The change of leadership at Gulf Air has put the spotlight very firmly on Bahrain, which seemed to be the centre of all aviation industry talk last month.
First, word broke that the kingdom may soon have the region’s first refitting and maintenance facility for executive luxury jets, according to Civil Aviation Affairs (CAA) assistant under secretary for aviation services Ahmed Nemat Ali.
The industry is also abuzz with word of two new airlines rumoured to be taking off from Bahrain. One, called Ajwaa, began construction of a website naming Bahrain as its head office, displaying images of commercial airliners with the Bahraini flag on their livery, and advertising flights to several international destinations from Bahrain International Airport.
However, CAA assistant under-secretary for airport services Nabeel Taqi rejected any possibility of a new carrier of that name coming to Bahrain in an interview with the Gulf Daily News, and the airline subsequently blocked access to its website.
Also floating about pilots’ networks was word of another new airline, Bahrain Air, although very little detail could be obtained.
When contacted by TTN, CAA officials said they could only comment on plans for new operations when officially published.
Through it all, developments at Gulf Air have been monitored. The airline continues to follow its recovery programme, it quickly declared ‘business as usual’, deputing chief operating officer Bjorn Nنf to replace Andrew Dosé as acting president and chief executive. Dosé quit four months into the job due to “a clash of styles”, said chairman Mahmood Al Kooheji.
By Clark Kelly