LAXintl
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Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:15 pm

Well seemingly ever shrinking airline is having its network trimmed even further along with 800 jobs.

Service to Colombo, Dhaka and Kathmandu is being eliminated. CMB cut is effective Feb 10th, DAC Mar 4, and KTM on Mar 24th.

Additionally company has informed its unions that staff cuts of 800 are planned, however union fears it may run as high as 1,800.

Story:
http://www.aircargoworld.com/Air-Car...1/gulf-air-shrinks-further/0911635
and
http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=345148

=
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
SpaceshipDC10
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:16 pm

How long before Gulf Air becomes history ?
 
Noise
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:22 pm

...and why the heck is Gulf Air losing ground the carriers like Etihad, Emirates and Qatar?
 
SpaceshipDC10
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:28 pm

Quoting Noise (Reply 2):
...and why the heck is Gulf Air losing ground the carriers like Etihad, Emirates and Qatar?

Somehow, that situation reminds me what happened with Pan Am and TWA but in the Persian Gulf region.
 
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hhslax2
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:05 am

Quoting Noise (Reply 2):
...and why the heck is Gulf Air losing ground the carriers like Etihad, Emirates and Qatar?

Product and route map hurt the ability to market connecting traffic compared to the major gulf carriers. The people that come here for vacation can fly direct on other airlines that are cheaper and/or offer them benefits on their choice of frequent flyer program. I try to fly EY when possible. Most of my coworkers fly EY or QR, except one that likes WY.
 
SV777
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:22 am

Strange, they just won a license to operate inside Saudi Arabia along side with Qatari, I thought they would be hiring and adding to the fleet more airplanes!
 
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yellowtail
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:25 am

In the aviation world you cannot shrink yourself into profitability. Generally (over the long term) it must be grow or die.
When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
 
tonystan
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:03 pm

But Gulf Air has been "dying" for years. Back in 2002 when I was doing my initial training for Qatar Airways I remember the "chief" almost falling into hysterical laughing when someone suggested Gulf Air was competition to QR, his reply was that Gulf Air wouldn't exist in a years time, well he was wrong! But wonder how long for?
My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
 
klwright69
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:43 pm

Quoting tonystan (Reply 7):
But Gulf Air has been "dying" for years. Back in 2002 when I was doing my initial training for Qatar Airways I remember the "chief" almost falling into hysterical laughing when someone suggested Gulf Air was competition to QR, his reply was that Gulf Air wouldn't exist in a years time, well he was wrong! But wonder how long for?
Quoting yellowtail (Reply 6):
In the aviation world you cannot shrink yourself into profitability. Generally (over the long term) it must be grow or die.

All excellent points... I have lived in the Gulf Region for several years. I have never flown Gulf Air. They need to do something and quick, or it'll be all over.

The Persian Gulf is absolutely saturated with airlines. And it's only getting worse. At some point something has to give. Is RAK Air still in business (Ras Al Khaimah UAE) ? Isn't their an airline planning on flying to Fujeirah?

It should be remembered that airlines can linger on and on for many years.
 
leftyboarder
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:51 pm

As long as it is the vanity project of a government (read: Bahrain), I don't see it going away entirely. Only in regulated economies with gov't intervention limited (e.g. Hungary or the US) we will see airlines dying a natural death. Even in the US, the inclination is to keep them afloat and find them new owners.
 
ASA
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:15 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
Service to Colombo, Dhaka and Kathmandu is being eliminated. CMB cut is effective Feb 10th, DAC Mar 4, and KTM on Mar 24th.

Heck - I feel lucky now!!! I am flying on AA-GF tomorrow BOS-LHR-BAH-DAC ... and returning in a week. I hope atleast these flights will fly on time and I'll have memories to share!  

But too bad about the airline - and DAC losing another service. Only shows how EK/EY/QR are eating away others' dinner  duck 

[Edited 2013-01-10 10:16:21]
 
mac3xx
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:20 pm

Could someone refresh my memory ?
If I remember well gulf air was created as a shared airline with support of the major countries around Barhain (including Qatar). Today, old freinds in the vicinity goes on their own and remove their nuts from the basket. So what is the future with so big ones (QR,EK....) around ?
mac3xx
 
SCQ83
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:33 pm

I wonder what's the logic of the Bahraini government to keep both Gulf Air and Bahrain Air.

My 0.02 is that it should be reestructured as a regional carrier, with one single type to serve markets with substantial O&D from BAH (Gulf, Levant, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, India, Pakistan) and then try to get some connections. Basically an Air Arabia in Bahrain.
 
LAXintl
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:42 pm

Quoting leftyboarder (Reply 9):
As long as it is the vanity project of a government (read: Bahrain), I don't see it going away entirely.

   GF indeed has stuck around this long thanks to repeated government bail outs.

However I think the issue is coming to a head finally as even the Bahrani government realizes the funding cant go on forever and major overhaul is needed.

However GF is definitely swimming against the tide. The carrier continues to lose markets to competitors and the losses mount.

Also does not help the carrier does not have much in the way of leadership these days losing yet another CEO.
Gulf Air CEO Quits (by LAXintl Nov 29 2012 in Civil Aviation)

Quoting mac3xx (Reply 11):
Could someone refresh my memory ?
If I remember well gulf air was created as a shared airline with support of the major countries around Barhain (including Qatar). Today, old freinds in the vicinity goes on their own and remove their nuts from the basket. So what is the future with so big ones (QR,EK....) around ?

Company was formed by BOAC in the 1950s and subsequently became the national airline for Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman.

However over the years one by one the states withdrew their participation in the carrier as they launched their own airlines.

With the withdrawal of its these national share holders the carrier lost one hub and market after another having to shrink with its remaining network until today where it left with solely its Bahrain base.

At one time Gulf Air was the premier (and truly luxury) airline in the region.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
higherflyer
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:19 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 13):
the national airline for Abu Dhabi

It was actually the national airline of the UAE. Dubai was upset with some significant schedule changes in the mid-1980's and withdrew to startup Emirates.
 
mac3xx
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:51 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 13):
Company was formed by BOAC in the 1950s and subsequently became the national airline for Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman.............

Thanks "LAXintl", some pieces of the puzzle were missing to me.
mac3xx
 
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yowza
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:25 pm

Quoting SV777 (Reply 5):

Strange, they just won a license to operate inside Saudi Arabia along side with Qatari, I thought they would be hiring and adding to the fleet more airplanes!

They will likely use the slack generated by cutting CMB, DAC and KTM to put metal into KSA operations.

Quoting klwright69 (Reply 8):
I have never flown Gulf Air. They need to do something and quick, or it'll be all over.

This is going to sound dumb but I really feel that stuff started going pear shaped when they got rid of their old iconic livery.

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 12):

I wonder what's the logic of the Bahraini government to keep both Gulf Air and Bahrain Air.

If you've been watching the news recently you'll know that the government/ruler of Bahrain has bigger fish to fry... like not being toppled  
Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
Colombo, Dhaka and Kathmandu

All low yield, low premium cabin destinations. Perhaps they are going to use these aircraft to spool up activities in the KSA?

Cheers,
YOWza
 
LAXintl
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:47 pm

Quoting higherflyer (Reply 14):
It was actually the national airline of the UAE. Dubai was upset with some significant schedule changes in the mid-1980's and withdrew to startup Emirates.

Actually no - read Gulf Air's own history website.

http://www.gulfair.com/English/aboutgulfair/Pages/History.aspx

1973:
Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Oman, and Qatar governments purchase BOAC's shares.

1974:
The Foundation Treaty is signed on 1 January and the Gulf Aviation Company becomes Gulf Air, the national carrier of the four states.



Also for the record Dubai did not even have an airfield when the airline was formed. Matter of fact Dubai did not have much of anything back then. First tiny airport served with DC-3 did not come into being till 1960.
Also the UAE did not come into existence itself until 1971, and it is 7 separate states with GF being owned by 1 of the 7.

