Gulf Air yet to determine funding avenue for new plan

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Gulf Air is yet to determine how it will finance its three-year restructuring programme, but is steering away from a near-term strategic partnership.

The Bahrain-based airline is intending to return to a break-even position in 2012 through an adjustment of its network and fleet, and an improved on-board product.

But speaking to ATI today, Gulf Air chief Samer Majali said: "We definitely will have to get financing for the restructuring - but we don't have an exact number.

"That will be discussed in the very near future."

He says the funding would be "difficult to find internally" and that it will probably have to undergo an increase in capital, or seek a regular finance avenue.

Majali says that Gulf Air is open to bilateral partnerships and still sees alliance membership as an option to extend to carrier's reach with relatively little outlay.

But he suggests that an initial public offering or strategic partnership is unlikely in the near term, adding: "I'm not sure we're an investment opportunity at the present time."