BA revamps Mideast management structure

Allen, left, and Lines.

British Airways has announced a new organisational structure for the Middle East region.

The changes are the result of the completion of an internal review of the airline's business in the Middle East, the airline said.

It follows the major Future Size and Shape review which the airline announced in February.

The changes include:

* The combining of the two regions: Middle East, North Africa, South and Central Asia with Africa;

* The business unit for the new area will be headed by regional director Alan Burnett in the airline's headquarters in London;

The creation of two areas: Northern Gulf and Southern Gulf, Levant and Central Asia.

The Northern Gulf will be headed up by area manager Harvey Lines who will continue to be based in Bahrain and will be responsible for the overall commercial performance in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.

The Southern Gulf, the Levant and Central Asia, comprises the UAE, Oman as well as Pakistan, and routes operated by franchise partner British Mediterranean in Central Asia and the Levant.

It becomes the responsibility of area manager Steve Allen who will be based in Dubai.

Commenting on the new organisation, regional director, Alan Burnett said: "The changes will enable the airline to streamline its operations while providing a more specialized and detailed focus to the commercial planning and operation in this very important market."

British Airways has appointed Richard Hirsch as its new country commercial manager for Bahrain and Eastern Province.

Hirsch, a British national, brings considerable sales and marketing experience to his new position. His career with British Airways spans a period of 15 years, during which he has held various positions at the airline's head office in the United Kingdom as well as several years in Denmark and Sweden.

In 2001, Hirsch joined British Airways' Middle East team in Bahrain as revenue development manager Middle East and for the past six months he has also been fulfilling the role of sales manager, Eastern province.

"The travel industry in Bahrain is in an interesting and challenging phase and British Airways is committed to providing better services for our customers in partnership with our travel agency colleagues. This includes developing programs which benefit the community", said Hirsch.

"I am excited about my new responsibility as country commercial manager for Bahrain and Eastern Province. I look forward to build upon the excellent community relationships we have already established, and developing the on opportunities that lie ahead."

In this new role, Hirsch will also be in charge of British Airways' business coming from Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, due to the increasing number of passengers travelling through Bahrain International Airport from that region.