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Expensive fuel and an uncertain economic outlook have affected most airlines’ balance sheets; the situation was far worse for Bahrain Air given the ‘Arab Spring effect’ on most of its routes, plus the unrest at home. And if that were not enough, the carrier..also faced competition at home from state-backed Gulf Air, as well as what appears to be a pretty intransigent attitude from the Ministry of Transport.
But the real question has to be whether Bahrain – with a population of only 1.3m – ever needed a second airline in the first place. Even at the time that Bahrain Air launched in 2008 – which in itself was unfortunate timing – rival Gulf Air was on its third CEO in two years and battling desperately to stay competitive against fast-expanding Emirates, Etihad and co.