«I am delighted with Ismail’s appointment as my deputy as we have worked closely together and he has demonstrated deep industry expertise, unswerving loyalty to the company and a work ethic that clearly demonstrates that he is the best person for the role,» said Mr. Näf.
Leadership team should reflect the cultural diversity within Bahrain
«His is the first of two senior Bahraini appointments designed to make our airline stronger. As the national carrier of Bahrain we are looking to ensure that we have a leadership team that reflects the cultural diversity within Bahrain and we anticipate being able to make similar top management announcements over the coming months.»
Development of young and talented Bahraini employees
«Ismail’s unparalleled knowledge of Gulf Air, built up over many years with our company, means that he is the right choice to support me on the strategic direction of our airline,» he said. Mr. Karimi commented: «I am honoured to be given this role for our national carrier and thank the board and the CEO for placing their trust in me with these new responsibilities.» «I look forward to the challenge of ensuring that Gulf Air honours its commitments to its customers and stakeholders with a clear focus on the development of young and talented Bahraini employees from every section of our society.»
About Gulf Air
Gulf Air was founded in 1950. Today, it is owned by the Kingdom of Bahrain, and is the only truly pan Gulf carrier in the region. The airline’s network stretches from Europe to Asia and covers 42 cities in 27countries. The current fleet of Gulf Air consists of 29 aircraft. On January 17th Gulf Air Board of Directors confirmed the appointment of Björn Näf as the Chief Executive Officer for Bahrain’s national carrier.
Mr. Näf, who brings across the broad experience in aviation industry, has been instrumental in implementing the new revamped network launched on July 1 and is also the commander of a major alignment program to turnaround Gulf Air. The plan entails a simplified and more efficient organization structure; an improved network with lower connection times and better service to key destinations, better on-board product, better customer service on the ground and a better punctuality, which has been improving under his command.
The new network, based on a «wave» model, offers as many as 588 flights every week in the Middle East with more non-stop flights than any other airline. The airline is also planning to re-fleet itself over the next five years to further strengthen its presence. It recently signed a deal worth nearly US $ 6 billion with Boeing Co. to purchase up to 24 Boeing 787 aircraft and another deal with Airbus for 35 aircraft, including A320s and A330s. The airline aims to become the carrier of choice. Gulf Air’s onboard service caters high quality products and services, including the innovative, unique and award winning Sky Chefs and Sky Nannies.