Bahrain Air, the Kingdom’s second flag carrier, has started implementing phase two of its business model, evolving itself into the region’s only full-fledged Premium Value Carrier.
The airline’s top management including Director Commercial Operations Richard NUTTALL, Marketing Manager Naeem MAHAMOOR and Bahrain Sales Manager Prem SHANKAR, stated about the recent route expansion, additional services and upgrades, in a gala dinner hosted by the airline for its channel partners at Elite Grande Hotel in Manama.
Talking about the business environment, Mr. NUTTALL said: “Things are looking better and the worst is behind us. We are expanding and upgrading our fleet, increasing our route capacity and range. We have resumed services to the Levant. We will start operating to Istanbul from July 1 and Sharm Al Sheikh in Egypt from November.”
“We hope to get rights to Cairo and are positive in light of recent events in Egypt… We think that it will happen this year. We have also recently got traffic rights to Kabul. As of now we are flying there with a partner as we study the market. We are also studying the possibility of starting flights to Pakistan.”
In the larger scheme of things, we want to a wider audience in the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) and Indian sub-continent regions.
Elaborating on Bahrain Air’s positioning, Mr. NUTTALL stated: “Our emphasis is to cater to a niche segment of the premium and budget traveller. ‘Affordable Fares & Genuine Care’ is our company tagline, and we focus on business travel, pilgrim, charters and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, and Conferences & Exhibitions) solutions. In today’s volatile aviation market, we are a chameleon carrier, offering value, flexibility and consistency with a state-of-the-art fleet of A320 and A319 aircraft.”
“Simply put, what are seeking to do mirrors the concept of four-star hotels. They provide pretty much everything that a five-star has but at a level that is much more affordable.”
Mr. NUTTALL also stated that the company has successfully migrated to a new flight booking reservations system, giving our valued customers flexibility and versatility. With customer-led features including the ability to change reservations, book additional baggage, etc. the systems offer our customers a better choice.
“We have recently launched our summer 2011 schedule with a wide variety of holiday packages to many of our destinations. We encourage our customers to book early to avail the early bird incentive, where a portion of our tickets are sold at up to 35 per cent less than our competitors. Bahrain Air’s advanced pricing mechanism promotes lower pricing for customers who book their seats early.”
“The airline’s website has also been enhanced, with sections for both B2C (Business to Customer) and B2B (Business to Business). The airline is also working on a new e-commerce platform in both English and Arabic, planned to be operational by end of 2011.
Mr. NUTTALL added: “Bahrain Air is also proactively exploring code-share agreements with other carriers to expand our reach and range and we are aware that the future will be challenging. With volatility in oil prices and insurance premiums, the airline’s operational cost is forecast to rise by 30pc. However, we at Bahrain Air are optimistic, and with the right business model, innovative strategies and using resources positively, we believe Bahrain Air will grow from strength to strength as the regions Premium Value Carrier. We are committed to offering our customers the highest level of comfort, service and reliability at the most affordable prices, throughout the year on our growing network.