Video of the Week: The Golden Falcon emerges out of the shadows thanks to Gulf Air’s boutique aspirations

Gulf Air is one of the most famous names in Middle East aviation. Formerly the flag carrier of multiple nations it is today just a shadow of the giant behemoths that now dominate air travel across the region. While their focus is as much on flying passengers through their regional hubs as to flying them in and out, they have made it difficult for established operators such as Gulf Air, now solely serving the Kingdom of Bahrain, to compete.

To stand out from the crowd and to strengthen its position as a national asset to the economic growth of the Kingdom, Gulf Air is now in the early stages of a five year development strategy to become the airline of choice within the region with a new boutique business model concept which will reinforce its focus on product and customer experience. It plans to differentiate itself from its larger airlines that are more volume driven.

Our niche is to become the best in class.
Krešimir Kučko, CEO, Gulf Air

This approach, it intends, will give the airline a competitive advantage that will translate in its new fleet, new Falcon Gold class offering, new exclusive products, new destinations for 2019 and its presence in the new terminal at Bahrain International Airport due to open towards the end of the year.

The new strategy was adopted in 2018 with the delivery of five Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and one Airbus 320neo as well as opening six new destinations: Alexandria and Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt; Baku in Azerbaijan; Casablanca in Morocco; and Bangalore and Calicut in India.

A new livery and brand identity were also launched in 2018 – at the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix – that included all new logo, colour pallets, uniforms, cabin definition and refreshed look and feel, while the year ended with the launch of a mobile app and the launch of ‘The Bahrain Stopover’ which allows passengers to stop and spend a number of nights on the island including hotels, airport transfers and tours while transiting in Bahrain before continuing to their final destination.

With the new business model concept, Gulf Air says it aims to grow strategically in size and will expand to more boutique destinations in 2019 and continue its fleet modernisation programme by receiving additional two 787-9 Dreamliners as well as five A320neos this year.

LEARN MORE insights into Gulf Air’s strategy in our exclusive CAPA TV interview with its CEO, Krešimir Kučko, filmed on the sidelines of the CAPA World Aviation Outlook Summit in Berlin in late Nov-2018.