Reaffirming its long-term commitment to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air unveiled a series of commercial initiatives specially tailored to travellers from the Eastern Province (EP) of the Kingdom.
Addressing the media at a press conference held in Dammam today, Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer Mr. Samer Majali said, “The Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a special place for Gulf Air as it was here in Dhahran we first landed in 1950 beginning our relationship with the Kingdom 61 years ago.”
“Today we operate to four destinations in the Kingdom and we are all set to launch services to three more destinations – Taif, Qassim and Yanbu - making us the largest international carrier operating into Saudi Arabia. Our commitment to connect more cities in Saudi Arabia with Bahrain and beyond continues, particularly the Eastern Province, which is closer to Bahrain as we roll out new incentives and facilities.”
Unveiling the new commercial initiatives exclusive to the Eastern Province, Gulf Air Chief Commercial Officer Mr. Karim Makhlouf said, “The largest share of our customers in Saudi Arabia come from the Eastern Province because of its close proximity to Bahrain and the easy reach via the King Fahd Causeway; with Gulf Air providing easy connectivity to over 300 flights a week in the GCC, Europe and MENA and over 3000 flights throughout its network from Bahrain, our Eastern province customers can reach out to 47 destinations on our network.”
“We recognize the importance of our customers from the Eastern Province for whom Bahrain is the nerve centre of their business for all practical purposes, therefore, we continue to invest in this market which we consider as our home market, to offer more value added services and benefits to our customers,” concluded Mr. Makhlouf.
Gulf Air will offer free parking at Bahrain International Airport for customers driving down to Bahrain to catch a Gulf Air flight. Customers who don’t want to drive can still enjoy the comfort of a limo service to be picked up from the doors of their homes or offices to take them to Bahrain and back at a subsidized rate. Falcon Gold passengers will also get a customized package that comes with a free hotel stay.
Corporate customers, particularly the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Eastern Province, who become members of the Gulf Air Corporate Falcon Plus programme, will enjoy a range of incentives including a double bonanza by which both - the member organizations and their travelling employees - earn miles that can be redeemed for free flights, upgrades, etc.
For the trade and industry from the Eastern Province wanting to move their goods swiftly and safely, Gulf Air’s Falcon Cargo offers trucking service between Dammam and Bahrain; with 12 truck services a week and multiple daily frequencies to GCC countries, reaching goods to any of Gulf Air’s destinations is much faster. With a combination of regional jets, narrow body and wide body aircraft Gulf Air is capable of moving goods on time, every time.
A dedicated customer service helpline 966 84 99 445 has also been made available exclusively for the EP customers to assist them with their bookings, seat confirmation, priority check in etc.
In addition, Gulf Air’s popular Frequent Flyer programme, renamed ‘Falcon Flyer,’ offers members even more attractive privileges and value added benefits such as bonus miles up to 250%, guaranteed seats, priority baggage handling, half miles redemption and family membership. Gulf Air already has nearly 50,000 Frequent Flyer members from Saudi Arabia.
For families, Gulf Air will be introducing ‘Family First’ - a series of competitively priced packages for customers travelling with their spouses and kids, offering special privileges both on the ground and in the air. This will be an attractive package particularly for Saudis, who very often travel with their families on vacation.
Most important of this suite of initiatives is the ”Sky Hub”- the world’s first full connectivity onboard Gulf Air’s long-haul flights offering high speed internet, 3G-4G mobile data speed connectivity, voice over the internet (VOIP) i.e. Skype, streaming videos and the world’s first in-flight LIVE TV via satellite. Passengers can stay connected in the sky for SAR 100 for 24 hours.
As part of its expansion drive to serve the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Gulf Air will be starting services to three destinations Taif from 15 January 2012, Qassim from 17 January and Yanbu from 15 Feb 2012 making a total of seven destinations in the Kingdom.
Arab Air Carriers Organisation
The 44th annual general meeting of the Arab Air Carriers Organisation in Abu Dhabi later this month will bring together the chief executives of 25 member airlines - of which Gulf Air is one - in addition to a large number of aviation stake-holders for the key aviation event in the Middle East.
To see more on the event click here.