Gulf Air’s summer of success


Gulf Air is scheduling new flights as it celebrates what it calls its best performance in its 58 year history.
“We had the highest revenue and load factors on record and attained a 12 per cent year on year increase in yield during the summer, as well as a 16 per cent increase on revenue per available seat kilometre,” said chief executive officer Bjorn Naf.
‘We have also achieved the highest aircraft utilisation in the region and expect to carry six million passengers in 2008, with 27 aircraft.
“This will make Gulf Air the third largest airline in the region measured in passenger numbers.”
Naf said the airline also now had the busiest network in the Gulf and Middle East region.
He said the airline was almost 12 months into an ambitious alignment strategy which will see it emerge as a premium, network carrier with selective global reach and the airline of choice when travelling to the Middle East and beyond.
“This performance signals that our strategy is working and our revamped network with a customer friendly schedule, improved punctuality and strategic business alignments have all contributed to these achievements,” said Naf.
He said these were exciting times for Gulf Air as it continued its momentum towards sustainable growth and introducing even higher standards in its products and services.
“As we gear up for our new, expanded winter schedule with new flights and new partners, I am confident that we can continue to achieve even greater success and customer satisfaction,” said Naf.
He said the airline, encouraged by the high seat load factors in Europe, which reached 93 per cent in August, would introduce two additional frequencies on its Frankfurt and Paris operations and had set its sights on opening four new destinations next year.
Gulf Air chief strategy officer Tero Taskila said the airline’s strategy towards fleet optimisation and right sizing of aircraft had contributed to this summer success.
“Our network strategy is based on providing our customers greater choice and seamless connectivity,” he said.
“We aim to deliver a minimum double daily service on all our routes across our entire network. We will also continue to expand our network to strategic destinations.”

F1 sponsorship
Gulf Air has signed a new five year deal with the Formula One Association extending the existing sponsorship of the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.
Gulf Air has been the title sponsor of the Bahrain Grand Prix since it was launched in April 2004 as the first Formula One Grand Prix to be held in the Middle East at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC).
The sponsorship of the Bahrain Grand Prix is one of a number of sports-related sponsorship deals that the airline is involved in.  It is also the Shirt Sponsor for Queens Park Rangers Football Club in the UK.