Middle Eastern carrier Gulf Air's chief, Samer Majali, has resigned from his post at the helm of the troubled airline, days after the government overhauled the board of directors.

Gulf Air has not named an immediate successor. Majali will remain at the airline until the end of this year.

Majali was appointed to lead the Bahraini carrier three years ago and put in place a sweeping restructuring programme which cut back ambitious expansion plans to focus on a more conservative strategy of regional connections.

This effort resulted in Gulf Air's cancelling high-profile orders for Boeing 787s and Airbus A330s, in favour of taking short-haul A320-family aircraft as well as Embraer regional jets.

But while the programme had been showing signs of cutting Gulf Air's heavy losses, the carrier was still forced to seek financial support from the kingdom as high fuel prices and political unrest in Bahrain kept pressure on the airline's balance sheet.

Bahrain's government approved a capital injection for the airline but, in November, appointed a new board of directors to oversee the way the funding was allocated, and set up committees to monitor the restructuring.

Majali has not indicated the reasons for his decision to step down.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news