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Gulf Air to close routes in battle for profitability

Gulf Air to close routes in battle for profitability

Gulf Air has confirmed it will cut services to peripheral destinations as it seeks to rebuild its financial strength.

Bahraini flag-carrier Gulf Air said it would cease operations to Damascus, Athens, Milan and Kuala Lumpur in the coming months.

Services to Damascus will be stopped from March 02nd, while flights to Athens and Milan will be stopped from March 12th.

Kuala Lumpur will follow from March 25th 2012.

This follows the announcement of the closure of Entebbe and Geneva routes earlier this month.

The move comes as the airline seeks to address the economic challenges faced in recent times; in particular, the local and regional political situation, the high price of fuel and low passenger numbers.

The decision has been taken to allow the airline to use its fleet and resources in the most efficient way by concentrating on high-demand, high-yield routes to ensure that its core customer base is served effectively.

Gulf Air chief executive, Samer Majali, said: “It is currently a challenging business environment for airlines around the world. These closures are pragmatic commercial decisions aimed at focusing services on routes with higher passenger traffic. 

“Our commercial strategy, developed in 2009, delivered significant gains in 2010 but last year has been challenging. Therefore, we are now adapting our approach to address the challenges on an urgent basis.”

Passengers, who have confirmed bookings (both onward and return) to the affected destinations are being informed of the closures.