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GUL-AIRPORT LHR LOUNGE - 2004-11
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GUL-FLIGHT CREW A320 AD - 2008-09
FORMED AND STARTED OPERATIONS IN 1950. DOMESTIC, REGIONAL, & INTERNATIONAL, SCHEDULED, PASSENGER & CARGO, JET AIRPLANE SERVICES.
PO BOX 138
BAHRAIN IS AN ARCHIPELEGO OF 32 SPECKS AND ONE LARGE ISLAND. BAHRAIN IS AN OUTPOST FOR MANY MULTINATIONAL FIRMS; IT PROSPERS BY PROCESSING CRUDE OIL RATHER THAN DRILLING FOR IT. AMONG THE MOST LIBERAL STATES, IT VOTED IN 2001 TO MAKE THE KINGDOM A CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY BY 2004. IT IS POPULAR WITH VACATIONING SAUDIS AND KUWAITIS.
The Kingdom of Bahrain was established in 1783, it covers an area of 695 sq km, its population is 670,000, its capital city is Manama, and its official language is Arabic.
MARCH 1993: GULF AIR (GUL) IS OWNED BY GOVERNMENTS OF ABU DHABI, BAHRAIN, QATAR AND OMAN. OWNS 40% (GAMCO) (GOVERNMENT OF ABU DHABI OWNS 60%).
1992 = +$45 MILLION (NET PROFIT): +14.7% (RPK) TRAFFIC, +14.15 PASSENGERS (PAX), +35.7% (FTK) FREIGHT TRAFFIC.
SIGNED FOR 19TH & 20TH 767 (NOVEMBER 1993). TO ADD 4 767'S & 4 A320'S IN 1993; 4/4 A320'S (HAVE MESSIER-BUGATTI WHEELS & CARBON BRAKES) & 3 A340'S IN 1994 FOR A FLEET OF 36.
GULF AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE COMPANY (GAMCO) USES THE SCEPTRE COMPUTER SYSTEM.
APRIL 1993: 737-200, L/N 496, 16 YEARS, "D" MAINTENANCE CHECK AT BAHRAIN.
JUNE 1993: GULF AIR (GUL) OWNS 20% OF JET AIRWAYS (JPL), AND KUWAIT AIRWAYS (KUW) OWNS 20% OF (JPL).
767 (VN309, 10 & VN033) DELIVERIES. +2 ORDERS 767-300ER'S (CF6-80C2B4), 212 PAX, 3 CLASS, 14 A320'S & 5 A340'S.
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1993: 767 (VN311; VN312) DELIVERIES. 6/6 ORDERS 777'S (GE90).
JANUARY 1994: 1993 = +$40 MILLION (NET PROFIT): +12.9% PASSENGERS.
MAY 1994: 1 767 & 1ST A340 IN MIDDLE EAST DELIVERIES.
DECEMBER 1994: A320-200 (CFM56-5A3) DELIVERIES (3 IN 1994).
APRIL 1995: CANCELLED 6/6 777'S ($1.7 BILLION) ORDERS. LAST 3 L-1011'S AIRPLANES HAVE BEEN PUT IN STORAGE IN BAHRAIN.
OCTOBER 1995: A340-300 TO BE USED FOR HOUSTON (HOU) - NEW YORK KENNEDY (JFK) - BAHRAIN (BAH).
NOVEMBER 1995: NEW ROUTES: BAHRAIN, MUSCAT, DOHA, & GENEVA.
6 ORDERS (1998) A330-300'S (RR TRENT, 8TH (RR) CUSTOMER, 40% OF MARKET) TO REPLACE 10 YEAR OLD 4 767'S. 1ST A330 CUSTOMER IN MIDDLE EAST. PLANS TO LEASE 747-200F LATER THIS YEAR 2/WEEK SERVICES TO ASIA.
APRIL 1996: FISCAL YEAR (FY) 1995 = -$159 MILLION.
+3 L-1011'S REACTIVATED INTO SERVICE. 767 TO (LOT) POLISH AIRLINES. POSTPONED DELIVERIES OF 4 A320'S (CFM56-5A) FROM 1996 TO 1998. 2 A320'S TO JET AIRWAYS (JPL).
JUNE 1996: $60 MILLION CONTRACT FOR (CFM56) ENGINES TO (GAMCO) FOR 5 YEARS FOR A320-200'S AND A340-300'S. "C" CHECK MAINTENANCE FOR 2 AIR TRANSAT (AIJ) L-1011'S, "4C" CHECKS ON 2 REGIONAIR (RAE) A320'S ON WET-LEASE TO OMAN AIR (OMR).
JULY 1996: (GAMCO) DATA SERVICES UPGRADED OLD MAINFRAME COMPUTERS TO NEW (IBM) ES 9221 MODEL 191 HARDWARE FOR MORE POWERFUL CENTRAL PROCESSOR, FASTER ON-LINE STORAGE DEVICES, LARGER MAIN MEMORY, & FIBER OPTIC CHANNELS FOR DATA COMMUNICATION WITHIN THE HARDWARE, AND THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE "MAXI-MERLIN" COMPUTER SYSTEM.
TO WET LEASE 2 A340'S TO PHILIPPINE AIRLINES (PAL) & LEASED 1 A340-300 TO EGYPTAIR (EGP). LEASED 2 767-300ER'S TO (LOT) POLISH AND ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES (ETH). RECONFIGURED 7 OF 18 767-300ER'S FROM 200 TO 237 PASSENGERS FOR HIGHER DENSITY ROUTES.
AUGUST 1996: TO LEASE 2 A320'S TO PHILIPPINE AIRLINES (PAL) & 1 A340 TO AIR FRANCE (AFA) BY THE END OF 1996. 2 A340'S ARE ALREADY LEASED TO (PAL).
SEPTEMBER 1996: EXPECTS TO MAKE $60 MILLION FROM LEASES OF GULF AIR (GUL) AIRPLANES TO PHILIPPINE AIRLINES (PAL), (LOT) POLISH AIRLINES, EGYPTAIR (EGP), & ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES (ETH) THIS YEAR.
OCTOBER 1996: OUSSAMA SALAH, QUALITY ASSURANCE (QA) MANAGER (EX-ROYAL JORDANIAN AIRLINES (RJA) QA MANAGER), REPLACES PETER ABI YOUNES WHO PASSED AWAY LAST YEAR AT (GAMCO). ABDUL KHALIQ SAEED REPLACED HAIDER ALI, LINE MAINTENANCE MANAGER (BAHRAIN). HAIDER ALI TO (GAMCO) AS LIAISON MANAGER.
SOLD 767 (A40-GX) TO ALGERIAN AIRLINES (ALG). CANCELS 4 ORDERS A320'S (CFM56-5).
JANUARY 1997: FINANCIAL RESULTS IN THE RED = RESTRUCTURING TO REDUCE TO 50 DESTINATIONS.
CONTINUING CODE SHARE WITH AMERICAN AIRLINES (AAL) FROM LONDON TO THE USA.
1996 = 6.857 BILLION (RPK) TRAFFIC (#42 HIGHEST IN THE WORLD).
WILL RETURN LEASED AIRPLANES. INTENDS TO DOWNSIZE 767 FLEET TO 10. 6 MAY BE TRANSFERRED TO DELTA AIRLINES (DAL). CURRENTLY HAS 16 (INCLUDING 1 LEASED TO (LOT) POLISH AIRLINES.
MARCH 1997: HAIDER ALI, TECHNICAL MANAGEMENT REPRESENTATIVE. PAT MYTHEN, MANAGER TECHNICAL PROGRAMS & CONTRACTS, BAHRAIN (BAH).
SELLS 6 767-300ER'S TO DELTA AIRLINES (DAL). SELLS 1 A340 TO EGYPTAIR (EGP), & 1 A340 WET-LEASED TO (ABD).
MARCH 1997: ACCDT: (GUL) A320 (A40-EM) AFTER A REJECTED TAKEOFF, VEERED OFF THE RUNWAY & HIT EMBANKMENT, RESULTING IN NOSE GEAR BEING FORCED UP INTO THE FLIGHT DECK, SEVERELY INJURING THE CAPTAIN (FC) OF TOTAL 8 (FC)-(CA)/107 PASSENGERS. THE A320 WAS WRITTEN OFF (W/O).
APRIL 1997: PLANS TO RETURN UP TO 3 OF 5 STORED L-1011'S.
MAY 1997: 1 767-300ER (CF6-80C2B4), EX-AIR EUROPA (ARE).
JUNE 1997: 1 A340-300 (CFM56-5C3), EX-EGYPTAIR (EGP).
JULY 1997: 1996 = -$66.80 MILLION (-$164.00 MILLION) (NET LOSS).
1 A340-300, RETURNED FROM PHILIPPINE AIRLINES (PAL).
147, 120 MINUTES EXTENDED TWIN-ENGINE OPERATIONS (ETOPS) 767 FLIGHTS/MONTH OVER AFRICA, INDIAN OCEAN, & INDONESIA.
AUGUST 1997: ALLAN DOLLIE, GENERAL MANAGER (GAMCO) REPLACING AHMED AL-MOOSA, NOW PROJECT MANAGER.
SEPTEMBER 1997: POSTPONED DELIVERY OF A330'S UNTIL MID-1999.
(GAMCO) MAINTENANCE CONTRACT FOR 5 SAUDIA AIRLINES (SVA) L-1011'S "D" CHECKS.
OCTOBER 1997: 5,788 EMPLOYEES.
MOHAMMED AL-KASSIMI, (GAMCO) DIRECTOR ENGINEERING & MAINTENANCE, RESIGNED AND RETURNED TO BAHRAIN.
(GAMCO) CONTRACT FOR 5 YEAR, "C" CHECKS FOR 4 A320/A321'S FOR ONUR AIR (ONU). (JAR) 145 APPROVAL RECEIVED FOR A321 MAINTENANCE. A340, PHILIPPINE AIRLINES (PAL) LEASED, NOW AIR CANADA (ACN) LEASED. 1 767 SHORT-TERM LEASED FROM AIR EUROPA (ARE).
NOVEMBER 1997: TERRY LEWIS, HEAD OF PRODUCTION, (GAMCO), EX-B AE ENGINEERING MANAGER.
1 A340-300 DELIVERY.
DECEMBER 1997: (GAMCO) CONTRACT FOR SAUDIA (SVA) L-1011 (1148; 1149; 1190) WING REAR SPAR MODIFICATIONS (1149 "D" MAINTENANCE CHECK), NOW 4 DONE WITH 4 TO GO, AND 2 (CAW) L-1011-1 (1102) & L-1011-100 (1083) "D" CHECKS.
JANUARY 1998: 767 (A40-GW) TO BE SOLD TO SAUDI PRINCE IN APRIL 1998. CONVERTED A330-300 ORDERS TO A330-200'S DUE JULY 2000.
FEBRUARY 1998: SELLS 5 L-1011-200'S TO (ILA) FOR LEASE TO TRADEWINDS (TWD). MARSHALL AEROSPACE (MAC) WILL CONVERT TO CARGO CONFIGURATION. SELLS 6 A320'S (313; 345; 411; 419; 438; 445) TO OASIS & LEASED BACK. (GAMCO) MAINTENANCE CONTRACTS FOR AIR ATLANTA ICELANDIC (AID) 7 L-1011'S, (LTU) 1 767-300ER, & LOTUS AIR A320.
APRIL 1998: 6,450 EMPLOYEES.
A340 RETURNED FROM AMIRI FLIGHT (ABD) AFTER 1 YEAR. ALL REMAINING 10 767'S SOLD TO OASIS LEASING, ABU DHABI.
JUNE 1998: (GAMCO) IS CONSTRUCTING A NEW HANGAR FOR 747'S.
ALLAN DOLLIE, MANAGING DIRECTOR (GAMCO).
JULY 1998: FY 1997 = +$45M (BEST IN 5 YEARS): -14% ASK (CAPACITY), 5,400 EMPLOYEES (-600). 60 DESTINATIONS DOWN TO 49.
SEPTEMBER 1998: 2 767-300ER'S, AIR EUROPA (ARE) LEASED FOR SUMMER OPERATIONS. HAS TOTAL 12 767'S.
OCTOBER 1998: CODE SHARE WITH AMERICAN AIRLINES (AAL), FOR ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (UAE), BAHRAIN, OMAN, QATAR TO BOSTON, MIAMI (MIA), CHICAGO (ORD), AND LOS ANGELES (LAX).
ANTHONY JONES, HEAD OF MAINTENANCE, (GAMCO).
PLANS TO OPEN MAINTENANCE HANGAR IN OMAN FOR "A" CHECKS FOR A320 AT MUSCAT - WILL ALSO SUPPORT OMAN AIR (OMR) A320'S.
10 767 EXTENDED TWIN-ENGINE OPERATIONS (ETOPS) 120 MINUTES OVER AFRICA, INDIAN OCEAN, INDONESIA, NORTH POLE FLIGHTS/MONTH (TOTAL FLIGHTS = 160 (14,356).
NOVEMBER 1998: CODE SHARE WITH ROYAL AIR MAROC (RAM) TO CASABLANCA WITH POSSIBLE JOINT SERVICE TO DOHA & MUSCAT IN THE FUTURE.
RETURNED 2 767-300ER'S, AIR EUROPA (ARE) LEASED.
JANUARY 1999: PLANS TO DISPOSE OF 2 A340-300'S BY THE END OF 1999 AND REMAINING 3 BY 2001.
FEBRUARY 1999: JOINT VENTURE BY (GAMCO) (51%) WITH BAHRAIN AIRPORT SERVICES (49%), FOR AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE CENTER, WITH ALLAN DOLLIE, CHAIRMAN, AT NEW $80 MILLION, 375,000 SQ FT, 4-BAY HANGAR AT BAHRAIN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.
APRIL 1999: 5,357 EMPLOYEES.
JUNE 1999: CODE SHARE WITH AIR TANZANIA (TNZ) TO DAR-ES-SALAAM.
1998 = +$9.6 MILLION (+$48 MILLION) (NET PROFIT): 6.59 BILLION (RPM) TRAFFIC (+6.1%), 977.6 MILLION (FTM) FREIGHT TRAFFIC (+7.1%); 5 MILLION PASSENGERS (PAX).
1998 TOP WORLD AIRLINES TRAFFIC (RPM) (BILLION):
42 ELA 7.55; 43 GIA 7.09; 44 PIA 6.82; 45 AMX 6.66; 46 FIN 6.66; 47 GUL 6.59; 48 ARG 6.58; 49 PAL 6.50; 50 CMA 6.41.
2ND A330-243 (276, A40-KA; 281, A40-KB) DELIVERIES. 1ST A330-243, 12F, 24C, & 207Y PAX, DELIVERY.
JULY 1999: TRANSFERS GULF AIR (GUL) LINE MAINTENANCE TO (GAMCO) WITH 450 TOTAL MAINTENANCE STAFF, INCLUDING 250 DIRECT, 150 TO NEW (GAMCO), BAHRAIN BASE, AND 50 AT AIRLINE.
$450M, 5 YEAR, HEAVY/LINE MAINTENANCE CONTRACT TO (GAMCO) FOR 34 767-300ER'S, A320'S & A330'S.
SEPTEMBER 1999: 5-YEAR CONTRACT TO SITA, GENEVA, FOR AIR CARGO MANAGEMENT SYSTEM & INTERNET TRACKING SOFTWARE.
OCTOBER 1999: 2 767'S (A40-GH; A40-GV) TRANSFERRED TO SAMY LEASING WITH 3RD (A40-GI) BY 2000-02.
NOVEMBER 1999: (GAMCO) HAS "C" CHECK MAINTENANCE CONTRACT FOR SKYSERVICE (SKB) A320 & A330-300.
(GAMCO) HAS 16,808 SQ M, OF MAINTENANCE HANGARS, 15K SQ M WORKSHOPS, & 7K SQ M WAREHOUSES, TO HANDLE "A" - "D" CHECKS FOR 747'S, 757'S, 767'S, L-1011'S, L-100'S AND LINE MAINTENANCE FOR MD-90'S, DC-10'S, & MD-11'S, INCLUDING MAJOR/MINOR INSPECTION, AGING AIRPLANES CORROSION PREVENTION & CONTROL PROGRAM (CPCP), RECONFIGURATIONS, & REPAINTING. CUSTOMERS INCLUDE: AER LINGUS (ARL), BRITISH AIRWAYS (BAB), (KLM), LUFTHANSA (DLH), SINGAPORE AIRLINES (SIA), & QANTAS AIRWAYS (QAN). ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS USE MAXI-MERLIN COMPUTER SOFTWARE (EX-US AIRWAYS (USA). ENGINES SUPPORTED INCLUDE (CF6-80C2), (CFM56-5A/C), (RB211-22B) & (-524B02), & PWC (PT6A).
DECEMBER 1999: DAVID JONKER, HEAD TECHNICAL SERVICES, REPLACES JOHN FOX, WHO RETIRED.
PLANS TO RECONFIGURE 767'S TO 20 BUSINESS (C) @ 52 INS, WITH REMAINING ECONOMY (Y) AT 32 INS.
3 ORDERS 767-300ER'S, LEASED.
FEBRUARY 2000: 5,500 EMPLOYEES. (http://www.gulfair.com).
MARCH 2000: (RR) BUYS 4 767 AIRPLANES AND LEASES BACK AS PART OF DEAL TO EQUIP A330'S WITH (RR) ENGINES.
MARCH 2000: 50TH ANNIVERSARY! CELEBRATING BY FLYING 1 AVRO ANSON & 1 DH DOVE, IN ORIGINAL GULF AIR (GUL) COLORS IN GULF REGION. PAINTS 1 AIRPLANE OF EACH TYPE IN SPECIAL 50TH ANNIVERSARY COLOR SCHEME, DESIGNED BY NJA MAHDAOUI, A TUNISIAN ARTIST.
APRIL 2000: 5,345 EMPLOYEES.
MAY 2000: GULF AIR (GUL) SIGNS GLOBAL AGREEMENT WITH MICROSOFT FOR WINDOWS NT.
FISCAL YEAR (FY) 1999 = +$1.1 MILLION (+$5 MILLION): FUEL COSTS ROSE TO $30/BARREL ($10).
ABU DHABI - MILAN (767).
(GAMCO) HAS "C" CHECK MAINTENANCE CONTRACT FOR 2 SABENA (SAB) 767'S.
767-3P6ER (24495) TO MALEV (HGA) FOR 6/00 DELIVERY.
JUNE 2000: NEXT MONTH, ABU DHABI - GENEVA (A330-200, 2/WEEK).
767-3P6ER (267-24495, /89 42 14), RETURNED TO PEMBROKE (PEB), LEASED TO (HGA).
JULY 2000: CODE SHARE WITH PHILIPPINE AIRLINES (PAL), TO MANILA.
AUGUST 2000: EXPANSION STRATEGY, INCLUDING CONSTRUCTION OF A SINGLE BAY HANGAR, FOLLOWED BY ANOTHER THREE-BAY WIDE-BODIED HANGAR. POSSIBLE OVERHAUL OF BUSINESS JETS IN ABU DHABI. COMPLETION OF 3RD HANGAR IN 18 MONTHS.
ALAN CASEMORE, MANAGER QUALITY ASSURANCE (QA).
767-3P6ER (24484) TO SAMA LEASING.
ACCDT: GULF AIR (GUL) A320 (CFM56-5) (481, /94 17 14 A40-EK) CRASHED ON LANDING AT MANAMA, BAHRAIN, INTO PERSIAN GULF AFTER 2 APPROACHES = ALL 8 (FC)-(CA)/135 PASSENGER FATALITIES.
OCTOBER 2000: RESUMES DUBAI - KUWAIT (A320, 2/WEEK).
(GAMCO) DISCUSSING A300 MAINTENANCE CONTRACT WITH SUDAN AIRWAYS (SUD).
NOVEMBER 2000: GOVERNMENT OK'S SERVICE TO BANGALORE.
DECEMBER 2000: IBRAHIM ABDULLAH AL-HAMMAR, CEO, BAHRAIN.
FEBRUARY 2001: CODE SHARE WITH OMAN AIR (OMR) FROM MUSCAT.
(GAMCO) PARTNERS WITH ANDERSON CONSULTING FPR "PROJECT OPTIMA" TEAM CALLED "ACCENTURE," FOR IMPROVED INVENTORY CONTROL, WARRANTY AND ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE.
DAVID JONKER, ACTING MANAGING DIRECTOR, (GAMCO), REPLACES ALLAN DOLLIE.
(GAMCO) CONTRACT FOR "C" MAINTENANCE CHECKS ON ALITALIA (ALI) 2 A321'S.
MARCH 2001: SAIF AL MUGHAIRY, GENERAL MANAGER (GAMCO).
APRIL 2001: 5,806 EMPLOYEES.
MAIN BASES: ABU DHABI INTERNATIONAL; BAHRAIN INTERNATIONAL; DOHA INTERNATIONAL; AND MUSCAT (SEEB INTERNATIONAL).
2 A330'S TO BE LEASED TO TAM BRAZIL (TPR).
MAY 2001: 2 A330-243'S (287, /99 A40-KD; 334, /00 A40-KE), LEASED TO TAM BRAZIL (TPR). 767-3P6ER (26233) RETURNED TO GECAS (GEF).
JUNE 2001: IS SEEKING ADDITIONAL CAPITAL, SINCE DEBTS >$1 BILLION. RECEIVES $39.8 MILLION EACH FROM GOVERNMENTS OF OMAN, BAHRAIN, QATAR, AND ABU DHABI.
MICHAEL CROCKER, HEAD PRODUCTION (ACTING), GAMCO HANGAR, LINE & WORKSHOPS.
BAHRAIN TO MASHAD (3/WEEK).
JULY 2001: PLANS TO PARK 2 A340'S FOR NEXT WINTER.
SEPTEMBER 2001: PLANS TO STANDARDISE ON A330 FOR ITS WIDEBODY FLEET.
OCTOBER 2001: EXPECTING SOME BLEAK TIMES AHEAD IN THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY, GULF AIR (GUL) DECIDES TO REDUCE ITS FLEET FROM 32 TO 26 AIRPLANES.
CONTRACTS ON EXPATRIATES WORKING FOR (GUL), WILL NOT BE RENEWED. TARGET REDUCTIONS OF STAFF BY END OF 2001 IS -400 TO -450.
DECEMBER 2001: RETAINS AVIATION CONSULTANTS, SIMAT HELLIESEN & EICHER TO UNDERTAKE A COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF THE AIRLINE AND PROVIDE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR RESTRUCTURING THE COMPANY - EXPECTED TO TAKE 1 YEAR.
JANUARY 2002: 2001 TOP 50 WORLD AIRLINES - TRAFFIC (Billion) (RPM):
1 UAL 116.60; 2 AAL 106.15; 3 DAL 97.60; 4 NWA 73.11; 5 BAB 64.24; 6 AFA 59.54; 7 CAL 58.76; 8 DLH 56.76; 9 JAL 50.77; 10 USA 45.93; 11 SWA 44.50; 12 SIA 42.76; 13 QAN 42.14; 14 ACN 41.49; 15 KLM 35.76; 16 ANA 33.16; 17 CAT 27.81; 18 TII 27.43; 19 IBE 25.64; 20 KAL 23.73; 21 ALI 22.45; 22 MAS 22.29; 23 AMW 19.06; 24 VAA 17.65; 25 VAR 16.02; 26 CHI 16.00; 27 EAD 14.37; 28 SAS 14.26; 29 ANZ 13.54; 30 SAA 12.70; 31 SVA 12.56; 32 BEJ 12.39; 33 ASA 12.23; 34 JAS 10.06; 35 THY 9.35; 36 AMX 8.51; 37 PAL 8.36; 38 GIA 8.15; 39 CMA 7.99; 40 ELA 7.79; 41 GUL 7.65; 42 PIA 7.24; 43 AIN 7.10; 44 TAP 6.43; 45 EGP 5.53; 46 OLY 5.24; 47 AUL 5.06; 48 FIN 4.93; 49 IND 4.52; 50 CQT 4.51.
FEBRUARY 2002: CODE SHARE WITH QANTAS AIRWAYS (QAN), TO SYDNEY.
SELECTS AIRLINE INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (AIMS), AN INTEGRATED WINDOWS/NT CLIENT SERVER-BASED CREW MANAGEMENT SYSTEM.
IBRAHIM ABDULLAH AL HAMAR, CHAIRMAN & (CEO), RESIGNED.
A320-212 (313) RETURNED TO LESSOR.
MARCH 2002: MEETING WITH KUWAIT AIRWAYS (KUW) TO DISCUSS TECHNICAL COOPERATION.
APRIL 2002: CODE SHARE WITH QANTAS (QAN) TO SYDNEY AND SINGAPORE.
APPLIES TO BOARD FOR CASH INJECTION OF $280 MILLION TO SAVE THE AIRLINE FROM COLLAPSE.
MAIN BASE: BAHRAIN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (BAH).
HUBS: MUSCAT - SEEB INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (MCT); DOHA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (DOH); AND ABU DHABI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (AUH).
OWNERS: GOVERNMENT OF BAHRAIN (25%); GOVERNMENT OF ABU DHABI (25%); GOVERNMENT OF QATAR (25%); AND SULTANATE OF OMAN (25%).
MAY 2002: NAMES JAMES HOGAN, EX-ANSETT (ANS) & BRITISH MIDLAND (BMA) EXECUTIVE, AS ACTING PRESIDENT & CEO, REPLACING IBRAHIM AL-HAMER. HE WILL WORK ON AIRLINE RESTRUCTURING WITH THE HELP OF CONSULTANTS SH&E, AS HE DEVELOPS THE FUTURE STRATEGY OF GULF AIR (GUL).
July 2002: 2001 = -$132.27 MILLION (-$98.11 MILLION) (NET LOSS): 12.31 BILLION (RPK) TRAFFIC (-3.4%); 66.7% LF LOAD FACTOR; 5.25 MILLION PASSENGERS (PAX) (-5%); 574.51 MILLION (FTK) FREIGHT TRAFFIC (+10.4%); 5,159 EMPLOYEES (-8.3%).
August 2002: $3.3 Billion expansion of the Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Fujairah airports in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait's Airspace System, and a new terminal at the International Airport in Muscat.
September 2002: 2 A330-242's (287, A40-KD; 334, A40-KE) returned from TAM Brazil (TPR).
December 2002: In 2003-06, to resume Bahrain - Sydney.
Government owners (Abu Dhabi, Oman, & Bahrain), less Qatar (who ended their ownership share), agreed to a $239 Million recapitalization of the airline.
Plans to join Star (SAL) Alliance or Oneworld (ONW) alliance.
January 2003: Intends to form an all-economy class, low-budget, subsidiary airline, to be based in Abu Dhabi, and start operations in 6/03 with 9 767-300ER's for regional services. Many expatriates, mostly from the Indian subcontinent, live in the oil-rich Gulf Arab states.
Projects 2002 = -42 Million Bahraini Dinars/-$111.4 Million (-$140 Million) ((-$98 Million)).
March 2003: Abdul Khaliq Saeed, VP Technical.
2002 = 11.79 Billion (RPK) (-7.5%); 69.3% LF; 5.68 Million PAX (-8.5%); 506.80 Million (FTK) (-8.9%).
Is considering service to Alexandria, Athens, Kochi (Cochin), Johannesburg, Salalah, and plans to resume Bahrain - Singapore - Sydney (A340, daily).
Plans to lease 2 A320's and 2 A330's by end of 2003, to expand its route network.
April 2003: 5,560 employees (including 470 Flight Crew (FC), 1,526 Cabin Attendants (CA), & 353 Maintenance Technicians (MT)).
May 2003: Unveiled "Gulf Traveller," its all-economy (Y) airline subsidiary, which plans to start operations in 2003-06. Not to be confused with so-called budget or "no frills" carriers, Gulf Traveller is an all-economy, full-service airline, offering everything traditionally associated with an economy service on a major international carrier. Using a distinctive flight number series, Gulf Traveller is set to operate out of (GUL)'s base in Abu Dhabi, using 6 767-300's. It will serve routes presently served by (GUL)'s network, specifically those whre customer demand exceeds existing capacity, and include exotic leisure destinations in Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Zanzibar. Future plans include extending the network to include secondary European destinations. James Hogan, CEO, stated "This is the shape of things to come. The introduction of low cost or single class carriers in the Middle East market is inevitable at some point in the future. By pre-empting this trend, and in addressing a single market segment with a unique service, (GUL) once again demonstrates the innovation and creativity inherent in a brand that has stood the test of time."
June 2003: London Heathrow - Muscat, via either Abu Dhabi or Bahrain (A330, 13/week). Next month, Abu Dhabi - Kochi (Cochin), India (A320) in cooperation with Air India (AIN).
Gulf Air (GUL) Traveller, Abu Dhabi - Jeddah, & Zanzibar.
1 order A320-200 and 1 +1 order A340-313X (212, A40-LG), ex-Singapore (SIA), Boeing Capital (TBC) leased. 1 737-7Z5 BBJ (A6-RJZ), Royal Jet wet-leased for Abu Dhabi - Geneva (weekly).
July 2003: 5,350 employees. SITA: BAHODGF.
August 2003: Next month, Bahrain - Basra (weekly). In 2003-10, Abu Dhabi - Kolkata (2/week).
September 2003: 2002 = -$97.4 Million (-$138.5 Million): 11.84 Billion (RPK) traffic (-4.3%); -7.9% (ASK) capacity; 69.2% LF load factor (+2.6); 5.5 Million passengers (PAX) (-2.4%); 508 Million (FTK) freight traffic (-6.4%); 4,740 employees (-7.3%).
2002 TOP WORLD AIRLINES TRAFFIC RPK (Billion):
46 (THY) 16.59; 47 (ATZ) 16.30; 48 (LTU) 16.10; 49 (JAA) 15.90; 50 (HAP) 14.40; 51 (JMA) 13.97; 52 (PAL) 13.52; 53 (AMX) 13.31; 54 (AIN) 13.25; 55 (FIN) 12.79; 56 (BER) 12.73; 57 (ELA) 12.54; 58 (TPR) 12.08; 59 (MON) 11.86; 60 (GUL) 11.84; 61 (CMA) 11.74; 62 (COR) 11.47; 63 (TAP) 11.38; 64 (LAN) 11.14; 65 (JBL) 11.01.
October 2003: Code share with Indian Airlines (IND) Bahrain to Bangalore (2/week), & Muscat - Bangalore (2/week). Next month, London Gatwick to Abu Dhabi and Bahrain (A340-300, 14 non stops) in addition to its London Heathrow to the Gulf and beyond (24/week).
November 2003: 3rd Quarter = -20 Million dinars/-$53M (-50%): 1.8 Million passengers (PAX) record! 73.5% LF (+17.4). 1st 9 months = 9.72 Billion (RPK) traffic (+8.7%); 4.37 Million (PAX) (+4.8%); 406.7 Million (FTK) freight (+9.7%).
In 2004-03, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, & Muscat - Ras al Khaimah.
Grows its fleet to 36 airplanes with lease of +3 A340-300's, ex-Singapore Airlines (SIA) from Boeing Capital (TBC). Plans to buy or lease regional jets by 2nd Quarter 2004.
December 2003: Code share with Qantas Airways (QAN) to Singapore.
January 2004: In 2004-06, Muscat - London Heathrow (LHR) (A340, daily.
February 2004: Extends code share with Oman Air (OMR), Muscat to Dar Es Salaam, Mombasa, and Zanzibar.
United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Thailand signed an "open skies" agreement allowing carriers of both countries full traffic rights to operate any type of airplane and flight frequency between the two countries and beyond. Thai International (TII) operates 11 weekly services, while Emirates (EAD) and Gulf Air (GUL) have 14 and 11 respectively.
March 2004: Becomes 1st airline in Gulf region to appoint 2 women pilots. French national, Caroline Le Cann is flying 767's for full-service subsidiary, Gulf Traveller, while Belgian Florance Delorme, flies (GUL)'s A330's.
A340-313X (282, A40-LJ), Boeing (TBC) leased.
May 2004: 4,740 employees.
Fiscal Year (FY) 2003 = -19.9 Million dinars/-$52.8 Million (-51.1%) (-40.7 Million dinars/-$108 Million): 13.48 Billion (RPK) (+14.4%); -8.2% (ASK); 68.1% LF; 6.27 Million (PAX) (+10.6%); 558 Million (FTK) (+10.1%).
August 2004: 1st 6 months = +39% passengers (PAX) (6.05 Million); +17.2% (FTK) freight traffic.
Alliance with Egyptair (EGP), including code sharing on flights from Bahrain, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Cairo and Alexandria, and later between Cairo, Bahrain, and Sydney. Will also operate joint services to tourist destinations in Egypt, including Sharm-el-Sheik and Hurghada.
5 Bombardier CRJ700's, ex-Duo Airways (MSK), leased.
September 2004: Gulf Air (GUL) Traveller, Abu Dhabi - Birmingham (767, 4/week).
Postponed plans to acquire regional jets because of the volatile situation of the local regional market.
October 2004: Expands code-share with BMI British Midland (BMA) to the London Heathrow - Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Muscat routes.
November 2004: Mohammed Al Tajer, Manager Marketing Services.
December 2004: Code share with (KLM), Abu Dhabi to Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, & Muscat, plus Bahrain - Muscat.
January 2005: 2004 = +1.5 Million dinars/+$4 Million (-19.9 Million dinars/-$34.8 Million): 17.8 Billion (RPK) (+32.1%) traffic; +26.1% (ASK) capacity; 71.4% LF load factor (+3.2); record 7.5 Million passengers (PAX) (+23.5%).
April 2005: 5,183 employees.
Selects Lufthansa Technik (DLH) (LTK) to provide Total Component Support under a 5-year deal valued at around EUR 100 Million/$128.5 Million, including overhaul and management of more than >1,400 different components on four fleets.
In 2005-06, code share with Middle East Airlines (MEA) between Abu Dhabi and Beirut.
June 2005: Gulf Air (GUL) was placed on the (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) registry following its successful completion of an (IATA) Operational Safety audit last month.
July 2005: Tariq Sultan, VP Human Resources.
In 2005-12, Bahrain to Dublin (A330, 3 class, 3/week).
August 2005: Rohan Alce, Regional General Manager, Europe, Africa & The Americas. Clive Wratten, UK General Manager, ex-Qantas (QAN) & British Airways (BAB).
5,760 employees (+11.1%).
September 2005: The emirate of Abu Dhabi intends to withdraw its shareholding in Gulf Air (GUL) over the next six months, leaving just two owners of the Middle Eastern carrier: The Kingdom of Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman. Qatar, the fourth founding partner, left in May 2002. Gulf Air (GUL) President and CEO James Hogan said there will be no change to the carrier's "core approach to business or to its ongoing business strategy."
The announcement does not come as a complete surprise because the emirate launched its own airline, Etihad Airways (EHD), in November 2003. Since then the new carrier has pursued an aggressive growth strategy and last year placed a substantial order worth $8 billion for new airplanes comprising four A340-500s, four A340-600s, 12 A330-200s, four A380s and five 777-300ERs.
In addition, Abu Dhabi is planning a multi-billion-dollar expansion of its airport to try to follow the example of its smaller neighbor Dubai. "We understand that they [Abu Dhabi] wish to focus their airline development strategy in other directions and we wish them luck and success," Hogan stated, adding that Gulf Air (GUL)'s "focus, however, will remain on our own business and our own key strategic initiatives."
The Gulf Air (GUL) board is scheduled to meet today to discuss the realignment of the shareholding. The governments of both Bahrain and Oman have confirmed their support for the carrier. An insider said he did not believe the change in ownership would affect plans to start privatizing Gulf Air (GUL) and noted that the decision-making process may be easier with only two shareholders. The airline dismissed rumors that its financial results are not up to target, but admitted that fuel will weigh on its full-year results.
October 2005: Gulf Air (GUL) will begin new service to Johannesburg starting Dec 3.
November 2005: Gulf Air (GUL) implemented e-ticket services Nov 2 on flights between Bahrain and London, Singapore and Sydney and gradually will roll e-ticketing out across the rest of its network.
December 2005: Gulf Air (GUL) inaugurated service from Bahrain to Dublin. The route is now operated 3x a week using an A330.
Gulf Air (GUL) will add Sabre CargoMax Revenue Manager to its portfolio.
January 2006: Gulf Air (GUL) and Thai Airways (TII) signed a codeshare agreement covering Thai (TII)'s services from Bangkok to Muscat, Phuket and Chiang Mai and Gulf Air's services from Bangkok to Bahrain and Muscat. Gulf Air (GUL) VP-Network Fareed Al Alawi said the carrier will continue to expand into the Asia/Pacific region.
Gulf Air (GUL) named Rajeev Nambiar, General Manager for India operations.
February 2006: Gulf Air (GUL) secured a $75 million syndicated loan that it will use to continue funding near-term development following its restructuring in the wake of the withdrawal of Abu Dhabi as a shareholder.
Gulf Air (GUL)'s remaining shareholders, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman, have agreed to a recapitalization of the airline that will permit fleet renewal following the withdrawal of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi as an investor. The announcement was made in Oman by Gulf Air President and Chief Executive James Hogan at the conclusion of a board of directors meeting.
He also unveiled the carrier's new three-year strategic plan, dubbed "Smart Airline, Successful Business," that includes a "two-hub strategy," replacement of Gulf Air's 767s according to published reports, as well as product upgrades and investment in "a range of areas."
The two-hub strategy, under which the airline will concentrate activities in Bahrain and Muscat, "will result in significant cost reductions and bring major improvements to our key operational indicators, including punctuality," Hogan stated. Gulf Air (GUL) will continue to maintain a strong presence at Abu Dhabi, however, retaining more than 50 flights per week into the airport, now the hub of new national airline Etihad (EHD). "I am delighted with the board's strong support for our new business plan," Hogan said.
Separately, Gulf Air (GUL) said it expanded its codeshare relationship with American Airlines (AAL) to include flights to Kuwait and Doha via Bahrain. It reported "strong" increases in year-on-year passenger traffic through Bahrain (up +7.9% to 3.6 million) and Muscat (up +15.1% to 1.8 million) in 2005 and a decrease through Abu Dhabi (down -16.9% to 2.7 million).
Sabre Airline Solutions said Gulf Air (GUL) and (TAP) Portugal signed to use its AirServIn-Flight Solutions systems "allowing them to integrate their entire range of catering and cabin services management and drive savings of up to -15% from their total catering budgets."
Gulf Air (GUL) announced that approximately $900 million in funding for the "first phase of its fleet upgrade" is scheduled to be in place by May. The carrier's shareholders, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman, agreed to a recapitalization at a board meeting in Oman earlier this month. "The renewed confidence the financial markets have in Gulf Air (GUL)'s commercial performance over the past few years has resulted in us moving forward at a good pace," President and CEO James Hogan said, adding that a formal announcement will occur in the next three months in conjunction with a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with "one of the airframe manufacturers." The airline intends to replace its nine 767s.
Gulf Air (GUL) inaugurated nonstop service from Muscat to Jakarta. The airline now operate 6 flights a week, daily except Sunday, using a 767.
Bahrain International Airport launched a $212 million development plan to double the size of its current passenger terminal. The investment is part of a three-phased expansion, which eventually will enable the airport to handle around 45 million passengers per year. The project, which entails extending the existing terminal to the east, will make the airport one of the most modern and busiest in the region, according to Transportation Minister Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa. The project will include eight new air-bridges, 10 airplane stands, travelators and an expansion of the baggage reclaim area. The number of check-in desks also will be doubled from 40 to 80, while the number of immigration counters will be increased from eight to 14. The first phase of the project is due for completion in 2008, after which work is expected to be launched on a second phase, which will involve the extension of the airport terminal towards the west, enabling it to handle an additional four to five small (Code C) type of airplanes.
Meanwhile, in a separate development project to be implemented by the private sector, a new car-park complex capable of handling up to 4,000 vehicles will be built at a cost of BHD343 million/$874.7 million. Constructed at the existing public garage, the five-story complex covering 40,000 sq m will include an executive business center, retail and entertainment areas linked to the main passenger terminal. A major 'Runway Resurfacing Project' costing approximately BHD5 million is expected to commence shortly as well.
March 2006: Six Arab carriers signed an agreement in late January to form Arabesk Group, a consortium "designed to help members realize better commercial potential," according to Arab Air Carriers Organization Secretary General, Abdul Wahab Teffaha. Initial members are EgyptAir (EGP), Gulf Air (GUL), Middle East Airlines (MEA), Royal Jordanian (RJA), Saudi Arabian Airlines (SVA), and Yemenia Yemen Airways (YEM). The group said Tunisair (TUN) likely will join soon. Formation of the entity was discussed last summer. "The cooperation is already yielding benefits for the individual carriers and is demonstrating that this is a good path for the future, as well as providing value-added service to travelers through better market coverage," Teffaha said. The airlines will cooperate on scheduling, operate codeshare flights and have special prorate agreements during the summer schedule period. Sabre Airlines Solutions consulted on the formation of Arabesk.
Gulf Air (GUL) is increasing its service to London Heathrow from Muscat from March 27. It will operate double-daily services everyday except Thursday. Gulf Air (GUL) and Saudi Arabian Airlines (SVA) are adding Bahrain - Al Madinah, and Muscat - Dammam to their codeshare arrangement. The new weekly service to Al Madinah will commence March 26. The twice-weekly Muscat - Dammam service came into effect March 3 and is operated by Gulf Air (GUL) as an extension of its existing Kathmandu - Muscat route.
A320-212 (289, A40-EP), GATX (GAX) leased.
April 2006: Gulf Air (GUL) will launch a thrice-weekly Muscat - Paris (CDG) nonstop service on July 2. The airline will operate 4 flights a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, & Sundays, using an A330-200.
Gulf Air increased its daily Doha - Bahrain service to five flights per day from two or three, effective March 27. Gulf Air (GUL) is increasing weekly frequencies between Bahrain and Kuwait from 17 to 21 on May 1.