Yes GF at one time was indeed the largest airline at Dubai, but it was not because the government had ownership in it.
GF cut back some of its Dubai flying as it worked to shift away from being a p2p airline to focusing on creating proper hubs in Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Muscat which came into fashion in the 1980s.
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LAXintl
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:57 pm

Quoting yowza (Reply 16):
They will likely use the slack generated by cutting CMB, DAC and KTM to put metal into KSA operations.

If that was the case, why are they getting rid of 800-1,800 staff also?

About 440 are foreign crew members, which you would think they would need if replacement flying is around the corner.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
Ferminios
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:04 pm

Quoting yowza (Reply 16):
Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 12):

I wonder what's the logic of the Bahraini government to keep both Gulf Air and Bahrain Air.

If you've been watching the news recently you'll know that the government/ruler of Bahrain has bigger fish to fry... like not being toppled  

Except the Bahraini government has very little to do with Bahrain Air since it's privately owned. Sure they could do something like Oman did with nationalizing WY (the goverment owned ~33% until 2007) if the owners are willing to cooperate, but I think that putting GF into bankruptcy will be too much loss of face for the government.

Florian  
 
Viscount724
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:12 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 17):
Also for the record Dubai did not even have an airfield when the airline was formed. Matter of fact Dubai did not have much of anything back then. First tiny airport served with DC-3 did not come into being till 1960.

DXB airport 1960.



And mid-'70s.

 
peterinlisbon
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:29 pm

I flew to India on Gulf Air about 15 years ago and I thought it was a great airline. Very comfortable seats and great service, the aircraft was a brand new A330. The livery was also very special. In those days I loved flying so much I chose the routing with the most stops, so I went Heathrow-Bahrain-Muscat-Bombay and back Delhi-Muscat-Abu Dhabi-Heathrow. I remember thinking it was strange that this airline was shared between Oman, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain and the routings for connecting flights made a lot of stops. It surpises me to see how this airline has declined over the years, whilst Etihad, Emirates and Qatar have taken off so spectacularly. I'd have thought they all had the same opportunity to take advantage of Europe-Asia traffic, and Gulf Air had a head start.
 
CF-CPI
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:37 pm

IMHO, the Gulf Air livery is on of the best ever designed. Of course, this is not enough to maintain a successful business model.

I gather they have a rather schizoid identity. On the one hand, the A340s were fitted with very luxurious First Class cabins, and circa 2005 the airline seemed to be aiming for preferred carrier status. OTOH, various trip reports from that period, or later, give the impression that on many routes they were rather prosaic - bland old fashioned cabin furnishings - with indifferent inflight service, even in First. If the public does not perceive a certain consistency in the travel experience, I can't imagine maintaining long-term viability.

To end on a positive note, let's not forget their brief fling with the 777-300s - two of them leased from Jet Airways and painted in full falcon colors:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Chris Lofting

 
Flying Belgian
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:38 pm

I was shocked when I read that on airlineroute.

These were 3 key regional routes. In that case, I have the feeling that it's rather FlyDubai and Air Arabia that GF is competing with and not QR/EK/EY.

What are their loads to/from Europe at the moment ? They only maintained CDG-FRA-CPH and LHR IIAC ?
Life is great at 41.000 feet...
 
SCQ83
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:53 pm

Quoting Ferminios (Reply 19):
Except the Bahraini government has very little to do with Bahrain Air since it's privately owned. Sure they could do something like Oman did with nationalizing WY (the goverment owned ~33% until 2007) if the owners are willing to cooperate, but I think that putting GF into bankruptcy will be too much loss of face for the government.

Florian

Except that in this case you are talking about a Gulf monarchy ruled by one family happy to control everything in that place (in a tiny state the size of Singapore with roughly 1 million people) and the Chairman of that company casually happens to be part of the Royal Family.
 
