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Fri 30 Jan 2009 08:22 AM

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Bahrain MPs demand sacking of Gulf Air chief

Official statement calls for 'search for new CEO' amid recruitment policy concern.

Bahraini MPs have called for the sacking of Gulf Air president and chief executive Bjorn Naf, it emerged on Friday.

The plea followed a meeting between parliamentary financial and economic affairs committee and airline board members on Thursday.

A statement issued through parliament's general secretariat called for a "search for a new chief executive who has the qualifications and experience necessary for a commercial airline", Gulf Daily News reported on Friday.

It also called for four expatriate chiefs of various divisions to be replaced by Bahrainis as concerns grow about the performance of the carrier.

"It is important to Bahrainise higher leadership posts, especially higher administrative posts, giving Bahrainis priority in employment, education and training," the statement added.

Although no-one was available for comment at Gulf Air, the paper reported that MPs claimed the airline's problems have continued under Mr Naf's leadership and questioned the recruitment policy for high-ranking posts within the company.

"Nothing has changed over the past two years, since the new chief executive was appointed - on the contrary, he has created more problems and this is why we believe he should go," said committee vice-chairman Abdulhaleem Murad.

MPs reportedly quizzed airline representatives about senior officials' nationalities, education and experience, demanding that all six (division) chiefs be Bahrainis.

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