Bahrain Air suspends Dhaka, Dammam flights
Manama, November 11, 2012
By R Sushil Nair
Bahrain Air, the private national carrier of the Kingdom, today confirmed that it has been forced to suspend flights to Bangladesh capital Dhaka and Dammam in Saudi Arabia in its winter schedule which runs till the end of March.
The airline was responding to media reports that Bahrain's Transportation Ministry had decided to slash some of its routes in its winter schedule owing to non-payment of pending fuel charges.
Confirming the reports, Bahrain Air CEO Richard Nuttall said the airline's operations have not been affected much as most routes are running as per schedule except flights to a few selected destinations.
"We have been forced to cut frequencies of flights on some key routes such as Kathmandu (Nepal), Amman (Jordan), Khartoum (Sudan) and the south Indian city of Thiruvananthapuram," he told The TradeArabia News Service.
He said with regard to Beirut services, the frequencies have not been affected as such with the airline operating its four daily flights. However, the ministry has restricted it from operating extra flights during the peak season.
On the Thiruvananthapuram flights (which too has been affected by the decision), he said the airline has permission to fly to the Indian city untill December 30.
"The Indian authorities have assured us that the problem will be sorted out during the bilateral talks between Indian and Bahraini civil aviation authorities in December," said an optimistic Nuttall.
Nuttall stated that the airline was in serious talks with Bahrain ministry to "sort out the problem over the outstanding debts and taxes and was hopeful of an early breakthrough."
He dismissed the talks of lay-offs as rumours and said: "It was indeed premature to speculate on the outcome of the talks."
Earlier media reports, quoting Bahrain Air trade union chairman Abdul Raouf Abdulla, had said that slashing of key routes on its winter schedule which began on October 28 will result in more losses for Bahrain Air, in the coming days.
The loss may force the company to lay off staff and more than 300 employees’ jobs are at stake, Abdulla was quoted as saying in the reports.-TradeArabia News Service