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Gulf Air To Focus Of Regional Flights  
User currently offlineNA From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10654 posts, RR: 9
Posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5219 times:

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...ntrate-on-regional-operations.html

Seems like a considerable reduction in 787 and/or A330 orders is to be expected. A320s instead of A330s most likely.

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1861 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 5143 times:

Sounds like economic reality setting in - running a loss-making airline for the prestige of it is no longer an option.

I'm still unclear what this new vision is. How will the route map change?

I do wonder about EK, ET, QR, and Gulf, and now some LCCs in the picture. Seems like an awful lot of hub in a concentrated area.


User currently offlineJoKeR From Serbia, joined Nov 2004, 2235 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 5072 times:



Quoting Tharanga (Reply 1):
I'm still unclear what this new vision is. How will the route map change?

I do wonder about EK, ET, QR, and Gulf, and now some LCCs in the picture. Seems like an awful lot of hub in a concentrated area.

Perhaps an "attack" on thinner Eastern European routes not served by anyone else so far?



Kafa, čaj, šraf?
User currently offlineTharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1861 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4950 times:



Quoting JoKeR (Reply 2):

Perhaps an "attack" on thinner Eastern European routes not served by anyone else so far?

Is there enough there to make anybody any money?

From the words, it sounds like they're resigning themselves to just being a downscaled airline, with the focus on serving the people of Bahrain, as opposed to being a global carrier. Moving people around the Gulf.

I meant EY ahead where I said ET.


User currently offlineBehramjee From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 4754 posts, RR: 43
Reply 4, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4867 times:

Can someone please change the subject of this thread to read:

Gulf Air restructuring process announced


User currently offlineFCKC From France, joined Nov 2004, 2348 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4826 times:

They are also looking for Regional jets.Embraer E JETS ?

User currently offlineBehramjee From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 4754 posts, RR: 43
Reply 6, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4792 times:

I would bet on E 190s being added to the GF fleet within 18 months!

User currently offlineDirectorguy From Egypt, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 1651 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4678 times:

Good strategy.
A bunch of E190s or even E170s would serve the airline better than the larger a/c deployed on some routes which are essentially feeding a low-yielding longhaul network. Perhaps places like RKT and SHJ could come online again.

Quoting JoKeR (Reply 2):
Perhaps an "attack" on thinner Eastern European routes not served by anyone else so far?

If anything, with RJs, GF would have the right a/c capacity wise. However, not sure about the range, or the economics. BAH has the least demand for Eastern Europe, but never say never.

Quoting Tharanga (Reply 3):
From the words, it sounds like they're resigning themselves to just being a downscaled airline, with the focus on serving the people of Bahrain, as opposed to being a global carrier. Moving people around the Gulf.

BAH has low O&D compared to to the other states. Essentially it's a transit carrier, and is most likely to remain so, and it's just a matter of using the most profitable string to tie points A and B together.
I wonder if the longhaul network will be severely impacted-it's not like they have a lot to cut. Maybe reduce frequencies, that sort of thing.


User currently offlineTharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1861 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4659 times:



Quoting Directorguy (Reply 7):
Essentially it's a transit carrier, and is most likely to remain so, and it's just a matter of using the most profitable string to tie points A and B together.

But what could their niche be? In what way would they have some advantage over other carriers in the region?

Quoting Directorguy (Reply 7):
I wonder if the longhaul network will be severely impacted-it's not like they have a lot to cut.

That's why I was confused over what the new vision was. The route network stretches from London to Shanghai; nothing too ambitious. Could just be lower capacity planes on the longer routes.


User currently offlineJoKeR From Serbia, joined Nov 2004, 2235 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 4329 times:



Quoting Tharanga (Reply 3):

Is there enough there to make anybody any money?



Quoting Directorguy (Reply 7):
BAH has the least demand for Eastern Europe, but never say never.

My understanding from an article I read elsewhere on the net is that they plan to be a regional network carrier, sort of mini EK/EY/QR, concentrating on networking the region, I presume 4-5 hour destinations max with Bahrain and the rest of the GCC.

Looking how the rest of the Gulf carriers are predominantly interested in long-haul services, and the LCC's in the region on P2P, GF's strategy could perhaps work provided they link cities that currently are not served from the region, but which demand connections to either BAH/DOH/AUH/DXB/KWI etc.



