Gulf Air denies rumours on CEO's 'resignation'
Manama, January 8, 2010
Gulf Air yesterday strongly denied rumours that its chief executive officer Samer Majali had resigned or had been asked to leave just five months after being appointed.
An airline official told the Gulf Daily News, our sister newspaper, there was also 'no truth' in reports that as many as 50 pilots had quit en masse because they did not want to be re-trained on narrow-body aircraft.
'Rumours about Mr Majali have been circulating for several weeks now but there is nothing to them,' said the official. 'He is aware of these rumours and has laughed them off.'
On the mass resignation of pilots, the official said such reports were baseless. 'This is the first time we are hearing about this,' said the official.
Another airline source also denied Majali was leaving or had been asked to go. 'Mr Majali was at an employee majlis this afternoon where he spoke about the rumours and laughed them off,' he said.
The source quoted the Jordanian as having said: 'I am not going anywhere, I am very much here'.
However, the source confirmed 'around 50 or more' of the airline's 450 pilots had decided to either resign or not renew their contracts.
'Many of them are GCC nationals but mainly are expatriates,' said the source.
They have reportedly indicated they are being offered better salaries and perks elsewhere, so they are not renewing their contracts.
'They have also indicated they do not see a bright future for themselves at the company. This is normal and all airlines have people leaving and joining.'
The source said he was not aware of claims that pilots were furious they would be sent away for between six to eight weeks for training on narrow-bodied aircraft and would be away from their families for too long.
Majali joined Gulf Air in August and earlier announced a three-year strategy for the carrier, which could include job cuts and redundancies in a bid to turn around its fortunes.
It included plans to reduce its workforce through natural attrition, retirements, redundancies, the ending of contracts and other measures. -TradeArabia News Service