I was in the Diplomat Hotel having a beer with a commercial pilot friend when CNN first broke the news of the A320 crash. As we watched the TV in the bar we saw and heard the lights and sirens streaming over the Muharraq causeway - sadly not needed.
In a small, closely knit community like Bahrain (expats and locals together) something like the GF A320 crash hits a lot of people very hard. Most of us knew someone who was on that flight.
In the subsequent months, as we waited for Gulf Air to finally release a true account of what had taken place, it seemed impossible that the company would not radically change it's attitudes and operating practices and for a while it seemed that, indeed they had.
Now this. Can it really be true? Are things returning to "normal" at GF.
There was a time in the 70's when I and many others would choose the GF 5 Star Tristar service over BA and most of the other European Airlines. The service was impeccable, the crews excellent and the administration respected.
This is very sad news.