Gulf Air (GUL) signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with SR Technics (SWS) establishing terms of a five-year, $750 million contract covering Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) of the carrier's fleet of 10 A320s, six A330s, nine A340s and nine 767-300s. SR Technics (SWS) will establish a $50 million, three-bay hangar and maintenance facility and training center in Oman. Gulf Air (GUL) moved its (MRO) work from Abu Dhabi following that government's withdrawal as an investor in the carrier.
A320-212 (407, A40-ER), GATX (GAX) leased.
May 2006: Gulf Air (GUL) faces a deficit of approximately -BHD80 million/-$211 million despite "strong improvements" in key performance indicators during the first quarter because "revenue growth simply cannot keep pace with oil price rises," according to President and CEO, James Hogan. "We are looking at a range of options to mitigate these additional costs. We are already seeing a more consistent application of fuel surcharges in all our markets," Hogan said. The airline said first-quarter unit revenues rose +6.6% over the year-ago period and load factor increased to 73% LF.
Operating out of two hubs following the withdrawal of Abu Dhabi as a shareholder, Gulf Air (GUL) said passenger traffic at Bahrain International Airport increased +24% (RPK) and throughput at Seeb International Airport in Muscat grew +20%. "The positive effects of our transition to a two-hub model are already in evidence," Hogan stated. "I believe we will also see significant cost reductions . . . as we reduce operational complexity in the next few months." He said the carrier intends to sign a Memo of Understanding (MOU) for widebody airplanes to replace nine 767s "in the next few months."
Gulf Air (GUL) named Lee Shave, formerly global commercial director at STA Travel Group, as VP, Marketing and Sales in Bahrain.
Bahrain and Thailand reached an open-skies agreement allowing designated airlines to offer unlimited flights. Annual air traffic between the countries has been growing at +15% over the past five years.
June 2006: Gulf Air (GUL) appointed Pauric Doyle, currently VP Technology Services for Emirates Airlines (EAD), to VP Information Technology. He will join Gulf Air (GUL) in August.
July 2006: Gulf Air (GUL) announced President and CEO, James Hogan will leave the carrier later this year. Hogan, who joined the airline in May 2002, said it was his decision. Two months ago, he reported that Gulf Air (GUL) faced a -BHD80 million/-$204.5 million deficit as fuel costs outstripped revenue.
Upon his arrival, Hogan introduced the Project Falcon turnaround plan, which helped return the carrier to profit in 2004. The next phase of its development, dubbed Smart Airline, Successful Business, was implemented beginning earlier this year.
"Project Falcon reestablished Gulf Air as one of the world's leading airline brands. The new plan . . . will take us to the next level of development, with investment in new airplanes, new maintenance facilities and new route and service initiatives," Chairman, Abdul Aziz Jassim Kanoo said, adding that the governments of Bahrain and Oman committed BHD100 million to Gulf (GUL) earlier this year. The carrier was set back last year when Abu Dhabi dropped out as an owner in favor of backing Etihad Airways (EHD).
The airline said it intends to appoint a new President and CEO before Hogan's departure.
August 2006: As national carrier of the Gulf States of Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Gulf Air (GUL) operates scheduled international flights from Abu Dhabi, Bharain, Doha, and Muscat, to destinations in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and to the USA.
Employees = 5,901 (including 585 Flight Crew (FC); 1,969 Cabin Attendants (CA); & 435 Maintenance Technicians (MT)).
(IATA) Code: GF - 072. (ICAO) Code: GFA (Callsign - GULF AIR).
Parent organization/shareholders: Government of Bahrain (50%); & Sultanate of Oman (50%).
Owns: Gulf Traveller (100%).
Alliances: American Airlines (AAL); BMI British Midland (BMA); Cyprus Airways (CYP); Egyptair (EGP); Garuda Indonesia (GIA); Indian (IND); (KLM); Olympic Airlines (OLY); Oman Air (OMR); Qantas Airways (QAN); Royal Jordanian Airlines (RJA); Saudi Arabian Airlines (SVA); & Thai Airways (TII).
Main Base: Bahrain International Airport (BAH). SITA Code: BAHODGF.
Hubs: Muscat Seeb International (MCT).
International, Scheduled Destinations: Abu Dhabi; Amman; Athens; Bangalore; Bangkok; Beirut; Cairo; Chennai; Chiang Mai; Damascus; Dammam; Delhi; Dhaka; Doha; Dubai; Dublin; Frankfurt; Hong Kong; Islamabad; Istanbul; Jakarta; Jeddah; Johannesburg; Jumeirah Beach Dubai; Karachi; Kathmandu; Khartoum; Kochi; Kolkata; Kuala Lumpur; Kuwait; Lahore; Larnaca; London; Manila; Mashad; Mumbai; Muscat; Paris; Peshawar; Phuket; Riyadh; Sana'a; Shiraz; Singapore; Sydney; Tehran; & Thiruvananthapuram.
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and Gulf Air (GUL) signed a comprehensive codeshare agreement. From September 18, (MAS) will put its code on Gulf (GUL) flights between Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Bahrain and Oman, while Gulf (GUL) will place its code on select (MAS) domestic services. The airlines intend to expand the arrangement.
September 2006: Gulf Air (GUL) confirmed that President and CEO, James Hogan will complete his tenure at the carrier September 30, earlier than anticipated, fueling speculation he will move to another airline in the Middle East. VP Finance, Ahmed Al Hammadi will take over as acting President & CEO from October 1.
Etihad Airways (EHD) named former Gulf Air (GUL) President & (CEO), James Hogan as its new (CEO), effective immediately, replacing Robert Strodel, who stepped down in May after less than a year on the job. Hogan announced his resignation from Gulf Air (GUL) in July and concluded his four-year tenure on September 30.
Etihad (EHD) Chairman, Ahmed bin Saif Al Nahyan said Hogan "combines extensive experience of the airline industry with in-depth understanding of the nuances, imperatives and opportunities inherent in the business climate in this region. We believe he is the right person to drive the business forward."
Hogan said the (UAE)-owned carrier, which launched operations in 2003, offers exciting possibilities. "The current dynamic economic development in this region offers enormous challenges and opportunities for the airline industry," he said. "While it is relatively young, Etihad (EHD) has already established a reputation for energy and speed, which are evident in its unprecedented growth and the development of state-of-the-art fleet and product. I believe that we can build on these strengths to position Etihad (EHD) as a leader in the international and local markets."
James Rigney, former Head of Corporate Strategy at Gulf Air (GUL), has been appointed Etihad (EHD)'s VP Finance.
Gulf Air (GUL) suffered a blow last year, when Abu Dhabi withdrew its shareholding in the carrier in favor of putting resources into Etihad (EHD), which expects to operate 35 widebodies to 70 destinations by 2010.
December 2006: Gulf Air (GUL) A320-212 (325, A40-EB), has "Muscat 2007 Festival" promotion painted on its fuselage - see photo.
February 2007: Gulf Air (GUL) named former Crossair (CSR) and Swiss International Air Lines (SWR) (CEO), Andre Dose, 49, as its new (CEO). He will take office on April 1. Omani Minister of Transport & Communication, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Harthy took over as Chairman on January 1.
March 2007: Gulf Air (GUL) in 2006 had a net loss of -$227 million and a -$320 million operating loss.
Gulf Air (GUL) named former Galileo International executive, John Matthews Manager Global Distribution System (GDS) Strategies, and former Alitalia (ALI), Commercial Web Development Manager, Nicola Simionato, e-Commerce Manager. Gulf Air (GUL) named former British Airways (BAB) employee and private consultant, Jeffrey Solomon as acting VP Technical.
Gulf Air (GUL) grounded its nine 767-300ERs after detecting traces of corrosion on one plane during a routine maintenance check. The airline said there was no immediate risk to the airplanes but that it opted to order a thorough check of the entire 767-300ER fleet. It expects significant delays as it repositions airplanes throughout its network, but said the 767s should return to service within days.
April 2007: Gulf Air (GUL) said former Crossair and Swiss International Air Lines (CSR) (CEO), Andre Dose officially took over as (CEO). It added that Dose will be "unveiling a new long-term business plan" in a few weeks after spending time studying the airline and its operations.
Gulf Air (GUL) continued its restructuring under new (CEO), Andre Dose, announcing approval of a plan "aimed at significantly reducing company losses over the next few years." (GUL) said the plan does include a fleet reduction from 34 to 28 airplanes. Dose said the restructuring includes "cost-cutting across the entire company, streamlining the structure of the organization, and making network operations more efficient." He said Gulf (GUL)'s investors - - the governments of Bahrain and Oman - - have approved a capital injection to cover past costs, fund the restructuring and invest in "future operational improvements."
(GUL) (CEO), Andre Dose, announced a reduction of his senior staff in order to "drive the necessary efficiencies and to allow our management to focus on our customers." VP Finance, Ahmed Al Hammadi; VP Services, Tariq Sultan; and VP Business Units, Ali Murtada will be leaving the airline.
Later, admitting it is losing more than -$1 million daily, (GUL) released details of an extensive $825 million restructuring that will see it transition from a mixed fleet of 34 airplanes to an all-Airbus fleet comprising 28 airplanes and refocus its long-haul international network to one centered mostly on serving the Middle East. "The main goal of our restructuring . . . is to increase flight frequencies to existing key destinations, and to add new connections to major economic centers that are of growing importance for the economy of [Gulf Air (GUL) owners] Bahrain and Oman," said President & (CEO), Andre Dose. He added that the Gulf Air (GUL) network will be "fundamentally restructured . . . We will stop operating our heavily loss-making long-haul services to Dublin, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Sydney and Singapore. Instead, we will allocate more assets to better serve all important centers in the Gulf and the Middle East region." The airline apparently will continue to fly to London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt, Athens and Istanbul. Dose said the airline will downsize and upgrade its fleet over the next two years, a process that will include the retirement of its nine 767-300ERs and some A340s and the introduction of four A321s and five A330s. It has not decided whether it will lease or buy those airplanes. It plans to operate at least two daily flights to each key Middle East destination, using a "wave structure of inbound and outbound flights [that will] allow us shorter connection time and insure better connectivity," he said.
He added that the "painful measure" of reducing the workforce will be necessary, but did not say how many of the carrier's 6,000 workers will be cut, noting that "natural attrition" will account for some. Cabins on existing Airbus (EDS) airplanes and ground facilities will be refurbished as part of the restructuring, which is being funded by the governments of Bahrain and Oman. "We are fully aware that these are harsh measures and we have tough times ahead of us," Dose said. "But we need these measures to ensure survival of the company."
INCDT: At least three Airbus (EDS) airplanes suffered damage in a fire at Middle East overhaul firm Gulf Aircraft Maintenance (Gamco) (GUL), which started in an A300 said to belong to Qatar Airways (QTA). Emerging details indicate that the effects of the fire at Gamco (GUL)’s Abu Dhabi facility were more severe than initially indicated, with jets belonging to Kingfisher Airlines (KFH), and Air Mauritius (MAU) confirmed as being affected. Air Mauritius (MAU) had an A319 parked next to the A300. The airline has identified the twin-jet as a four-year old example, owned by the carrier, equipped with CFM International (CFM56) engines. “According to initial information, the tail of the airplane collapsed and parts fell on our airplane,” says an Air Mauritius (MAU) spokesman. “We do not know the extent of the damage, and therefore cannot advise when the airplane will be back in service.” India’s Kingfisher Airlines (KFH) says that it had an A320 in the same hangar awaiting a "C1"-check and installation of in-flight entertainment systems. A spokesman for the carrier says that the International Aero Engines (V2500)-powered twin-jet, which is owned by lessor AerCap (DEA) and is less than two years old, escaped with “little damage,” although it was subjected to “falling debris”. Qatar Airways (QTA) has not confirmed that it is the operator of the A300 at the heart of the investigation, although there are increasing indications that the jet in question is an A300-600R and that the jet has sustained serious damage. Gamco (GUL) General Manager, Saif Al Mughairy said that, despite the fire, the maintenance operation itself should not be badly affected. He is not prepared to disclose details of the fire damage, beyond confirming that it started in an A300 airplane, or the specific customers affected. But he says that the company is otherwise operating “as normal” and that he is “very confident” that main investigation into the incident will be completed within four or five days.
May 2007: Gulf Air (GUL) will be fully owned by the government of Bahrain following the withdrawal of Oman, which signed a letter of intent (LOI) to withdraw from the money-losing carrier, the Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO) announced. Oman follows the emirate of Abu Dhabi and Qatar. (AACO) said Bahrain and Oman "have agreed to form a joint committee to assess the airline's assets and to appoint auditors and technicians for this purpose, a process expected to be finalized within six months."
Bjorn Naf, (COO), ex-(CEO) Kenya International Cargo Transport organization, and ex-Swiss International (CSR). Ahmad Janahi, VP Ground Services.
Gulf Air (GUL) completed the (IATA) (IAT) Operational Safety Audit.
July 2007: Gulf Air (GUL), which is in the midst of an extensive restructuring, revealed a "new network" based on a "wave model" designed to schedule flights to maximize connection possibilities for Middle East business (C) travelers. "Our restructuring plan seeks to put in place an efficient network that improves punctuality, reduces the transit time between connecting flights and provides a range of travel options," President & (CEO), Andre Dose said. (GUL) will operate 588 weekly flights.
Later, (GUL)'s board of directors accepted the resignation of (CEO), Andre Dose, effective immediately, ending the former Crossair and Swiss International Air Lines (CSR) (CEO)'s tenure, less than four months after he joined (GUL) and unveiled a major restructuring program. The sudden resignation came just days after Gulf Air (GUL) Chairman, Mahmood Hashim Al Kooheji confirmed that the airline is being investigated by Bahrain prosecutors. Speaking to "Gulf Daily News," Kooheji said, "There is a criminal investigation from the public prosecutor and we have been advised not to make any comment or talk about the case." He added that he had told all airline employees, "Guys this is a public prosecution investigation; I want everybody to shut up." It is not clear if the probe and Dose's resignation are related. The (GUL) board gave no explanation for the (CEO)'s departure, saying in a statement issued yesterday that "it has been mutually agreed" he would leave the company. It "thanked" Dose for "his assistance" and said the restructuring program he initiated would move forward. "The board is highly optimistic and trusts that the company will have a promising future, especially after the implementation of the company's network optimization and restructuring plan," the statement said.
Dose became (GUL)'s (CEO) in early April, and later that month admitted the carrier was losing more than -$1 million daily. He initiated an extensive restructuring that calls for a transition from a mixed fleet of 34 airplanes to an all-Airbus (EDS) fleet comprising 28 airplanes focused mostly on serving the Middle East. "We have tough times ahead of us," he said when he announced the program. "But we need these measures to ensure survival of the company."
(GUL) said the modernization was being funded by a +$825 million infusion from its owners, the governments of Bahrain and Oman. However, Oman has signed a letter of intent to withdraw its holding later this year, leaving Bahrain as the sole owner.
In this recent statement, (GUL)'s board said it had developed and approved a plan that would "ensure transparency and adherence to the rules and regulations of the Kingdom of Bahrain." It added that the airline would be overseen by Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, a government-controlled entity.
(GUL) (COO), Bjorn Naf was named acting President & (CEO), replacing Andre Dose, who resigned suddenly. (GUL) said the search for a permanent replacement "has begun."
November 2007: Mubadala Development, Abu Dhabi's government investment firm, became sole shareholder of Gulf Aircraft Maintenance (GAMCO) following its acquisition of Gulf Air (GUL)'s 40% stake in the company. It consequently renamed the Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) company as "Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT)."
Gulf Air (GUL) named Air Arabia (ABZ) Chief Engineer, Jassim Al-Marzooqi as VP Technical. He was with (GUL) in 1986 TO 1994.
SR Technics (SWS) and Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) (formerly GAMCO) announced a collaboration at the 10th Dubai Air Show, under which the companies will work to "complement and maximize" their areas of expertise and provide customers in the Middle East, India and Europe "with a wider range of service offerings." (SWS) will subcontract component repair work in the Middle East to (ADAT) and will provide support to its technical fleet management operations. (ADAT) expects revenue to increase from $300 million currently to $800 million by 2012. Mubadala Development owns 100% of (ADAT) and, along with Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAZ), and Istithmar, holds 90% of (SWS).
December 2007: Gulf Air (GUL) promoted Hashim Mahmood to VP Network.
January 2008: Two months after declaring at the Dubai Air Show that "shrinking the airline was the wrong way to go" and that Gulf Air (GUL) would embark on a major fleet renewal, (GUL) announced its plan to order up to 24 787s and revealed that it is negotiating with Airbus (EDS) for eight A320s. Boeing (TBC) released a statement confirming only "Gulf (GUL)'s intent to purchase 787 Dreamliners" but the Arab Air Carriers Organization was more specific, saying the airline committed to place orders for 16 787s valued at approximately $4 billion, plus options for eight more. Gulf (GUL) also said that it is planning to purchase eight A320s to fill out its fleet. It announced in November its plan to revamp its operation with the acquisition of 35 new airplanes.
Chairman, Mahmood al Kooheji said the 787s will begin delivering in 2016, "Reuters" reported, while his commitment to the Airbus (EDS) narrow body was cited by several news services. Acting (CEO), Bjorn Naf told reporters in Manama, "If we look at the overall economics of operation of the 787, it is more favorable than the A350 extra widebody XWB." (GUL) will lease airplanes to fill its interim needs but did not offer further details, "Reuters" said.
Later, (GUL) finalized its order for 16 787 Dreamliners plus eight options in a deal valued at $3.9 billion, if all options are exercised. "As the cornerstone of our fleet, the 787 will help reestablish (GUL)'s predominance within the Gulf," (CEO), Bjorn Naf said.
767-3P6ER (26234), returned and leased to TransAero (TRX).
February 2008: Gulf Air (GUL) was granted additional capacity to India, giving it operating rights for daily service from Bahrain to Hyderabad, Kochi, and Kolkata.
(GUL) will launch a four-times-weekly, Manama - Shanghai service aboard A340-300s from June 16, upgrading the service to daily with the start of the 2008 to 2009 winter schedule.
March 2008: Gulf Air (GUL) will launch four-times-weekly Bahrain - Shanghai Pudong on June 16 aboard A340-300s. The service becomes daily in the winter 2008 schedule.
April 2008: Gulf Air (GUL) announced a major rebranding project that will include new livery, airplane interiors, staff uniforms and airport lounges. It appointed London/Singapore-based designers, James Park Associates to implement the redesign, which it said "will coincide with an expansion and updating of (GUL)'s airplane fleet." (CEO), Bjorn Naf said, "With the help of James Park Associates, we will redesign every aspect of the passenger experience to blend traditional comfort with cutting-edge technology and materials, giving our customers an unforgettable journey with Gulf Air (GUL)."
May 2008: Gulf Air (GUL) ordered 20 A330-300s and 15 A320s, a commitment that will more than double the Bahraini carrier's Airbus (EDS) fleet, (EDS) announced. (GUL) already operates 10 A320s, six A330-200s and nine A340-300s, and in January signed a contract with Boeing (TBC) for 16 787s.
"(GUL) is taking huge strides forward in its strategy to re-fleet and expand its network and this contract is a significant milestone in this direction," (CEO), Bjorn Naf said. Airbus (EDS) said the A330s will fly to Europe and the Far East.
July 2008: Gulf Air (GUL) received two A321-200s on lease from Macquarie AirFinance.
September 2008: Gulf Air (GUL) signed a deal with Bahrain Real Estate Investment to build a maintenance hangar at Bahrain International. Slated for completion in 2011, the facility will accommodate three widebodies.
SEE ATTACHED A320 FLIGHT CREW (FC) ADVERTISEMENT - - "GUL-A320 FLIGHT CREW - 2008-09."
October 2008: Gulf Air (GUL) secured a $25 million unsecured loan from (BMI) Bank, which it said will be "infused into the working capital of the company" and used for financing "various development plans."
December 2008: Gulf Air (GUL) has consolidated its presence in Europe and the sub-continent. It also opened new routes to Shanghai and Hyderabad. (GUL) serves 43 destinations, which it aims to increase to 60 by 2013.
January 2009: Gulf Air (GUL) plans to ground five former (SAS) A340-300s and start a fuel hedging program in order to cut costs, according to the Arab Air Carriers Organization. A340 lift will be replaced by four 777s. (GUL) also plans to take delivery of four A330s and five A320s this year.
February 2009: Gulf Air (GUL) signed an agreement to lease four 312-seat 777-300ERs from Jet Airways (JPL). Three airplanes will arrive next month and the fourth in May and will replace A340s. (GUL) currently wet-leases two A300s from (JPL).
March 2009: Gulf Air (GUL) entered into a three-year fleet maintenance management program with (SIA) Engineering Company (SIAEC) covering (GUL)'s Airbus (EDS) fleet including "A" and "C" checks, fleet technical management, material management and engineering services, which will be performed at (GUL)'s base in Bahrain as well as in Singapore. According to (GUL), the contract has a provision "for (SIAEC) to work with (GUL) to in-source the Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) services provided by (SIAEC)," which also will provide training to (GUL) engineering (MT) staff.
(GUL) took delivery of the first of four 777-300ERs. The second and third will arrive this month and the fourth in May. The airplanes are on lease from Jet Airways (JPL), seat 312 across three classes and will replace (GUL)'s A340-300s.
