Qatar has refused to pay any more capital to bail out the troubled Gulf Air, thus withdrawing from its partnership in the regional carrier. The three remaining strategic equity partners— the governments of Oman, Bahrain and the emirate of Abu Dhabi—have injected 30 million Bahraini dinars ($79.5 million) each into the company. Last year the owners infused Dh60 million into the airline in a bid to contain its $800 million accumulated losses.
A new recovery scheme drafted for the airline by an external auditor is scheduled for implementation in October 2002. Among the measures studied is a cut in the airline’s flight destinations and employees. Airline officials stated that flights to and from Doha airport will not be affected by Qatar’s pullout, however the airline's training center will be transferred to a new location.
Established in 1949, the Bahrain-based Gulf Air currently has a fleet of 30 aircraft. It operates some 1,000 flights to and from the Gulf every week, serving over 53 cities worldwide. The airline's authorized capital currently stands at BD135 million.
The airline incurred BD40 million net losses in 2001, compared to BD37 million the previous year. In 1999, Gulf Air posted a net profit of BD400,000, a sharp drop from the $10 million it earned in 1998. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )