Gulf Air Fleet Renewal on Target
Bahrain's national carrier Gulf Air is on target with its fleet renewal programme following the delivery of the 8 Airbus A320-200 last month.
The arrival of the new aircraft marked the final delivery in the first phase of the airline's order for 15 A320-200s and brings the number of new aircraft in the airline's fleet in the last 10 months to 10. This includes 8 A320-200s and two E170AR regional jets, reducing the average age of the fleet from 12 to 8 years.
The new aircraft replaced 5 older narrow body aircrafts phased out in the last 5 months due to increasing maintenance costs and low fuel efficiency. 'We are delighted to be on-track with our aircraft re-fleeting programme,' said Chief Executive Officer, Samer Majali.
'A core proposition of our new strategy is to increase our regional strength and position. In order to achieve this, we need to ensure that our aircraft are optimised for the routes served. Narrow-body aircraft form the backbone of our regional network as we continue to identify niche markets and serve them. As such it is important that we invest in the most efficient and reliable aircraft with the highest levels of comfort for our customers,' he added.
The A320-200 aircraft have been financed under Export Credit Agency backed financing, demonstrating the strong relationship between Gulf Air and the global financial community and the ongoing credibility and confidence Gulf Air has with its business partners.
Gulf Air has been able to attract the maximum financing support available under such transactions. It continues to hold the leadership position among its competitors as the carrier with the largest Middle East network.
Earlier this year, the airline became the first Gulf carrier to fly into Iraq with the launch of flights to Baghdad, Najaf, and Erbil. Last month, it further strengthened its regional network when it added three new permanent destinations to its network - Aleppo, Alexandria, and Medina.
Gulf Air has a total of 19 narrow-body aircraft - 13 A320s, two A319s, two A321s and two Embraers.