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Bahrain Air turns back on low cost carrier model

Airline will increase fares, but remain 'value for money'.
NEWS, Aviation

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Bahrain Air has announced plans to shift away from the low-cost carrier (LCC) model, with a marginal increase in ticket fares for customers.

Speaking to Gulf Daily News, the airline’s commercial operations director Richard Nuttall said Bahrain Air would now adopt a ‘value for money’ model and introduce benefits such as free food on board, free access to premium lounges for premium passengers and the same baggage allowance and regional counterparts.

A customer loyalty programme was also being considered, alongside code shares and alliances with other airlines throughout the world.

"We need to have a number of factors in place to make a LCC model work. These include web-based bookings, point-to-point operations and flying to secondary airports,” he stated.

"We have had a close look at the LCC model and found we do not fit into that bracket in this part of the world. We had to, therefore, reposition ourselves. As part of the new look, we have started offering all facilities being offered in any other regular airline, but at a significantly less cost. On the other hand, our costs will now be marginally more than what we offered earlier but in some cases, these would be the same as before."

The airline now offers 120 economy and 12 premium seats on an Airbus A319 as well as 150 economy and 12 premium seats on an Airbus A320. “We are also looking to expand our network in the near future and are thinking of more destinations in India," added Nuttall. "These include destinations in north and south India."

Related article - Bahrain Air executive vows to break even in 2011

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