Lines open : Mon to Fri: 09:00 - 17:30 Sat : 09:00 - 17:00

Back to home

Gulf Air | International Bharanian Airline | Oceans Travel Blog, Everything you need to know
Kapal | 17th Feb 2023

This airline won an award for the “Middle East’s Leading Airline Rewards Program” in 2009 at the World Travel Awards. Nonetheless, it is one of the Middle East’s oldest airlines; it celebrated its 70th birthday in 2020. Before we get into the information, this airline’s name is Gulf Air, and in this latest “Travel Blog,” we will explain in depth what YOU need to know about Gulf Air and all the perks included. Bahrain’s premier airline, Gulf Air, flies to numerous locations around the world.

Firstly, Bahrain International Airport serves as the airline’s main hub. Additionally, the airline is headquartered in Muharraq, an island located 7 kilometres from the capital, Manama. Above all, the airline is known to offer flights to as many as 50 destinations and cover as many as 28 countries across the globe, including Asia, Europe, and Africa. Previously, this was a multinational airline company that was owned by Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and the UAE.

One of the things Gulf Air takes most pride in is its history. In 50 years, they have come a long way, from small-scale commuter service to major international airline status, serving as the national carrier of Bahrain, Abu Dhabi (UAE), and Oman. But whether there are five or fifty destinations, seven-seaters or cutting-edge passenger jets, two things are constant: a dedication to cutting-edge aviation technology and an adherence to conventional hospitality.

(Image courtesy of Gulf Air; credit to Wikiwand)

CONTENT

                ○  Economy Light

                ○  Economy Flexed

                ○  Economy Smart

                ○  Falcon Gold Smart

                ○  Falcon Gold Flex

Is Gulf Air a Safe Airline?

To sum up, Gulf Air is safe. There have not been many major accidents on Gulf Air, which is good. According to Skytrax, Gulf Air is

“certified with the highest 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating for the safety measures and improved hygiene processes introduced by Gulf Air during the coronavirus pandemic. Skytrax COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating is the world’s only assessment and certification of airline health and safety measures during the coronavirus pandemic that is based on a professional and scientific investigation of the standards being provided by the airline. The COVID-19 ratings include cleanliness at the airport and onboard, social distancing, face mask usage, sanitizer, and other hygiene improvement systems.”

Skytrax

Blog Name: Gulf Air’s 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating

Now, Gulf Air has had a plane crash once. It has now been 22 years since the crash occurred. 22 years ago today, on August 23, 2000, Gulf Air Flight 072 crashed while approaching Bahrain. The accident’s fatality count made it the deadliest in Bahraini aviation history, a tragic distinction it still holds today.

Number of deaths: 143               Survivors: 0

Start date: 23 August 2000       Passengers: 135         Crew: 8

(according to Google)

Is Gulf Air a Good Airline?

Firstly, out of all the websites and records we have seen, many passengers have said that Gulf Air is a 7.6/10. Secondly, the average rating that most reviewers would give it out of 10 is given below.

Cabin crew                                                     (7.4)              ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Meal and snacks                                          (7.4)           ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Cabin and seat comfort                             (8.1)            ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Entertainment/wifi                                    (7.3)          ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

(Analysis of Flight Reports)

Obviously, there are many different opinions out there on what you or others think of Gulf Air. In conclusion, you will see and read a lot of different opinions out there. Thirdly, we’ll all have different perspectives based on our experiences with Gulf Air. But if you want to do some digging and find out if Gulf Air is really a good airline, go for it!

Additional Facts/Key Information

Below will be all the main things you need before departing for Gulf Air. If you don’t have the following, please contact a travel agent, and they will assist you further!

Passport and travel documents: Check your passport’s validity and see if it is valid for six months from the date of arrival. It should be noted that you will only need them at the airport and back.

Visa requirements: Check if your destination country requires a visa, whether it is a visit visa, a work visa, or any other type of visa. Not all countries need a visa, though, so make sure you check your location before buying a visa.

View Your itinerary details: Check your travel date, itinerary status, seat arrangements, and any other details needed. Moreover, your travel agent can provide you with all of the necessary information.

