The third quarter of this year has started with soaring passenger figures on Gulf Air flights across the network, the airline announced.
Following a record yield in June, figures for July indicate double-digit growth over the same period last year.
Traditionally a good period for the airlines of the region as holiday makers leave behind the heat of the Gulf for cooler climes, growth for July has exceeded the Gulf Air’s targets for the month and represents a 12.6 per cent year-on-year increase in passenger numbers.
Gulf Air president and chief executive James Hogan said this year had been challenging for the airline industry.
“The conflict in Iraq and later the SARS crisis undoubtedly took their toll on our numbers and impacted consumer confidence,” he said.
“Our latest figures show that we have turned a corner, they indicate renewed confidence in the industry and in Gulf Air.”
Hogan said the increased passenger numbers also show that their strategy to address market segments with tailored products and services is showing results.
“The growth in our premium classes continues as first and business class passengers respond to the more personalised attention and increased choice in the premium cabins,” he said.
“We are also seeing a similar phenomenon in reservations for Gulf Traveller, our full service all economy airline which operates out of Abu Dhabi.”
Gulf Air’s cargo business has also taken off and is experiencing strong growth with an increase of more than 6.8 per cent over July last year.
So far, more than 9.5 million kg of cargo have been carried on Gulf Air flights in July.
Not included in the cargo figure is mail that had grown by more than 200 per cent over the same period last year.
Hogan said the strong performance showed that the tough measures they had put in place were working.
“We are on target with our Project Falcon recovery to meet our year-end targets,” he said.
“Focusing on our objective to be a commercially successful world-class airline this bold and disciplined process of change will continue into the next six months as we open up new routes notably to Sydney, Australia, and Athens, Greece, and launch our new world-wide contact centre in Oman.”
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.