A Gulf Air delegation has leaft Sunday for Paris where senior airline executives will continue discussions with major aircraft and engine manufacturers at the 45th Paris Air Show, Le Bourget, June 15-22, 2003.
Le Bourget, the world’s leading aviation show, is organized biennially by Salon International de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace (SIAE) and attracts in excess of half a million visitors to exhibits from 2,000 companies. It is also an important business forum, where in 2001, deals totaling more than $60 billion were concluded.
“Our presence at Le Bourget this year is a continuation of an ongoing fleet review process that is fundamental to our restructuring plan. We will meet representatives from major aircraft and engine manufacturers, Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier and Embraer to outline and discuss the key criteria and requirements in our fleet expansion strategy,” said James Hogan, president and chief executive of Gulf Air.
“The decline in worldwide travel and its negative knock-on effect on aircraft manufacturers, has created a very favorable buyers’ market. We have more choice and leverage than we might have had in the past,” said James Hogan. “We will base all decisions on the requirements and criteria of our network, matching what we require with the best available options in the market.”
The fleet strategy covers a ten-year period, during which the airline intends to double the size of the present fleet to 60 aircraft. The introduction of regional jets into Gulf Air fleet, which presently comprises a mix of 30 aircraft from Boeing and Airbus, is also under review.
The flexibility offered by smaller regional jets that accommodate between 70 and 100 passengers, will allow Gulf Air to operate higher frequency services on its already strong intra-Gulf network.
Following recently concluded leasing agreements, three further aircraft will be added to the Gulf Air fleet to meet the airline’s present network strategy, which is based on serving key destinations with daily frequencies.
The two Airbus wide-bodied A340-300 aircraft are scheduled to enter service during the summer on existing long haul routes, and later on the recently announced Australian sector. Gulf Air will also take delivery of a further Airbus A320, which enters service in July serving short and medium haul routes on Gulf Air’s expanding network. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )