PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE, GULF AIR
August 23rd 2001 marks the first anniversary of the loss of GF072 and Gulf Air wishes to express its sorrow and sympathies on this sad occasion. The airline and all its employees were profoundly affected by the events of that day, and our thoughts and sympathies are still with the victims, and their families and friends, a year later.
As long as a need exists, we continue to extend to those most affected every assistance from the airline through the Family Care office, which was set-up immediately after the incident and is staffed full-time during office hours.
Gulf Air also continues to make every effort to ensure a satisfactory conclusion to any outstanding issues, such as the compensation of victims` families. This, in particular, has been both a complex and emotive matter. We hope that, through continued cooperation and dialogue with all the various parties involved, it can be resolved.
Gulf Air has continued to give its full cooperation to the Accident Investigation Board and is committed to the publication of a full and frank account of the causes of the crash.Safety remains a priority issue, in which Gulf Air has and will continue to strive for higher standards in all aspects of air passenger travel. Through the appointment of specialist consultants, such as Lufthansa Consulting, in February 2000, Gulf Air has set new safety standards in flight operations and procedures.
Gulf Air was the first airline in the region to include the evaluation of non-technical abilities as an essential element in pilot selection procedures. Through a contractual arrangement with German based DLR, one of the world`s foremost independent organisations involved in the selection of operational aviation personnel, Gulf Air has adopted similar systematic pilot selection procedures to those of some of the world`s leading airlines. This facility will also be provided from a base in Bahrain and will offer its extensive services to airlines in the region.
The principles of assessment and training that have been adopted for pilots will be extended to apply to other personnel as part of a broader programme within the airline to promote `Crew Resource Management` (CRM). This is the process of developing organisational activities through `human` resource management as opposed to technology driven management. The aim is to help all our staff, who are already technically well trained, to be better mentally equipped to operate in high pressure and often critical situations, hence further improving safety and proficiency.
Gulf Air`s safety and operational standards are higher than international levels, but it must be stressed that there can and will not be any complacency - the continual process of improvement in our activities and operations will never stop.
I would like to thank HH, the Amir of Bahrain, Shaikh Hamed bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister, HH Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, HH Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa and the Minister of Transport, HE Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa for their ongoing guidance and assistance. Furthermore I take this opportunity to thank the Governments of all the owner states of Gulf Air for their understanding and support.
I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Gulf Air`s Chairman and Board Members for their support during this crisis, who in very difficult circumstances provided care and help for those who needed it most. Finally, I wish to thank all of Gulf Air`s passengers and employees, and those indirectly or directly involved with the airline, for their loyalty and commitment during the past year.
Ibrahim Abdulla Al-Hamer
President & Chief Executive,