Posted on January 28, 2016 linda strong aviation news
The Bahrain International Airshow was abuzz with news on Thursday about Gulf Air’s order for 17 Airbus A321neos and 12 Airbus A320neos. Appearing alongside Bahraini government officials and Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier, Gulf Air CEO Maher Salman Al Musallam made the order announcement and spoke about simplifying the airline’s fleet structure with the procurement of these additional aircrafts. The airline’s current fleet consist of 6 A330-200s and 22 A320s and the acquisition of 29 new aircrafts are meant to fit seamlessly into this fleet. In his statement concerning the deal Al Mussallam went on to state that
“This restructured order meets Gulf Air’s future fleet requirement and our network expansion plans,” and in addition to that “As a result, I now look forward to furthering Gulf Air’s fleet modernization process while supporting our network and overall passenger experience enhancement strategies.”
The restructuring exercise at Gulf Air originally began in 2012, when in an attempt to increase revenue and compete with the long haul services provided by Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, Gulf Air replaced an order for 20 A330s with a different one for 8 A320ceos and 16 A320neos. The airline’s long-haul service plans are now centered on using Boeing Dreamliners and just prior to its announcement concerning the Airbus order, Gulf Air confirmed that it had changed delivery orders for 16 787-8s and replaced them with orders for larger 787-9s instead. Gulf Air has also made plans to provide more services throughout states in the Gulf Cooperation Council. These services will focus on narrow-body aircrafts and the airline is currently in negotiation with Bombardier for 10 C Series jets.
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