By Omololu Olumuyiwa
Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, recently sponsored and participated in the 127th International Airlines Technical Pool (IATP) Conference that was held at the Gulf Hotel in Manama from March 13 – 15 March. The conference was attended by more than 120 airline and associate member representatives involving technical professionals from global aviation industry and focused mainly on the importance of mutual cooperation between the members, discussing critical issues such as sharing of resources and aircraft recovery in order to improve the operating efficiency for the members.
Commenting on the Conference, Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer Captain Waleed Al Alawi valued the opportunity of the carrier sponsoring the event and hosting it in Bahrain. This is in line with the Kingdom’s vision to support and promote the aviation and tourism sectors. The CEO also praising the variety of topics the Conference addressed, including the need to deal with important issues such as sustainability, carbon emission, digital transformation and air traffic efficiency; due to their vital role in the progress of an effective global aviation network.
Delivering the opening speech of the conference, Gulf Air Chief Technical Officer, Mr. Jamal Hashim highlighted the importance of parts pooling and the improvement brought about by increased cooperation between airlines. He further emphasised on the ever-increasing operating costs for airlines due to the current volatility in the industry and the importance of pooling of expensive equipment such as engines, auxiliary power unit (APU) and nacelle parts, besides all the other technical issues affecting the air transport operations. Mr. Hashim also spoke on the increasing demand for additional talents and skilled workforce in the airline industry, calling for an immediate requirement to establish more training organisations and programmes.
IATP includes in its membership 123 airline members and 40 associate members (service providers and OEM), and operates worldwide in about 900 stations; with pooling activities covering almost all aircraft types. All member airlines meet twice per year at conferences held in March and October in different countries. The organization is managed by the member airlines through the elected Board of Directors, with operations being coordinated by a Corporate Office based in Luxembourg.