Gulf Air shareholders were to meet in Abu Dhabi on 16 February to discuss the company’s future following the emergence of new national airlines in the GCC over recent months. ‘It’s a meeting between the governments to discuss Gulf Air’s future, strategy and plans,’ public relations manager Abdullah Abdulkarim says.
The meeting was requested by the Bahrain government, which has denied that it is also planning to set up a new national airline (MEED 11:2:94, Bahrain). The other shareholders are Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Oman.
Bahrain is worried about competition from Qatar Airways, which started flying to Dubai on 20 January at prices well below those offered by Gulf Air (see Qatar). Gulf Air has so far said it will compete on the strength of high-quality service, but it is also facing increased competition from Dubai’s Emirates airline and Oman Aviation, which also flies the profitable India route.