Gulf Air, the national airline of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the UAE and the Sultanate of Oman, today confirmed that its flight schedule is to remain unchanged with non-stop daily flights between key destinations in Europe and the Gulf.
“We have no plans to change our flight schedule or routes, and it is business as usual,” confirmed James Hogan, the airline’s President and Chief Executive. “Business travellers form a very important segment of our market, and we will continue to offer them the convenience of our non-stop daily services between Europe and destinations in the Gulf, where our strong network also offers the best intra-Gulf connections.”
While it is understandable that there is likely to be a decrease in leisure and tourist traffic to the Gulf region as tensions escalate, there is still strong demand for business travel.
To meet the demands of this market segment, Gulf Air presently offers 23 weekly flights in and out of London, and this will increase to 27 when the summer schedule becomes effective. There are also daily flights into Paris and Frankfurt. The success of the schedule is borne out in the exceptional performance figures for January, which show a 13.5 per cent increase in passengers carried over the same period last year. This is also ahead of the projections in the airline’s three-year strategy by some four per cent.
“Without compromising the safety of our staff or passengers in any way whatsoever, we will continue to operate normally as far as possible, and have already secured commitments from the Civil Aviation Authorities in Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Oman that the airports at our key hubs will remain open in the event of conflict in the region,” he said.
“Flights out of Western Europe are essentially unaffected; we have a number of flight path options, which we will use where required,” confirmed Captain Hameed Ali, Vice President of Operations for the airline.
Those routes serving the Mediterranean will be slightly longer following routes published by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which circumnavigate the area of conflict, thereby ensuring maximum safety for our passengers and aircraft.
About Gulf Air: Gulf Air was founded in 1950. Today, it is owned by the Kingdom of Bahrain, the UAE, and the Sultanate of Oman, and is the only truly pan Gulf airline in the region. The airline’s network stretches from Europe to Asia and covers 43 cities in 32 countries. The fleet is one of the most modern in the Middle East and comprises 30 aircraft.
The airline is in the first year of a three-year strategic recovery programme, headed by President & Chief Executive, James Hogan. The airline’s aim is to further evolve by taking its renowned cultural strengths, which have been gained over more than half a century, into a global environment.
Gulf Air is also intent on ‘going the extra mile’ for its customers. It has subsequently made a concerted effort to focus on efficiency, to eliminate bureaucracy and implement processes that are required, above all, to improve customer satisfaction.
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