Air Transport World

Gaining stature. (Gulf Aircraft Maintenance Co.)

After seven years, GAMCO has gotten its head above water. Or perhaps, in this case, above the sand

ABU DHABI--After a long, slow start and seven unprofitable years, Gulf Aircraft Maintenance Go. (GAMCO) finally is starting to prove itself. The Abu Dhabibased heavy maintenance facility reported its second straight profitable year in 1995.

Prior to 1994, GAMCO had been a company in turmoil. Cofounded in September, 1987 by the government of Abu Dhabi and Gulf Air under a 60-40 partnership, respectively, GAMCO faced serious problems. With the exception of Gulf Air, it had no long-term contract, a situation that forced it to rely primarily on ad hoc work, with little of that filling its bays.

At the same time, it was forced to make substantial investments in new equipment, to handle the new Boeing and Airbus aircraft being introduced into the Gulf Air fleet.

And to compound the situation, the company had no clear direction. This caused a natural morale problem among its 1,000 employees, a diverse mixture of more than 40 nationalities.

Not helping the situation was the fact that many operators linked Abu Dhabi to the Gulf War, despite the considerable distance between the U.A.E. and Kuwait. In 1991, Seif Al-Mugheiry, VP-technical for Gulf Air, was appointed GM, to solve this problem (ATW, 7/93). He immediately established a 5-year program designed to provide a clear direction and to push the company into profitability. A key to the strategy was to bring in new third-party business and establish a solid customer base, while adding other business through joint partnerships.

By completion of Al-Mugheiry's secondment late last year, the company clearly was heading in the direction he had aimed. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.