Kafa, čaj, šraf?
User currently offlineDirectorguy From Egypt, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 1651 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 4206 times:



Quoting Tharanga (Reply 8):
But what could their niche be? In what way would they have some advantage over other carriers in the region?

That's where the problem lies. GF used to have a large market share on the intra-Gulf routes until the 2000s when QR/EY and the LCCs began taking over a lot of the traffic. Before that, GF also dominated longhaul travel with a network stretching from Houston to Melbourne to Jo'burg at its peak. Then EK & Co. began duplicating then revolutionising the system. Longhaul, there isn't much that GF can do that EK/QR/EY don't.

Now we've seen GF venture into potentially lucrative markets like Iraq. Perhaps a few more places in Iran could come online with RJs, but then again Dubai has services to something like 10 Iranian cities.

Now the most GF can do is downsize, and 'profitalize' itself, going for O&D and a smaller transfer network, since they're clearly not making good money that way.
I've seen A330s arriving from LHR, CDG and FRA with a tiny amount of pax at the baggage reclaim belts at BAH; everyone else goes to the departures area to catch their flights to DXB, BOM etc.
Now, one would say they downsize longhaul operations and focus on regional ops, i.e. BEY/CAI/BOM/DEL but then again that doesn't seem to be working. GF needs to downsize and restructure big time.

Quoting JoKeR (Reply 9):
Looking how the rest of the Gulf carriers are predominantly interested in long-haul services, and the LCC's in the region on P2P, GF's strategy could perhaps work provided they link cities that currently are not served from the region, but which demand connections to either BAH/DOH/AUH/DXB/KWI etc.

Yup, but it's come to a point that not a single city in the Middle East doesn't have an abundance of flights to the region. Even the lesser ones have a ton of flights, esp. LCCs (i.e. LXR and Alex).


User currently offlineAsoRock From Bahrain, joined May 2006, 321 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 4062 times:



Quoting Directorguy (Reply 10):
Now, one would say they downsize longhaul operations and focus on regional ops, i.e. BEY/CAI/BOM/DEL but then again that doesn't seem to be working. GF needs to downsize and restructure big time.

Well, what Gulf Air can do is get its house in order, and that means taking off and landing on-time, all the time, take the lead in innovation once again perhaps by offering the first free onboard Wi-Fi, check-in facility in Khobar (Saudi Arabia) where a LOT of passengers originate or Manama. If they innovate and downsize, they will become a leaner, meaner entity that could become relevant once again.

In Phase II of their plan, they will add new regional destinations. My guess is new destinations to be served once daily with small regional jets, to Iraq, Iran, perhaps Aleppo, Latakia in Syria, Medina, other Emirates (Sharjah, Fujeirah, Al-Ain) like they used to. These flights can feed into their other trunk routes within the Middle East/Asia/Europe.

I'm sure they can pull it off. All they need to do is address their onboard product, innovation, punctuality, and the rest will get sorted out.

Right now, GF's biggest problem is their image...it's been run to the ground. Every person I know has horror stories with GF. Not to mention their onboard food, which is the worst I've ever had on any other airline (30+ airlines).

Samer Majali (new CEO, ex-Royal Jordanian) can get the job done, he just needs political support to fight off the remaning corrupt elements in the airline and in parliament.

Cheers.


User currently offlinePM From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 6868 posts, RR: 63
Reply 12, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 4028 times:



Quoting NA (Thread starter):
A320s instead of A330s most likely.

Agreed. It's hard to see them taking 737s so if they cancel their 787s they'll simply be writing off the deposits. But they should be able to convert A330s into A320s.

Shame.


User currently offlineParapente From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 1548 posts, RR: 10
Reply 13, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 3852 times:

It is a good decision based on reality.There is not room for 3 hubs in the region and this move reflects this reality.Whilst it is a loos for Boeing,Airbus and Rolls - well these things hppen.

Clearly what they must do is ensure that their City state has seamless lings directly to all major hubs and important "rerional" cities. As ststed the A320 would be perfect for this role - particularly with the stream of engine and aircraft upgrades that have been announced recently.

The "reach" of such an aircraft is these days, so long that most if not all routs can be covered with a plane that can deliver profits.