Travel Insurance: Whether you are travelling for leisure or business, unforeseen circumstances may force you to cancel your trip, seek accidental medical emergency treatment, or return home early. Indeed, the travel insurance certificate will cover a number of cases.

Accommodation: Search through hotel websites for the best hotel location and price. But on the other hand, you can find a family or relative that lives in your destination and stay there for free!

Transport: Based on your destination and the type of transport you prefer, you can arrange your car rental, train tickets, or taxi pick-up before you reach your destination.

Tours and activities: Before booking, you should search for tours and activities in your destination city and book them in advance.

Duty-Free: Now you can check our Duty-Free website, pre-order your desired goods, and receive them on board.

Special Needs: Subsequently, please contact a travel agent if you are a traveller with a special need, such as a blind or deaf passenger, someone with walking difficulty, or any other type of special need. For more information, please contact your travel agent so they can assist you further.

Special meals: They are available upon request based on your needs. Nonetheless, you can make a request by contacting your travel agent for information!

Meals: Gulf Air meals are included in the price of your ticket, and all meals served are Halal certified. On most flights, expect up to three meal choices in economy class (chicken, red meat, and vegetarian options).

Alcohol: You may not consume alcohol on an aircraft unless it has been served to you by us (whether purchased duty-free from us or someone else or obtained in any other way). Furthermore, Gulf Air reserves the right to refuse to serve you alcohol at any time and for any reason.

Charge Phones: All seats in the Falcon Gold and Economy classes have an in-seat power system that allows you to charge electronics such as laptops and mobile devices.

Carry-On/Cabin Baggage Allowance: One bag with maximum dimensions of 22 x 16 x 12 in (55 x 40 x 30 cm) or one garment carrier with a maximum width of 8 in (20 cm) plus one briefcase with maximum dimensions of 17 x 15 x 12 in (43 x 38 x 30 cm). Maximum total weight: 20 lb (9 kg).

Cannot Handle Luggage: All drinks, including water, liquid or semi-liquid foods, for example, soup, jam, honey, and syrups. Cosmetics and toiletries, including creams, lotions, oils, perfumes, mascara, and lip gloss sprays, as well as shaving foam, hairspray, and spray deodorants.

What’s a Falconflyer?: Gulf Air’s Falconflyer Programme brings even more value and benefits to you, making it one of the most generous frequent flyer programmes in the world. Simply present your Falconflyer card and enjoy membership benefits and special privileges. Falconflyer members receive bonus miles, discounts, and more from our partners.

Gulf Air History

Gulf Air Company is the national airline of Bahrain, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It has a fleet of 30 planes that serve 43 cities in 32 countries ranging from Europe to Asia. Also, the company, well known for its excellent in-flight service, is proud of its history as a pioneer in the Gulf airline sector and a shining example of intergovernmental cooperation.

Origins

Gulf Air traces its roots back to the Gulf Aviation Company, which was founded in Bahrain by a young British aviator named Freddy Bosworth. Through sightseeing tours, Bosworth had piqued local interest in aviation. He quickly established a commuter service with his lone aircraft between Bahrain, Doha, and Dhahran.

Bosworth founded the Gulf Aviation Company on March 24, 1950, with support from a group of local businessmen. In addition, it operates on July 5. British Overseas Airways Corp. (BOAC) acquired a 55.5 percent interest the next year.

Further, most of the airline’s business is charter work for oil companies. The company started out operating rather small aircraft. Likewise, its first plane, the Avro Anson Mark 1, seated seven people. The Dove flew for Gulf Air until the 1960s. Gulf Air was also using four-engine de Havilland Herons, which could carry more people and cargo and fly them farther.

As well as the scheduled network. Abu Dhabi, Al-Ain, Kuwait, Muscat, and Sharjah were connected in the 1950s. In the 1960s, Bandar Abbas, Bombay, Dubai, Karachi, Salalah, and Shiraz were added, while Fokker F27 turboprops replaced older model aircraft in 1968. This was an especially significant year because it marked the beginning of in-flight service for Gulf Air, an area that would become one of the pillars of the company’s reputation.

