Gulf Air working on plan to expand its network

ABU DHABI/DUBAI - Gulf Air is working on plans to add more stations to its route map in the Gulf region and beyond signalling the beginning of which will be the introduction of a flight linking Muscat and Heathrow during the second half of this year.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Fri 23 Jan 2004, 12:17 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:11 AM

Sadek Karam, who recently assumed office as Head of Corporate Affairs of Gulf Air, said that the route expansion programme has already seen the introduction of several new destinations, including Kochi, Bangalore and Kolkata in India, and Athens and Sydney in November last year. More destinations are under review for addition to the route map early this year. The growth in the network complemented by fleet expansion with leasing agreements signed for an additional five aircraft, he said.

Referring to the dramatic turnaround in the fortunes of the airline that is now into the second year of its three-year strategic recovery programmes, he said losses have already been halved and the prospects are bright to wipe out the entire losses, and in fact post some profits by the end of this year, he said.

Gulf Air which suffered accumulated losses in excess of Dh500 million for the 2001 financial year, has rallied well in its restructuring programme, to receive the Airline Turnaround of the Year Award last year, presented by the Asia Pacific Aviation.

In the words of James Hogan President and Chief Executive of Gulf Air, "At the beginning of 2002, the company was all but written off and the award comes as the industry recognition for the unprecedented change that has taken place in the airline."

This has been achieved in a traumatic year, affected by regional tensions, the war in Iraq and the outbreak of the SARS virus, Karam pointed out.

In achieving the results there has been no retrenchment of staff; on the other hand, recruitment is on the rise to cater to the expansion programme, Karam added.

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