User currently offlineDirectorguy From Egypt, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 1651 posts, RR: 11
Reply 14, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 3496 times:



Quoting AsoRock (Reply 11):
Well, what Gulf Air can do is get its house in order, and that means taking off and landing on-time, all the time, take the lead in innovation once again perhaps by offering the first free onboard Wi-Fi, check-in facility in Khobar (Saudi Arabia) where a LOT of passengers originate or Manama. If they innovate and downsize, they will become a leaner, meaner entity that could become relevant once again.

Ah, that's quite a nice idea. If they can do this, they can save pax the hassle of having to make their way over the causeway, which I'm told is packed even on weekdays (haven't lived there for three years; back then was only packed on weekends). The trek to DMM airport itself can be quite annoying as well. A convenient check-in facility in downtown Khobar would solve everything.
I know GF runs 2 daily services but a) they don't feed all the arrival/departure banks b) they're expensive to run c) they're not that convenient. We rarely flew GF DMM-BAH, although it was nice being on an A340 (now its A319/A320s) on such a short flight :p
Oh, and obviously, DMM-BAH's O&D is nil.

Quoting AsoRock (Reply 11):
Samer Majali (new CEO, ex-Royal Jordanian) can get the job done, he just needs political support to fight off the remaning corrupt elements in the airline and in parliament.

Not too familiar with the Bahraini political system but I know that a lot want to keep the airline as it is so that no one loses their jobs. While maintaining such a Soviet-style bureuacracy may seem distasteful, Bahrain IS a small country with few opportunities. The trick is making sure downsizing doesn't mean people are left jobless.


User currently offlineQantas777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 484 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 2859 times:

I talked about this on my unemployment blog: www.everythingaviation.wordpress.com

I do not believe Gulf Air can compete, unless they go the ultra LCC way. You have too many LCC's, and regional competition from Qatar, EK, Royal J, and EgyptAir. They are going to smoke this airline out of Bahrain and into the USA boneyard. Too many asm's, somebody has to die.

Good luck Gulf Air.


User currently offlineLightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12899 posts, RR: 100
Reply 16, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 2773 times:
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Quoting Tharanga (Reply 1):
Sounds like economic reality setting in - running a loss-making airline for the prestige of it is no longer an option.

Tell that to QR and EY.  duck   Wink

Quoting Tharanga (Reply 1):
I do wonder about EK, ET, QR, and Gulf, and now some LCCs in the picture. Seems like an awful lot of hub in a concentrated area.

Agreed. Only EK is making a profit (they have 'first mover' advantage).

Quoting Tharanga (Reply 3):
Is there enough there to make anybody any money?

I think so. In particular, with the connections. This won't be as lucrative as Western Europe, but I think the first airline to set up a presence (that has good connections) will do well in Eastern Europe.

Quoting Parapente (Reply 13):
There is not room for 3 hubs in the region and this move reflects this reality.

I agree. But amoung EK/EY/QR/GR and Kuwait there is fierce compitition.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24858 posts, RR: 46
Reply 17, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 2749 times:

Well the executive suite at GF has been a revolving door with 3 CEO's in 3 years with each one having a new concept in mind for the airline.

The newest CEO ex Royal Jordanian CEO Samer Majali is following his RJ play book of moving away from intercontinental connections to focusing on regional flying.
RJ refocused its network away from long-haul connectivity towards feeding Levent markets including secondary cities so we could expect GF to do similar with a small handful of key longhaul markets but primarily Gulf, Arabian Peninsula flying along with nearby markets using the A320 fleet.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineLightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12899 posts, RR: 100
Reply 18, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 2700 times:
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Quoting LAXintl (Reply 17):
Well the executive suite at GF has been a revolving door with 3 CEO's in 3 years with each one having a new concept in mind for the airline.

I missed that. Thank you for sharing. Any company with 'revolving door' CEO's is going to have trouble.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineVirginFlyer From New Zealand, joined Sep 2000, 4537 posts, RR: 41
Reply 19, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 2559 times:



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 17):
Well the executive suite at GF has been a revolving door with 3 CEO's in 3 years with each one having a new concept in mind for the airline.

Yes, and IIRC, this isn't the first time that Gulf Air has tried to position itself as more of a regional carrier - wasn't that André Dosé's policy as well?

V/F



"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
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