BA
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GulfAir Disc. Abu Dhabi-Beirut, Increasing Bahrain

Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:20 pm

Gulf Air will be discontinuing Abu Dhabi - Beirut after suffering more than a year of very poor loads and heavy losses since the entrance of the new national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways.

Gulf Air once operated 4x weekly service all on A330-200s. However since the entrance of Etihad Airways in November 2003 which began with 3x weekly A330-200 service, they have decreased it to 3x weekly A330-200 and 1x weekly A320-200, then down to 2x weekly A330-200 and 2x weekly A330-200, then down to 4x weekly A320-200, and since the start of the winter schedule, they've been operating only at 3x weekly A320-200.

In the summer they used to increase to daily on mix of A330-200s and A320-200s.

This summer they were supposed to increase it to daily A320-200, but I guess competition proved too much for them.

Etihad Airways currently operates 4x weekly A330-200. With the spring schedule, it will switch to 3x weekly A330-200 and 1x weekly B767-300.

MEA which operates 4x weekly A321-200 has been suffering major losses on the route since the entrance of Etihad Airways.

I guess with the Gulf Air pullout, their performance should improve again.

Because they will be discontinuing Abu Dhabi - Beirut service, they will be increasing their Bahrain service.

Currently, they operate daily A320-200. Last summer the service was upgraded to a daily A340-300, but for the summer only.

They will slowly transition from a daily A320-200 service to a daily A330-200 service.

The A330 upgrade will be permanent and not a seasonal upgrade.

Despite the assassination of the much loved ex-Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, tourism and travel to Lebanon is expected to remain strong.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
Vimanav
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RE: GulfAir Disc. Abu Dhabi-Beirut, Increasing Bahrain

Thu Mar 03, 2005 3:30 am

... and they knock CMB off their route map in about a month or so.

rgds//Vimanav
Sarfaroshi kii tamannaa ab hamaare dil mein hai, Dekhnaa hai zor kitnaa baazu-e-qaatil mein hai
 
BA
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RE: GulfAir Disc. Abu Dhabi-Beirut, Increasing Bahrain

Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:31 pm

Quoting Vimanav (reply 1):
... and they knock CMB off their route map in about a month or so.


Yup, and Casablanca.

I fear we will see Gulf Air pull out of Abu Dhabi. Infact, perhaps these cuts are part of a slow pull-out from the market.

They are probably suffering in Abu Dhabi now ever since Etihad Airways was created and as Etihad continues to grow, they probably fear that they will suffer even more.

They are also probably expecting Abu Dhabi to pull the plug on them soon just as Qatar and Dubai did in the past.

Abu Dhabi can't handle two national carriers...

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
behramjee
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RE: GulfAir Disc. Abu Dhabi-Beirut, Increasing Bahrain

Thu Mar 03, 2005 3:04 pm

Quoting BA (reply 2):
They are also probably expecting Abu Dhabi to pull the plug on them soon just as Qatar and Dubai did in the past. Abu Dhabi can't handle two national carriers...


I had predicted this would happen when I first heard of EY leasing in A 332s to start off with  Big grin

What do you mean that just because EY comes in, GF suffers out of AUH on certain routes? Or is it due to the price undercutting of EY on many routes of AUH that results in them stealing away pax from GF and others???

[Edited 2005-03-03 07:31:13]
 
BA
Topic Author
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RE: GulfAir Disc. Abu Dhabi-Beirut, Increasing Bahrain

Thu Mar 03, 2005 3:08 pm

Behramjee,

It is indeed the major price undercutting of EY on many routes and in general, EY is advertising and marketting themselves more.

Remember also that people always like to try the "new stuff."

The general increase in capacity on a number of routes that don't warrant it also hurts GF and also could hurt EY. However, EY is completely government subsidized and is far from breaking even. That's not even the goal at the moment.

On the otherhand, GF needs to be profitable.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
behramjee
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RE: GulfAir Disc. Abu Dhabi-Beirut, Increasing Bahrain

Thu Mar 03, 2005 3:36 pm

The reason why I guessed correctly the price undercutting reason is because out of Karachi, EY has a Rs 23,000 KHI-LHR-LGW-KHI fare and the next cheapest fare is PIA-EK-QR at RS 32-35,000 range!!!

EY have no intention of becoming profitable for the next 4-5 years...their main aim is to bring pax into AUH at any costs for tourism and business purposes and to basically make a name of themselves whilst doing it...they do not care how they do it as long as its done !!!

