Gulf Air on Tuesday announced its plans of covering three more cities — Pune, Ahmedabad and Amritsar — and deployment of new A 321 state-of-the-art aircraft on the existing Kochi, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi routes.
Gulf Air Chief Commercial Officer Karim Makhlouf told journalists here that, subject to approvals, Gulf Air would connect three more cities of Amritsar, Pune and Ahmedabad. He also welcomed the decision of the Aviation Ministry to hold fresh bilateral negotiations to enhance air tariff rights with countries such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iraq, Macau, Afghanistan, Singapore and Thailand.
Mr. Makhlouf said Gulf Air would continue to develop the four existing destinations by offering new products such as a fully-flat bed in the business class of the new Airbus A-321s. “The aircraft, for the first time, offers full flat bed in its class with several innovative features including an in-seat massage mechanism that can be operated by the passenger. In addition the single aisle aircraft offers more legroom, extra galley space for movement and comes with the latest in-flight entertainment of its class. We offer our Indian travellers seamless and faster connections in less than 3 hours giving you a choice of as many as 730 flights a week to the Gulf, Middle East, North Africa and Europe via our efficient hub Bahrain,’’ he remarked.
He also unveiled the airline’s new commercial initiatives exclusive to the Indian market. These included Falcon Corporate Plus, a package designed exclusively for corporate travellers, offering a range of benefits that include special price discounts and free upgrades from economy to Falcon Gold class.
He said the airline earns about eight per cent of its total revenue from the India sector and has almost exhausted its bilateral rights and was currently offering 16,600 seats a week between Bahrain and the four Indian cities.
Asked whether the airline was interested in picking up stake in any Indian carrier, he said at the moment they were not thinking about it. “Today Bahrain is the second home to nearly 400,000 Indians and bilateral trade has last year touched $1.7 billion,” he added.
Most important of this suite of initiatives is the state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment offering world’s first full connectivity onboard Gulf Air’s long-haul flights offering high speed internet, 3G-4G mobile data speed connectivity, voice over the internet (VOIP) i.e. skype, streaming videos and the world's first in-flight live TV via satellite.