Bahrain-based Gulf Air turns 60 this week, and is targetting a return to profit by 2012.
The carrier began life as Gulf Aviation in March 1950, with services to London commencing in 1970, and the rebranding as Gulf Air following in 1973, as the airline became the national carrier of Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Abu Dhabi.
The creation of Qatar Airways, Oman Air and Etihad Airways during the last decade has seen Gulf Air retreat to its base in Bahrain, and the airline has struggled to reinvent itself over the last few years.
But CEO Samer Majali (formerly of Royal Jordanian) told Business Traveller’s sister website abtn.co.uk that the carrier was targetting a return to profit by 2012, with unprofitable routes being cut and an increase in frequency on stronger routes.
Gulf Air has also recently announced a move to a two-class offering, with business and first class being merged into a hybrid Falcon Gold product – for more information see online news February 19.