The renaissance of Gulf Air continues apace, according to the president and chief executive, James Hogan.
In his keynote address in the first day on Gulf Air’s Worldwide Sales and Marketing Conference at the Beach Rotana Hotel, Abu Dhabi, he told more than 300 delegates that profitability was not a pipedream. “Every day we move a step closer to it becoming a reality,” he said.
Briefing the airlines biggest ever gathering of sales and marketing personnel, as well as General Sales Agents (GSA) from across the network, he added that the foundations had been laid over the past 18 months that will allow Gulf Air, the national airline of the Kingdom of Bahrain, The Sultanate of Oman and the UAE, to move back into profitability in 2005 as planned.
“What we have achieved over the last year and a half as a team has been remarkable by any standards,” he said. “A close look at the global aviation industry today will reveal that some of the biggest, and financially sound airlines have found it a struggle. However we at Gulf Air continue to go from strength to strength, a fact recognised very recently with the prestigious Airline Turnaround of the Year Award presented annually by the Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).”
Hogan quoted part of the citation to delegates: “Gulf Air languished for a number of years, watching while neighboring airlines flourished. But over the past year and a half, it (Gulf Air) has again become an airline to be reckoned with, and a market leader.
“I am delighted that it is being recognized that today Gulf Air is resurgent, thriving and a world-class airline – thanks to your efforts.”
Hogan highlighted a long list of successes in 2003, which have helped win the award and more importantly move Gulf Air that step closer to profitability. These included passenger revenue increasing by 17 per cent, cargo revenue up by 16 per cent, unit costs down nine per cent, a third quarter record of 1.8 million passengers carried, First and Business class passengers to Europe up by over 30 per cent. Gulf Air Holiday packages up by 48 per cent, and on time performance targets achieved.
“This is a fantastic list of achievements, of which you should all be proud,” he continued. “Twelve months ago I said that confidence is central to the winning culture. People who believe in themselves and what they do are winners. If we believe in Gulf Air we will win. If we want to be different, we can be. I am delighted that you have adopted that philosophy because we are winning, and our customers and competitors can see and feel the difference for themselves.”
When it comes to the network Hogan stated that the airline has continually answered the question, ‘Can you get me when I need to be there?’ “We have more daily frequencies than ever before,” he said.
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