Its good to hear that the restructuring deal with A and B is finally complete. The airline is in a sorry state, due to massive mismanagement for over a decade followed by political problems in Bahrain.
Since the exit in investment and subsequent competition from neighboring states GF
has had to decide what exactly it is/was. Oman, Abu Dhabi and Qatar were, in terms of financial clout, the more important parteners the airline could never return to what it was in its golden age with only Bahrain owning the majority stake. Bahrain is the poorest of the 6 GCC nations and does not have the vast oil and gas reserves that have made Qatar Airways and Etihad major players on the international aviation market.
The new CEO Samer Majali has done a good job of restructuring the airline. As unhappy as people within the airline are, and justifiably so, GF
missed the boat years ago to compete with Emirates. And to be honest the partners within who had the cash to allow it to compete disappeared and started their own airlines, GF
didn't stand a chance. But the airline still has the chance to mark out a place for itself as a niche airline with an easy hub to transit through, and a simple but efficient product.
Their Business class in the narrow boy is by far one of the best narrowbody business classes in the world, and if they can live up to their promise of live tv, wifi etc. I would say that it would be a great way of jetting across the Middle East, India and North Africa. Unfortunately, they've also been hampered with inadequate facilities at Bahrain Airport, which hasn't seen any real development to its terminal since it was built 20 years ago. This is while the competition are opening/have opened new state-of-the-art facilities
People always speak fondly about flying on GF
and most former employees speak of it in glowing terms, especially the camaraderie between the staff. Its history in the region is sort of similar to Pan Ams in the US, being the first carrier in the region, the pioneer, flying a few pax and mail around the Gulf, and then becoming one of the worlds premier carriers, but finally being brought down to almost nothing by the newer competition and political turmoil. The only positive point is that unlike Pan Am it is now the national carrier of a country that won't let it fail completely, so the Golden Falcon will keep flying a little longer. InshAllah