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Gulf Air still seeks to join global alliance

25-Apr-2012 8:37 PM

Gulf Air is continuing its search for a global alliance despite recent setbacks in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. Gulf Air CEO Samer Majli said during CAPA’s 'Airlines in Transition CEO Summit' last week the carrier’s strategy is “directly linked to finding an alliance partner” and building a strong regional network that would be attractive to one of the three global alliances. Gulf Air has been in restructuring mode for the last several months, shrinking its fleet and network in an attempt to reduce losses. The carrier’s business plan now focuses primarily on short-haul routes within three hours of its Bahrain hub. Mr Majli acknowledges his business plan has been set back one year as a result of the Arab Spring, which forced Gulf Air to de-emphasise some markets such as Iraq and Syria and increase emphasis on others such as Saudi Arabia. But Mr Majali says he believes the carrier can still retain a big enough regional network to attract a global alliance.