Gulf Air takes aim at cutting costs

Like virtually every airline around the world grappling with the worsening financial crisis, Bahrain-based Gulf Air is seeking to contain costs by grounding its fleet of Airbus A340 long-haul jetliners and starting to hedge on fuel purchases, CEO Bjorn Naf says.

“Pakistan is one of the top cargo selling destinations in Gulf Air’s network and we hope to add value by having our own dedicated team look after this important cargo market,” according to Gulf Air acting head of cargo Khalid Hassan.

A regional cargo manager, based in Karachi, has also started looking after the Pakistan cargo market as well as operations out of Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

In order to boost the carrier’s activities, Gulf Air has also strengthened its sales division with the appointments of Essam Al Hammadi as general manager Bahrain and the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, and Yaqoob Abdulla Yaqoob as general manager for Central and Western Provinces of Saudi Arabia.

Ahmed Ramadan takes over as area manager Bahrain and Yousef Saeed has been appointed area manager Eastern Province.

No change to newbuild order
In September, Gulf Air firmed up an order for eight new Boeing 787s, raising to 24 the total number of new planes it is awaiting delivery.

The Gulf Arab kingdom already had an order for 16 Boeing 787s – due for delivery in 2016 – with an option to add eight more. No value was available for the order, but all 24 were worth about US$3.9 billion at list prices when the deal was struck in January.