26-Jan-2012 10:26 AM

Gulf Air rejects suggestions carrier could be sold or dissolved

Gulf Air CEO Samar Majali rejected reports in local reports that the Bahrain Government would sell or dissolve Gulf Air, whose turnaround plan was impacted by reduced passenger numbers amid anti-government protests in the country in 2011. Mr Majali, as quoted by Arab News and Gulf Daily News, said the carrier could receive a cash injection from Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund, Mumtalakat, which has a stake in the carrier. While the restructuring will not affect staff levels, Mr Majali stated it will affect the network and the fleet. Local reports said the Bahrain Government calculated dissolving the carrier would cost BHD600 million (USD1.60 billion) while creating a new carrier would cost BHD460 million (USD1.22 billion). Gulf Air had been focusing on under-served routes to Iran and Iraq until Bahrain-imposed bans forced the carrier to suspend operations there. Instead Gulf Air has turned to Saudi Arabia [more - CAPA analysis].

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