Murtada is regional chief


Gulf Air has announced the appointment of Ali Murtada to the position of regional manager, GCC and Middle East.

The appointment gives Murtada the scope to effect the airline's strategies to re-establish its operations on a commercial basis and to position Gulf Air as the preferred airline in the home markets and catchment areas, the carrier said.

"It is clear that Ali has a wealth of experience in the airline industry, and more importantly an in-depth intuitive knowledge of the local markets in which he will direct our operations," said president and chief executive James Hogan.

"This essential mix will be fundamental in promoting Gulf Air and developing these key markets."

Murtada has been with Gulf Air for 29 years. He started his career in the reservations department, and a few years later was selected as one of the first candidates to take part in the company's original graduate trainee program for Gulf nationals from the owner states.

A series of managerial positions in various departments followed before he was appointed as the area manager for Bahrain in 1982.

Four years later in 1986, he took up the equivalent position in India, the airline's largest external outstation and operational centre.

In 1991, he returned to Bahrain to become regional vice president Asia Pacific, a post he held till 1994, when he took over the independent management of Gulf Air's lucrative cargo operation, which was followed in 2000 by a spell as the head of inflight services.