The increase in Gulf Air flights to and from Bahrain and Oman following the airline’s introduction of a two-hub strategy earlier this year has produced record passenger numbers at the airline’s key hubs. Releasing passenger figures for the year till August 2006, Gulf Air announced a 31.0 per cent increase to 4.7 million passengers through the two hubs, compared to the same period last year.
‘Our original studies predicted growth in the region of 25 per cent,’ says Gulf Air Vice President Network Fareed Al Alawi.
‘It is very pleasing to note however that the 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. However, when the full impact of the two-hub model came into effect with the summer schedule in the second quarter, the growth increased to 41.3 per cent and 39.0 per cent in Bahrain and Oman respectively.’
Passenger numbers in Bahrain for July and August increased by 153,437 from 707,105 in 2005 to reach a record 860,542 passengers for the same period.
Gulf Air traffic now accounts for 68.4 per cent of the activity at Bahrain International Airport. During July and August Gulf Air flights through the airport increased by 31.9 per cent to 6,570.
In Oman, a similar trend is evident, and passenger numbers over Seeb International Airport increased by 122,887 from 331,137 in 2005 to 454,024 for the period 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 have worked exceptionally hard to meet deadlines and provide consistently high service levels,’ says Acting President and Chief Executive Ahmed Al Hammadi.
‘Growth of this magnitude is impressive and it is testament to the hard work and efficiency of our ground handling management and staff that the airports have stepped up to the challenge so smoothly, especially over the peak summer period. We are indebted to them for their unstinting support and hard work.
‘While some challenges and uncertainties remain in 2006, specifically fuel costs, we have a sound basis for continued positive development in the future. Building on the achievements of Project Falcon and with the support of our shareholders, Smart Airline, Successful Business, our new strategic plan provides a blue print for Gulf Air’s success in the future.’