Gulf Air Targets 24% Cost Savings In 2013

MENA region to be core focus of new strategy and the aim is for Bahraini businesses to forge closer links with regional markets.



Gulf Air aims to save 24 per cent in costs this year by focusing more on MENA routes and dropping routes with low-yield transit traffic.

The airline is also targeting Revenue per Available Seat Kilometre (ASK) increases of nine per cent in 2013 through improved revenue management and sales, frequency adjustments and route cancellations.

The targets were revealed in the airline’s new strategy announced this week.

HE Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s deputy prime minister said the strategy also aims to help the Kingdom’s wider economy as it “will liberate treasury resources for domestic investment and result in a transformed national carrier” and follows the appointment of a new board of directors last November.

It is hoped that by targeting high-demand, high-yield point-to-point routes, Bahraini businesses will be able to forge closer links with regional markets.

The realigned network will continue to operate to destinations in the Middle East, Europe, Far East and India – while flying to more “select” European, Far East and Indian subcontinent markets.

The airline has already closed eight commercially unviable routes (Dhaka, Kathmandu, Copenhagen, Colombo, Rome, Kabul, Aden and Erbil).

Gulf Air will reduce its fleet to meet its revised network and flight schedule, but continue to operate a mix of wide and narrowbody aircraft.

More job losses are also on the cards and the airline said employees will be assessed and “the most productive employees” retained.