The Foundation Treaty of 1974

In 1973, BOAC’s controlling shareholding was bought by four Arab governments: Bahrain, Qatar, the Sultanate of Oman, and Abu Dhabi (on behalf of the United Arab Emirates). The airline was named the official flag carrier of each of the four countries in the Foundation Treaty of January 1, 1974. Gulf Air linked these member states with other Middle Eastern countries. It also built hotels in each of the four cities to accommodate business travellers.

Gulf Air used VC-10 airliners made by British Aircraft Corp. to launch service to London in April 1970. (The BAC 1-11 had been the airline’s first jet.) BA was also something of a competitor and launched a London-Bahrain service via Concorde two years later. As the successor to BOAC, British Airways inherited a strong presence throughout the Gulf.

The narrowbody VC-10 aircraft were only meant to be a temporary solution to begin intercontinental service. Gulf Air started receiving deliveries of the widebody Lockheed L-1011 TriStars, which served as its replacement, as well as the compact Boeing 737 aircraft in 1976. The VC-10s were shifted to less established international routes. (Service between the four partner countries was considered domestic.)

The growth of international business led to a four-fold increase in the number of employees. Gulf Air had 800 employees in mid-1974, according to Aviation Week & Space Technology, and about 3,300 at the start of 1976. The airline was working to have a 100% Arab staff, but the L-1011 operation was initially based on crews hired from the shuttered British charter company Court Line Aviation, Ltd.

Gulf Air posted a record profit of $51.8 million in 1983, when it carried 2.6 million passengers. Sadly, Gulf Air experienced its first loss of the decade ($5.5 million) in 1986 as the region’s oil revenues fell while the global market remained competitive. Emirates Airlines, a new carrier in the UAE, would make it more so, though its activities are coordinated with those of Gulf Air and Kuwait Airways by the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Maintenance Unit Opened in 1987

Gulf Air continued to become more independent. It opened its Gulf Aircraft Maintenance Company (GAMCO) unit in Abu Dhabi in 1987. It owned interests in hotels, Bahrain Airport Services, Gulf Helicopters, and GCC Aviation Services, a caterer.

Boeing 767 airliners were added to the fleet in 1988, improving the company’s on-time performance. Airbus A320s were added in 1992 to phase out the fleet of ten Boeing 737s. Two years later, we saw the arrival of Airbus A340s.

In the Early 1990s

Gulf Air retrenched during the downturn in business precipitated by the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, laying off 350 employees in 1990 en route to a loss of $95 million. However, by the end of 1991, a recovery was already in evidence, and the airline rapidly rolled out expansion plans. Gulf Air achieved net profits of $48 million in 1991 and 1992; it was one of the few airlines to make money in the early 1990s.

In 1993, Gulf Air unveiled a $10 million ad campaign pitching the carrier as “The International Smile of the Gulf.” Routes extended as far as Australia, Hong Kong, and Johannesburg, and the company was carrying nearly four million passengers a year. By the end of 1993, Gulf Air was planning an initial public offering to offset the cost of a $2.2 billion expansion. In fact, it made the airline the largest in the Middle East, flying about 40 aircraft to 50 destinations. Tentative plans for a stock offering date back to 1984. At the time, Gulf Air had 5,000 employees, more than half of them Gulf nationals. The airline opened an aviation college in Doha that year, led by former CEO Ali Ibrahim Al-Malki.

After finally making money for four years, Gulf Air posted a $159 million loss in 1995. Contributing factors were a downturn in the regional economy and very high levels of competition, according to its new president and CEO, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saif al-Nahyan.

By 1997, Gulf Air was more than $1 billion in debt, leading to more route cutbacks (including services to New York, Geneva, and Johannesburg) and the sale of 17 aircraft worth $850 million. And then, this left a fleet of 28, with six of them leased.

Besides, the staff had become almost entirely made up of Arabs by the mid-1990s; most of the 3,000 employees were from Bahrain.

