Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air said on Tuesday its annual losses fell by 52 per cent in 2013 as it neared the end of a five-year restructuring.
Gulf Air, which has cut routes and staff, said its losses fell by more than BD100 million ($265.25 million) resulting in its strongest earnings in eight years. The airline did not give the actual profit or revenue figures in its statement.
The losses were reduced by retiring aircraft, closing eight routes, reducing staff expenses and renegotiating over 2,000 contracts with suppliers, it said.
Competition from other Middle East airlines such as Dubai-based Emirates, Abu Dhabi’s Etihad and Qatar Airways, and damage to Bahrain’s tourism industry from anti-government protests, have reduced its passenger numbers.
Budget airline Bahrain Air shut down last year, blaming the political unrest and the government’s refusal to compensate it.
Gulf Air has cut about 27 per cent of its staff as part of the restructuring. It retired 14 aircraft in 2013 and now has a fleet of 26 Airbus wide and narrow-body jets.
The airline said it was targeting a further reduction in losses of approximately 10 per cent in 2014.