Allegations baseless says Gulf Air chief
Manama, April 1, 2012
Recent allegations of mismanagement and accusations of fraud and corruption against Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air were totally false, said its chief executive officer.
Gulf Air has faced a barrage of criticism from all sides with some MPs and economists calling for the airline to be downsized or even scrapped.
In an open letter released yesterday (March 31) Samer Majali hit back at the snipers, saying much of claims made against the organisation were totally false.
'In recent weeks there has been much dialogue pertaining to Gulf Air, spreading false information,” he said. 'Unfortunately this continuous baseless assault is not only damaging the reputation, dignity and morale of our employees, but also inflicting damage to the reputation of Gulf Air and, most importantly, to Bahrain.
'Therefore, as chief executive officer of Gulf Air, I feel compelled to respond. Perhaps the best way to set the record straight is to address the inaccuracy of certain statements directly.'
'Fraud and financial corruption are criminal acts and extremely serious. Yet recently such accusations have been made without any proof whatsoever nor fear of consequences,” he added.
'This is slanderous and libellous. To date not one allegation with evidence has been submitted for investigation to the public prosecutor, any official government body or Gulf Air.
'The allegations of organisational and financial corruption are void and completely false.
'Gulf Air's strict financial protocols and procedures govern its financial management, which are demonstrated in the internal and external business audits of the airline.
'Gulf Air's management have set up a completely independent internal audit department which works with the global auditing firm Deloitte and reports to the Board of Directors' Financial Audit Committee.
'In addition, Ernst & Young has been appointed by the shareholders to develop and prepare the audited annual financial reports.
'These reports are reviewed and verified by the Financial Audit Committee prior to being approved by the Board of Directors. Further, Gulf Air is in full compliance with the rules and regulations of the Bahrain Tender Board,” Maja;I explained in the letter.
'Additionally, Gulf Air is also monitored by the National Audit Court, which prepares and reports to His Majesty the King and from there to the Shura Council and Parliament.
'All auditing firms have confirmed that the past four years show no financial or institutional corruption. Claims stating otherwise directly question the integrity and credibility of these established international consultancy firms.'
'We call for any evidence-backed allegations to be reported to the Bahrain General Prosecutor for investigation. Gulf Air will fully co-operate with any investigation,” he added.
The false accusation of a female executive secretary earning a monthly salary of BD7,000 ($18,560) is ludicrous; there is no individual in the organisation with this title making this amount of money, Majali concluded. – TradeArabia News Service