Investor claims that as Qatar and Oman built their own airlines, Qatar Airways and Oman Aviation, decisions about how to re-capitalize Gulf Air were made more difficult and its operations were diluted. Additionally, Emirates Airlines had been based in Abu Dhabi for more than ten years, but that government wanted to invest more money in Gulf Air in return for a bigger ownership stake. After considerable losses in 1995 ($159 million) and 1996, Gulf Air was again able to post an operating profit of $48 million in 1997.

50th Anniversary in 2000

For Gulf Air’s 50th anniversary year, they introduced new uniforms in grey, blue, and peach. As part of the celebration, Gulf Air hired two vintage aircraft—an Avro Anson and a de Havilland Dove—to recreate the company’s first flights. Sadly, Gulf Air suffered its second fatal crash and the loss of an Airbus A320 in August 2000.

Passenger numbers were falling worldwide, exacerbating Gulf Air’s struggle with a heavy debt load. Gulf Air posted a $98.1 million loss for 2000 and a $132.3 million one for 2001. The partners invested $159.2 million in a restructuring package in May 2001.

For the first time, the airline hired an airline professional as CEO: James Hogan, who formerly held top jobs at Ansett Airlines and British Midland International. In addition to reducing expenses, Hogan aimed to strengthen the relationship with the tourism divisions of the three shareholding partners.

In November 2002, Gulf Air rolled out a new first-class service. This featured chefs from upscale European restaurants preparing food to order—the “Restaurant in the Sky” concept—on flights to London, Paris, and Frankfurt. At the same time, a vacation package featuring Oman, Abu Dhabi, and Bahrain was unveiled in an effort to draw travellers to the area despite the impending war with Iraq.

The three remaining partners gave Gulf Air 90 million dinars ($238 million) the following month to show their continued support after the airline lost BD52 million in 2001. Early signs of a turnaround were in evidence; the 2002 loss of just under BD41 million ($110 million) was about BD8 million less than had been predicted.

Member Tiers

There are four different member tiers available on Gulf Air. These tiers are all found on the official Gulf Air website.

BLUE MEMBERSHIP

Loyalty Points (Multiples of 100 only)Miles Required
100 and less5,000
101 – 20010,000
201 – 30015,000

SILVER MEMBERSHIP

GOLD MEMBERSHIP

BLACK MEMBERSHIP

(All data was obtained from the Gulf Air website.)

All Different Types of Classes

In Gulf Air, there are five different types of classes. Each class has its own benefits and perks. The classes are:

○  Economy Light

○  Economy Flexed

○  Economy Smart

○  Falcon Gold Smart

○  Falcon Gold Flex

Economy Light

The most cost-effective option for passengers who require less flexibility and services but still want to experience everything Gulf Air has to offer. If you are prepared to go and have plans in place, this is ideal!

PERKS

Checked Baggage – 1 checked bag included (23kg)

FFP Miles – Earn 50% Falconflyer miles

Booking Changes – Flight changes and refunds for a fee

Advance Seat Selection – Additional Fees for Advance Seat Selection

Priority Boarding – Not available

Falcon Gold Lounge Access – Not available

Economy Flexed

Choose our “Flex” fare for a combination of maximum flexibility, free extra legroom, preferred seat selection, and additional Falconflyer miles. This “Flex” fare is aimed at passengers who need more flexibility when planning their trip. Tickets on this fare can be rebooked and even refunded for a fee.

PERKS

Checked Baggage – 2 checked bags included (23kg each)

FFP Miles – Earn 125% Falconflyer Miles

Booking Changes – Flight Changes, and Refunds for the Lowest Fee

8Advance Seat Selection – Extra legroom or preferred seat selection is included

Priority Boarding – Not available

Falcon Gold Lounge Access – Not available

Economy Smart

Gulf Air’s recommended fare is “Add a little extra to make a big difference.” Choose our “Smart” fare for more booking flexibility, additional baggage, and Falconflyer miles, as well as free standard seat selection. Economy smart are based on technological innovation, resource efficiency, sustainability, and high social welfare. Smart Economy adopts innovations and new entrepreneurial initiatives, increases productivity, and increases competitiveness with the overall goal of improving the quality of life for all citizens.

