Gulf Air still cleared for take-off as losses mount up
Bahrain’s flagship carrier, Gulf Air, was yesterday given the green light to continue operating despite mounting losses, our sister newspaper, the Gulf Daily News reported.
The lifeline was extended as parliament chairman Khalifa Al Dhahrani chaired a key joint meeting, in the presence of Deputy Premier Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa and Shura Council chairman Ali Saleh Al Saleh.
The government urged the legislative authority to approve additional funds for the national carrier to clear debts and meet obligations with other companies.
Finance Minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Transport Minister Kamal Ahmed and heads of blocs and committees also attended.
The two sides discussed the administrative and financial plight of Gulf Air and explored alternatives to halt the haemorrhage of losses.
They also gauged the string of obstacles and difficulties which are preventing Gulf Air from returning to profitability alongside rival airlines.
They agreed to keep the national carrier afloat owing to its importance as a catalyst for the economy, tourism and investments.
Both sides underlined the airline's crucial role in promoting Bahrain's reputation in regional and international arenas.
"Gulf Air remains a key pillar of the national economy, a bridge to the world and a vital purveyor of jobs for Bahrainis," they said in a joint statement.
Shura Council members and MPs also agreed to hold a meeting.
They stressed that their final approval of aid package would depend on the ways the government would spend the money.
They also affirmed their full co-operation with authorities to resolve the problems facing the airline.