April 2009: (SIA) Engineering extended the coverage of a three-year Fleet Management & Support Services contract with Gulf Air (GUL). The initial deal covered 14 A320s, six A330s and nine A340s and was valued at $100 million. Subsequently, the contract was extended to cover an additional four A330s, one A320 and increased scope of services, bringing the total value of to $135 million.
(GUL) officially turned its eight 787 options into firm orders, lifting its commitment to the next-generation wide body to 24 and giving Boeing (TBC) its first 787 orders this year. Three customers have canceled a combined 32 787 orders already this year. (TBC) has firm commitments for a net four planes to date.
(GUL) said summer demand to "many of its key destinations will be strong despite the current economic climate" and that it will be boosting frequencies accordingly. Flights from Bahrain to Frankfurt will increase to 11-times-weekly from nine, service to Kuala Lumpur and Tehran will become daily, flights to Bangkok and Kathmandu will be twice-daily, and Manila service will rise to 12-times-weekly. Capacity on some routes, including to London Heathrow, will be increased with the addition of 777s.
(GUL) said it has decided not to exercise an extended dry-lease option on four 777-300ERs it currently is wet-leasing from Jet Airways (JPL). "After careful analysis of various commercial and other business considerations, (GUL) has decided not to pursue the dry-lease option for the foreseeable future," it said. The airplanes are under wet lease for six months each.
May 2009: GE Aviation (GEC) signed a 10-year OnPoint solution agreement with Gulf Air (GUL) covering the (CFM56-5B)s (GUL) ordered to power 15 A320s scheduled for delivery between 2009 and 2013. The contract is valued at more than >$100 million.
A330-243 (992, A9C-KJ), (ILF) leased.
June 2009: Gulf Air (GUL) and French national railway (SNCF) signed a code share agreement to offer a "tgvair" ticket, enabling passengers to purchase a single ticket for (GUL) flights to/from Paris Charles de Gaulle combining travel to/from 19 domestic destinations on the (SNCF) network.
Honeywell Aerospace (SGC) was selected by Gulf Air (GUL) to provide 15 (131-9A) (APU)s for (GUL)'s A320s scheduled for delivery from this year through 2012. The contract is valued at more than >$8 million and covers maintenance through 2022.
Rolls-Royce (RRC) announced a $1.5 billion order from Gulf Air (GUL) for (Trent 700EP) engines that will power 20 A330s. Deliveries are set to start in 2012. The deal includes a TotalCare services agreement and an extension to the TotalCare deal on (Trent 700)s already in service on 10 A330s.
(GUL) removed one A320 and one A330 from service in response to the economic downturn, CEO ,Bjorn Naf said at the Paris Air Show. "The 'tsunami' hit the Middle East in February, with a drop in demand of -5% to -15%, depending on the market, and even more in other markets like India," he said. "We reacted quickly and adjusted capacity in April." Network changes include a strengthening of its Middle Eastern network and more careful capacity additions to certain long-haul destinations in the Asia/Pacific such as Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. "People in the Middle East still travel intensively for holiday so we shifted capacity to this seasonal market," he said. (GUL) will operate summer-season service from Bahrain to Alexandria (five-times-weekly launched June 22), Salalah (thrice-weekly from July 1) and Aleppo (twice-weekly from July 2).
Naf also confirmed that (GUL) will not change the delivery schedule of its Airbus (EDS) order, which includes 15 A320s for delivery beginning later this year through 2012, and 20 A330s with deliveries beginning in 2012. It also holds an order for 24 787s.
July 2009: Gulf Air (GUL) named former Royal Jordanian (RJA) President & (CEO), Samer Majali as its new (CEO), replacing Bjorn Naf.
Majali announced his unexpected resignation from (RJA), saying that, "after 30 years at the airline and eight years as (CEO), I decided it was time for me to move on."
(GUL) Chairman, Talal Al Zain said, "Moving forward, we have important plans for the future of Gulf Air (GUL) and we believe Samer is the right leader to take the airline forward as we move into the next phase of our strategy to rebuild the business."
(GUL) has seen several changes in top management in the past few years as the governments of Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Oman pulled out. James Hogan was appointed in May 2002 and left in September 2006 to take the reins at Etihad Airways (EHD). Andre Dose was (CEO) from April 2007 until that July and was succeeded by Naf.
August 2009: Gulf Air (GUL) will have to cut costs significantly to reduce its perennial losses, members of the Bahrain parliament said, adding that the state-owned airline is expected to post a 2009 loss of -$200 to -$300 million, "Reuters" reported. New (CEO), Samer Majali is expected to focus on closing unprofitable routes and enhancing the airline's Internet booking capabilities so the number of call-center agents can be reduced. The former Royal Jordanian (RJA) (CEO) is (GUL)'s fourth top executive since 2002.
(GUL) (CEO), Samer Majali said that (GUL)'s mandate to cut costs may include revisions to its airplane order book. "We do not yet know what size or shape (GUL) will take following this review; however, as a result it may be necessary for us to look at our fleet orders with our suppliers and to adjust them according to the airline's newly defined requirements," he said in a statement to "Dow Jones." (GUL) has 15 A320s scheduled for delivery between this year and 2012 and 20 A330-300s set to arrive beginning in 2012. In the spring, it expanded its 2008 order for 16 firm 787-8s to 24.
Majali told "Reuters" that (GUL) will "honor the terms of the contract[s]" with Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBS) but may negotiate adjustments. "In light of our new network, we will be engaging our manufacturers in discussions. Potentially, there will be discussions around [amending orders] if we come up with a fleet requirement that is vastly different than the current order books," he told the news service. He is leading a comprehensive review of the company's business that is expected to be complete before year end. He said (GUL) is "not sustainable" as it currently is constituted and that it must be restructured to operate profitably without government subsidies. He said solutions "may include developing existing alliances or building new alliance partnerships with other airlines," "Dow Jones" reported. He told "Reuters" that passenger numbers through July were down -7% year-over-year, with yield falling -15% to -20%.
(GUL) announced it will launch a five-times-weekly service from Bahrain to Baghdad September 1 and plans to add flights to Najaf and Irbil by the end of September.
September 2009: Gulf Air (GUL) launched its five-times-weekly, Bahrain - Baghdad service and said it plans to launch flights to both Najaf and Erbil on September 15. Routes to Basra and Solamnia will follow. It said it aims to be the "market leader" in Iraq. (GUL) suspended flights to Bangalore and Hyderabad earlier this year. (GUL) flies to Athens, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, and Paris in Europe, plus to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, and Shanghai in the Far East.
(GUL) signed a four-year, $70 million loan agreement with Bahrain Islamic Bank that will be used partly to finance eight A320s expected to be delivered in the 2009 fourth quarter and 2010 first quarter.
A320-214 (4030, A9C-AB), delivery.
October 2009: Gulf Air (GUL) took delivery of a new A320, the first of 10 it has on order. They are powered by (CFM56)s and fitted with 136 seats including 16 in business class (C). (GUL) will add all 10 A320s by the end of 2010.
A320-214 (4059, A9C-AC), delivery.
November 2009: Gulf Air (GUL) plans to add regional airplanes and more A320s while downsizing its wide body fleet, including selling its five A340s, as part of a three-year "realignment program" aimed at making the unprofitable carrier a "commercially sustainable business" by 2012. The new strategy will see (GUL) suspend up to 15 loss-making routes, including Shanghai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore, but expand its operations into more than >20 new destinations as it implements a network with a stronger regional focus. "For the first time, (GUL) will focus specifically on Bahrain, serving the kingdom with higher frequency, nonstop services to more destinations across three continents," (CEO), Samer Majali said. "We will also provide better services to some of the world's leading financial markets, helping to support Bahrain's significant financial services sector."
He noted that the new strategic plan will "necessitate a substantial increase" in (GUL)'s narrow body fleet beyond the 15 A320s ordered in May 2008, "whilst reducing our requirement for wide body airplanes." It has an order with Boeing (TBC) for 24 787s and with Airbus (EDS) for 20 A330s. "We are engaging our airplane manufacturing partners in order to align our current order book with our new strategy," Majali stated. "Meanwhile, we are exploring the possibility of selling five of our A340s and the disposal of certain other airplanes that have become surplus to requirements." (GUL) also is considering introduction of "regional jet airplanes as early as next year," he confirmed to reporters without revealing which type it is eyeing.
Chairman, Talal Al Zain, who is also (CEO) of Mumtalakat, the Bahraini sovereign-wealth fund that owns (GUL), acknowledged that currently (GUL) relies on "significant government support, spending far more than it earns. This is clearly unsustainable." He estimated that the restructuring plan, which will include an unspecified number of job cuts, will save the Bahrain government up to -BHD1 billion/$2.65 billion in direct support over the next five years. (GUL) is expected to post an operating loss of -BHD193 million this year.
Majali, formerly (CEO) of Royal Jordanian (RJA), became (GUL)'s fourth top executive since 2002 in August and immediately began a comprehensive review of the carrier's fleet and route structure. It currently operates 36 airplanes on a network spanning 43 destinations.
SEE ATTACHED "AIRLINE BUSINESS" ARTICLE - - "GUL-NEWS-2009-11-A/B."
A320-214 (4083, A9C-AD), delivery.
December 2009: A320-214 (4146, A9C-AE), delivery.
January 2010: Travelport reached a full-content distribution agreement with Gulf Air (GUL) covering Galileo- and Worldspan-connected travel agents worldwide.
(GUL) signed a preliminary lease agreement with Embraer (EMB) for two EMB-170ARs scheduled for delivery in early March. The airplane will be leased for three years, with an option for a further five, and will seat 7C in business class and 60Y in economy. (GUL) said it will initiate a "full analysis and evaluation of all the regional jets on the market including Embraer (EMB), Airbus (EDS) and Bombardier (BMB)" in order to select the "optimal" airplane to complement its new regional focus. (CEO), Samer Majali said (GUL) eventually intends to serve every Arab capital twice-daily. It launched Web check-in and advance seat selection on flights departing Bahrain, with rollout over the rest of the network in the coming weeks.
A320-214 (4158, A9C-AF), delivery.
February 2010: Gulf Air (GUL) was transferred from government investment vehicle Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding to the government, which will own it directly, according to a Mumtalakat statement cited by "Reuters." (GUL) expects to post a 2009 operating loss of -$510 million.
A320-214 (4188, A9C-AG), delivery.
March 2010: Flybe (BEE) reached a three-month agreement with Gulf Air (GUL) to provide assistance with integration of (GUL)'s two new EMB-170s. The deal covers flight deck and line engineering, training support and acceptance/delivery services.
TRAX USA said Gulf Air (GUL) has signed up for the e3 version of its TRAX Maintenance software.
Embraer delivered two EMB-170s (0278, A9C-MB - - SEE PHOTO - - "GUL-EMB-170 2010-03;" 0293, A9C-MA) to (GUL). The airplanes are on lease and will seat 7C in business class and 60Y in economy.
A320-214 (4218, A9C-AH), delivery.
April 2010: Gulf Air (GUL) promoted Jamal Hashim to Director Technical Quality Assurance (QA) and Ahmed Shareef Moosa to Director Maintenance.
June 2010: Gulf Air (GUL) launched four-times-weekly service between Bahrain and Medina aboard an EMB-170 in a two-class configuration. Also, three times a week from Bahrain to Aleppo in Syria.
A320-214 (4255, A9C-AI), delivery.
July 2010: Gulf Air (GUL) will resume Bahrain – Colombo service on October 27 with five-weekly frequencies on board an A320.
August 2010: Gulf Air (GUL) announced five new destinations as part of it winter schedule: a thrice-weekly service to Isfahan starting October 30, a thrice-weekly to Basra in Iraq and to Aden in Iran via Sana’a launching October 31, a five-times weekly to Colombo from October 31 and a five-times weekly to Addis Ababa from December 6.
October 2010: The Arabian Gulf’s Big Three are often criticized for alleged government support, but it’s Gulf Air (GUL) that now stands to get a direct injection of funds from Bahrain’s government — more than >$1 billion, in fact. According to "Reuters," (GUL) suffered a -$500 million loss last year. The governments of Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Oman once owned a stake in (GUL) but sold out to start their own national carriers.
(GUL) flew nearly 6 million passengers in 2009 and plans to break even in two to three years after making a loss of -$502 million in 2009.
(GUL) intends to focus on regional routes in the Middle East.
Two Embraer EMB-190 (0372, A9C-MC; 0373, A9C-MD), jets have been delivered this month to Gulf Air (GUL), under a newly ratified agreement with Jetscape, Inc, an airplane leasing company based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. This delivery comes just seven months after (GUL)'s first acceptance of two Embraer EMB-170 jets.
January 2011: Gulf Air (GUL) will launch Bahrain service to Milan Malpensa (four-times-weekly on March 27) and Geneva (thrice-weekly, on March 29). (GUL) added its fourth city in Iran, Isfahan, and now flies to 46 destinations overall. The Iranian cities Tehran, Mashad and Shiraz have long been part of the (GUL) network, catering to Bahrain’s majority Shia Muslim population. Iran, also a majority Shia nation, once controlled Bahrain, as did Portugal, for that matter, in the 1500s. Fast forward to 2011, and (GUL) sees Isfahan as a city that fits its new strategy of adding “niche and under-served” markets in a bid to compete with bigger rivals like Emirates (EAD) and Qatar (QTA). It’s operating the new service three times a week with EMB-170s.
SEE VIDEO OF WORLD TOP 15 AIRLINE CABIN ATTENDANTS - -
March 2011: Bahrain’s two carriers said (BAZ) & (GUL) have suspended flights to Lebanon, after a halt in services to Iran and Iraq, where Shiite communities have also slammed the kingdom’s handling of protests. Bahrain last week carried out a bloody crackdown on mainly Shiite activists demonstrating for democratic reforms in the tiny Shiite-majority, Sunni-ruled kingdom.
Iran condemned the March 16 intervention by troops from neighboring Gulf states in support of Manama, while Lebanon’s powerful Shiite movement Hezbollah has offered unspecified support for the Shiite-led Bahraini opposition. And thousands of protesters have turned out in Iraq in shows of support for Bahraini Shiites.
A Gulf Air (GUL) booking agent said that cancellations to Iran and Iraq were due to “operational reasons.” Another said: “What we know is that (GUL) cancelled the flights. We don’t know the reason.”
But another agent said: “Services have been cancelled by (the) Bahrain government for security reasons. You know the situation in Bahrain… We don’t have (any) idea” when they will resume.
National carrier (GUL)’s website says its operations are “suspended until and including 31 March, 2011; of flights to and from Tehran, Mashhad, Shiraz and Isfahan in Iran, and to Baghdad, Najaf, Arbil and Basra in Iraq.
(GUL) and budget airline Bahrain Air (BAZ) have both called off flights to Lebanon “until further notice,” the official "BNA news" agency said. An employee of (BAZ) said the airline does not have services to Iran or Iraq, while the company’s website said flights to Lebanon have been called off until at least March 30.
In addition to the cancellation of flights from Bahrain to Lebanon, the Gulf kingdom has advised its citizens not to travel to the fellow Arab state, a popular destination for wealthy Gulf Arabs.
“Due to threats and interference by terrorists,” the Bahraini foreign ministry said it “warns and advises its citizens not to travel to the Republic of Lebanon as they might face dangers threatening their safety.”
April 2011: Gulf Air (GUL) announced the launch of two new destinations from its hub in Bahrain (BAH), bringing to eight the number of new destinations in 2011. A four-times-weekly service to Copenhagen (CPH) will commence July 1 and four-times-weekly flights to Nairobi (NBO) will launch July 5. The (BAH) - (CPH) route will use a 737, operated by Privatair (PTS) in a two-class configuration with 16C seats in business class and 78Y in economy; the (BAH) - (NBO) service will use an A320, featuring 16C business class seats and 120Y in economy.
(GUL) will also increase the frequency of its recently launched service to Milan Malpensa from four to six flights per week from July 1, and increase capacity by upgrading the airplane from a 737 to a new A320.
Last month, (GUL) confirmed it completed the sale and leaseback of two A320-200s with Standard Chartered Bank. The airplanes were purchased from Airbus (EDS) and delivered to Gulf Air (GUL) recently. They are now on eight-year operating leases by Pembroke Group (PEB), a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Chartered Bank.
May 2011: Gulf Air (GUL), Bahrain’s loss-making national carrier, said it had laid off -200 employees and bookings were down a quarter following political and social unrest in Bahrain and the region.
“Due to the situation in the region as a whole, as well as the Kingdom of Bahrain, (GUL) witnessed a -25% drop in bookings in the first five months of 2011.”
(GUL) said 200 employees were laid off, adding that 100 of the laid-off employees have appealed the decision at an internal appeals committee and 11 were reinstated.
Bahrain saw the worst sectarian clashes between its Shi’ite majority population and the Sunni-ruled security forces since the 1990s, after Shi’ite protesters, inspired by uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, took to the streets in February. In a subsequent crackdown by the government, hundreds of mostly Shi’ite Muslim workers were fired.
(GUL) has struggled to find a niche after previous owners Abu Dhabi, Oman and Qatar gave up their stakes partly to establish their own carriers. (GUL) now focuses on regional routes in the Middle East to compete with airlines like Qatar Airways (QTA) and Emirates Airline (EAD) that serve global traffic, linking Asia and Europe.
June 2011: Gulf Air (GUL) promoted Karim Makhlouf to (CCO). He joined (GUL) in October 2010 as Director Commercial Planning.
August 2011: Gulf Air (GUL) will launch Bahrain service to Rome Fiumicino (four-times-weekly, on November 30), Entebbe (four-times-weekly, on December 5) and Juba (thrice-weekly, on February 7).
INCDT: Gulf Air (GUL) A320-214 (4059, /09 A9C-AG) skidded off the runway at Kochi International Airport, India early Monday morning, August 29.
(GUL) said in a statement that three passengers were injured. Two were treated for minor injuries in the terminal building; a third was taken to a hospital after suffering an injury during the evacuation. His condition was not critical, (GUL) said.
Flight GF270 was traveling from Bahrain to Kochi with 136 adult passengers, one infant and six crew (FC) - (CA) on board. It landed at Kochi about 1.45 am local time and skidded off the runway. The emergency chute was deployed and all passengers were evacuated and transferred to the airport terminal immediately by shuttle bus.
“Rainy weather conditions are suspected to be the cause of this incident, however the airplane was approved for landing and the cause will not be able to be confirmed until a full investigation has been completed. The airplane remained fully intact but suffered a nose gear collapse during the skid. The 18-month old airplane had a full and up-to-date service history,” (GUL) said.
SEE ATTACHED "FLIGHT INTERNATIONAL" REPORT - - "GUL-2011-08-INCDT."
2 A320-214 (4780, A9C-AL; 4827, A9C-AM), sold to (MCAP) and leased back.
September 2011: Gulf Air (GUL) will launch Bahrain service to Rome Fiumicino (4X weekly, on November 30), Entebbe (4X weekly, on December 5) and Juba (3X weekly, on February 7).
October 2011: A320-214 (4860, A9C-AO), ex-(F-WWDF), delivery.
November 2011: Gulf Air (GUL) will launch service from Bahrain to Gassim (3X-weekly, on January 17), Yanbu (3X-weekly, on February 15) and Taif (4X-weekly, on January 15).
(GUL) renewed its reservations system agreement with Sabre Airline Solutions, the aviation technology provider said. (GUL) inked a new multi-year contract for the SabreSonic Customer Sales and Service (CSS) suite of products. (GUL) CEO, Samer Majali said, "Our ultimate aim is to provide a seamless travel experience to our customers while achieving cost efficiency and better management of our internal passenger service systems."
Sabre described the SabreSonic (CSS) suite as "a wide-ranging passenger service solution that offers end-to-end, fully integrated customer service solutions — - from check-in facilities, reservations, ticketing, departure control and load planning."
Sabre President, Tom Klein noted, "Increasingly the customers we sign up for reservation services are outside the USA. Most of our growth in the (CSS) space is ex-USA."
(CEO), Sam Gilliland said that Sabre is rapidly expanding its global footprint, with the Middle East serving as a key growth market. "We need to go where our customers want us to go," he said. "We've expanded our business dramatically [in terms of worldwide reach over the last several years] from an airline technology perspective."
A320-214 (4865, A9C-BN), ex-(D-AUBP) delivery.
December 2011: Gulf Air (GUL) started Bahrain to Rome with A320s. It now flies to 10 European cities. It is marketing connections to the Gulf region, the Indian subcontinent and East Asia.
(GUL) is in discussions with Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) to change its wide body airplane orders to narrow bodies, and reschedule deliveries.
(CEO), Samer Majali confirmed (GUL) reduced its 787 order by eight airplanes earlier this year, which “lessened the company’s liabilities enormously. We expect to achieve further deferrals and changes to the wide body orders,” Majali said. Majali was appointed (CEO) in August 2009 to address (GUL)’s weak financial condition. His three-year restructuring plan includes finalizing wide body order changes and shifting (GUL)’s network strategy from long-haul routes to a more regionally focused network.