LAXintl
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:02 pm

Quoting Flying Belgian (Reply 23):
What are their loads to/from Europe at the moment ? They only maintained CDG-FRA-CPH and LHR IIAC ?

Copenhagen was cancelled per announcement earlier. I think the last flight is early Feb.
Same with Rome it is also being dropped this month.

Only remaining Europe service will be CDG, FRA, IST and LHR, with frequency and capacity reductions at CDG and FRA as well.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
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OA260
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:12 pm

Sadly GF have been going from bad to worse for over a decade. My last flight with them in J was nice but an off duty pilot sitting next to me said that he remembered the good days and that the company was dying . Sad to see . I remember their lovely Tri Stars and true Golden Falcon service .
 
VCy
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:24 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 25):

And LCA  
 
DALCE
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:06 pm

AFAIK the E-jets lease contracts are not being extended, and those birds will return to the lessor end of the month.

Somehow my guts say that a carpenter has already chopped a tree for the coffin.....  
flown: F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,77W,788,319,320,321,333,AB6.
 
AsoRock
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:43 pm

It's sad, but Gulf Air appears to be a zombie airline, and may continue as such for a while before the government takes drastic action.

As QR's boss said, Gulf Air's problem is continuous government interference and I'll add to that corruption.

GF could have taken the initiative and dissolved the multinational concept of "Gulf Air" to re-create a well capitalized Bahraini airline in the early 2000s. It does not take a genius to know that Gulf Air has a huge image problem, the core of which its image as an 'abandoned' airline after Abu Dhabi, Oman and Qatar left. It is also notoriously known for flight delays and inedible flight catering.

In this day and age, it's all about size, capital and network. I'm afraid it's the big 3 carriers (QR. EY, EK) which have taken the lead. The best Bahrain can hope for is a successful low-frills airline like Air Arabia to emerge out of Bahrain assuming the political situation improves.
 
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yowza
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:05 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 18):
About 440 are foreign crew members, which you would think they would need if replacement flying is around the corner.

Well yes and no. If the flying that is just around the corner is domestic KSA flying I suspect they would need Arabic speakers who are willing to be based in the KSA. This effectively rules out a good sized pool of the existing workforce. Again I'm not saying anything as gospel, let's wait and see...

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 24):
Except that in this case you are talking about a Gulf monarchy ruled by one family happy to control everything in that place (in a tiny state the size of Singapore with roughly 1 million people) and the Chairman of that company casually happens to be part of the Royal Family.

  

Cheers,
YOWza
 
LAXintl
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:23 pm

For a sign of how skimpy the GF network has become, on its European service both FRA and CDG will be served by only the A320 with 7 frequencies each for the summer. Hardly a market presence or comparable product to Gulf region peers.

LHR for now still gets the A330 on double daily basis.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
bastew
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:58 pm

BAH-CDG/FRA on an A320?? They might as well not even bother really! Unless they have some long haul configured A320's?
 
MCO2BRS
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:28 pm

I traveled with GF for the first time back in November LHR-BAH-MCT-BAH-LHR and I have to say the product and service left a lot to be desired. I'm not surprised that they are in trouble.

I hope those whose jobs are affected are able to find something else as quickly as possible.

Cheers,

MCO 2 BRS
 
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BasilFawlty
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:41 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 31):
Unless they have some long haul configured A320's?

They have actually.   14J96Y instead of 16J120Y like on the rest of the A320's
'Every year donkeys and mules kill more people than plane crashes'
 
higherflyer
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:37 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 17):
Actually no

Actually, yes.

I lived in the Gulf throughout the 70's, 80's and 90's and have been a very frequent visitor over the past 10+ years. I saw firsthand the change in services and decoupling from Dubai, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and finally, Oman. When I moved to the Gulf, the airline was flying VC-10's into Europe (LHR) from the UAE and GF was billing itself as the national carrier of the UAE. The ownership may have been held in Abu Dhabi, but realize that the capital of the UAE is Abu Dhabi and it would make sense that the ownership would be held by the UAE in Abu Dhabi, not by the individual emirates themselves.

