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Monday, August 24, 2009

Gulf Air still facing financial problems

By Roland GribbenPublished: 11:12PM BST 23 Aug 2009

The airline, now wholly owned by the Bahraini sovereign wealth fund after Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Oman surrendered their stakes, is also holding the door open for a merger with another airline.
Gulf has suffered from intense competition in the region from the expansion of Emirates, based in Dubai, Etihad Airways, of Abu Dhabi, Qatar Airways and low cost operators, led by Jazeera Airways and Air Arabia, and has parted company with three chief executives in the last seven years.

The latest Samer Majali, former chief executive of Royal Jordanian, told Reuters the company would honour the terms of its contracts with the aircraft makers but might reduce the size of orders. Gulf has 35 Airbus and 24 Boeing aircraft on order.

He disclosed passenger numbers were down 3pc in the first seven months of the year and yields have slumped between 15pc-20pc. He said the airline was open "to anything" that would improve its prospects.

Two weeks ago Jazeera hinted it was in the market for acquisitions.
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