The Flatbed of the Future

How would you like to be limousine chauffeured to the airport and flown to your chosen destination seated on an innovative 3rd generation flatbed which transforms into fully functional bed with private ‘cabin’ space, plus the option to change into your night attire in a dedicated changing room.
This year at World Travel Market, Gulf Air are exhibiting their impressive new state of the art flatbeds as a part of their ‘better for business’ strategy. The skybeds will be deployed throughout first and business class in 2005, following a US$10 million investment.

The airline is in the second year of a three-year strategic recovery programme and according to John Butler the airline is close to regaining profitability, expecting to have achieved this goal by 2005. This objective of ‘better for business’ is to attract more premium travellers. According to John Butler, Vice President, Marketing and Sales, Gulf Air, these seats are the ‘missing piece of the jigsaw’.

The airline has signed a contract with EADS Sogerma to provide the First Class and Business Class seats for a full re-fit programme across its Airbus fleet, with an option for the A340 refurbishment later on. In total 121 - 1st class seats and 222 business class seats will be deployed throughout the fleet.

Robert Butler told Internet Travel News that the skybeds are to be installed as part of a complete cabin refurbishment which will begin in February 2005 and is expected to be completed by July. The new seats have points for Internet Connection and 17 inch television screens, however Gulf Air are planning to implement greater enhancements for in-flight entertainment later in the year.

Commenting on World Travel Market, John revealed: “This is a key trade show to demonstrate our latest products and services. Each year we bring out a new service and as a key event, this is the perfect forum to deliver”.
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