By David Ingham
The airline’s 2002 losses were lower than mid-year projections; return to profitability slated for 2005.
Gulf Air’s president and chief executive, James Hogan, revealed yesterday (Jan 13) that the airline lost BD42 million in 2002, below a mid-year projection of BD50 million.Hogan said that he also aims to reduce losses to BD20 million in 2003, to break even in 2004, and make a BD5 million profit during 2005.Hogan was speaking on the first day of Gulf Air’s World-wide Sales and Marketing Conference at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Bahrain. “I am confident the tough targets we have set can be achieved,” Hogan told his audience of senior Gulf Air management and worldwide partners.The crucial three day conference took place under the slogan ‘Winning’. Attendees were briefed in detail on Gulf Air’s three-year recovery plan, which was endorsed by the airline’s board of directors in December.“The board gave us exactly what we asked for,” Hogan told his audience. “Now it’s up to everyone in Gulf Air to work together as a team to ensure its implementation and the success of a mandate to run the airline on a commercial basis.”Sales and marketing excellence, along with confidence, he said, would be vital in the turnaround phase. “Confidence is central to the winning culture. People who believe in themselves and what they do are winners. If we believe in Gulf Air, we will win. If we want to be different, we can be,” he said.John Butler, vice president, sales and marketing, revealed that Gulf Air has this year allocated its ‘biggest ever’ budget to sales and marketing. “2003 will witness one of the biggest, most creative and most exciting campaigns in Gulf Air’s history to consolidate on what we have achieved so quickly in the second half of 2002,” Butler enthused.