(GUL) embarked on a major fleet acquisition campaign in 2008 and signed contracts for 24 787s, 15 A320 family airplanes and 20 A330-300s. Four A330s have been exchanged for 10 A320s/A321s, but negotiations on further changes to the A330 order are taking longer than expected, Majali said. (GUL) hopes to have a more concrete announcement at the Bahrain International Airshow next month.
Majali did not go into detail on (GUL)’s plans to order 10 regional jets with either Bombardier (BMB) or Embraer (EMB). “We are looking for regional jets as part of new network strategy,” he said, without confirming or denying reports that (GUL)’s shareholder had awarded $328 million regional jet tender to Bombardier (BMB). (GUL) added two new Embraer EMB-170s and two EMB-190s last year.
Majali said (GUL) will not reach its financial targets for 2011 because of the impact of political and social unrest in the region, and specifically in Bahrain. He said passenger numbers dropped by -30% in the second quarter, because foreigners avoided Bahrain, and operations to Iran and Iraq were suspended by the government.
“We lost two of our three main markets. We were planning to expand with a further four destinations in 2012, but flights to both countries are still frozen,” he said. To compensate for the lost routes, (GUL) launched several new destinations, including Copenhagen, Rome, Geneva, and Nairobi. “Load factors are good but these new routes are not as lucrative as the frozen ones,” Majali said.
(GUL) expects to carry about 5 million passengers this year, on par with 2010, but “yield was down significantly,” he said.
For 2012, Majali expects increases in passengers and yield without sharp fuel price hikes.
“We have to be and are optimistic for next year. We will continue realigning Gulf Air (GUL) with the strategic interest of Bahrain and providing access to the country and the region,” he said.
(GUL) has launched "Falcon Cargo" its newly branded cargo carrier subsidiary, offering Falcon Express, mail, courier, diplomatic and general cargo, animal transportation, dangerous goods, high-value cargo as well as other shipments that require special handling - - SEE ATTACHED "AIRLINER WORLD" ARTICLE - - "GUL-2011-12-FALCON CARGO."
February 2012: Gulf Air (GUL), which is seeking government funds to continue operations, said the Omani government owes (GUL) as much as 117 million dinars/$310.3 million.
(GUL) said that it is in talks with the sultanate for the sum which has been due after Oman pulled out of the carrier in 2007. “There is a residual amount of 117 million dinars that remains outstanding from the Sultanate of Oman from the time it withdrew as a shareholder of the airline,” (GUL) said. “This continues to be a matter of discussion amongst concerned parties.”
Gulf Air (GUL) has struggled to find a niche after previous owners Oman, Qatar and Abu Dhabi gave up their stakes partly to establish their own carriers. (GUL) was hit by falling passenger numbers in 2011 as anti-government protesters continue to clash regularly with riot police in the island kingdom.
This month, (GUL) cancelled its service to Damascus, Athens, Milan, and Kuala Lumpur. This follows ending services to Entebbe and Geneva earlier in the month. A government delegation briefed parliament in January and called for a restructuring of the company for “effective operational requirements," state media reported.
(GUL) said in May it had laid off 200 employees and that bookings were down by a quarter following the Arab Spring uprisings in the region.
March 2012: Gulf Air (GUL) has taken delivery of its first of six new A321-200s. It had previously operated two used ex-Royal Jordanian (RJA) A321-200s between 2008 and summer 2011. It is planning to use the new type in its fleet for flights to Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport (BOM), Cairo International airport (CAI), Colombo Bandaranaike International airport (CMB), Kochi International airport (COK), Delhi Indira Gandhi International airport (DEL), Dubai International airport (DXB), Jeddah King Abdul Aziz airport (JED), Karachi Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah International airport (KHI), Lahore Allama Iqbal International airport (LHE), Peshawar airport (PEW) and Riyadh King Khalid airport (RUH) this summer.
May 2012: Gulf Air (GUL) launched a code share agreement with Safi Airways (SFI) on the 3X-weekly, Kabul - Manama route on April 23.
(GUL) is awaiting the result of deliberations in the upper house of Bahrain’s National Assembly after the lower house rejected a government proposal to recapitalize the beleaguered national carrier.
The proposed bailout of BD664 million/$1.75 billion came after several years of heavy losses for (GUL), which has gradually shrunk over the past two decades as former partners Abu Dhabi, Oman and Qatar pulled out of the airline to set up their own carriers.
(GUL) has expressed disappointment at lawmakers’ rejection of the government proposal but noted its referral to the upper house and said it “looked forward to a resolution that will actively address (GUL)’s current position and secure its long-term sustainability.”
(GUL) said it had been hit by “a series of unprecedented regional and economic factors,” notably rapidly rising fuel costs and the effects of the Arab Spring. The latter factor has not only resulted in considerable local unrest against Bahrain’s minority Sunni Moslem ruling family and upper classes by the Shia majority population but sharply reduced passenger numbers to and from nearby nations in 2011.
According to local press reports, a parliamentary committee was severely critical of the carrier’s management, calling for a new (CEO) with more than >20 years’ experience to replace (CEO), Samer Majali, who joined (GUL) from Royal Jordanian (RJA) in 2009 and has been fighting to cut losses and re-position (GUL) as a carrier with a greater regional bias.
The committee also called for the prosecution of airline officials for allegedly squandering public money.
It also called for an end to external interference in (GUL)’s affairs.
A (GUL) spokeswoman said it was uncertain when the upper house, the Shura Council, would deal with the matter.
Gulf Air (GUL) is facing an uncertain future after a bailout package including 1.76 billion USD of additional capital for (GUL has failed to pass the Bahraini parliament. (GUL) has lost a lot of passenger volume following the political unrest and instability in Bahrain and the government's decision to stop all flights to Iran and Iraq. (GUL) already was not profitable prior to these events and is struggling even more financially now.
Bahrain Air (BAZ) (CEO), Richard Nuttall has made statements that he could envisage a merger with state-owned carrier Gulf Air (GUL) as a potential option to turn the two loss making carriers around.
June 2012: Gulf Air (GUL) has operated its last A340-300 flight with airplane (554, A9C-LI) on May 11 and seems to now phased out all of its four A340-330 airplanes from commercial service. Its other three A340s had already been parked at Bahrain Muharraq International (BAH) for several months. Four of Gulf Air (GUL)'s oldest four A330-200s are also offered for sale or dry lease right now.
July 2012: Bahrain Air (BAZ) as well as Hainan Airlines (HNA) parent HNA Group have applied for licenses to operate domestic passenger services in Saudi-Arabia according to a report by "Reuters." Earlier, Gulf Air (GUL) and Qatar Airways (QTA) had already publicly declared their interest in entering the so far highly regulated Saudi-Arabian market.
Gulf Air (GUL) is among the bidders for a license to operate domestic flights in Saudi-Arabia. The civil aviation authority of the kingdom has received fourteen bids from existing airlines and start-ups wishing to receive licenses it will issue to some of these carriers to compete with Saudia (SVA) and nasair (NAZ) on domestic services.
(GUL) has returned its two EMB-170s (0278, A9C-MB; 0293, A9C-MA) to the lessors with the airplanes currently parked at Exeter International airport (EXT). They were mainly used from Bahrain to Abu Dhabi International (AUH), Larnaca (LCA) and Muscat Seeb International (MCT) airports, routes which are now served either by its remaining two EMB-190s or A320 family airplanes instead.
2 A320-214s (5171, A9C-AP; 5175, A9C-AQ), ex-(D-AXAP) & (F-WWDR), and A320-231 (5180, A9C-CC), ex-(D-AVZK), deliveries.
August 2012: Gulf Air (GUL) has posted what it describes as “significant improvements” in its first-half performance compared to the same period last year.
For the period ended June 30, (GUL) recorded a +6% increase in revenue and a +13% increase in passenger numbers year-over-year. (GUL) does not provide actual figures until its year-end full results are released.
(GUL) has struggled in recent years and was badly affected by the Arab Spring political uprisings, which severely cut passenger traffic on several regional sectors. This now seems to be on the rebound, with (GUL)’s Falcon Gold premium class recording a +35% growth year-over-year, while economy class was up +12%. Load factor rose +5% to 77% LF.
(CEO), Samer Majali said a combination of a rationalized route network, fleet optimization, improved sales and internal efficiencies resulted in the improved figures.
“This is by no means a small achievement considering factors such as the temporary suspension of eight profitable routes and high fuel prices that have had a negative impact on our traffic and revenue,” he said.
The Bahraini government instructed (GUL) to suspend flights to several nearby nations after their governments or religious leaders expressed support for the Shia-led demonstrations in Bahrain, (GUL)’s base.
“We are pushing forward with our cost-efficiency and sales efficiency measures in 2012 and are targeting a further -15% reduction in its cost base for the full year; we have already achieved a cost base savings of -BD6.8 million/-$18 million between January and May this year,” Majali added.
(GUL) will resume services to Iraq and Iran, some 17 months after it was ordered to suspend flights to the two countries over a political dispute.
Flights will resume progressively between September 20 and October 28, following government approval to restore the links. The resumptions are subject to final approvals by each country’s civil aviation authorities.
(GUL) will fly to the Iraqi cities of Baghdad, Basra, Erbil, and Najaf, while Iranian destinations will be Tehran, Isfahan, Mashhad, and Shiraz.
“We are glad to be resuming our operations to Iran and Iraq,” (GUL) (CEO), Samer Majali said. “I am sure this will be welcome news for thousands of Iranians and Iraqis living and working in Bahrain and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries [Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the (UAE)] as well as the business community for whom the direct flights will be a great advantage.”
October 2012: The Bahraini government has approved a BD185million/$494 million cash injection for flag carrier Gulf Air (GUL) — but the deal may include a radical restructuring.
A (GUL) spokeswoman said that no firm decisions have been reached on (GUL)’s future shape, which will depend on negotiations with parliament over the next few weeks.
Lawmakers have said the restructuring could include a cut in fleet and workforce by almost half, reducing its workforce from 3,800 to 1,800 and its fleet from 39 to 20 airplanes. (GUL)’s remaining fleet would focus almost exclusively on regional flights; it would retain two long-haul airplanes for services to London and Paris.
Major reductions in (GUL)’s size could result in cuts to or cancellations of its current orders for 20 A330-300s and 16 787s. (GUL) has been renegotiating these orders for some months, with an announcement expected shortly.
(GUL) has struggled in recent years due to spiking fuel prices and the Arab Spring political uprisings, which severely cut passenger traffic on several regional sectors.
King Hamad approved the cash infusion after both houses of the island nation’s national general assembly informally approved the action last week. In May, the national assembly’s upper house rejected a much larger BD664 bailout package.
(GUL) said it welcomed the king’s decision, which would allow it to recapitalize “in order to actively address (GUL)’s current position and secure its long-term sustainability.”
The funding will be used to “fulfil (GUL)’s current debt obligations and meet its future restructuring costs. Working together with the government of Bahrain and its shareholder, the Mumtalakat Holding Company, to review its existing fleet and network, Gulf Air (GUL) will implement an accelerated strategy and aggressive restructuring program to achieve more dramatic cost and liability reductions,” it said.
(GUL) is set to expand its existing code share partnership with Cyprus Airways (CYP). The two carriers have code shared on Bahrain - Larnaca flights since 1994. Under the new arrangement, links to/from Greece will improve, as (GUL) puts its code on (CYP) flights from Larnaca to Athens and Thessaloniki. Similarly, travelers from the latter two cities will be able to connect to more than >48 (GUL) destinations via Larnaca.
“Until today, Larnaca remains a strategic route and key market for us connecting Cyprus with Bahrain, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia,” (GUL) (CCO), Karim Makhlouf said.
November 2012: Gulf Air (GUL) has renegotiated its 2008 orders covering 20 A330s and 24 787s, agreeing instead to take up to 24 A320s and a maximum of 16 787s.
The Bahraini government recently approved a BD185million/$494 million cash injection for (GUL). At the time, it was suggested the deal could be conditional on a radical restructuring. “Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) have understood our challenges and I am delighted that we have arrived at mutually agreeable solutions in-line with the government directive to put (GUL) firmly on a path toward sustainability,” (GUL) (CEO), Samer Majali said.
The original airplane deal represented a financial liability of $5 billion; however, the new agreement cuts this financial liability by more than -50%. (GUL) has struggled in recent years due to spiking fuel prices and the Arab Spring political uprisings, which severely cut passenger traffic on several regional sectors.
A (GUL) spokeswoman said the revised Airbus (EDS) deal has “various stages,” but ultimately permits the Bahraini carrier to convert its order for 20 A330s to eight A320ceos and up to 16 A320neos. The A320ceo deliveries will be completed by year end. (GUL) does not give an exact timeline for the A320neos; however, it said they will be used for fleet renewal and expansion “in the latter part of the decade.”
Following the negotiations, Airbus (EDS) has re-logged the deal as six A330s, 10 A320ceos and 10 A320neos on its order book.
The revised Boeing (TBC) deal slashes (GUL)’s 787 commitment down to 12 - 16 airplanes “depending on Gulf Air (GUL)’s strategic requirements.” The 787s are scheduled for delivery toward the end of the decade and will replace (GUL)’s current widebody fleet.
(GUL) originally inked the airplane deals in 2008, but in 2009 it stepped back from the fray with Emirates (EAD) and Qatar (QTA) to become more regionally focused.
Later in the month, it was announced that Samer Majali is to step down as (CEO) of Gulf Air (GUL) at the end of 2012 after three years with (GUL). “The board of directors of (GUL) announced that it has accepted the resignation of the (CEO), Samer Majali, submitted earlier this year following the appointment of the Gulf Air board of directors in mid-November,” (GUL) said.
Majali, who joined (GUL) in 2009, has been heading an ambitious restructuring. (GUL) has struggled in recent years due to spiking fuel prices and the Arab Spring political uprisings, which severely cut passenger traffic on several regional sectors. He also recently renegotiated (GUL)’s 2008 airplane orders covering 20 A330s and 24 787s, agreeing instead to take up to 24 A320s and a maximum of 16 787s.
(GUL) operates 38 airplanes and connects 46 cities in 28 countries.
December 2012: Gulf Air (GUL) launched two routes from its Bahrain (BAH) hub. On 30 November, (GUL) began serving the Italian capital airport Rome Fiumicino (FCO). Rome thereby becomes (GUL)’s second Italian destination after Milan Malpensa, which (GUL) began serving at the beginning of the summer season earlier this year. Flights on the new route are operated four times weekly (on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; departing Bahrain at 02:00 am) with 16C, 120Y-seat A320s. (GUL) previously operated the route between 1996 and 2001. (GUL)’s (CEO), Samer Majali commented: “Expanding into Europe is part of the strategy we rolled out last year. Launching Rome will offer our customers the best network of destinations through the fastest hub in the region and the most competitive fares in the market now. We’ve received positive feedback on Milan from our customers, and we trust that Rome will see the same success, and that our passengers will get to enjoy everything this great city has to offer.” On 5 December, (GUL) also expanded its African network, launching four weekly flights to Entebbe (EBB) in Uganda. The route will be operated with 16C, 108Y-seat A319 equipment. This is (GUL)’s third African route launched this year after Addis Ababa and Nairobi.
Gulf Air (GUL) will use network services from (SITA) to optimize its operations across its 48 destinations. The agreement, announced in the Bahraini capital Manama, includes provision of all private network, Internet, voice, messaging and reporting services, with (SITA) providing connectivity for the airline’s offices at airports in more than >20 countries. Tools will range from private Multiprotocol Label Switching-based links to public Internet connections and will include connectivity to Gulf Air (GUL)’s air transport industry partners.
(GUL) anticipates the deal will bring it cost savings of up to 22% in (IP)-related services at airports it serves.
(GUL) (CEO) Samer Majali, speaking just hours before news of his resignation was released, said: “(GUL) recognizes the importance of technology as a key element of its business and has been proactively upgrading its technical capabilities to serve its customers faster, easier and more efficiently. The new technology optimization not only improves efficiencies across our business but also saves our communications costs significantly.”
As another (GUL) (CEO) has come and gone, the Bahraini government again picks up the task of plotting a new path for the formerly multi-national airline.
(GUL)’s board announced on 29 November 2012 that it had accepted the resignation of widely resepected airline executive, Mr Samer Majali ( which he submitted earlier this year) following the appointment of a new Gulf Air board in mid-November 2012. Mr Majali will remain in his position until the end of 2012.
And so the troubled and politically muddled airline stumbles onwards with continuing political meddling and no clear direction for its future. With Mr Majali's departure, the prospects for Gulf Air (GUL)'s recovery become even more slender.
In a parallel development, the Bahrain Parliament has also voted to replace (GUL)’s entire board as well as wiping out two external consultancy contracts. A new board has been announced, led by the deputy Premier and consisting of a mix of Bahraini parliamentarians, advisors to Bahrain’s royal court and representatives from the Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, which has ownership of (GUL).
January 2013: Gulf Air ((IATA) Code: GF, based at Bahrain Muharraq International airport (BAH)) (GUL) and Qatar Airways (QTA) have been selected by the General Authority for Civil Aviation of Saudi-Arabia as the two recipients of air carrier licenses that the kingdom had offered to international carriers through a tender. The two carriers will be able to launch both domestic and international services from Saudi-Arabia as of 2013. (GUL) and (QTA) have been selected from a total of 14 bidders.
Gulf Air (GUL) will launch a major cost-cutting plan and focus increasingly on regional services. (GUL) said it intends to strengthen its Middle East and North African (MENA) services, target -24% in cost savings by year end and simplify its fleet structure.
The restructuring was foreshadowed by October’s announcement of a BD185 million/$494 million government cash injection in (GUL). Lawmakers also talked of halving the current 3,800 workforce and reducing its fleet from 39 to 20 airplanes. In November, Gulf Air (GUL) reduced its outstanding orders with Airbus (EDS) and Boeing TBC), and (CEO), Samer Majali resigned.
Few details of the restructuring plan were given in this recent announcement. However, (GUL) said the network’s realignment would result in it “moving away from low-yield transit traffic and concentrating on high-demand and high-yield, point-to-point routes to connect Bahraini businesses with regional markets.” It would aim to have the largest network within the (MENA) region.
This strengthening of its core network would be accompanied by fleet optimization and streamlining of its organizational structure. The fleet would retain both twin- and single-aisle equipment. “Gulf Air (GUL)’s workforce requirement will be aligned to meet the operational, maintenance and administrative needs of the revised fleet and network. Right-sizing will be implemented across all levels of the organization and will be done on a performance-based review and individual job assessment against business-critical requirements. Priority will be on retaining the most productive employees with focus on maintaining key talent.”
Gulf Air (GUL) has already announced the suspension of its routes to Colombo Bandaranaike International (CMB), Copenhagen Kastrup (CPH), Dhaka Hazrat Shahjalal International (DAC) and Kathmandu Tribhuvan International (KTM). Earlier this and last month, it has already dropped Aden International (ADE), Erbil International (EBL), Kabul Khwaja Rawash International (KBL) and Rome Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci International (FCO) from its network.
(GUL) has not taken delivery of its last two of six A321-200s it had on order with both airplanes (5321 and 5336) being ferried by Airbus Industrie (EDS) from Hamburg Finkenwerder (XFW) to Lourdes/Tarbes Pyrénées (LDE) for storage. Both airplanes had first flown in November but (GUL) has recently announced major fleet and network cuts and apparently does not currently plan to take delivery of the two airplanes.
(GUL)'s current fleet consists of two A319-100s, 16 A320-200s, four A321-200s and ten A330-200s with its two EMB-190s having already been retired from the fleet earlier this month and due for return to the lessor.
February 2013: Gulf Air (GUL) said it is seeing the first results of its major restructuring program to restore profitability. The cost-cutting plan, which was announced in December 2012, is targeting a -24% in cost savings by year end. (GUL) said it is on track to realize that goal, despite a difficult operating environment.
(GUL) said last month it reduced losses -34% compared to the year-ago month, through measures such as the closure of loss-making routes, plus an aggressive efficiency drive.
Personnel reductions are also ongoing through a variety of measures, including non-renewal of contracts, voluntary retirement and outstation restructuring. (GUL) said it has achieved a -15% reduction in headcount. It said in January it wanted to reduce its workforce, which last year was 3,800, by one-third.
One factor in (GUL)’s favor is the disappearance of its local competitor Bahrain Air (BAZ), which filed for voluntary liquidation earlier this month.
(GUL) is focusing increasingly on its Middle East and North Africa operations, while cutting back on long-haul services, in a network realignment to be completed by the end of March.
It plans to target high-demand and high-yield point-to-point routes to connect Bahraini businesses with regional markets, rather than low-yield transit traffic through its Muharraq hub.
Fleet changes to reflect the new route network are due to be completed by April. The 26-strong fleet (down from 38 in the fall of 2012) will be composed entirely of Airbus (EDS) airplanes. Two leased Embraer EMB-190 regional jets have been returned.
April 2013: Gulf Air (GUL) posted what it described as a “solid” fiscal and operational first-quarter performance, as it embarked on a major restructuring plan to cut heavy losses.
(GUL) said it reduced overall losses by roughly -50% compared to the same period last year and that revenues were +11% better than forecast.
