Gulf Air to close under-performing routes
Manama, February 14, 2012
Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air, in a major cost-cutting measure, has decided to close four of its biggest under performing routes - Syrian captal Damascus, Athens (Greece), Milan (Italy) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) from next month.
Announcing this on Tuesday, Gulf Air chief executive officer Samer Majali said this decision has been taken to allow the airline to use its fleet and resources in the most efficient way by concentrating on high-demand, high-yield routes to ensure that its core customer base is served effectively.
The services to Damascus will be stopped from March 2 onwards, while for Athens and Milan it will be March 12 and Kuala Lumpur from March 25.
This comes close on the heels of the national carrier's announcement to close the services to Entebbe and Geneva routes.
Majali said it was currently a challenging business environment for airlines around the world. 'These closures are pragmatic commercial decisions aimed at focusing services on routes with higher passenger traffic,' he stated.
'Our commercial strategy, developed in 2009, delivered significant gains in 2010 but last year has been challenging. Therefore, we are now adapting our approach to address the challenges on an urgent basis,' he added.
The move comes as the airline seeks to address the economic challenges faced in recent times; in particular, the local and regional political situation, the high price of fuel and low passenger numbers, said Gulf Air in it statement.
Those who have confirmed bookings (both onward and return) to these destinations on or after March 2/12/25 have been asked to contact the Gulf Air office for alternate travel options or refunds, it added.-TradeArabia News Service