PERKS

Checked Baggage – 2 checked bags included (23kg each)

FFP Miles – Earn 75% of Falconflyer miles

Booking Changes – Flight changes and refunds for a lower fee

Advance Seat Selection – Standard seat selection included

Priority Boarding – Not available

Falcon Gold Lounge Access – Not available

Falcon Gold Smart

This is Gulf Air’s most premium cabin. They have one of the best business-class hard products, using the Apex Suite seat in the 2-2-2 configuration. Falcon Gold airport lounge access or Business Class lounges at many airports are available to you and your companion who is travelling with you on Gulf Air flights, even if you’re flying economy class. Another perk is that you can check one piece of 23 kg of checked baggage over and above the allowance shown on your ticket. It also provides premium comfort with our renowned Arabian hospitality.

PERKS

Checked Baggage – 2 checked bags (32kg each)

FFP Miles – Earn 200% Falconflyer miles

Booking Changes – Flight changes and refunds for a fee

Advance Seat Selection – Free seat selection at anytime

Priority Boarding – Priority Check-in, Boarding, and Baggage Delivery

Falcon Gold Lounge Access – Falcon Gold Lounge access is included.

Falcon Gold Flex

This is Gulf Air’s most flexible fare, offering premium comfort as well as their renowned Arabian hospitality. They have one of the best business-class hard products, using the Apex Suite seat in the 2-2-2 configuration. Falcon Gold airport lounge access or Business Class lounges at many airports are available to you and your companion who is travelling with you on Gulf Air flights, even if you’re flying economy class. You can also check one piece of 23 kg of checked baggage in addition to the allowance shown on your ticket. It also provides premium comfort with our renowned Arabian hospitality.

PERKS

Checked Baggage – 2 checked bags (32kg each)

FFP Miles – Earn 250% Falconflyer miles

Booking Changes – Flight Changes, and Refunds for the Lowest Fee

Advance Seat Selection – Free seat selection at anytime

Priority Boarding – Priority Check-in, Boarding, and Baggage Delivery

Falcon Gold Lounge Access – Falcon Gold Lounge access is included

Overview

Bahrain’s flag carrier, Gulf Air (GF), was founded in 1950 as Gulf Aviation. It takes pride in being one of the Middle East’s first commercial airlines. The headquarters are in Muharraq, and base operations are at the hub at Bahrain International Airport (BAH). Gulf Air flies to more than 40 destinations in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe. These include Egypt, Germany, India, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom. The airline also has codeshare agreements with nine other carriers. Gulf Air’s fleet is made up of modern Airbus planes that are painted in a distinctive gold, navy, and white livery with a large Golden Falcon on the tail. The Airbus aircraft include the A320-200, the A321-200, and the Airbus A330-200. All aircraft are configured with Falcon Gold Business Class and Economy Class seating.

Thank you for reading our Gulf Air blog. There are many other types of blogs like this. For example, Lufthansa Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and others.

Featured Articles


Fly Ahmedabad with Etihad Airways | Travel in Style and Luxury! | Travel Tips

Your Full Ultimate Islamabad Trip and Tours Guide!

The Best Hotels in India: Indulge in Luxury and Comfort

Top Things to Do in Ahmedabad: A Wide Guide to the City’s Best Activities

Lufthansa Airlines | Complete Travel Blog, Everything you need to know

Kankaria Lake: A Hub of Entertainment and Fun in Ahmedabad

Trivandrum: Memories of Life in the Capital City

How to Reach Ahmedabad | Manchester of India



title
Navigating Amritsar Airport Shopping: Finding Its Hidden Gem
February 20, 2024 | James
title
Get Your Flights to Lahore – Everything You Need to Know!
February 7, 2024 | James
title
Air India And Its Flights to Greatness: Latest Upgrades
January 31, 2024 | James
title
Cheap Flights from Delhi to Chandigarh: Your Ultimate Guide!
January 9, 2024 | James
title
Your Full Ultimate Islamabad Trip and Tours Guide!
January 1, 2024 | James
title
Greetings & Good Deals: Happy Holidays from Oceans Travel!
December 23, 2023 | James