The reduction in losses was “realized principally through a -21% fall in year-on-year expenditure driven by reductions in airplane leasing fees, flight-related charges and staff expenses.” Passenger yield was up +21% compared to the year-ago quarter, which (GUL) attributed to a combination of increased focus on high-demand point-to-point routes rather than transit traffic through its Manama base, stronger traffic demand in the region, and what it described as “significantly higher” domestic sales.
Its freight arm, Gulf Air Falcon Cargo, reported revenue up +3% against its first-quarter plan.
(GUL) is focusing increasingly on becoming a regional player, with a limited number of long-haul services to Europe and the Far East. It is in negotiations with several national civil aviation authorities to increase frequencies to regional destinations.
(GUL) is also undertaking a retrofit of four A330s used primarily on the London and Bangkok sectors to introduce fully flatbed seats in business (C) class, revamp the economy (Y) cabin and upgrade the in-flight entertainment (IFE) system. This program is expected to be completed before the end of summer 2014.
(GUL) has closed several loss-making routes. As a result of network shrinkage, it has reduced its fleet from 38 airplanes to 26 and has been “in exhaustive negotiations with its lessors to return surplus airplanes.” A substantial reduction in headcount is also ongoing.
Gulf Air (GUL) said its first-quarter results were achieved in spite of jet fuel costs staying at above >$130 a barrel, ongoing concerns in Europe over sovereign debt and growing regional competition. It forecast that the rest of the year would continue to be challenging.
June 2013: Bombardier (BMB) has confirmed that Gulf Air (GUL) is the customer for 10 CSeries CS100s, with six options. The firm order was announced at the Paris Air Show in June 2011. (BMB) and (GUL) confirmed they are working together to ensure the CSeries airplane meets the goals of the airline’s ongoing restructuring, in line with its mandate to achieve long-term sustainability.
(GUL) earlier this year embarked on a major restructuring plan to cut heavy losses. "Over the past four years, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft (BMB) has tripled its airplane representation in the Middle East and Africa, and altogether, more than >200 Q-Series turboprops, CRJ Series regional jets and CSeries airplanes are in service with, or have been ordered by, operators in the Middle East and Africa,” Bombardier Commercial Aircraft President, Mike Arcamone said.
July 2013: Gulf Air (GUL) increases it 2X-daily, Bahrain - Jeddah service to 3X-daily beginning July 9.
August 2013: Gulf Air (GUL) has denied ever bidding for or being awarded any domestic traffic rights to operate in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (GUL) said its involvement in Saudi Arabia is in a purely "consultative capacity" to the Al Qahtani Group, a consortium of privately-owned Saudi companies. Accordingly, Gulf Air (GUL)’s name and brand remain independent of the venture. (GUL) went on to say that the initial contract signed last year to support the Al Qahtani Group’s bid for national traffic rights in Saudi Arabia has now concluded after the consortium was awarded one of the two licenses. A second consulting agreement between Gulf Air (GUL) and the Al Qahtani Group is currently being negotiated in which (GUL) will support the Al Qahtani Group in obtaining its Saudi Arabian Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC). It is to be recalled that in December 2012, Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) did announce that both Gulf Air (GUL) and Qatar Airways (QTA) had been granted licenses to operate domestic Saudi Arabian services. However, at this point in time, it is still not clear as to why Gulf Air (GUL) has waited more than eight months to clarify the matter.
September 2013: Gulf Air (GUL) has appointed Rashid Al Gaoud as its new Country Manager for the UK. Al Gaoud will be based in London and responsible for driving the commercial performance of Gulf Air (GUL) in the UK and building on existing strong relationships with (GUL)’s general sales agent (GSA) Aviareps.
October 2013: Gulf Air (GUL) has announced the next step in its restructuring process into a regionally focused carrier, with a major expansion of its services to Pakistan. From December 16, (GUL) will increase its weekly flights to Pakistan from 14 to 21 in the face of growing demand.
Gulf Air (GUL) will be the first mainline carrier to use the new Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central (DWC) when it opens for passenger services in October. Cargo and (GA) services have been using the new airport for some time, but its passenger terminal is only due to open October 27.
(GUL) will start services there December 8 following the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the new airport’s authorities. The airline operates 51 flights a week into the existing Dubai International Airport, but has decided to institute a daily evening service between the new facility and its hub at Muharraq. “We’re doing it because we believe it’s a viable alternative,” a Gulf Air (GUL) spokeswoman said. The new airport is close to several of Dubai’s new residential, business and leisure districts. Its location will remove the need for passengers to transit Dubai city, where traffic jams can be extensive.
(GUL)’s acting (CEO), Maher Salman Al Musallam said, “We are delighted to be the first full service carrier operating to Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central.” The evening flight to Bahrain will be timed to connect with (GUL)’s long-haul flights, particularly to Europe.
Gulf Air (GUL) will be operating a new two-class A320ER on its service to (DWC). However, it said the prospect of moving other services from Dubai International to the new airport “is not something we’re looking at.”
November 2013: Gulf Air (GUL) said that it remains on track to achieve its restructuring goals as it turned in its third quarter results. (GUL), Bahrain’s national carrier, which has undergone a major reshaping in the face of heavy losses, said that it had benefited from a strong performance over the July to September 2013 period. Together with capacity management and cost efficiencies, this gave operating results for the quarter that are +24% better than targeted under its restructuring plan.
This figure represents an acceleration of (GUL)’s financial recovery process; Gulf Air (GUL) reported earlier that its first half figures were +15% ahead of target.
Taking the year to date, losses had been cut “by over >50%”, but a spokeswoman said she was unable to go into more detail. As a state-owned entity, (GUL) is not legally obliged to release actual figures for its quarterly results.
“Gulf Air (GUL)’s restructuring continues to gain momentum,” Chairman, Sheikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa said in a statement. “(GUL) is now in a much stronger position than it was a year ago and remains on-track towards achieving the financial and operational goals of the restructuring strategy.”
Gulf Air (GUL) has moved away from transit traffic to higher-yield point-to-point routes and is now focusing on strengthening these. In the third quarter it announced increases in services to Dubai, Kuwait, and four Pakistan destinations.
Following the conclusion of negotiations to return surplus airplanes, (GUL) now operates an all-Airbus (EDS) fleet: 11 A320-200s, five A320ERs, four A321ERs and six A330-200s.
(GUL) said it had reduced its expenses year-on-year “by close to -30% with savings being realized predominantly through operational and maintenance costs as well as a reduction in manpower, in-line with the requirements of the revised fleet and network.” So far this year, it has cut its headcount by -27%. The savings announced are ahead of plans announced in January, when (GUL) said it was aiming for a -24% reduction in costs by year-end.
The Chairman of (GUL)’s executive restructuring committee, Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, commented: “Gulf Air (GUL) has successfully delivered against its restructuring goals for a third successive quarter. Our national carrier’s financial trajectory has improved dramatically.”
Despite this improvement, however, (GUL) is still loss-making. The spokeswoman said that planning was underway for further improvements in 2014: “Basically more cost-efficiencies and ensuring the fleet is utilized as well as possible.” No further redundancies were currently planned, she added.
(GUL) has increased its Bahrain - Pakistan service by one month to November 15 and increased flights from the original plan of 14x- to 21x-weekly, including Karachi (from 7x- to 10x-weekly), Islamabad (from 2x- to 3x-weekly), Lahore (3x- to 4x-) and Pashawar (from 2x- to 4x-).
(GUL) will resume flights to the Indian city of Thiruvananthapuram on December 15th. (GUL) will operate a five-times-weekly service to Thiruvananthapuram, which is Kerala's state capital.
Maher Salman Al Musallam, (GUL)'s acting (CEO), says the decision to resume services follows (GUL)’s "transition from a period of restructuring to one of development."
Thiruvananthapuram is (GUL)’s fifth Indian destination, joining Chennai, Kochi, Mumbai, and New Delhi.
Gulf Air (GUL) will recommence flights to Mashhad, Iran, with 4x-weekly service beginning December 17.
December 2013: Gulf Air (GUL) launched a new service from its Bahrain (BAH) hub to Dubai Al Maktoum (DWC) on December 8th. The flag carrier of Bahrain now serves a total of three airports in the (UAE), the two others being Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The 480 km city pair will be operated daily, utilizing (GUL)’s 136-seat A320s. No other airline operates this airport-pair, but Emirates (EAD) (thrice-daily) and flydubai (FDB) (24 times weekly) provide indirect competition by flying between Bahrain and Dubai (DXB).
The new daily service makes Gulf Air (GUL) the first full-service passenger airline to introduce regular operations at Dubai’s new international airport (DWC). Passenger flights were launched at the airport in October when Hungarian low-cost carrier (LCC) Wizz Air (WZZ) introduced four-times weekly flights from Budapest. The daily (DWC) service operates in parallel with (GUL)’s 51 flights per week between Bahrain and Dubai International (DXB).
Gulf Air (GUL) is plotting new route growth again after a period of network consolidation, launching its fifth Indian destination (after Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi, and Chennai) on December 15th, to Thiruvananthapuram (TRV), from its home-hub of Bahrain (BAH). The five times weekly, 3,404 km sector will be operated by (GUL)’s 16C, 120Y-seat A320s, and will be flown uncontested.
January 2014: Gulf Air (GUL) began its fifth connection to Pakistan, following the inaugural flight between its hub in Bahrain (BAH) and Sialkot (SKT) on January 17th. The twice-weekly services (Tuesdays and Fridays) will complement (GUL)’s existing Pakistani network which boasts routes to Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, and Peshawar. (GUL)’s A320 family of airplanes will ply the 2,412 km sector and will face no direct competition.
Bahrain has had more than its fair share to deal with over the last few years (the riots in 2011 which damaged traveller confidence, the voluntary bankruptcy of its second biggest airline Bahrain Air (BAZ) in February 2013 and the on-going network restructuring of the country’s home-based carrier, Gulf Air (GUL)). The impacts of these recent events are illustrated in the country’s passenger traffic over the last 10 years, all of which flows through Bahrain International Airport.
A clear growth trajectory was evident between 2004 and 2009, with average annual increases of +12% recorded in that period, driven in part by the start-up of Bahrain Air (BAZ) in February 2008. However, when the airline switched business models in early 2010 from low cost carrier (LCC) to full service, perhaps the long-term future of the carrier was already in question. Looking at the 2010 passenger figures, the lower loads typically carried by a full service airline, when compared to those achieved by an (LCC), may well have contributed to the marginal traffic decline in that year.
As Bahrain Air (BAZ) was still operational 12 months ago, this year’s total weekly seat figures are still coming to terms with that capacity loss, indicating a -8.4% decline when compared to last January. The top 12 country markets from Bahrain represent over >90% of total traffic into and out of the country, a sharp rise from 85% a year ago, despite the fact that the top eight market positions have remained unchanged in that time. The Middle East region dominates, with 75% of the top 12 country markets - - SEE ATTACHED - - "GUL-2014-01 - TOP 12 BAHRAIN MARKETS."
The country market indicating the biggest growth over the past 12 months is Iraq, with a more than >50% increase in weekly seats. Last January, Gulf Air (GUL) flew 12 weekly services, split between Baghdad (five) and Al Najaf (daily). However, since then, Iraqi Airways (IRQ) has added four weekly flights to Baghdad and a thrice-weekly service to Al Najaf (although Gulf Air (GUL) has trimmed back its services to the former to thrice-weekly. India has seen the most significant reductions in the past year, losing over 3,500 or 27% of its weekly seats (due predominantly to the loss of 21 weekly services previously operated by Bahrain Air (BAZ).
The top 12 airlines operating in Bahrain represent 92% of total traffic into and out of the country, a modest decline from 93% last year. Again, the Middle East commands the Bahrain market, with seven out of the top 12 airline spots. An indication that the worst is over in terms of Gulf Air (GUL)’s network rationalization is shown in the last 12 months of weekly seat data by airline, which identifies that the Bahrain-based airline has actually grown its seats by just over >1%. This comes despite the fact that its net destinations served from Bahrain is -1, having culled services to Colombo, Copenhagen, Dhaka, Rome Fiumicino, and Kathmandu, but added Dubai Al Maktoum, Mashad, Sialkot, and Thiruvananthapuram since last January. The title for most significant annual growth goes to (KLM) however, which has grown by +40% year-on-year, increasing its operations into Bahrain from 10 weekly A330 flights to double-daily. SEE ATTACHED - - "GUL-2014-01 - BAHRAIN TOP 12 AIRLINES."
Bahrain Air (BAZ), which operated nearly 14,000 weekly seats last January, is the obvious worst offender when it comes to annual capacity reductions. When the airline ceased operations, it was flying to 15 destinations in India (Kochi, Kozhikode, Mumbai, and Thiruvananthapuram), Saudi Arabia (Dammam, Jeddah, and Riyadh), Jordan (Amman), Lebanon (Beirut), Bangladesh (Dhaka), Qatar (Doha), (UAE) (Dubai), Sudan (Khartoum), Nepal (Kathmandu), and Kuwait (Kuwait City). Possibly in reaction to Bahrain Air (BAZ)’s demise, all of the Middle East Big 3 (MEB3) have been piling extra seats into Bahrain over the last 12 months (with Qatar Airways (QTA) leading the capacity charge (+17%), followed by Etihad Airways (EHD) (+13%) and then Emirates (EAD) (+10%). Etihad (EAD)’s growth and flydubai (FDB)’s marginal decrease in capacity (-2.3%) has seen the Abu Dhabi-based carrier leapfrog the Dubai-based (LCC) into #4 spot. Aside from flydubai (FDB)’s capacity reduction, British Airways (BAB) is the only other airline in the top 12 reducing its weekly seats, down nearly -20% year-on-year, but despite this climbs one place up the top 12 to sixth, again courtesy of the loss of Bahrain Air (BAH).
Gulf Air (GUL) has signed JorAMCo to a new three-year agreement to provide heavy maintenance and "C" check fleet requirements.
(GUL), The Kingdom of Bahrain's national carrier selected the regional Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) facility based in Jordan because of its close proximity to Bahrain, said Mahar Salman Al Musallam, (CEO) of Gulf Air (GUL). JorAMCo's location allows Gulf Air to organize maintenance for its airplanes without leaving the region, leading to decreased turnaround times and reducing operational costs.
JorAMCo will provide maintenance checks for (GUL)'s fleet of A330s and A320 family airplanes.
“Gulf Air (GUL)’s entire Engineering requirement is now based in Bahrain and the Middle East, yielding innumerable benefits for the airline, which directly has improved efficiency and passenger experience. Greater airplane technical dispatch reliability and higher airplane availability allow us to operate more frequencies and improve our on-time performance," said Jamal Hashim, (GUL)'s Chief Technical Officer.
Gulf Air (GUL) has signed contracts totaling approximately US$20 million appointing Avianor, Zodiac Aerospace and BEAerospace as partners for retrofit of its A330 fleet. (GUL)'s planned A330 retrofit is scheduled to be completed in the last quarter of 2014, as part of the on-going proactive re-fleeting and product enhancement strategy.
A complete transformation of the A330 seat configuration will see the introduction of fully-flat bed seats in the Falcon Gold Class, revamped seats in Economy (Y) Class and introduction of a new in-flight entertainment (IFE) system.
(GUL)'s acting (CEO), Maher Salman Al Musallam said: "For the first time, we have integrated passenger comments and feedback during the development stage of the seats' design. Customers travelling on these airplanes, in both classes, will now have a more enjoyable experience."
Avianor has been appointed to act as "turn-key provider" managing the program with responsibility for the Engineering, Certification and Installation of this extensive upgrade.
Gulf Air (GUL) will extend Rolls-Royce (RRC) TotalCare service for (Trent 700)s on six Airbus A330s. Globally, more than >90% of Trent engines in service and on order are covered by TotalCare.
February 2014: Gulf Air (GUL) has canceled orders for two Airbus A319ceo airplanes. (GUL) has been reshaping its fleet with greater emphasis on regional, rather than long-haul, operations and has ordered Airbus A320 family airplanes in both the current A320ceo and forthcoming A320neo configurations.
(GUL) slimmed down its order book in November 2012 as it embarked on a major restructuring.
Immediately prior to last month’s Bahrain International Air Show, the island state’s Transportation Minister, Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed said (GUL) was in talks with all its airplane suppliers (it also has the Boeing 787 and Bombardier CSeries on order) and that numbers of airplanes on order could change.
(GUL) has been heavily in the red, but is anticipated to announce it has more than halved its losses when it publishes its annual accounts next month. It also anticipates a further, albeit considerably smaller, reduction in its deficit in 2014.
March 2014: Gulf Air (GUL) has continued the re-building of its network from Bahrain (BAH), with the re-launch of flights to Tehran (IKA), following a 17-month break in operations. The 1,014 km route will be flown by (GUL)’s A320s four times weekly. Starting March 3rd, it faces no direct competition on the service.
April 2014: Gulf Air (GUL) plans to restart services from its Manama base to Athens from June 16, following an improvement in Greece’s economy. (GUL) will reinstate a 4x-weekly service; it cut the Greek capital from its network in March 2012, at the height of its cash crisis, when it began to shed a series of unprofitable destinations.
Acting (CEO) Maher Salman Al Musallam said: “We are seeing unique business and tourism opportunities in Greece alongside positive signs of the country’s economic recovery.” He said Athens was popular with Bahrainis and other Gulf Arabs as both a business and leisure destination.
Gulf Air (GUL)’s services will be operated by an Airbus A320ER in a two-class configuration with 14C business class and 96Y economy seats. The business-class (C) cabin has full lie-flat seats. (GUL) also operates the type on its Manama - Paris route.
Gulf Air (GUL) resumes 4x-weekly, Bahrain - Athens Airbus A320ER service on June 16.
Zodiac Aerospace was selected to provide economy (Y) class seats and the passenger-centric in-flight entertainment system for Gulf Air (GUL)’s refurbishment of its Airbus A330s. (GUL) selected Zodiac’s (RAVE) Centric embedded Audio-Video on Demand system.
May 2014: Gulf Air (GUL) said it exceeded its target for cutting heavy losses in 2013, with a -52% deficit reduction compared to 2012.
(GUL) added that its restructuring strategy, launched in December 2012, caused it to overshoot its restructuring target by BD14.5 million/$38.4 million in 2013.
As a state-owned organization, (GUL) is not obliged to publicly issue actual figures and it issues few details of revenues or passenger numbers. It has, however, been loss making for several years, and in October 2012 received a $494 million bailout from the Bahraini government.
The restructuring plan has seen (GUL) drastically slim its fleet and workforce as it realigns itself as a primarily regional carrier. It has reduced staffing -27%.
Commenting on the results, Deputy Prime Minister and Gulf Air (GUL) Chairman Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa said the restructuring has “delivered (GUL)’s strongest financial results in eight years. Within one year and against the backdrop of a challenging operational environment (characterized by high fuel costs, excess capacity and economic uncertainty) this is a significant achievement,” he said.
The main reason for the drop in (GUL)’s losses was a -28% year-on-year cost reduction. A variety of measures contributed to this, including reductions in airplane lease fees; retirement of airplanes; closure of eight loss-making routes, and the launch of five new destinations; and the renegotiation of >2,000 contracts with existing suppliers. (GUL) is targeting a further reduction of losses of around -10% in 2014.
Passenger yield was +14% higher in 2013 than in 2012, reflecting the realignment of (GUL)’s network to focus on more profitable Middle East and North Africa (MENA) routes.
Transport Minister & Restructuring Committee Chairman, Kamal Bin Ahmed added: “Gulf Air (GUL) now has a clear vision of its future cost structure and is well positioned to not only address the coming challenges, but nurture the national carrier’s long-term future growth. Public support for (GUL) has been increasing, sales are rising and confidence in the airline is building.”
Gulf Air (GUL)’s economics were significantly improved by the retirement of 14 airplanes in 2013, leaving an all-Airbus fleet of 26 airplanes with an average age of 5.7 years.
(GUL) also began the retrofit of its A330 fleet (used primarily on the London and Bangkok sectors) introducing fully flat-bed seats in its business (C) class, revamping its economy (Y) class cabin and upgrading the airplane’S in-flight entertainment system.
Ahmed Janahani Chief Commercial Office (CCO) said several new destinations are being studied across (MENA), Eastern Europe and Asia. (GUL) is also considering potential code share opportunities “and is open to joining an alliance that will provide additional global connectivity to the Kingdom of Bahrain.”
June 2014: Connections between Greece and the Gulf have increased noticeably after 2 carriers, Gulf Air (GUL) and Aegean Airlines (CRM)) have launched services between the region and Athens.
Gulf Air (GUL) restarted services between Bahrain and the Greek capital, after suspending them in March 2012 as the Bahraini carrier sought to curtail heavy losses by cutting under-performing routes. It announced earlier this year it would return to the Greek capital as the European nation’s economy began to recover from a severe economic depression. (GUL) linked Athens (ATH) to Bahrain (BAH) on June 16th, with the new route becoming the third launched so far in 2014, following Sialkot and Tehran earlier in the year, as the Greek capital becomes (GUL)’s sixth European destination (joining Paris CDG, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Larnaca, and London Heathrow. The route will encounter no direct competition.
