Gulf Air aiming to axe up to 450 employees
Gulf Air announced Saturday October 27 it was aiming to cut up to 450 jobs by the end of the year in a fight for survival amid the global downturn in the aviation industry.
"The aviation industry's business in the last six weeks has suffered a colossal setback," president and chief executive Ibrahim Al Hamer said. Reiterating an earlier announcement that Gulf Air was reducing its fleet to 26 from 32 aircraft, Hamer said the airline had closed down a number of destinations within its international network and was reviewing others.
Expatriates working in the departments whose staff will be reduced will not have their contracts renewed, and others will be made redundant, Hamer said. "More staff are being encouraged to join the early retirement scheme and voluntary severance package," he said, adding that over 110 applications for early retirement had been approved.
"The target figure for staff reduction is approximately 400-450 all over the network till the end of the current year," Hamer said Gulf Air, which has a staff of more than 5,000, announced last week it was scaling back operations in view of "the dramatic downturn in international air travel" in the wake of the September 11 unprecedented jetliner suicide bombings in the United States.
The national carrier of Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar has already reduced operations by 15 percent since October 1 to "safeguard the long-term health" of the airline, it said. Airlines throughout the world have announced tens of thousands of job losses since the terror attacks in the United States worsened a global economic slowdown. — (AFP, Manama)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)