Gulf Air services remain unaffected, assures CEO
Manama, October 10, 2012
Gulf Air, Bahrain’s national carrier, today assured passengers and employees that as discussions continue between the kingdom’s government and parliament on the airline’s funding requirements, the airline’s services remain unaffected.
Responding to media reports on downsizing of the airline, Gulf Air CEO Samer Majali said: “Discussions between the government and parliament are ongoing with a final vote to approve the funding and long-term plan for the airline is expected within weeks of parliament convening next Sunday.
“My main priority at the moment is Gulf Air’s passengers and staff and the effect that the ongoing public discussion is creating. I would like to personally reassure passengers that in the meantime Gulf Air’s near-term plans for the airline are not affected.
“We will continue to operate flights as scheduled and provide our customers with the highest levels of service and reliability,” he said.
Earlier, reports said the airline could be radically downsized under a bailout agreement that would see BD185 million ($492.02 million) injected into the airline.
The government has received the initial green light to go ahead with the restructuring that includes halving the airline's fleet, shrinking its workforce by up to 50 per cent and slashing routes.
A blueprint designed to reduce Gulf Air's losses from BD95 million a year to BD58 million by 2017 was revealed yesterday, following meetings between government ministers, MPs and Shura Council members.
The plan also involves ditching 19 of Gulf Air's planes, leaving it with 20 aircraft, and shrinking its network to 31 routes. – TradeArabia News Service