(GUL) will operate 4x-weekly flights to Athens with an A320ER in a 2-class configuration. Unusual for a single-aisle airplane, Gulf Air (GUL) has installed 14C lie-flat seats in the business (C) class cabin. The A320 also carries up to 96Y economy passengers.
(GUL)’s return to Athens comes just days after Greece’s Aegean Airlines (CRM) inaugurated an Abu Dhabi route. (CRM) will also have 4x-weekly round trips, using a 2-class, 168-seat A320.
July 2014: Gulf Air (GUL) offers summer 6x weekly, Bahrain - Istanbul and daily, Bahrain - Larnaca Airbus A320ER service. (GUL) will increase Manama - Cairo service from 10x-weekly to 12x-weekly on July 23.
Gulf Air (GUL has received the first of its retrofitted Airbus A330-200s, part of a plan to revitalize the airline in the face of stiff regional competition. “This is an important milestone for Gulf Air (GUL) as we continue to reshape our new strategic direction,” acting (CEO), Maher Salman Al Musallam said as the first of the refitted airplanes arrived at its Muharraq base.
The installation of new facilities on Gulf Air’s A330s comes in the wake of several large Gulf carriers unveiling upgraded premium-class cabins.
Gulf Air (GUL), which is in the middle of a strategic turn-around aimed at cutting losses, has reshaped its offering over the past 18 months to reposition itself as largely a regional carrier. However, it retains six A330s for long-haul sectors, mainly to London and Bangkok.
Montreal, Canada-based Avianor acted as turnkey provider managing the refurbishment of the A330s; (BE) Aerospace provided the new seating in the Falcon Gold (business class) cabin, and Zodiac Aerospace provided the in-flight entertainment and economy (Y)-class seating.
Falcon Gold cabins received new fully lie-flat seats, while all seats will have touchscreen (AVOD) facilities plus a (USB) port for recharging electronic components.
4 A330s are being refurbished in a 214-seat layout, 30C business-class and 184Y economy-class seats.
The 1st arrival will be followed by a 2nd early next month, while the remaining 2 are scheduled to be completed by this year’s fourth quarter.
The other 2 A330s in the fleet were refurbished in 2011 - 2012 in an 8C-seat business class and 247Y seat economy cabin, primarily to serve high-density routes on the network.
August 2014: Jeppesen signed a new three-year service contract with Gulf Air (GUL), the Kingdom of Bahrain's national carrier, to provide (GUL) with Jeppesen FliteDeck Pro Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) services on iPad - - SEE ATTACHED - - "GUL-2014-08 - JEPPESEN EFB iPAD." The agreement allows (GUL) to continue its transition into entirely digital platforms, eliminating paper-based flight information on the ground and in the air. Reducing paper-based flight information has the added interest of decreasing weight in the cockpit, which will lead to significant fuel savings, according to Jeppesen.
"The paper to digital transformation of essential flight information is a key component for operator success in today's competitive airline business environment," said Tim Huegel, Director of Jeppesen Aviation Portfolio Management, adding that he expects the platform to reduce pilot (FC) workload and streamline operations for (GUL).
September 2014: Gulf Air (GUL) said it has cut its losses for the 1st half of the financial year by “>30%,” compared to the same period last year. (GUL) also said it increased revenue +10% compared to the 1st half of 2013, mainly through improved load factors and increasing levels of connecting traffic.
(GUL), as a state-owned company, does not normally divulge actual figures. “The first two quarters of 2014 have been critical in (GUL)’s recent, post-restructuring development,” said Sheikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Deputy Prime Minister and Gulf Air (GUL) Chairman.
“These positive half-year results show that (GUL) is continuing on a positive trajectory to become an efficient, commercially sustainable business and an integral part of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s local economy.”
The company’s major restructuring program has seen it concentrate on high-demand, high-yield, regional point-to-point routes primarily aimed at the business community.
(GUL)’s management team has begun discussions in the past few months with several national aviation regulators to request additional frequencies on existing routes.
(GUL)’s acting (CEO) Maher Salman Al Musallam added: “The initial benefits from the national carrier’s strategic restructuring were evident in our positive 2013 results and these have translated to significant loss reduction and revenue generation during the first half of 2014. Encouraging summer season bookings confirm the positive trend.
“Our investment in strengthening our network with the addition of new international destinations occurred within a rising demand environment that also saw us substantially increase our available capacity thanks to schedule enhancements to key routes,” (GUL) said.
A340-313X (212, A9C-LG), delivery.
November 2014: News Item A-1: Gulf Air (GUL) has begun service between its home base of Bahrain (BAH) and Moscow Domodedovo (DME) - - SEE PHOTO - - "GUL-2014-11 - TO MOSCOW." The 1st flight on the 3,397 km route took off on October 28th and faces no direct competition. (GUL)’s two-class 110-seat A320s will operate the service 4x-weekly (Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays). This brings to 39 the number of destinations served non-stop by Gulf Air (GUL) from Bahrain, of which the Moscow route is the 8th longest. (GUL)’s longest route is to Manila, a distance of almost 7,400 km.
News Item A-2: Gulf Air (GUL) has signed a 2-year renewal deal with air transport Information Technology (IT) Specialist, (SITA), for network, messaging and voice services. (SITA) provides the airline with a comprehensive global network infrastructure, Type B Messaging services, a mail platform for operational messages, and global voice & data services.
December 2014: Gulf Air (GUL) has resumed services to two cities which had previously featured on its route network. (GUL) restarted flights from its Bahrain (BAH) hub to Hyderabad (HYD) following a 5 and half year gap. Its resurrected Shiraz (SYZ) route, was previously flown 26 months ago. Both services commenced on December 15th and are operated by (GUL)’s 136-seat A320s. Neither sector currently has any direct competition.
February 2015: News Item A-1: Gulf Air (GUL) has resumed flights to Baghdad International Airport following a temporary suspension over safety concerns after a Flydubai (FDB) airplane on a commercial flight was hit with bullets on landing.
Gulf Air (GUL) said services were resumed on Saturday following “comprehensive safety and security assessments over the past week.” (GUL) said it also had “in depth consultations with airport and security officials in the Iraqi capital” as well as ongoing coordination with its representation in Baghdad and the Bahrain Civil Aviation Authority.
(GUL) pointed out that a number of regional and international carriers had already resumed operations to Baghdad. In addition to the three flights a week, it operates to the Iraqi capital, Gulf Air (GUL) also operates daily flights to Najaf, which were not impacted by the security concerns at Baghdad.
News Item A-2: Gulf Air (GUL) has invested $20 million to upgrade four of its Airbus A330s in line with global best practices.
March 2015: Gulf Air (GUL) is suspending its services to the Yemeni capital Sana’a in light of the worsening security situation in the country.
Suspension of the 5x-weekly service by (GUL), the Bahraini flag-carrier will become effective March 26 and will run until further notice. It “hopes to resume services to Sana’a as soon as operational conditions permit.”
Yemen, the poorest nation on the Arabian peninsula, is a haven for Al Qaeda and has been racked by unrest for months, as an uprising by Shia Houthi rebels culminated in a takeover of the capital. This is not the 1st time that flights to Sana’a have been disrupted recently.
The Yemeni capital is the latest Middle East destination to be boycotted by airlines in the region. Several carriers such as Emirates (EAD), Etihad (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) stopped services earlier this month to the Iraqi city of Erbil, which is close to the frontline between Kurdish militia and Islamic State militants.
Flights to Baghdad were banned by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) regulator in January after a flydubai (FDB) Boeing 737 on approach to Baghdad International Airport was hit by small arms fire.
The Syrian civil war has also put destinations such as Damascus off-limits for several years.
May 2015: Gulf Air (GUL) has completed its biennial (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), keeping (GUL) on the (IOSA) registry until May 2017.
September 2015: News Item A-1: Gulf Air (GUL) has turned in an annual loss of -BD62.7 million/-$166 million for 2014, an improvement on 2013’s figure of -BD93.3 million. Last year’s figures continued the slow but steady improvement in the financial situation of Bahrain’s national carrier that, as recently as 2011, lost -BD211 million.
(GUL) described the latest, recently confirmed figures as its “best financial results since 2004.”
As a state-owned company, (GUL) is not obliged to post detailed financial results and the airline gave few other figures or financial details. However, it said it had recorded a +15.4% rise in passengers compared to 2013.
Gulf Air (GUL)’s Chairman (& Bahrain's Deputy Prime Minister), Sheikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, said (GUL)’s 2014 performance “reflects a steady and continued improvement in its financial and operational business.”
Acting (CEO), Maher Salman Al Musallam added: “We are moving strategically forward, making changes to Bahrain’s national carrier that are not only positive in the short term, but that form part of our greater long-term strategy towards transforming (GUL) across many fronts. “Our 2014 results were promising and trends are favorable.”
Despite its improved figures, Al Musallam is on record as saying (GUL), in its current form, will not be able to break even as it sells only seats, whereas other major carriers in the region offer ancillary services such as Engineering or consultancy services that contribute to their overall figures.
However, this could change, if the state-owned Mumtalakat holding company goes ahead with plans to bring together other Bahraini aviation interests, such as the Bahrain Airport Company, fuel suppliers, and handling agents.
As part of a transformation program on which it embarked in 2013, Gulf Air (GUL) has moved away from carrying low-value transit traffic through its Muharraq hub to become a largely regional carrier, carrying higher-value point-to-point passengers. It retains long-haul routes to London, Paris, Manila, and Bangkok.
It cut many routes, as it embarked on a major transformation program in 2012, but over the past year, has started to expand its network again, notably to India, Saudi Arabia, and Russia. It remains strongly focused on Middle East destinations, with double-daily flights to 10 points in the region.
The past year has also seen it complete a major cabin refurbishment of its long-haul Airbus A330s.
It recently held talks with Airbus (EDS) on a major fleet renewal program and is working toward what it describes as a strategic airline alliance.
News Item A-2: Gulf Air (GUL) increased Muharraq - Cairo service from 12x-weekly to double-daily from August 24.
News Item A-3: Technology specialist (WIN) is expanding its e-booking system to connect independent forwarders to 16 airlines. (WIN) already connects to over 90 airlines for electronic Air Waybill (e-AWB). The carriers available for e-bookings include British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE), Etihad Airways (EHD), (SAS), Singapore Airlines (SIA), Jet Airways (JPL), Swiss (CSR), American Airlines (AAL), Air France (AFA), Finnair (FIN), Korean Air (KAL), (KLM), Lufthansa (DLH), United Airlines (UAL), Emirates (EAD), and Gulf Air (GUL). The all-in-one tool includes the ability for customers to look up flight schedules, create and manage bookings in real-time, transmit (e-AWB) data, and receive full (e-AWB) tracking automatically.
November 2015: News Item A-1: Gulf Air (GUL) begins 4x-weekly, Bahrain - Multan and 3x-weekly, – Faisalabad A320 service in December.
News Item A-2: Air France Industries (AFI) - (KLM) (E&M) opened a Logistics Center in Dubai in the Jebel Ali Free Zone near the new Dubai World Central.
And Gulf Air (GUL) has extended its agreement for maintenance of (APU)s equipping six Airbus A330s with the Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO). Services will be provided by (EPCOR), the (AFI) - (KLM) (E&M) subsidiary specializing in (APU)s.
In addition, Etihad Airways (EHD) has expanded its strategic cooperation with (AFI) - (KLM) (E&M) through a several-hundred-million-dollar component maintenance agreement for 33 Boeing 777s. The 10-year deal provides (EHD) and its equity partners with access to a global pool of components. (AFI) - (KLM) (E&M) and Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries (SAU) are entering a long-term strategic partnership. (AFI) - (KLM) (E&M) will support 777 and 787 components under power-by hour and assist (SAEI) (SAU) to develop (MRO) capabilities for Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) models in Jeddah. Finally, the (MRO) will partner with software firm, Ramco Systems to set up an innovation center in Singapore.
December 2015: Gulf Air (GUL)’s efforts to restructure are bearing fruit among passengers, (GUL) said on December 24.
(GUL) initiated a major reorganization in December 2012 to cut crippling losses, reduce aircraft and staff, upgrade its Airbus A330 long-haul fleet and focus on high-frequency, point-to-point travel on its core Middle East routes.
Restructuring of its operations is continuing, following a -85% reduction in losses over the past three years, it said. (GUL) turned in a loss of -BD62.7 million/-$166 million for 2014, but nevertheless hailed the deficit as its best result for a decade (an indication of how severe its financial problems had been over recent years).
(GUL) said the results of its latest quarterly passenger survey until the end of September 2015 showed a +31% rise in positive comments from passengers and a -6% drop in complaints compared to the same period in 2014. “Significantly, the passenger feedback reflected the positive impact made by (GUL)’s cabin crew (CA) performance, including appearance, responsiveness and availability, while also revealing an increase in popularity and positive feedback on (GUL)’s [frequent flyer] Falconflyer Program.”
The most significant reasons behind passengers choosing Gulf Air were: most convenient departure/arrival time (49%), nonstop flights (31%), lower fares (31%) and good value for money (26%).
(GUL) added that, over the past year, it had increased the number of flights operated by around 1,000, despite having a significantly smaller fleet than three years ago. Its focus on connectivity means it now operates double daily (or more frequent) flights to 10 regional cities, as well as services to the Indian sub-continent and Europe. “These results are further testimony to our continuous efforts towards improving our customer service across all fronts,” said (GUL)’s acting (CCO), Ahmed Janahi. “We have embarked on an aggressive revamping of our products and services over the past year that has received excellent feedback from customers.”
Having heavily pruned its route map as part of its rationalization, it is now adding back destinations and in September was reported to be in talks with Airbus (EDS) over a major re-fleeting exercise.
January 2016: News Item A-1: "Bahrain Cuts Iranian Flight Links" by (ATW) Alan Dron, January 8, 2016.
Bahrain has followed Saudi Arabia in halting all air services with Iran. The move follows the execution of a Shia cleric, Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr in Saudia Arabia. Rioting protestors in the Iranian capital Tehran set fire to the Saudi embassy, which led to the latter country cutting all diplomatic and air transport links with Iran on January 4.
The news of the rupture of air services came in a statement by the Bahrain’s official government news agency, "BNA."
“The Civil Aviation Authority at the Ministry of Transportation & Telecommunications announced that all flights to and from Iran have been suspended,” it said.
“The Civil Aviation Authority said that in light of the decision taken by the Kingdom of Bahrain to cut diplomatic ties with Iran, it has directed the national carrier and other airlines to suspend all flights to and from Iran.
“The Civil Aviation Authority stressed that the national carrier will take all necessary measures to resolve any disturbance this may cause to those due to travel.”
Whereas Saudi Arabia’s national carrier (SVA) has minimal air links with Iran, which will pose few problems for national carrier Saudia (SVA), Bahrain-based Gulf Air (GUL) has more extensive connections. (GUL) flies to Tehran, Mashhad, and Shiraz, a reflection of the small island state’s historical trading links with the much larger country across the Gulf.
Iran Air (IRN) flies between Mashhad and Bahrain. The service was restored in December 2013 after being suspended in 2011 after an earlier bout of tension between the two countries.
News Item A-2: Gulf Air (GUL) has announced major new and adjusted orders, as expected, at the Bahrain International Air Show. The new deals will see (GUL) expand again in coming years after a period of retrenchment.
Speaking on the first day of the Bahrain International Air Show, acting (CEO), Maher Salman Al Musallam said (GUL) would switch its original plan to buy “12 to 16” Boeing 787-8s for an order of 16 larger 787-9 versions, in a deal worth $4.2 billion at list prices.
He also announced a restructured deal for 17 Airbus A321neos and 12 A320neos worth $3.4 billion; 10 of the A320neos were previously announced in 2012.
Engine choices for both orders have yet to be decided, Al Musallam said. The choice for the 787, between the (GEnx-1B) and the Rolls-Royce (Trent 1000), is expected to be made in early February.
Financing options for both orders are also still under review, acting (CFO) Sahar Ataei said. Its current fleet is financed equally through leases and financing, and Ataei said, “We don’t want to put all our eggs in one basket.”
The 1st 787-9 is scheduled for delivery in April 2018, with the 1st A320neo following 2 months later.
Gulf Air (GUL) has an all-Airbus fleet of 6 A330-200s, 6 A321s and 16 A320s.
(GUL) has been through a major restructuring since early 2013, a process that has seen its fleet shrink from 40 to 28 as it battled to reduce huge deficits. The new Airbus (EDS) order will replace (GUL)’s narrow body fleet and expand numbers again over the next few years.
(GUL) has increasingly focused in recent years on high-yield, high-frequency point-to-point regional services, whereas it previously concentrated on transit passengers through its Muharraq hub.
News Item A-3: Gulf Air (GUL)’s plans to order the Bombardier (BMB) CSeries regional jet may be in doubt, after (GUL)’s (CEO) announced plans to meet (BMB) in the next few weeks.
(GUL) contracted for 10 CS100s in 2012 but, like all customers for the Canadian twinjet, has had to cope with the aircraft’s protracted development program.
Certification of the CSeries took place in December 2015 and the launch customer (Swiss International Air Lines (CSR)) is due to receive its initial CS100 in the 1st half of 2016.
“We were supposed to receive the first aircraft in December 2013,” (GUL)’s acting (CEO) Maher Salman Al Musallam said as the Bahrain International Air Show opened. We’re supposed to be the launch customer in the Middle East—that’s how they are referring to us.”
“We are going to meet with them very soon to look thoroughly through the contract [and at] the regional jet concept that led Gulf Air into buying the CSeries. This concept needs to be studied completely whether it’s going to be viable for (GUL) to continue to renegotiate a delivery date with Bombardier (BMB) or something else.”
He anticipated a decision would be made around March.
When development of the CSeries began, it had promised around a 20% fuel saving on the Airbus A320 family, Al Musallam noted. However, Airbus was now introducing the modernized, re-engined A320neo, which it said would deliver a +16% to +17% improvement in fuel costs on its predecessor.
(GUL) operates 2 Airbus types, the single-aisle A320/321 and the twin-aisle A330-200, with a fleet size of 28 aircraft. It announced major orders for the A320/321neo, plus an amended order for the 787-9.
“I don’t know, as a small airline, whether we are able to operate a third manufacturer type or not. This is a big decision,” Al Musallam said.
News Item A-4: "Gulf Air (GUL) Acting (CEO) Offers Resignation"
by (ATW) Alan Dron, January 28, 2016.
The acting (CEO) of Gulf Air (GUL), Maher Salman Al Musallam, has tendered his resignation, (GUL) has confirmed.
Al Musallam became acting (CEO) of (GUL), the Bahraini flag-carrier in December 2012 following the resignation of previous (CEO) Samer Majali. It was never fully explained why he remained in the role in an acting capacity for such an extended period.
There was no indication at last week’s Bahrain International Air Show, where he signed major orders to re-equip (GUL)’s fleet, that Al Musallam planned to resign.
During his time at (GUL), he has overseen a major restructuring and turnaround program, which has steadily reduced (GUL)’s large deficit. The financial figures for 2015, due to be announced in the next couple of months, are expected to see a further reduction in losses, with (GUL) expected to be nearing breakeven.
Al Musallam had made it clear in the past that Gulf Air (GUL) could not break even as long as it remained a company that merely sold seats on its aircraft, rather than the wider range of services, such as engineering, ground handling or consultancy, that other major airlines in the region could offer.
However, last December and with little fanfare, (GUL) was grouped together with the Bahrain Airport Company and a flying academy under the title the Falcon Group. This will have a single board of directors and be jointly audited.
A (GUL) statement said only that Musallam had tendered his resignation from the post of acting (CEO) and that no further comment was being made for the moment. It is not known if his resignation will be accepted by (GUL)’s board.
Al Musallam joined (GUL) as deputy (CEO) after a 35-year career with the Royal Bahraini Air Force (RBAF). During his tenure at the (RBAF) he was a Wing Commander (Lt Col in USA terms) and was responsible for the daily management and emergency deployment of >10 operational units including flying, maintenance, logistics and administration.
News Item A-5: JorAMCo (JOR)’s Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) agreement with Gulf Air (GUL) has been extended for 3 years. The contract provides heavy maintenance checks for 28 aircraft (Airbus A330s, A320ERs, A320s and A321s). All maintenance will be performed at Queen Alia International Airport. (GUL)’s Technical Division will continue doing maintenance up to "A" checks and "C" checks.
March 2016: Gulf Air (GUL) has announced further increases in its services to Saudi Arabia (the latest of several Gulf carriers to beef up their flights to the Kingdom).
(GUL) is adding 4x-weekly between its Muharraq base and King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, taking to 32 the number of weekly services to the Saudi capital.
This increase follows on from last week’s increase of 4x-weekly flights from Muharraq to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s main commercial center. (GUL), the Bahraini carrier also operates to three other Saudi destinations.
As part of a financial turnaround program over the past few years, (GUL) has increasingly focused on regional (rather than long-haul) services. (GUL) has said over the past year that increasing services to Saudi Arabia is a priority.
The increased frequencies can be seen against a background of proposed liberalization of Saudi Arabia’s domestic services, which are currently dominated by national carrier Saudia (SVA), with low-cost carrier (LCC) flynas taking up most of the remainder.