I wonder what sort of an impact it is having on GFs AUH-LHR-AUH loads and yields as EY is double daily to LHR and daily to LGW now.
 
mrniji
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RE: GulfAir Disc. Abu Dhabi-Beirut, Increasing Bahrain

Thu Mar 03, 2005 3:53 pm

Quoting BA (reply 0):
Gulf Air will be discontinuing Abu Dhabi - Beirut after suffering more than a year of very poor loads and heavy losses


BA, this surprises me.. maybe you could give me some answer to a thought:

I am surprised since Libanese people constitute a big diasporic community world wide (I met sooo many nice folks of you even in Cameroon when I was posted there). Now, I agree that there might be an operational loss, but don'tyou think that, since many pax transfer in the respective GF hubs, the loss on BEY-AUH is offset again, since they continue the journey?

Then, I would be interested in esome ME Expert's  Big grin opinion: Do you fear something like overcompetition in the Gulf in the future, leading to problems for some airlines and the evolving of only a few strong careers? I am just afraid that EK will be the only big winner in the end
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
Horus
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RE: GulfAir Disc. Abu Dhabi-Beirut, Increasing Bah

Fri Mar 04, 2005 9:31 pm

I have to agree with BA here, it seems inevitable GF will be 'forced' out out of AUH. BA, do you know (roughly) how much airfares are on the AUH-BEY route with GF, ME and EY?

The situation between GF and Egypt also sees some changes. Concerning the AUH-CAI route, till December MS and GF were the only operators with daily services till EY joined with 4x weekly flights (3x A332, 1x B763). Due to the new entrant the Egyptian authorities forced GF to reduce their flights to 5x weekly A332 flights (probably to protect MS). Anyway GF will be downgrading equipment to B763 before increasing their flights to daily flights this summer (flights return to A332 in the winter). Another strange thing is that for the last month or so the schedules showed EY increasing flights to 5x weekly but that fifth frequency seems to have disappeared now...

But GF seems to be increasing flights to Egypt on other routes. BAH-CAI flights get upgraded from B763 to A343 for the summer. Alexandria-AUH which is a summer only service increases from 2x weekly to 3x weekly A320 compared to last summer (GF074). They are also introducing a new 2x weekly A320 service (summer only) between Alexandria and Bahrain (GF1074).

Horus
EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
 
zizou
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RE: GulfAir Disc. Abu Dhabi-Beirut, Increasing Bahrain

Fri Mar 04, 2005 9:39 pm

The news of their pullout out of Colombo is a bit suprising. Seems like competition of EK, QR, UL, EY was too much for them
 
jr
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RE: GulfAir Disc. Abu Dhabi-Beirut, Increasing Bahrain

Fri Mar 04, 2005 10:53 pm

I think they should just focus on making BAH into a bigger, better hub instead of trying to be everything to everybody at BAH, MCT and AUH at the same time. For the limited fleet they have, they will do a lot better to stick all the widebodies into BAH, and make that a truer hub. Thats the only way they are ever going to grow. They should also try and use their alliance with Oman air at MCT better to route passengers in a limited manner on non stops out of MCT.

Their current routing of flights sometimes just does not make sense to me. For instance, their daily 763 flight to MAA operates as BAH-MCT-MAA-MCT-AUH. BAH passengers get to one stop on their way to MAA and change planes on their way back. While AUH passengers change planes at MCT to MAA and one stop on their way back. Either way, the stop is there, so they might as well route the flight non stop from BAH, and connect all passengers through there.

This becomes substantially worse for passengers who want to use GF from places like the Indian subcontinent or east asia to connect to Europe or N. America - instead of one stop in the Gulf region, now it becomes two - and more ground time. A major reason why GF looses traffic to EK. I think they will make more money that way too. Right now, it seems like they are into playing the political game with their represented nations instead of trying to really make money. They should have taken a hint by the success of EK... but then again they are GF. I know they are no where near as good as EK, but they can easily provide substantial competion on long haul routes to EK if they were serious, but at the moment they are just a joke when it comes to that.
I've flown on 9V-SPK.
 
BA
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RE: GulfAir Disc. Abu Dhabi-Beirut, Increasing Bahrain

Sat Mar 05, 2005 4:37 am

Mrniji,

There is sufficient demand for BEY-AUH, but three airlines on the route is far too much and has greatly diluted yields on the route impacting all airlines.

My cousin in December 2003 (a month after Etihad started) flew MEA to Abu Dhabi and there were only 20 passengers on the flight. That's an A321 with a capacity of 149 passengers.

Quoting Horus (reply 7):
BA, do you know (roughly) how much airfares are on the AUH-BEY route with GF, ME and EY?


I haven't checked them in a while, however I do remember seeing $99 fares on Etihad while fares on GF and ME were around $200.  Smile
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran

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