Gulfair- a heartbeat from the abyss !Back to Forum
Anonymous25 Nov 2009
“We have two choices for Gulf Air – either we close down this company, or we turn it around. There was no third choice,” These were the words of one of GF’s responsables said last Monday. A simple comment which describes how fragile the state of one of the famous and longstanding airline in the industry( since 1950 ).
This serious is the state of once the famous and dominant carrier of the Middle East. GF was once state carrier of Oman, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Bahrain. Now it has becomed only the Bahraini state carrier. Overshadowed and outperformed by Emirates, Qatar Airways and recently by Etihad and with the new restructuring plans will soon be left behind by Oman Air as well.
What a downfall and what a harsh atmosphere it is really in the contemporary airline industry. Now GF is forced to face the very hard fact of closing down — this traditional carrier which was onced the pride of the Middle East — or in way turn it around and escape from the nearing abyss.
The changes will require to close down unprofitable long haul routes and therefore concentrate on direct flights — mainly to destinations in the Middle East. Like any other airlines in the world today, GF is struggling with its costs and revenues–if nothing could turn the situation, the huge lost seen in the coming years will definitely force GF to its knees and to close down.
Loss making destinations like Shanghai, Hyderabad and Bangalore will be suspended indefinitely. As one of the consequences–GF will be replacing their wide-bodies fleet with narrow-bodies ones. As well as job losses will be expected in the future.25 Nov 2009
From what I gather, most people who fly GF these days wish they never did!So, it’s probably best to put the airline out of it’s misery. I’m sure Gulf-based pax would happily transfer their business to EK and QR.25 Nov 2009
As a resident of Bahrain and a frequent traveler, I have experienced numerous frustrations with Gulf Air (but similar ones with Emirates and Qatar). On the other hand, Gulf Air provide an excellent service when they get things right. From a business perspective, Bahrain cannot afford to keep Gulf Air in it’s current form but in the same vein, cannot afford to lose it as it would be questionable who would step in to provide regular connections (more than 1 or 2 a day) to key business destinations in the Middle East. Therefore, the new strategy does appear sound. In Bahrain (and the Middle East), the high frequency point to point connections which are essential for a business traveler has been neglected for to long. With smaller planes, more frequent services to key destinations and more of a focus on business travelers, I am hopeful that GF can be turned around. Complimented by some profitable “flagship” longhaul routes to key cities like London and Frankfurt (and a better quality service), there might be life in Gulf Air yet.
The loss of Gulf Air would be devastating for Bahrain, it’s business community and the numerous expatriate workers residing in Bahrain. Travelers would be left with few choices, high prices and significant inconvenience. So lets hope it works!25 Nov 2009
I used to fly Gulf Air to Asia & Australia, they were a great Airline in their day. I think the growth of Emirates, but more so Etihad being founded, always did threaten Gulf Airs very heart of business. They were kicked out of AUH, by Etihad, & have never recovered since.
They re-structured before cutting most International flights. Then a few return.
In the Emirate states their is little room for smaller players anymore. Etihad grew very wisely, strongly, a great service on new aircraft.
I do not think there is room for all these main players now.
Sadly Gulf will demise, but we are seeing this with BMI, Malaysian, BA,…
I have many happy memories of gulf Air (Tri-star from Colombo in 1990!)
Sad to see them go but not surprised…25 Nov 2009
Hi everyone !!
Inspite of GF’s plans to cut some internatinal destinations, GF Chief Commercial Duty Officer Mr. Boulter confirms GF’s commitment to the European destinations like London, Frankfurt, Paris…. GF is aiming a more leaner and focused international gateways like the financial centres of Europe which is connected to Bahrain which is aiming to be a viable future financial hub of the Middle East.
GF will be concentrating in less international destinations but more in Middle Eastern destinations and therefore be more effectiv and reliable.
Let us wait and see, if this strategy works–it is actually the last chance.6 Dec 2009