I know what the GF (and other) website says. I wouldn't interpret it as literally as you seem to have done.
 
nrt1011
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:46 pm

This is certainly impacted by bad management decision making, poor route planning and lack of solid Marketing.

Someone mentioned this is becoming endemic in the Persian Gulf, which is true. I really wonder whether this huge A380 investment made by EK will eventually come back and haunt them and whether it really is "The Emperor has no clothes". In the future we will all say "Well it was so obvious", A380 DXB to Wagga Wagga (this is nowhere Australia) never would work. I am watching with interest
 
LAXintl
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:05 pm

Please find me a reference that the Emirate of Dubai was an owner of GF.

Having done legal work for GF in the past, no where has Dubai's previous ownership stake ever come up, nor that of any other UAE emirate besides Abu Dhabi.

I am sure you are aware each UAE emirate is quite different with their own purse strings, investments, and aspirations.

Back in the day the ownership was 25% each for Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Oman, and Qatar. As part of this each nation got something of the airline - Bahrain got the headquarters, Oman got legal ownership of the aircraft, Abu Dhabi got the maintenance base, and Qatar got the crew training and data centers.

Now back to Dubai, it along with other emirate Sharjah were certainly served, Dubai indeed did have lots of service at one time including longhauls to places like Europe however it was not a home base for GF.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
LAXintl
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:38 pm

Using LexisNexis search I came up with this late 1984 story about start up of Emirates;

Emirate Airlines, the recently launched Dubai carrier, said Pakistan International Airlines has agreed in principle to help the airline get airborne. PIA is offering to lease the airline two aircraft—an A300, and a 737-300. Technical and management assistance would also be provided aircraft over the next four years.

The new airline, a project of the Government of Dubai, is expected to be operational by next October, flying between India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and other neighbouring states.

According to chairman Sheik Ahmad ibn Saeed al Maktoum, Emirates will be a direct competitor to Bahrain-based Gulf Air who over the past two years has reduced its flights to and from Dubai by almost two-thirds as the airline focused on building a hub network from neighboring Abu Dhabi.


Again no mention that Dubai was an owner and ditching its stake inf favor of EK.


Then back in 1982 I see this little blurb;

Gulf Air has been granted national carrier status by the Emirate of Sharjah, one of the seven member states of the United Arab Emirates. Gulf Air is owned by the Gulf States of Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

So maybe GF was considered the "national" carrier of Dubai as well prior to EK, but again I can't find any citation that Dubai owned or funded Gulf Air.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
LAXintl
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:32 am

Gulf Air will launch (another) major cost-cutting plan, this one focused increasingly on regional services.

GF says its network would be realigned “moving away from low-yield transit traffic and concentrating on high-demand and high-yield, point-to-point routes to connect Bahraini businesses with regional markets.”

Story:
http://atwonline.com/airline-finance...nces-major-restructuring-plan-0115

I wonder if GF needs anywhere close to its 10 current A330 fleet, or the 16 787s still on the books.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
LAXintl
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:54 am

GF unions have been briefed on the companies latest plans.

They say 1,266 staff members will be made redundant as part of the restructuring.

Exact break down of fleet reduction was not provided but fleet count could drop to as little as 20 from current 38, but GF would continue to operate a mix of wide and narrowbody aircraft.

Network would be focused on targeting high-demand, high-yield point-to-point Bahraini routes. The realigned network will continue to operate to “select” European, Far East and Indian subcontinent markets.

Story:
http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=345758
and
http://gulfbusiness.com/2013/01/gulf...cost-savings-in-2013/#.UPjUzydNuSo

=
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
iah59
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:32 am

Why is Gulf Air dying?
 
LAXintl
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RE: Gulf Air Cuts More Routes And Staff

Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:34 am

According to this story, the E190s will be phased out.

http://atwonline.com/airline-finance...-one-third-restructuring-plan-0121

=
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California