Ibrahim Abdullah Al Hamer, Gulf Air President and Chief Executive today announced his satisfaction with the marked improvement in Gulf Airå‘s operational performance in 2001.Although traffic levels were dramatically impacted by the events surrounding September 11th Gulf Air was able to react quickly to unfolding events. The rapid response in reducing capacity levels ensured that capacity remained balanced with traffic demands.
The complimentary letters received have increased by 280 per cent whilst the complaints have significantly reduced by 137 per cent in the month of January. Also in January over 73 per cent fewer passengers were denied boarding compared with January 2001. The key highlights include Gulf Air’s ability to limit the fallout on traffic levels associated with Sep 11th to around 3% versus year 2000, a remarkable achievement. Through route rationalization measures and the early introduction of the Low-season schedule.
A major Global advertising campaign served to increase awareness of Gulf Air and assisted in repositioning Gulf Air as a Premium carrier.
Customer service and product offerings were improved through the revitalization of the Gulf Air Holidays Department, and commencement of a project to establish a full-service Call Center in Bahrain. As part of the ongoing efforts to improve On Time performance a role was established for five Duty executives at the newly established integrated operations Control Center.
Improved schedule standardization, , and route rationalization improved schedule efficiencies and reduced exposure to poor performing routes (Australia from 6/ week to 3/ week, Rome removed as a stopover on Milan services, London frequency reductions). Significant work undertaken with interlines partners - the codeshare relationship with Oman Air was successfully negotiated and launched. Special Prorate Agreements were developed/ renegotiated with NW, KL, RJ, TG, KQ and ME.
A review of GSA relationships led to the successful renegotiation or termination of a number of agreements, with significant cost savings realised. The introduction of BSP within the Gulf also contributed to cost savings in addition to enabling a faster repatriation of funds to Gulf Air.
Introduction of improved Revenue Management systems has led to improved response times between Head Quarters and Outstations, thus improving the latter’s ability to react to market opportunities. Despite the challenging operating environment including the reduction in intra-Gulf wide-body operations Cargo were able to achieve a 2.3% increase in Freight Tonne Kilometers versus 2000
Lufthansa Consulting were appointed for Quality Management, Ground Operations and Flight Operations Training. whilst approvals returned Line Maintenance activities to Gulf Air from GAMCO, including all Third party work.
An organizational review and manpower audit was undertaken with the outcome the introduction of a revised organizational structure. This included the elimination of role duplication, non-essential positions, and a reduction in Executive Management numbers. Together with the re-introduction of an Early Retirement scheme a total of 392 positions were removed by Year-end.
The recognized need to improve staff skill levels resulted in a revamp of the Gulf Air Training Department. This included the induction of new and qualified instructors - in both commercial and technical fields. A significant achievement has been the creation of the Management Training Programme - a course designed for all Gulf Air Middle Senior Management.
In recognition of the need to improve Corporate culture and general staff motivation the Change Management Committee was established mid -Year. Achievements to date include a focus on improving internal 2-way communication, the creation of a Gulf Air vision and mission statement and the creation of awareness of these statements amongst staff. Cumbersome internal manual procedures have been reviewed with specific procedures identified for automation
Other important achievements include the successful establishment of a Crisis Recovery Center designed to improve Gulf Air’s responsiveness to emergency situations.
The Corporate Planning function at Gulf Air was revitalized with the establishment of the Business Policy & Development Department. Achievements included the creation of Draft Three Year Plan with recommendations on Network rationalization, fleet size, type and configuration. Furthermore the Dept led the Change Management committee.
A positive response has been developed with local and international media which resulted in further improving the global image of Gulf Air.
The business policies which were put in place have now shown positive results and I look forward to further improvement. We have placed a strong emphasis on teamwork, reliability and pride in performance. Gulf Air is always keen to improve its service and receive feedback from its valued customers who have noticed the vast improvement. On behalf of Gulf Air I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to our customers for their loyalty and support.