Gulf Air Fires 200 Staff, Sees drop in Bookings Due to Unrest

Gulf Air, Bahrain’s state-owned carrier, fired 200 employees and reported a 25 percent drop in bookings in the first five months of the year because of unrest in the Middle East.

After staff were laid off, an internal committee was set up, with 100 people appealing the decision and 11 getting their jobs back, the company said in an e-mailed statement today. The layoffs took place over the past six weeks.

Bahrain declared a three-month state of emergency ending June 1 after troops from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states arrived to help quell a month of protests driven by majority Shiites, calling for democracy and civil rights.

Gulf Air had canceled flights on the back of the unrest, including to Iran and Iraq. Since the beginning of May, the airline saw "an upturn in reservations" and expects the trend to continue with summer bookings, the statement said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tamara Walid in Dubai at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at

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