MANAMA: Drawing more energy from its quarterly performances, Gulf Air is now flying high setting its eyes on more overseas destination. With this goal in mind, the airline has started adding more firepower in its arsenal with the more recent being the airline’s addition of its first Airbus A320neo after receiving 3 Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner aircraft earlier this year.
Gulf Air is now venturing more into the global market by expanding its reach to more destinations in Europe, while also looking to increase the frequencies to the existing ones. Gulf Air, CEO Krešimir Kucko told the Tribune, would see it double its number of aircraft by 2022 as compared to the beginning of this year with eight new destinations being added this year. Airbus A320neo will serve a number of regional routes within the Gulf Air network.
The company is “on track to meet its expansion goals for the year”, Kucko said, adding, “We are happy with the second quarter; it went according to our expectations.” “We are adding new destinations this year and also increasing frequency for existing ones.” “There are weeks now in the summer now where we have almost 200 more departures per week than last year,” he said. “For the Hajj season, we had special flights this year, as we always pay special attention to Hajj and Umrah flights.” When asked about Europe plans, he said, “We will open more destinations and are steadily starting now, also we expect to add more destinations next year in Europe.”
“This year we are adding eight new destinations, in 2019 we are yet to announce. Next year also it would be probably around the same range in terms of new destinations.” Gulf Air network expansion includes India, where its current operations to Delhi, Chennai, Kochi, Mumbai, Trivandrum and Hyderabad, has been enhanced by flights to Bangalore and Calicut. Flights to the Saudi Arabian cities of Abha and Tubuk are also part of the expansion plans which were first announced in February this year.