Bahrain's Gulf Air appoints new acting CEO

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Gulf Air

Gulf Air

Bahrain's ailing national carrier Gulf Air has appointed an new acting CEO following the resignation of Samer Majali last month.

The airline's deputy CEO Maher Salman Jabor Al Musallam will take the helm while it continues to implement a major restructuring plan, the company said in a statement.

The appointment was made by the board of director under the chairmanship of Sheikh Khaled bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, also Bahrain's deputy prime minister.

At the same meeting, the board reviewed a report presented by the executive restructuring committee and agreed to hold monthly meetings to monitor the implementation of the restructuring.

The committee was also instructed to meet with the airline's management each week "to ensure a transparent and timely implementation of the plan".

Gulf Air has been struggling to compete against GCC rivals amid rising fuel prices and declining passenger numbers. The carrier was also hit hard by last year’s regional political instability.

The carrier, which once had the biggest network in the Gulf, has axed several routes from its network in recent months as it moves to stem its losses.

The airline has slashed the number of its destinations from 120 to 40 and has said as many as 1,800 staff could be laid off as part of a deal to secure a BD185m ($490.8m) bailout.

The carrier also cut its order for Boeing's Dreamliner in November, and revised a deal with Airbus, part of a move to restructure its fleet as it tries to cope with a tough market.

Samer Majali, the CEO bought in to restructure the airline’s operations in 2009, resigned in November. Majali will remain in his position until the end of the year, the airline said last month.

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