Bahrain's Gulf Air says losses cut by 30% in H1

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Gulf Air, Bahrain's national carrier, said on Sunday that its year-on-year losses reduced by 30 percent in the first half of 2014.

The airline's revenues increased by 10 percent during the same period, its chairman said in a statement without giving specific figures.

The increase in revenues "was realised principally through an enhanced revenue stream that was driven by augmented operations, improved load factors and increased connecting traffic," Gulf Air said.

Chairman Sheikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa said: "The first two quarters of 2014 have been critical in the national carrier's recent, post-restructuring development.

"These positive half year results show that Gulf Air is continuing on a positive trajectory to become an efficient, commercially sustainable business and an integral part of the Kingdom of Bahrain's local economy."

During H1, Gulf Air began services to its fifth destination in Pakistan - Sialkot, recommenced flights to the Iranian capital Tehran and the Greek capital Athens.

Additionally, the airline increased frequencies to Mashhad to now operate daily flights between Bahrain and the Iranian city.

The airline said its ongoing network refinement was partially responsible for its strong performance during the first six months of 2014, delivering a seat factor, revenue passenger count and passenger yield that were all improvements on that achieved in the first half of 2013.

Kamal Bin Ahmed, Minister of Transport and chairman of Gulf Air's executive committee said: "We are pleased with these strong first half results, which are evidence of the on-going fiscal and operational improvements being made across the business.

"These early results are fully in line with our expectations as we continue to further strengthen the position of Bahrain's national carrier. To date, much has been achieved and we look forward to continuing this progress for the rest of 2014."

Gulf Air acting CEO Maher Salman AlMusallam added: "The initial benefits from the national carrier's strategic restructuring were evident in our positive 2013 results and these have translated to significant loss reduction and revenue generation during the first half of 2014. Encouraging summer season bookings confirm the positive trend.

"We are looking forward to more positive results in the latter half of 2014 while we continue to deliver a superior product and service offering to our passengers."

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