Gulf Air launches range of new products, services
Manama, July 20, 2011
Gulf Air, Bahrain’s national carrier, today unveiled a range of new customer-centric innovative products, services and incentive packages.
Launching the new commercial initiatives at a press conference held in Bahrain today, Gulf Air’s chief commercial officer Karim Makhlouf said the national carrier is all set to expand its customer base and increase its revenue, while strengthening its home market share.
Makhlouf said: “Since the launch of the airline’s new business strategy in November 2009 by chief executive officer Mr Samer Majali, we have made some notable progress; we added 15 new destinations to our network, discontinued four unviable routes, brought in 14 new aircraft, improved our on-time performance by 7 per cent and achieved a fleet technical dispatch reliability of 98.9 per cent.
“Now the time has come for us to focus on our customers’ needs and increase our commercial efficiency through aggressive sales and marketing in order to make Gulf Air a sustainable and ultimately, a profitable airline. Therefore, we conducted an extensive survey to understand our customers’ needs and more importantly, how to win back their business,” he said.
Makhlouf continued: “We realised that our market share at home – the Kingdom of Bahrain- is just 32 per cent - the lowest compared to our regional competitors. At the same time, competition has increased with more and more new airlines including low cost carriers entering the market eating into our customer base and thus, our market share.
“As the national carrier of the Kingdom, it is imperative that we own our home market. Therefore, we have launched a series of customer-focused initiatives to regain our market share. These new initiatives have been designed to target every customer segment – family, business, government, pensioners and the youth.”
For families, Gulf Air will be introducing ‘Family First’ - a series of competitively priced packages for customers travelling with their spouses and kids, offering special privileges both on the ground and in the air. Parents can relax while children enjoy a selection of toys and games whilst they are looked after by professionally trained Sky Nannies.
As a first step in this ‘Family First’ programme, Gulf Air will be opening a state-of-the-art, interactive, one-stop-shop in Seef Mall, where families can come, enquire and book tickets in a friendly atmosphere while enjoying the Arabian hospitality.
For the corporate business segment, Gulf Air will be introducing Falcon Corporate Plus – one of the region’s most competitive innovative incentive programmes yet - designed exclusively for corporate travellers. The programme offers a basket of different exclusive privileges that can be tailor-made for each client.
The range of benefits include exclusive price discounts, free upgrades from economy to Falcon Gold class, free lounge access for economy class passengers, and both free parking and chauffeur service to and from the Bahrain International Airport.
The airline will also focus on small and medium enterprises (SME’s) with the creation of an incentive programme specifically tailored to meet these market segments’ requirement.
The airline, renowned for its on-board cuisine, will also be revamping its world’s first Sky Chef service, where premium passengers will be able to enjoy a completely new customer service approach with bespoke cuisines onboard - designed, prepared and served by our Sky Chefs.
Gulf Air’s popular Frequent Flyer programme will also undergo a makeover; the airline will be offering customers even more attractive privileges and value added benefits ranging from free class upgrades and lounge access, besides one of the most attractive redemption benefits in the region.
In a proactive step to regain its home market share, Gulf Air recently announced a discount for government officials when they book their travel directly with Gulf Air. The airline will also be opening its own smart offices in ministries and key government departments so that government travellers can book with Gulf Air on the go.
Gulf Air has also designed a new incentive scheme for travel agents that would allow them to increase their commission.
Makhlouf added: “As the national carrier of the Kingdom, we have a moral responsibility to promote Bahrain and make ’Bahrain Fly’. As a first step, we will be launching a series of testimonial campaigns to win the hearts and minds of Bahrain residents. The campaigns- ‘Straight from the Heart’, ‘My country, My Airline’ and ‘Push Bahrain’, - will be touching the hearts of every Bahraini and make them feel proud to fly with their national carrier.”
Gulf Air has also been proactively promoting in-bound tourism to Bahrain. Earlier this month, it announced a joint promotion with leading five-star hotels in the kingdom. The campaign, coinciding with the Bahrain Summer Festival being held in July, offers residents of GCC countries a chance to splurge in five-star luxury in Bahrain’s leading hotels at an unbeatable price when they travel with Gulf Air. – TradeArabia News Service