Gulf Air contributes $770 million every year to Bahrain's Gross Domestic Product and carries around 1.1 million tourists, it has been reported.
Bahrain’s exports on Gulf Air cargo jets also top 4,100 tonnes, contributing $60 million to the kingdom's GDP, Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (Mumtalakat) deputy chief executive and Gulf Air vice-chairman Mahmoud Hashim Al Kooheji said. He was speaking as he attended a joint meeting between the Finance Ministry and Parliament Financial and Economic Affairs Committee, said a report in our sister publication Gulf Daily News.
The carrier contributes an annual direct $246 million to the national economy, in addition to an indirect $153 million.
The company also employs 4,538 people, plus 3,600 other indirect workers. Addressing the panel, he also said Gulf Air operations amount to 70 per cent of Bahrain International Airport activities.
Finance Minister and Mumtalakat chairman Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa stressed Bahrain's resolve to back Gulf Air, highlighting its vital role in bridging the national economy with the world.
“Plans are under way to restructure the company and ensure a return to profitability,” he said. The restructuring would include the volume of revenues, flights, jets maintenance operations, in addition to finalising pending legal, financial and procedural issues. The programme aims to enable the company to regain the status that reflects its long march in the realm of civil aviation.
Gulf Air has decided to apply a fee of $25 or equivalent on all paper tickets that are issued on the e-ticket eligible journeys effective from April 1, said a report. If a passenger or a travel agent selects a paper ticket, despite the GDS system defaulting to e-ticketing whenever e-ticketing is eligible, the ticketing agents must manually add a YR surcharge of the $25 or equivalent in the tax box on the ticket.
According to the report, exceptions on this fee can only be given to infants not occupying a separate seat and accompanied families; any ticket issued due to disruptions such as involuntary rerouting; interline tickets where e-ticketing is not possible or in place.
Agents who do not collect this fee on the paper tickets that are issued on e-ticket eligible routes will be charged with Agent Debit Memo (ADM) that will not be written off under any circumstances.
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