Bahrain’s Gulf Air Cuts 15% Staff In Restructuring

The struggling carrier said further adjustments would be made across all levels of its organisation.

Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air has cut 15 per cent of its staff to date and dropped four loss-making routes as part of its restructuring, the struggling carrier said on Sunday.

Gulf Air, which has cut its fleet to cope with tough market conditions, said further adjustments would be made across all levels of its organisation, but that it was on track to complete all big workforce-related changes in the second quarter of 2013.

“In January a total workforce reduction of 6 percent was realized. This to date has increased to 15 per cent,” the carrier, which had approximately 4,000 staff last year, said in statement. It did not specify how many more jobs might be lost.

Gulf Air chief executive Samer Majali, brought in to restructure the airline’s operations in 2009, resigned in November last year.

Competition from other Middle East airlines such as Abu Dhabi’s Etihad, Qatar Airways and Dubai-based Emirates , and the damage to Bahrain’s tourism industry from anti-government protests over the past two years, have reduced passenger numbers for carriers in the island kingdom.

Smaller carrier Bahrain Air shut down last month, blaming political unrest and the government’s refusal to pay it compensation.

Last November Gulf Air cut its order for Boeing 787 Dreamliners to 12-16 planes from an earlier order of 24, and also revised a deal with Airbus. It currently has a fleet of 26 aircraft.