The third quarter of this year has started with soaring passenger figures on Gulf Air flights across the network. Following a record yield in June, figures for July indicate double-digit growth over the same period last year.
Traditionally a good period for the airlines of the region as holiday makers leave behind the heat of the Gulf for cooler climes, growth for July has exceeded the Gulf Air’s targets for the month and represents a 12.6 per cent year on year increase in passenger numbers.
“This year has been challenging for the airline industry. The conflict in Iraq, and later the SARS crisis, undoubtedly took their toll on our numbers and impacted consumer confidence,” said Gulf Air’s President and Chief Executive James Hogan. “Our latest figures show that we have turned a corner; they indicate renewed confidence in the industry and in Gulf Air.
“Our increased passenger numbers also show that our strategy to address market segments with tailored products and services is showing results,” he said. “While the growth in our premium classes continues as first and business class passengers respond to the more personalized attention and increased choice in the premium cabins, we are seeing a similar phenomenon in reservations for Gulf Traveller, our full service, all economy airline, which operates out of Abu Dhabi.”
Gulf Air’s cargo business has also taken off and is experiencing strong growth with an increase of more than 6.8 per cent over July last year. More than 9.5 million kilograms of cargo have been carried on Gulf Air flights this month. Not included in the cargo figure is mail, which has grown by more than 200 per cent over the same period last year.
“The strong performance demonstrates that the tough measures we have put in place are working. We are on target with our Project Falcon recovery to meet our year-end targets,” said James Hogan. “Focusing on our objective to be a commercially successful world-class airline, this bold and disciplined process of change will continue into the next six months as we open up new routes notably to Sydney and Athens and launch our new worldwide contact centre in Oman.”
Gulf Air was founded in 1950. Today, it is owned by the Kingdom of Bahrain, Oman and the UAE, and is the only truly pan Gulf airline in the region. The airline’s network stretches from Europe to Asia and covers 45 cities in 33 countries. The fleet is one of the most modern in the Middle East and comprises 33 aircraft.
The airline is in the first year of a three-year strategic recovery programme, headed by President and 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.
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