Bahrain’s national carrier has already slashed its workforce by about 1,500 over the past year as it tried to curb losses of more than $1m a day.

The company has targeted 2010 for a return to profit but losses still exceed $500,000.

One company official says the airline’s workforce of more than 5,000 staff is still too large and further significant cuts will be made.

“Most of these reductions will come through natural attrition but there will be redundancies where there is duplication of roles,” he says. “This is not a welfare business anymore; it is a fully commercial enterprise. You have to justify your place.”