Gulf Air to expand in Europe

10 October 2008

Gulf Air is poised for a major expansion in the long-haul market, adding up to six European destinations to its network next year.

As part of its summer schedule for 2009, the Bahraini national carrier says it is hoping to launch flights to Amsterdam, Rome, Milan, Munich, Moscow and Warsaw.

If it goes ahead, it would mark a major turnaround for the company, after it cut six long-haul routes from its network last year (MEED 27:4:07).

However, the decision on whether to go ahead depends on the level of the oil price.

At $100-110 a barrel, the company will launch three or four destinations, and then review launching a further two or three.

However, any rise in the cost of fuel beyond that level could limit the number of new destinations, or even lead to the whole expansion programme being postponed.

“We have to decide which markets have the potential to bring enough passengers to Bahrain,” says Bjorn Naf, chief executive officer of Gulf Air.

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