Bahrain's Gulf Air says CEO has resigned

Samer Majali quits struggling Gulf carrier as it embarks on major restructuring plan

Samer Majali, who has resigned from his role of Gulf Air CEO.

Samer Majali, who has resigned from his role of Gulf Air CEO.

Gulf Air's CEO, brought in to restructure the airline's operations in 2009, has resigned, the struggling Bahrain-based carrier has said.

In comments published by Bahrain News Agency, the airline's board said it had accepted the resignation of Samer Majali, submitted earlier this year following the appointment of new directors in mid-November.

Majali will remain in his job until the end of 2012, the board said without saying who would replace Majali or giving reasons for his resignation.

The board thanked Majali for his "contribution to Gulf Air and the strong leadership he has shown over the last three years".

Bahrain's flag carrier 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.

The board said it recognised Majali's successful renegotiations of the airline’s order book has resulted in the reduction of the long-term financial liability of the airline by approximately 50 percent.

In a statement, Majali thanked employees and management "for their support and their hard work towards achieving significant progress during the last three years in a challenging operating environment".

Earlier this month, Gulf Air's board set up a new committee to oversee the airline's restructuring plan.

In a statement, the national carrier said the committee would have to make "some tough decisions and choices" in the short term to ensure its long term sustainability.

The board, led by chairman Sheikh Khaled bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, also deputy prime minister, has passed a resolution to form an executive restructuring committee which will also monitor the spending of the funding recently granted by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

Last month, Bahrain's king issued a royal decree authorising the government to extend BD185m ($491m) to the carrier.

The company said in January that it planned to shrink operations and seek cash from government funds.

It laid off 200 employees in May last year after bookings fell by a quarter following the Arab Spring uprisings.

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Posted by: Mohammed Jassim

I am sorry to say that I disagree with some of the comments regarding locals and their capabilities, It sad to think in this way!! Life virtuous case study is DUBAI, and I think all of us know who is heading all the all successful and profitable companies? Fortunately they are all Led and Managed by locals, and fortunately have achieved excessive results.
Regrettably to say firing locals, changing senior management etc.. will not help, unluckily we are talking about a part of the problem and leaving the most important part. In my personal opinion, I must say that the company ignored a real fact that becoming involved in creating and strengthening a culture that emphasizes service excellence is a natural fit for to its customer and It can be a growth experience, most important to puts the humanity back into the service !! none of us has mentioned about the best way in creating a culture of customer experience excellence nor about repeated unsatisfactory customer service and experienc

Posted by: Mohamed

Gulf air in one of the greatest airlines in the Gulf well b4 the birth of EK and the EY'S , all thease neighbouring airlines learn't from
it. Gulfair's downtrod is mainly blamed to poor management.
With the Big carrers like like Emirates its hard for Airlines to keep competition.
Hear's the plans :
Go for Q-400 Bombadier slash prices on DXB/MCT all the gulf routes and stay with the A320 , no big jets.
See if u can do it Go for the Big jets again.
Don't lose it keep fighting. Gulfair is wtill the gratest and gracious

Posted by: steve

I fly Gulf Air (business) all the time and much prefer the Bahrain airport over Dubai and Qatar. At least with Gulf Air I feel I have not over paid and really, some things need upgrading but overall their service is good. I feel its good value for the money spent. The airport is much nicer, I really hate those huge airports and mile long walks. Sure its nice to have modern and new but its nice to have value for money as well.

Posted by: N.S.

Agree totally with what you wrote Steve. I have just been promoted Gold and 90% of my flights to Europe and Far East are now with GF. I am sorry about the resignation of Samer Majali. I think he has been probably the best CEO GF had so far. He has managed the carrier in its most difficult times and has done a great job in view of its recovery. I hope the new CEO will continue his job because the airline is surely on its way to recovery and to find its niche in the competitive Gulf market.

Posted by: Wael Al Mandil


Posted by: RAH

Nothing wrong with changing CEO's every now and then. Apple Inc. did the same during the 90's until they finally took off with successful products.

If the current CEO feels hindered, it is best he leaves the post for someone else. It is commendable of Majali to step down (assuming he did, rather than pressured to do so), rather than just sit there for the sake of a pay check.

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