The board of directors of Gulf Air yesterday accepted the resignation of the airline’s chief executive officer Samer Majali, submitted earlier this year.

Majali will remain in his position until the end of 2012, a statement said.

Majali joined Gulf Air in 2009, when he introduced a restructuring plan to build a national airline that would effectively serve the people and the economy of Bahrain and ultimately ensure its long term future and success. During 2010 the airline made significant progress towards commercial sustainability, cutting costs, increasing revenue and reducing operating losses by over BD50 million despite a difficult operating environment characterised by high-fuel costs and increased competition, the statement said.

In 2011 the combination of local and regional developments and global economic pressures disrupted the airline’s financial targets. Despite this setback significant milestones were achieved across its customer product and service offering, it said.

The board expressed thanks to Majali for his contribution to Gulf Air and the strong leadership he has shown over the last three years. Noting in particular the significant improvements made across the airline specifically in the areas of fleet renewal, service enhancement, operational efficiency and on-time performance.