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Gulf Air unveils Gulf Traveller - its subsidiary all economy airline

Travel News Asia 7 May 2003

Gulf Air today unveiled Gulf Traveller, its subsidiary all economy airline, which will take to the skies on 1 June 2003.

Introducing Gulf Traveller, James Hogan, Gulf Air's President and Chief Executive said: "We are facing some of the greatest challenges since the beginning of aviation as we know it. The global airline industry is engaged in a radical re-appraisal of its structure and approach in order to remain relevant. It is going to have to change to more correctly meet the needs of customers and contemporary passenger travel trends."

"Gulf Traveller is our response to these demands. In effect, we have tailored an airline to address just a single segment of the broad multi-segmented market in which we operate," he said.

Not to be confused with so-called budget or 'no frills' carriers, Gulf Traveller is an all-economy, full service airline, offering everything traditionally associated with an economy service on a major international carrier. 

"There are more cabin crew dedicated to passenger needs than on most regular economy class flights. With a crew to passenger ratio of one to 39, which compares favourably with ratios of one flight attendant to 44 or even 46 passengers on leading international airlines, service on Gulf Traveller is contemporary, and above all, caring and culturally sensitive," explained Hogan.

Menus have been designed to accommodate various cultural palates and religious requirements, and reflect regional flavours and colours in dishes both exotic and simple. In-flight entertainment has also been carefully selected to be culturally appropriate in the destination countries served by Gulf Traveller with films and audio channels in a range of languages understood by the native speakers of destinations from Kathmandu to Kerala.

Using a distinctive flight number series, Gulf Traveller is set to operate out of Gulf Air's base in Abu Dhabi from 1 June 2003 using six single-class Boeing 767-300s. The airline will serve routes presently served by Gulf Air's network, specifically those where customer demand exceeds existing capacity, and includes exotic leisure destinations in Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Zanzibar. Cities within the GCC also feature on the destination list, and future plans include extending the network to include secondary European destinations.

"This is the shape of things to come. The introduction of low cost or single class carriers in the Middle East market is inevitable at some point in the future. By pre-empting this trend, and in addressing a single market segment with a unique service, Gulf Air once again demonstrates the innovation and creativity inherent in a brand that has stood the test of time," said James Hogan.

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