DUBAI Aug 28 Bahrain's national carrier Gulf
Air, struggling to recover from the effects of local
political unrest, achieved a 6 percent rise in revenue in the
six months through June on the back of an increase in passenger
The airline said in an emailed statement on Tuesday it had
carried 13 percent more passengers in the first half compared
with a year before, though it gave no net figures for passenger
numbers or for revenue and profit.
The airline also said it had made savings in its cost base
of 6.8 million dinars ($18 million) in the period but again gave
no net figure.
The airline has been hit by falling passenger numbers as
anti-government protests continued for months in the tiny island
kingdom, after an uprising last year led by the island's Shi'ite
Gulf Air said in August it would resume flights to the
lucrative routes of Iran and Iraq from Sept. 20. Services to
these Shiite-led countries were suspended at the height of the
anti-government protests in 2011.
Competition from other Middle East airlines such as Etihad,
Qatar Airways and Dubai-based Emirates have also
impacted its business and Gulf Air said in January it planned to
shrink operations and seek cash from government funds.
The airline laid off 200 employees in May last year with
bookings down by a quarter following the Arab Spring uprisings.
"We are pushing forward with our ... efficiency measures in
2012 and are targeting a further 15 percent reduction in (the
company's) cost base for the full year," said Samer Majali, Gulf
Air chief executive, in the statement.
The airline said its load factor grew by 5 percent over the
prior-year period to 77 percent.
($1 = 0.3771 Bahraini dinars)
(Reporting by Praveen Menon and Andrew Hammond; Editing by