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Bahrain Air push to resume flights

Manama, November 19, 2012

Bahrain Air, a leading low-cost carrier, is set for showdown talks with Civil Aviation Affairs officials after being forced to reduce or cancel flights to 11 cities.

Services to Dammam and Dhaka have been withdrawn and those to Amman, Beirut, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Kathmandu, Khartoum, Kuwait and Thiruvananthapuram cut back, said a report in our sister publication the Gulf Daily News (GDN).

No reason has been given for the decision, but the airline said on its website it was due to "reasons beyond our control".

Bahrain Air chief executive Richard Nuttall said officials hope to get its schedule back on track as soon as possible.

"We have issues with them - something that I cannot yet talk about - but we hope to resolve them soon," he told the GDN.

"We are meeting with the authorities later this week to see what can be done. Hopefully, our operations will be on track soon."

Nuttall was speaking as the airline announced it had been forced to drastically scale back its operations for the winter schedule, which runs until March.

"We have had to cut down on our operations since we do not have the required permissions from civil aviation authorities. We cannot operate until we do," he said.

But Nuttall dismissed claims from unionists that 300 people working for the airline could be set to lose their jobs. "If 300 jobs are lost, it means the airline has closed down. That is not the case," he said.

"Our operations are normal but for some routes that have to be reduced or cancelled. This, too, should be back soon after all outstanding issues are resolved,” he added.

Last week the airline's trade union appealed to HRH Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa to intervene and stop impending dismissals.

Union chairman Abdulrauoof Abdulla claimed a "problem" between Bahrain's Transportation Ministry and the company's board had resulted in several lucrative routes being operated by the company being suspended.

He said it meant massive losses and the only way to reduce them was to slash the workforce.

Abdulla said the decision to keep Bahrain Air flights to several destinations suspended should be reconsidered in the interest of the country.

He said the step was also contrary to government guidelines that seek to encourage investors to take part in Bahrain's development. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Flights | Manama | Civil aviation | Bahrain Air | Union |

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