Gulf Air completes first phase of fleet renewal programme

July 19, 2010
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Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air on Monday said that it was on target with its fleet renewal programme following the delivery of the eighth 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 ten, eight A320-200s and two E170AR regional jets, the company said. The average age of the fleet has been reduced from 12 to eight years.

The new aircraft have replaced five older narrow body aircraft phased out in the last five months due to increasing maintenance costs and low fuel efficiency.

“A core proposition of our new strategy is to increase our regional strength and position,” Samer Majali, Gulf Air CEO, said. “In order to achieve this we need to ensure that our aircraft are optimized 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 said.

The A320-200 aircraft have been financed under Export Credit Agency backed financing.

Gulf Air said that it continued 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 and two A321s and 2 Embraers.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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