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Thu 5 Apr 2007 01:49 PM

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New Gulf Air CEO fires top brass trio in board reshuffle

Urgent action is needed to save financially deteriorating Bahraini airline Gulf Air, but there are no quick fixes, its new chief executive has said, after firing three top executives.

Urgent action is needed to save financially deteriorating Bahraini airline Gulf Air, but there are no quick fixes, its new chief executive has said, after firing three top executives.

Andre Dose, former CEO of Swiss carrier Cross Air, made his comments amid dramatic restructuring plans. Ahmed Al Hammadi, vice-president finance and acting chief executive after the departure of James Hogan, Tariq Sultan, vice-president services and Ali Murtada, vice-president business units were All shown the cabin door in Dose's first board room reshuffle.

"There are no quick fixes and, if we are to serve our customers well, we must start to make the necessary changes now. Those changes must start at the top of the business," said Dose.

"We have ambitious plans for Gulf Air, but these will not be realised if we only make cosmetic changes to the way we do business. This is a large and complex business. We serve over seven million customers each year and we operate modern aircraft worth millions of Dinars.

"The existing organisational structure has 13 direct reports to the president and chief executive. It is simply not possible to manage that efficiently, therefore I have decided to reduce the number of direct reports to me."

Gulf Air deputy chairman Mahmood Al Kooheji, added: "It should also be noted that, if no remedial action is taken, the financial situation of the company will keep deteriorating.

"Consequently, there is a clear political guidance to implement the reforms in the Gulf Air by developing a comprehensive reform plan for the company, which will be implemented by Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (BMHC) through its representing members on the Gulf Air board of directors."

Dose joined the airline on Monday and has been meeting staff all week to share the message that the process of rebuilding Gulf Air has begun.

"Gulf Air has a magnificent heritage and, as I meet our staff, it is evident that we have the expertise and dedication we need to continue that legacy.

"Gulf Air accounts for 70% of Bahrain International Airport's traffic and we contribute US$770 million to the country's gross domestic product (GDP) every year. As a result, Gulf Air is part and parcel of the nation's future," he added.

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