Silverswimmer, it would be good for all of us to stay vigilant re. the timing of such changes at GF - especially if it means the airline is forced to Islamify the airline further, as a result of laws or pressure from Parliament.
Having a dry BAH lounge would likely drive away a lot of premium passengers.
There are a few recent threads so I'll try to add links. I'm tempted to set up a thread that can index recent FFP cutbacks information.
You will find another thread on the stripping of Etihad Gold benefits - but that's not quite the same as dropping limo service and kerbside service entirely.
Does anyone know which airline(s) is (are) being referenced in
"...There are other GCC airlines which don't offer alcohol in flight and their business hasn't suffered, in fact it has increased and I believe that Gulf Air would benefit if it did the same."
The guy was probably referring to Kuwait Airways or Jazeera Airways. Not exactly examples GF would want to follow.
I'm be extremely dissapointed if GF becomes dry, and Bahrain Duty Free becomes dry. It's dissapointing that politics interferes so much. Lack of alcohol would drive away (Saudi) Arabian tourists (which is not altogether a bad thing) but would devastate the island's fragile economy.
GF keeps revamping and restructuring and rebranding but at every turn something happens. So far none of the Major Fours in the Gulf are dry, so GF would be a first, and the rest would have yet another competitive edge over the airline.
I hate it when politics interferes with airlines who have a hard time running operations anyway-and for the record banning alcohol would be cheap and tacky lip service to Islam. Devout Muslims know they're not supposed to drink, but many Muslims DO drink and will most likely fly other airlines. One more nail in GF's coffin.
If anyone has the time or happens to be in the ME at present - is this just posturing that will not be mandated onto GF or could you see GF mgmt. bend to the politicians' lobbying?
I'm most interested in knowing if there are any editorials or articles which deal with the competitive situation - and whether there really are precedents for GF to follow.
Ex-investors, the owners of Qatar and Etihad airlines, must be making some mileage of this, should it happen.
I get back to my point earlier - is GF's direction leading it to cease catering for the international longhaul 'Western' markets (e.g. ex-LHR) and revert to being an Arab-focused shorthaul operator?
Surely the Arab business minds at GF (and Bahrain generally) could find a better business solution than this heavy-handed proposal to ban ALL alcohol outlets in Bahrain - including the shutdown of a significant portion of GF's premium markets ex-Europe.
I hope the airline has got the business sense not to bow down to Islamist politicians. Banning alcohol in Bahrain would be suicide-that country gets millions of Saudi tourists per year who are drawn to the 'liberal' lifestyle in Bahrain. Take this away, and not only will Gulf Air loose business, but so will the bars, hotels, restaurants etc.
Bahrain will become even more backwater, and banning alcohol means that the government is adopting a more hostile, 'anti-Western' attitude that will scare off investors in an already fragile economic context.
Gulf Air relies on transit traffic. The low-yield passengers may not mind too much, but premium business will be hurt. Gulf Air will shift to being like Kuwait Airways, Saudi Arabian and Egyptair-airlines that are not taking seriously when compared to EK, QR and EY. The difference is that Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have good O&D from their airlines.
Bahrain OTOH is very limited in O&D. If GF loses its value as a hub, it will literally become as big as Bahrain Air.