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Gulf Air plans first centralised reservations system in Middle East through Oman call center

Gulf Air, the national carrier of Bahrain, Oman and the UAE, has announced its plans to create the airline`s first centralised reservations…

Gulf Air, the national carrier of Bahrain, Oman and the UAE, has announced its plans to create the airline`s first centralised reservations system through the establishment of a call centre, which will be located in the Sultanate of Oman. All bookings from throughout the Middle East region will be managed through the `Gulf Air Reservations Centre`. The world-class Centre will also provide national employment opportunities and complement the communications infrastructure in the Sultanate as a showpiece of technology.



As part of Gulf Air`s commitment to reclaiming its position among the world`s premier airlines, the announcement follows the recent unanimous approval of the airline`s three-year strategic recovery plan, which was presented to Gulf Air`s Board of Directors at a meeting held in Bahrain last December.



The reservations function is essentially the nerve centre of an airline and our proposed centralised reservations system will guarantee an unprecedented level of consistent and professional service delivery as well as convenience for our customers throughout the entire Middle East region, said James Hogan, President & Chief Executive, Gulf Air.



The location of the call centre in Oman is a major boost to supporting equal opportunities with Gulf Air in its owning states. It will also serve as an attractive pool for Gulf Air`s future management structure since the area of reservations provides an excellent entry point into the commercial operations of an airline. As the first point of contact a customer has with the airline, full training and support will be provided by Gulf Air to its employees in the Centre. Employment opportunities for nationals will also be given a boost by the estimation that up to 300 people will be employed in the Centre within three years.



A corollary benefit from the Centre is that it will help to support the Sultanate`s telecommunications strategy as well as its call centre capabilities through the showpiece that the Gulf Air Reservations Centre will become.



The implementation of a pilot centre will begin once negotiations with Oman`s telecommunications authorities have been successfully completed. Thereafter, it should become operational within 90 days and will be headed by Mr Andy Dawson who has been appointed as Head of Worldwide Reservations. Mr Dawson, who will be based in Muscat, has wide experience in the development of call centres and airline management, and previously served the UK`s Strategic Rail Authority and bmi british midland international.



Essential to the turnaround process is earning the loyalty and commitment of the communities within our network to support Gulf Air as their preferred carrier. The call centre will help to ensure this is achieved since it will provide a consistent and exceptional level of customer service, added Mr Hogan.



The three-year strategic recovery plan includes a cash injection of US$ 238 million for this year and the continued deferral of government debt. It features a number of `pillars`, including brand development, fleet re-construction, Gulf Air`s network, alliances and customer service – as well as others, and a strong focus on profitability and cost structure improvements.

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