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Independent passenger survey rates Gulf Air’s service and operational performance as excellent

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Independent IATA customer satisfaction survey reveals higher ratings by passengers on several aspects
Majority customers choose Gulf Air for its most convenient departure and arrival times and value for money

Manama, Bahrain 24 January 2011: Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, received positive results in an independent passenger survey carried out by the global airline industry’s governing body, International Air Transport Association (IATA), despite a difficult 2011 by improving on several service and performance aspects.
The survey carried out over a six month period – April to September 2011-  revealed that the customers’ ‘overall satisfaction’ across the airline’s several service areas received an average rating of 3.84 as against 3.76 in 2010 on a scale of 1 to 5. The ‘overall satisfaction’ rated by Falcon Gold customers touched an average of 4, while the rating by economy class passengers was 3.8.
The rating for Gulf Air cabin crew remained high with an average of 4.16, once again highlighting the cabin crew’s professional service that was rated ‘excellent’ by an IATA survey in 2010.
The survey also found that the main reason the majority of customers flew Gulf Air was ‘the most convenient departure and arrival times’; over 52% of Falcon Gold class passengers and over 46% of Economy class passengers chose this option. The next best reason for customers choosing to fly Gulf Air was its ‘lower fare,’ followed by ‘value for money.’ 
Gulf Air’s Falcon Gold members, who travel frequently, also voted ‘the most convenient departure and arrival times’ as the main reason for them to fly Gulf Air, followed by ‘non-stop flights’ and ‘lower fare’ as their next best reasons.
The survey also showed that over 63% of customers rated the Gulf Air worldwide contact centre response to customers as excellent or very good and 69% rated the web check in facility as excellent or very good.

Another important finding from the survey was the consistently higher-ratings given by passengers for the regional jets operated by Gulf Air across cabin comfort, crew, value-for-money, food and drinks and overall satisfaction over the airline’s narrow and wide-body aircraft.
On areas such as cabin cleanliness, cabin crew service and response, food and drinks and inflight entertainment, the survey saw significant improvement in 2011 over 2010, with the best area of improvement being ‘in-flight entertainment’ for which the rating jumped from 2.9 to 3.14. This is a reflection of the airline’s introduction of the new state-of-the-art portable media players for premium passengers and the improvements the airline has made in IFE. The airline also recently launched ‘Skyhub’ offering the world’s first on-board live television, broadband connectivity and mobile phone service which is being progressively rolled out across the fleet.
Commenting on the results of the survey, Gulf Air CEO Mr. Samer Majali said, “Customers have become more discerning and their travel preferences keep changing in tune with their business, social and lifestyle developments.”
He continued, “It is imperative, therefore that we proactively and periodically assess the quality of service and products we offer them at every customer touch point in their journey. The opinions of our passengers provide a valuable insight allowing us to identify where we excel as well as areas for improvement. An indication of this is the high ratings for the regional jets, indicating the strategy to introduce regional jets into our fleet has been embraced by customers.” 
“The survey results clearly show that we are customer-focused. We will continue to work to improve every point of contact with our customers – from the first interaction with Gulf Air, whether it’s our Worldwide Contact Centre, www.gulfair.com, or airport, boarding, on-board services and baggage claim” he concluded.
The IATA survey assessed passengers’ satisfaction on various aspects of their travel experience such as booking tickets, aircraft cleanliness, attitude and friendliness of cabin staff, efficiency of check-in and boarding, grooming and appearance of cabin staff, handling of delays and cancellations, in-flight entertainment selection, and many other factors that affect the overall customer travel experience.
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About Gulf Air
Founded in 1950, Gulf Air is the proud national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain. As a pioneering airline in the Middle East region with sixty years of experience and expertise in flying people across continents, Gulf Air is today one of the most powerful brands and a name to reckon with in the global aviation industry.
One of the prime objectives of Gulf Air is to connect Bahrain to the Middle East countries and the rest of the world. As such the airline currently operates the largest network in the Middle East with non-stop flights while providing seamless onward connections to other international destinations. The airline’s current network stretches from Europe to Asia, connecting 54 cities in 34 countries, with a fleet of 36 aircraft. 
In tune with the Kingdom’s economic blue print, ‘Vision 2030’, Gulf Air’s strategy is to build an efficient, commercially sustainable and dynamic airline that effectively serves the people and the economy of Bahrain and represents the Kingdom on the world stage. Reflecting the needs and aspirations of its customers, the strategy focuses on three core areas: a targeted, more focused international network, a superior, more consistent product and a modern, more efficient fleet that will optimize value. However, Gulf Air’s goal remains unchanged; its commitment to the latest aviation technology complemented by its hallmark Arabian hospitality for which the airline is well known.  
Gulf Air is the official sponsor of the 2012 Formula One Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.

For more information please visit www.gulfair.com

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