“The aviation industry’s business in the last six weeks has suffered a colossal setback” says Gulf Air’s President and Chief Executive , Ibrahim A Al Hamer. ” The worldwide decline in passenger traffic is around 20%. As far as overall employment is concerned, more than 10% of the industry employees have so far lost their jobs worldwide”.
“In the light of these circumstances, Gulf Air has decided to reduce its fleet size from 32 to 26 aircraft,” Mr Al Hamer confirmed. The airline has closed down a number of destinations within its international network, and others are under review. There will be staff reductions in the Operations Department due to the downsizing of fleet and network.
The contracts of expatriates working in the affected departments will not be renewed. We are forced to declare others redundant. National staff in Gulf Air will be re-located in various departments when possible. More staff are being encouraged to join the early retirement scheme, and voluntary severance package.
Over 110 applications for early retirement have been approved so far. The target figure for staff reduction is approximately 400-450 all over the network till end of current year. There will be constant monitoring and follow up on staff reductions to ensure that work levels are fully maintained and that quality performance is not harmed. Gulf Air is determined to provide a range of services and products that best suits the demands of the market and will endeavor to keep as much of its route structure in place as possible.
“Our industry has suffered its worst crisis in modern history but we must guard against excessive pessimism,” says Mr Al Hamer. “I am confident that we will weather the storm and emerge stronger but changed. The time to begin our recovery is now. The industry has a great future as a contributor to economic wealth. We all need to share that vision,” said Gulf Air’s President and Chief Executive. “Additional measures will be taken if the industry does not recover,” he added.