GULF Air is celebrating an all-time high in passenger numbers out of its two main hubs, Bahrain and Oman, post the introduction of a two-hub strategy.
Figures soared by 31 per cent to 4.7 million passengers through the two hubs, by the end of August.
“Our original studies predicted growth in the region of 25 per cent,” says Gulf Air vice-president Network Fareed Al Alawi. “Numbers have jumped by nearly a third over this period. In the first quarter we recorded growth of 24.1 per cent in Bahrain and 20.6 per cent in Oman. When the full impact of the two-hub model came into effect with the summer schedule in the second quarter, growth increased to 41.3 per cent in Bahrain and 39 per cent in Oman.”
Passenger numbers in Bahrain for July and August rose 153,437 from 707,105 in 2005 to reach a record 860,542 this year. Gulf Air traffic now accounts for 68.4 per cent of the activity at Bahrain airport. In the same months, Gulf Air flights through the airport increased by 31.9 per cent to 6,570 like-for-like. In Oman, passenger numbers over Seeb Internat-ional Airport rose from 331,137 in 2005 to 454,024 for July and August 2006, while flights increased 50.1 per cent to 3,478.
“While the growth at each of our hubs is in large part attributable to the implementation of the two-hub model, the delivery of service over this peak period is all due to our staff who worked exceptionally hard to meet deadlines and provide consistently high service,” says acting president and chief executive Ahmed Al Hammadi. “While some challenges and uncertainties remain in 2006, specifically fuel costs, we have a sound basis for continued positive development in the future. ”
Gulf Air has successfully commissioned Interline Electronic Ticketing (IET) with American Airlines. Passengers can now use a single e-ticket for journeys on Gulf Air and American Airlines to eligible destinations. With the implementation, IATA has elevated Gulf Air to 'Green Status' in recognition of progress towards 100 percent e-ticketing.
The airline said it is soon to expand e-tickets to include other airlines in its IET network. It has completed e-ticketing across 65 per cent of its network.
Gulf Air has rolled out a range of all-inclusive holiday packages for the festive season beginning as low as BD89 ($236) inclusive of return flights, airport transfers by private vehicle , accommodation including daily breakfast and sight seeing options in as many as 14 countries in the GCC, Middle East, Far East and Europe.
For instance, an all-inclusive, three-night package from Bahrain to Bangkok costs only BD200, or BHD328 to London, including return flights, airport transfers by private vehicle and three nights’ stay. Passengers from Oman can enjoy a similar three-night stay in Kuala Lumpur for OR246 ($639). The packages are open for sale through January 4 and are available for customers travelling from the GCC in their respective currencies.
Frequent flyer members get extra mile-age for every $500 spent on these deals.