Gulf Air scales back operations in fight for survival
Gulf Air announced Sunday, October 21, it is scaling back operations in a fight for survival amid the global downturn in the aviation industry. "In the wake of the dramatic downturn in international air travel, Gulf Air ... is reviewing its options for action to preserve its operations in the immediate future," president and chief executive Ibrahim Al Hamer said.
"Our present plan is to reduce our fleet from 30 to 26 aircraft during 2002," he said in a statement. The number of passengers Gulf Air carried fell six percent in September and more than 20 percent in the first two weeks of October, compared to the same periods in 2000. "These results are below break even levels," Al Hamer said.
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. Al Hamer said those reductions would remain in force "for the time being".
"The reduced capacity and fleet operations will almost certainly result in the closure of some stations and reduction of flights throughout our network to maximize yield and maintain load factor to minimize losses," he added.
Early retirement packages have already been taken up by 100 employees and more would be encouraged to do so, Gulf Air said. Airlines throughout the world have announced tens of thousands of job losses since the September 11 terror attacks in the United States worsened a global economic slowdown. ― (AFP, Manama)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)