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Privatisation of Gulf Air not on the cards - Bahrain Economic Development Board

12-Mar-2010 3:04 PM

Bahrain Economic Development Board CEO, Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa, stated there are no plans to privatise Gulf Air (Gulf Daily News, 12-Mar-2010).

Bahrain Economic Development Board:
The Government's privatisation committee looks at a lot of options across a range of business but no-one wants an airline with an anchor weighing it down. Privatisation is not on for now. Will it be in the future? That is up to the owners and they are the Government and Mumtalakat, who both hold a 50% stake in the airline. The ownership will remain as it is until they make a decision to change that. Mumtalakat has done what it could for the airline and it is now time for the Government to play a role. Many airlines have a problem at the moment, but we have the right board in place, the right management and the right plan for the future and we deal with this publicly. We are implementing a strategy that we believe will leave us with a much better airline. Gulf Air has been a challenge because it has gone from four national owners to three, to two and now to one. Our strategy is to develop the airline as a carrier that serves people coming in and going out of Bahrain, not as some sort of hub for people passing through. Our strategy is to offer connectivity for the banking community, the business community and the people of Bahrain to support the economic needs of the country and its people. We are confident that we will be successful now that we have the strategy in place,” Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa, CEO. Source: Gulf Daily News, 12-Mar-2010.