Dubai: Bahrain’s Gulf Air is currently operating about 50-60 per cent of its global network, according to the flagship carrier’s CEO.
“We're averaging perhaps 50 per cent to 60 per cent depending on what's happening in certain parts of the world - as you know, the pandemic hit some countries harder than the others … and you have to readjust your network to do what is needed,” said Waleed Al Alawi, the acting CEO of Gulf Air, during an online event on Wednesday.
Prior to the pandemic, the airline was operating flights to over 50 destinations worldwide. Gulf Air has been negotiating with plane-makers Boeing and Airbus to delay aircraft deliveries.
“Gulf Air has the same issue as the rest of the world - all airlines had signed agreements and they deliveries scheduled to fit in with their network requirements,” said Al Alawi. “We had to go and renegotiate the delivery dates, we haven't cancelled anything”.
“We have actually negotiated with the main suppliers - Boeing and Airbus – and we've got good progress with these two scenarios,” he added.
Business travel is expected by many in the industry to be the last to recover from the impact of the pandemic. Gulf Air said it was the ‘right size’ to survive the crisis.
“We do not fly airplanes with 100 plus or close to that in business class,” said Al Alawi. “We have just the right size of business class and our business class has been very popular”.
“We do not face that challenge like other airlines, who have a huge capacity,” he added.