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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 September 2005, 15:07 GMT 16:07 UK
Abu Dhabi pulling out of Gulf Air
Gulf Air's new livery
Gulf Air returned to profitability in its last financial year
Gulf Air has confirmed that one of its three state owners - the emirate of Abu Dhabi - is to pull out of the airline.

Abu Dhabi is quitting Gulf Air in order to concentrate on its own Etihad airline, which was launched last year.

Gulf Air said in a statement that its other two owners - the governments of Bahrain and Oman - had confirmed their ongoing "unequivocal" support.

No time frame has yet been released for Abu Dhabi withdrawing its shareholding in Gulf Air.

Growing sector

"Bahrain and Oman have reiterated their full support to ensure the continuity of Gulf Air and the future plans of the airline, in which both governments take full pride in fulfilling the aspirations of the people of the two countries," said Gulf Air.

Abu Dhabi's Etihad is the latest airline to join the highly competitive industry in the region, led by fast-growing Emirates Airlines, which is owned by Dubai, and Qatar Airways.

Gulf Air turned a slim profit in its last financial year, its first since 1997.

This was thanks in part to a restructuring program launched by its Australian-born executive James Hogan.

Gulf Air has a fleet of 34 aircraft and its network covers 44 cities in 30 countries.


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