Gulf Air reduces losses by 51pc

ABU DHABI - Gulf Air that is into the mid-way phase of its three-year recovery programme of Project Falcon, carried a record of six million passengers last year and achieved a reduction in losses amounting to 51 per cent. Reviewing the performance for the year, Fareed Saeed Al Alawi, Vice-President Network of Gulf Air said that the first year of the airline's journey of change has been acknowledged within the industry as one of the most difficult years in the 100-year history of aviation.

By N. Srinivasan

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Published: Thu 29 Jul 2004, 9:49 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:59 AM

According to the Chief Executive and President of Gulf Air, James Hogan, bankruptcy, downsizing, cutbacks and layoffs have been the order of the day. Apart from the depressed global economy and a jittery travel market, terrorism, rising fuel prices, regional conflicts and SARS have taken their cumulative toll within the industry, creating a challenging backdrop against which the restructuring programme of Gulf Air began.

"The fact is that despite all this, Gulf Air took a quantum leap from the point of near closure to a new position of strength in the market. One year down the line, it is a different airline," he commented. In 2003, 590,000 more passengers flew with Gulf Air than in the previous year, that is a vote of confidence by any standards, Mr Hogen said. Passenger revenue was up 15 per cent, premium traffic on European routes by 23 per cent and frequent flyer recruitment quadrupled, while cargo revenue was up 20 per cent and unit costs scaled down nine per cent.

The scope and momentum of change and innovation is evident, not only in Gulf Air's significantly improved financial position, but in the list of achievements as it bagged the Airline Turnaround of the Year Award presented by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).

Further recognition came with the recent Skytrax Award in the Excellence in Quality Improvement category. The airline also won the World's Best First Class Lounge for its new lounge in Bahrain and named second in the Business Class Lounge in the world category.

The annual report of Gulf Air showed that it has posted the strongest financial results for four years with a 12.1 per cent increase in revenue to over Dh3.85 billion and a 51 per cent reduction in net losses to nearly Dh20 million.

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