middle East – a fast-growing yet highly competitive market- will help him greatly in his new position at the ISC market, which is equally challenging and rewarding," adds Shave.

A Postgraduate in Business Administration from Lancaster University, UK, Hirsch has attended a Commercial Leadership Programme at Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg.
He is married and, likes running, travelling and reading. He is also involved in charity fund-raising.
About Gulf Air
Founded in 1950, Gulf Air, owned by the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman, is the only truly Pan Gulf carrier in the Middle East region.

The regional, geographic and cultural values that the airline has embraced over more than half a century are still central to defining its brand and service ethos.

Today the airline’s network stretches from Europe to Asia and covers 50 cities in 30 countries. The fleet comprises 34 aircraft and has the distinct advantage of possessing the strongest network across the Middle East.

A platform for sustained commercial operation has been established over the past three years as part of a multi-phased turnaround programme. It has also provided a framework for a succession of innovative products and services including the unique Sky Chefs and Sky Nannies that form part of Gulf Air’s ’smart airline, successful business’ vision.

International recognition has been achieved as a result of the turnaround programme leading to numerous awards for the airline’s innovative and high quality products and services: These include:
• Best Onboard Catering in First and Business Class (Skytrax World Airline Catering Awards 2005)
• Best designed in-flight magazine (American Creativity Awards,2005)
• Middle East Leading First Class Airline (World Travel Awards 2005)
• World’s Leading Airport Lounge (World Travel Awards 2005)
• Middle East & North African Platinum Best Airline (MENA Travel Awards 2004
• Most Improved Airline (Skytrax Awards 2004)
• Middle East First Class Airline (Arabian Business Awards)
• Best new product launch for in-flight services (PAX international Readership Awards)
• Best First Class Onboard Food (Skytrax Food Category 2004)
• Best Business Class Check-in (Skytrax Check-in Category 2004)
• Middle East region’s best airport restaurant for its restaurant in Bahrain International Airport lounge


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