Under Saudi Arabia’s liberalization plans, 2 new carriers (Qatar Airways (QTA) off-shoot (Al Maha Airways and startup SaudiGulf Airlines) have submitted applications to begin services in the largest commercial airline market in the region. However, they have faced a protracted wait for an air operator’s certificate (AOC) from Saudi regulatory authorities.
Several Gulf airlines have noticeably stepped up services to Saudi Arabia in the interim, apparently to try to tap the market before the new airlines can gain a foothold.
May 2016: Bahraini national carrier, Gulf Air (GUL) said May 27 that one of its flights made a diversionary landing in India after passengers and crew sustained injuries when the aircraft hit turbulence.
(GUL) said the incident occurred while the aircraft was en route from Manila, capital of the Philippines, to Muharraq, Gulf Air (GUL)’s home base.
It did not specify the type of aircraft involved, but the Manila - Muharraq run is usually served by an Airbus A330.
(GUL) said that flight GF155, carrying 247 passengers, “experienced severe turbulence while mid-flight on May 27, 2016, resulting in some passengers and crew sustaining minor injuries. The flight was diverted to Bombay, landing at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, at 1130GMT, where one passenger received medical attention.”
The aircraft was inspected while on the ground in India and departed four hours later.
July 2016: Bahrain-based Gulf Air (GUL) has selected the Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 1000) engine to power its 16 Boeing 787-9 Dreamlinerss in a deal valued at $900 million, it was announced at the Farnborough Airshow.
August 2017: News Item A-1: Oman’s national carrier Oman Air (OMR) and Bahrain-based Gulf Air (GUL) will code share between their respective hubs at Muscat and Muharraq.
Passengers will be able to choose from a combined daily frequency of 6 flights between the 2 airports.
Describing Gulf Air (GUL) as “a strategic and important partner,” (OMR)’s Deputy (CEO) and (CCO) Abdulrahman Al Busaidy noted that travelers on the route would soon be able to fly through the new Muscat International Airport, which will provide enhanced facilities compared to the current terminal.
“This code share reflects (GUL)’s consistent drive to offer our customers attractive options to fly to popular travel destinations,” (GUL) (CCO) Ahmed Janahi said. “With this agreement we are not only increasing our flight frequencies to and from Muscat, but also giving Muscat-based passengers an expanded range of connections with Gulf Air (GUL) via Bahrain International Airport to various destinations across our network.”
Bahrain, too, will soon have a new international airport, with a new terminal being constructed near the current 1970s-vintage building. It is scheduled to open in (3Q) 2019.
Oman, together with Bahrain, Qatar, and Abu Dhabi, formed (GUL) in 1974. Oman, Qatar and Abu Dhabi all split from the original company in the 2000s.
News Item A-2: Gulf Air (GUL) appointed Captain Waleed Abdul Hameed Al Alawi, as Deputy (CEO).
November 2017: "Gulf Air Names New (CEO), Leases 787-9s" by (ATW) Alan Dron email@example.com November 17, 2017.
Gulf Air (GUL) has appointed the former head of Croatia Airlines (CRH) Krešimir Kuko, as (CEO), effective immediately. He replaces Maher Salman Al Musallam, who retired earlier this year.
(GUL)’s Chairman, Zayed Bin Rashid Alzayani, said Kučko “brings with him exceptional industry knowledge that I am confident will add considerable value to our business.” (GUL) has been loss-making for several years; it has been clawing its way back toward breakeven, although no financial figures for 2016 have been released. The last available figures, for 2015, recorded a net loss of -$63.6 million, a considerable improvement on a few years earlier, when losses of several hundred million dollars were recorded.
Kuko served as Croatia Airlines (CRH)’s President & (CEO) from 2012 and had been with the central European carrier for 25 years. While in the top position, he was responsible for restructuring (CRH), which has recorded a profit for the past 4 years.
He joined (GUL)’s recently appointed Deputy (CEO) Captain Waleed Abdul Hameed Al Alawi as (GUL) prepared to receive a new fleet of 39 new Boeing and Airbus airplanes, with deliveries scheduled from early 2018.
As part of that fleet renewal, (GUL) has signed a lease agreement with lessor Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) for 5 787-9s. “The incoming airplanes represent an important step in our strategic direction towards furthering (GUL)’s fleet modernization process, enhancing passenger comfort and broadening our network as we look to strengthen our presence across the globe,” Al Alawi said.
February 2018: Gulf Air (GUL) appointed Suhail Abdulameed Abdulaziz Ismail as (COO).
April 2018: "Gulf Air Reveals New Branding, Prepares for 1st 787" by
Alan Dron (firstname.lastname@example.org) April 6, 2018.
Bahraini flag carrier Gulf Air (GUL) expects to take delivery of its 1st Boeing 787-9 (39996, A9C-FA) by the end of this month, (GUL) said April 6, as it unveiled the 1st look at its new branding. (GUL) expects its Boeing 787-9 (the 1st of 10) to be delivered on April 27. It marks the start of a complete rollover of (GUL)’s fleet, with the new orders including 17 Airbus A321neo and 12 A320neo, as well as 6 further options for 787s. The new airplanes will replace the A320s, A321s and A330-200s that currently constitute the fleet.
The 1st 2 787-9s will serve (GUL)’s 2x-daily London Heathrow service, offering increased capacity and improved on-board products and services, from June 15. The 787-9s will have a 2-class, 282-seat configuration with a 26C seat Falcon Gold business-class cabin, plus 256Y seats in economy.
A new business (C) class section will be “best in class,” according to (CEO) Krešimir Kucko, who has said that new business (C) class seats had been bench marked not against other carrier’s business (C) class, but first (F) class seats. While declining to give further details, he said the cabin would be considerably better than normal business (C) class offerings from other airlines.
“The same goes with the neo. It will have lie-flat seats in business (C) class in the A321s flying the longer destinations such as Paris and Frankfurt.” (GUL)’s current A321s also have this feature (unusual in a single-aisle aircraft). Gulf Air (GUL) said that the arrangement has proved popular on the Bahrain to Paris run.
(GUL) also unveiled its new branding. The current livery of a gold forward fuselage and dark blue engine nacelles will be replaced with an all-white fuselage, with oversized Gulf Air titles on the forward fuselage and a more naturalistic rendition of the company’s falcon logo on the fin. The engine nacelles are painted gold. (GUL) said it will reveal further details over the coming weekend, during the Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix motor race.
May 2018: A321-211 (0852, SU-TCG), ex-(EI-FBV), AlMasria Universal Airlines leased.
June 2018: Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air (GUL) inaugurated its double daily service between Bahrain International Airport and London Heathrow (LHR). (GUL) deployed its newly acquired Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to fly this important route.
(GUL) (CEO) Krešimir Kučko revealed that “passenger feedback on our inaugural London Heathrow (LHR) 787 Dreamliner service was overwhelmingly positive. As we introduce our newest airplane on Gulf Air (GUL)’s (LHR) route and meld cutting-edge technology and infrastructure with traditional warmth and hospitality, your roles are more critical than ever in making lasting, positive experiences for our passengers,” the (CEO) told his Staff.
* Gulf Air (GUL) Enjoying Its New Dreamliner
The plane sits 282 passengers in a 2-class configuration, featuring 26C seats in Falcon Gold Class as well as 256Y seats in economy, representing a +30% increase in (GUL)’s capacity. (GUL) welcomed its 1st Boeing 787-9 back in April 2018. (GUL) rapidly deployed the plane on long-haul routes.
Click below for photos:
GUL-737-700BJ - 2011-05
GUL-787 - 2011-12
GUL-A320 - 2012-05
GUL-A320-212 A40-EB DEC06
GUL-A320neo - 2015-12.jpg
GUL-A330-200 - 2016-08.jpg
0 737-2P6A (JT8D).
1 737-7CN BBJ (CFM56-7B26) (451-30752, /99 HB-IIQ), (PTS) WET-LEASED 1999-12. CORPORATE. WITH WINGLETS. 48C.
0 737-7Z5 (CFM56-7B24) (A6-RJZ), (RJT) WET-LSD 2003-06. RETURNED.
0 757-200F, NOT (ETOPS) EQUIPPED.
0 767-3P6ER (CF6-80C2B4) (264-24485, /89 A9C-GI "ALKHOR;" 267-24495, /89 A9C-GJ "AL MUHARRAQ;" 270-24496, /89 A9C-GK "AL BURAMI;" 436-26236, /92 A40-GS "AL-AIN;" 440-26238, /92 A40-GT "AUWAKRAH;" 501-26233, /93 A40-GU (GEF) LSD; 502-26235, /93 A9C-GV "DUKHAN;" 538-26234, /94 A40-GY; 544-26237, /94 A9C-GZ "HILLI"), ALL (ETOPS), 3 TO SAMA LEASING, 1 LEASED TO (LOT), 1 LST (ETH), 4 (RRC) LEASED, 24495 SOLD TO (HGA) 2000-06. 26233 RETURNED 2001-05. 26234; 26237; WET-LEASED TO (GUL) TRAVELER 2003-05. 26234; RETURNED, LEASED TO (TRX) 2008-01. 24496; SOLD TO (BEB) 2009-12. 18C, 218Y.
2 +2 ORDERS 777-35RER (GE90-115) (578-25161, VT-JEJ; 693-35166, VT-JEH), (JPL) LEASED 2009-04. 312 PAX, 3 CLASS.
5 787-9 DREAMLINER (TRENT 1000), DUBAI AEROSPACE ENTERPRISE (DAE) LEASED 2017-11. FALCON GOLD 26C, 256Y.
1 +15/6 ORDERS 787-9 DREAMLINER (TRENT 1000) (39996, /18 A9C-FA, 2018-04) FALCON GOLD 26C, 256Y.
0 A300-200, 3 RETURNED.
2 A319-112 (CFM56-5B6/P) (1884, /03 A9C-EU; 1901, /03 A9C-EV), (ILF) LEASED 2008-08. 1901; HAS "F1 GULF AIR BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX 2011" TITLES ON REAR FUSELAGE. 16C, 108Y.
0 A320-212 (CFM56-5A3) (289, A40-EP, 2006-03; 407, A40-ER, 2006-04), (GAX) LEASED. RETURNED. 12F, 15C, 102Y.
5 A320-212 (CFM56-5A3) (313, /92 A40-EA; 325, /92 A40-EB "BAHIA" - SEE PHOTO; 345, /92 A40-EC "AL RUWAIS;" 375, /92 A40-ED "SITRA;" 419, /93 A40-EE "AL-RUMAITHA;" 421, /93 A40-EF "AL-JASRAH;" 438, /93 A40-EG; 445, /93 A40-EH; 459, /94 A40-EI; 466, /94 A9C-EJ; 497, /94 A40-EL; 537, /95 A40-EN), 313 RTND 2002-02. 438; 445 (SEE PHOTO); RTND; LEASED TO (LTE) 2006-02. 459; 537; TO (PET) 2010-10. 419 RETURNED. 16C, 120Y.
0 A320-212 (CFM56-5A3) (409, A40-EO), (ILF) LEASED 2003-06. RETURNED. 12F, 15C, 102Y.
1 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/3) (3706, /08 A9C-AA), (GEF) LEASED 2009-03. 16C, 120Y.
14 A320-214 (CFM56-A3) (4030, /09 A9C-AB; 4059, /10 A9C-AC; 4083, /09 A9C-AD; 4146, /09 A9C-AE; 4158, /10 A9C-AF; 4188, /10 A9C-AG; 4218, /10 A9C-AH; 4255, /10 A9C-AI; 4780, A9C-AL 2011-08; 4827, A9C-AM, 2011-08; 4860, A9C-AO, 2011-10; 4865, A9C-AN, 2011-11; 5171, A9C-AP, 2012-07; 5175, A9C-AQ, 2012-07), 16C, 120Y:
1 A320-231 (5180, A9C-CC), 2012-07. 16C, 120Y.
8 ORDERS A320ceo family:
12 ORDERS (2018-04) A320neo family:
17 ORDERS A321neo:
4 +8 ORDERS A321-211 (CFM56-5B3/P) (675, /97 A9C-ES; 761, /98 A9C-ET), MACQUARIE AIRFINANCE LEASED 2008-07. 20C, 150Y.
1 A321-211 (CFM56-5B3/P) (0852, SU-TCG), ALMASRIA UNIVERSAL AIRLINES (ALU) LEASED 2018-05.
9 +3/5 ORDERS A330-243 (TRENT 772B-60) (276, /99 A9C-KA; 281, /99 A9C-KB; 286, /99 A9C-KC; 287, /99 A9C-KD; 334, /00 A9C-KE; 340, /00 A9C-KF "ALDAFRA;" 344; 527 /00 A9C-KG; 574; 576; 598), 527; TO (AZL) 2014-06. 8F, 24C, 183Y.
1 A330-243 (TRENT 772B-60) (992, /09 A9C-KJ, 2009-05), (ILF) LEASED. 12F, 24C, 195Y.
0 A340-312 (CFM56-5C3) (039, /94 A40-LB "AL-FATEH;" 040, /94 A40-LC "DOHA;" 097, /95 A40-LD "ABU DHABI/50TH ANNIVERSARY"). 12F, 24C, 257Y.
0 A340-312 (CFM56-5C3) (103, /95 A40-LE; 133, /96 A40-LF), 12F, 24C, 257Y.
4 A340-313X (CFM56-5C4) (212, /98 A9C-LG, 2003-06; 215, /98 A9C-LH; 554, /03 A9C-LI; 282, /99 A9C-LJ, 2004-03), EX-(SIA), (TBC) LEASED. 8F, 24C, 217Y.
0 L-1011-200 TRISTARS, 2 STORED ABU DHABI, 1 AT BAHRAIN. 5 SOLD TO (ILA) 1998-02, LEASED TO (TWD).
10/6 ORDERS BOMBARDIER CSERIES CS100:
0 BOMBARDIER CRJ-700 (CF34-8C1) (10028, /01; 10029, /02; 10039, /02; 10048, /02), EX-(MSK) 2004-08. RETURNED. 64Y.
0 +5 OPTIONS EMBRAER E170SU (CF34-8E5) (0278, /10 A9C-MB - - SEE PHOTO - - "GUL-EMB-170 2010-03;" 0293, /10 A9C-MA), LEASED. RETURNED 2012-07. 7C, 60Y.
0 EMBRAER E190AR (CF34-10E6) (0372, /10 A9C-MC; 0373, /10 A9C-MD), JETSCAPE LEASED 2010-10, EX-(PT-XNJ & PT-XNK). RETURNED TO JETSCAPE. TO (RAM) 2013-06. 12C, 84Y.
Click below for photos:
GUL-1-Zayed Bin Rashid Alzayani - 2017-11.jpg
Gul-2-Kresimir Kucko - R-2017-11.jpg
GUL-7-DR JASSIM HAJI - 2013-12
GUL-SAMER MAJALI-CEO - 2009-09
ZAYED BIN RASHID ALZAYANI, CHAIRMAN.
KRESIMIR KUCKO, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO), EX-(CRH) (2017-11).
CAPTAIN WALEED ABDUL HAMEED AL ALAWI, DEPUTY (CEO) (2017-08).
SUHAIL ABDULAMEED ABDULAZIZ, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER (COO) (2018-02).
AHMED JANAHI, CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER (CCO).
SAHAR ATAEI, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER (CFO).
MARCUS BERNHARDT, CHIEF SERVICES OFFICER (CSO).
ROHAN ALCE, REGIONAL GENERAL MANAGER, EUROPE, AFRICA, & THE AMERICAS.
ABDULMALIK AL-SAEI, GENERAL MANAGER - BAHRAIN (2003-01).
NAHEEL MOHAMMED SAEED, EXECUTIVE VP LEGAL & CORPORATE AFFAIRS (2007-10).
CAPTAIN CHRISTOPHER CAIN, VP FLIGHT OPERATIONS (2007-10).
HAMEED ALI, VP OPERATIONS.
CAPTAIN HASSAN FALAMARZI, HEAD FLIGHT OPERATIONS (BAH).
CAPTAIN SALIM AL SHAHRY, CHIEF PILOT 767 (BAH).
CAPTAIN ANWAR NOOR, CHIEF PILOT A330/A340.
JAMAL HASHIM, CHIEF TECHNICAL OFFICER (CTO).
TERO TASKILA, CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER.
RICHARD HILL, GENERAL MANAGER FLIGHT OPERATIONS (TECHNICAL) (2002-12).
CLIVE WRATTEN, GENERAL MANAGER - UK, EX-(QAN)/(BAB) (2005-08).
RAJEEV NAMBIAR, GENERAL MANAGER INDIA OPERATIONS (2006-01).
MICK EVES, TECHNICAL MANAGEMENT REPRESENTATIVE (AUH) (1996-07).
JASSIM AL-MARZOOQI, VP TECHNICAL (BAHEMGF), EX-(ABZ) (2007-11).
PAOLO FITZE, VP SAFETY (2007-10).
PATRIC DOYLE, VP INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT), EX-(EAD) (2006-06).
LUKE MEDLEY, VP SERVICES.
AHMAD JANAHI, VP GROUND SERVICES (2007-06).
HASHIM MAHMOOD, VP NETWORK (2007-12).
DANNY BARRANGER, VP SALES & MARKETING.
AHMED AL BANNA, VP HUMAN RESOURCES (HR) (2007-10).
DR JASSIM HAJI, DIRECTOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT).
AHMED SHAREEF MOOSA, DIRECTOR MAINTENANCE (2010-04).
JAMAL HASHIM, DIRECTOR TECHNICAL QUALITY ASSURANCE (QA) (2010-04).
MOHAMAD EL ASSAAD, SENIOR MANAGER IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT (IFE) & COMMUNICATIONS.
RORY BLACK, SENIOR MANAGER.
JOHN MATTHEWS, MANAGER GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM (GDS) STRATEGIES, EX-GALILEO INTNL (2007-03).
NICOLA SIMIONATO, e-COMMERCE MANAGER, EX-(ALI), (2007-03).
ALAN CASEMORE, MANAGER QUALITY ASSURANCE (QA) (2000-07).
I K PERROTT, MANAGER PLANNING.
AJAZ AHMED NAZIER, MANAGER RELIABILITY & PERFORMANCE (BAHEMGF) (2000-09).
MOHAMMED AL TAJER, MANAGER MARKETING SERVICES (2004-11).
CAPTAIN PLASHID HANLAD, DEPARTMENT MANAGER 767.
RAJAN HANDA, RAMP SERVICES MANAGER (2003-01).
JOHN MATTHEWS, MANAGER GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS (GDS) STRATEGIES (2007-01).
RASHID AL GAOUD, COUNTRY MANAGER FOR THE UK (BASED IN LONDON) (2013-09).
K G RAVINDRAN, SENIOR SYSTEMS ENGINEER PROPULSION.
PAT MYTHEN, MANAGER TECHNICAL PROJECTS/CONTRACTS (BAH).
NICOLA SIMIONATO, E-COMMERCE MANAGER (2007-01).
THE FOLLOWING WORK FOR (GAMCO), AN (MRO):
DR AHMED BIN SAIF AL NAHYAN, CHAIRMAN.
IBRAHIM ABDULLA AL HAMER, PRESIDENT & (CEO) (2001-06).
SAIF AL MUGHAIRY, GENERAL MANAGER (2001-03).
ANDY PAVORD, HEAD AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE.
MOHAMMED AL KASSIMI, DIRECTOR ENGINEERING & MAINTENANCE.
MICHAEL CROCKER, HEAD LARGE ENGINES OVERHAUL (2001-10).
ALBERT BRYSON, HEAD STANDARDS & QUALITY (2001-06).
ISMAIL MOHAMMED, HEAD LINE MAINTENANCE (2001-03).
BRIAN BRADBURY, HEAD AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE (2001-03).
CRAIG LANGEMAN, HEAD ENGINE OVERHAUL (2001-03).
RICK SAGGAR, COUNTRY MANAGER UK & IRELAND.
HUSSAIN RAHMAN, COUNTRY MANAGER INDIA.
OUSSAMA SALAH, (EX-(RJA) QUALITY ASSURANCE (QA) MANAGER) HEAD COMPONENTS & AIRPLANE PLANNING (2001-12).
HAMED AL MAULY, MANAGER MAINTENANCE.
DENNIS SANTAMARIA, MANAGER ENGINEERING.
RENE GSPONER, MANAGER PLANNING (EX-SWS).
AREZKI TAZEROUT, MANAGER DATA SERVICES.
AHMED AL MOOSA, PROJECT MANAGER (1997-08).
ALI AKBAR HAIDER, LIAISON MANAGER (1996-10).
ALLAN TWEEDIE, QUALITY ASSURANCE (QA) MANAGER (2001-03).
SALAH MUDARA, MANAGER FLIGHT SAFETY (BAHOYGF).
M A QURESHI, SUPERINTENDENT QUALITY ASSURANCE (QA).
HAIDER ALI, SENIOR MANAGER LINE MAINTENANCE (BAH).
RYAN MCKEAG, AIRPORT MANAGER - DUBLIN (2005-11).
AUH = ABU DHABI; BAH = BAHRAIN.