Bahrain Air closes down, blames political unrest

By REUTERS
February 12, 2013 21:11

 
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DUBAI - Small carrier Bahrain Air said on Tuesday it was shutting down, blaming political unrest in the island kingdom and the government's refusal to pay it compensation.

The privately owned airline, launched in 2008, has four planes and was flying to about a dozen destinations in the Middle East and south Asia.

It struggled to compete with Bahrain's larger flag carrier, Gulf Air, and low-cost airlines in the region.

Bahrain Air's business was hurt by pro-democracy protests that erupted in Bahrain two years ago, and although the government crushed those protests, scattered unrest has continued, weighing on the travel and tourism industries.

The airline said the government had broken a pledge to compensate it for the unrest and was now requiring it to make immediate payments on debts to the state, while the Ministry of Transportation was ordering it to cut back operations.

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