American Airlines & Gulf Air Partnership Ending April 30, 2018

Filed Under: American, Other Airlines

Gulf Air used to be the Gulf’s most global airline, but due to a variety of factors (including Bahrain no longer being the Middle East’s global hub, and also probably having to do with the fact that James Hogan was CEO of the airline for four years before moving on to Etihad), Gulf Air is just a small shell of what it used to be.

Gulf Air operates flights as far west as London and as far east as Manila, but really is most useful for flights within the Middle East and India. Up until now Gulf Air has been an American AAdvantage partner airline. While they’re not part of oneworld, it has been possible for AAdvantage members to earn and redeem miles on Gulf AIr.

A few years ago I had the chance to redeem American miles for Gulf Air’s A330 business class between London and Bahrain, and had a pleasant flight.

Well, unfortunately it looks like American and Gulf Air are cutting ties. While American hasn’t communicated this with members yet, Gulf Air has emailed their Falconflyer members to inform them that the partnership between American and Gulf Air will be discontinued as of April 30, 2018.

I’m not really sure why the two airlines are cutting ties. While American has been vocal against the Gulf carriers, they’ve never said a thing about Gulf Air. So I’m not sure if they’re simply cutting ties due to lack of activity here, or what.

One thing is for sure, though — American has lost several partners lately:

So while Gulf Air as such might not be a huge loss for many AAdvantage members, the general pattern of American losing partners without adding any new ones is disappointing.

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

Comments
  1. Lucky,

    JAL updated the passenger reservation system today and after that there is a big issue for partners to look up the award space on JAL.

    AA (via phone), BA, QF all can’t find award space even if there’s a space shown on JAL’s website. However AS can show the space and book it.

    Could you look into this issue?

  2. 1. Eastern most flight from GF is to Manila, not Bangkok.

    2. Gulf Air (primarily under Hogan) chose to cancel flight to Bangalore which was generally full and decided to fly empty planes to Copenhagen, Dublin, Melbourne, Geneva.. Etc. etc.. The list is endless. The fact that they only recently started a flight to Dhaka is mind boggling when they make up such a large part of the population and are forced to fly other carriers.

    3. This is an airline primarily run for its employees and not its passengers. Typical to most state run carriers.

  3. “due to a variety of factors (including Bahrain no longer being the Middle East’s global hub, and also probably having to do with the fact that James Hogan was CEO of the airline for four years before moving on to Etihad), Gulf Air is just a small shell of what it used to be.”

    The biggest factor probably being Abu Dhabi, Qatar, and Oman all pulling out of the airline and deciding to focus on their own local airlines instead probably hurt Gulf Air the most, leaving only Bahrain as the sole owner. Losing Abu Dhabi as a hub also hurt Gulf Air quite a bit.

  4. This is disappointing to hear as I have banked AA miles specifically to redeem on Gulf and Etihad. Gulf had a convenient schedule and direct flights to many destinations in Europe and Asia. Sorry to see this go. I’m curious if UA will come in and be a partner as I think having a relationship with a USA partner airline program is needed for this airline to maintain relevance internationally.

  5. Gulf Air will recieve their 787-900 in 2018 and will start flying direct to the US thats why they will stop the AA codeshare.

  6. Yes as a former employee of Gulf Air the sole factor for the airline going into decline was UAE, Qatar and Oman pulling out of this once gulf powerhouse airline. From then on its future was limited to a regional role with Bahrain being the weakest of the four owner states. A sad day indeed!

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