A Gulf Air delegation has returned from London, where aircraft leasing agreements were concluded to increase the present fleet by ten percent, stated a press release.
“The airline has entered into agreements to lease an additional three aircraft. This initiative will meet and support the current requirements of our network, which is being planned around the provision of daily frequencies to key destinations,” explained Gulf Air’s President and Chief Executive, James Hogan.
This follows the signing of a letter of intent to lease two Airbus wide-bodied A340-300 aircraft. Scheduled to enter service during the summer on existing long haul routes, and later on the recently announced Australian sector, the addition of the two new aircraft brings the total of A340s to seven.
Gulf Air is also to take delivery of a further Airbus A320 following the conclusion of a leasing agreement earlier this month. The aircraft will enter service in July serving short and medium haul routes on the airline’s expanding network.
“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 Hogan. “We are however committed to a ten-year fleet expansion program and will base all decisions on the requirements and criteria of the network, matching what we require with the best available options in the market,” added Hogan.
Gulf Air is in ongoing discussions with aircraft manufacturers, Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier and Embraer, with further meetings scheduled for June during the Paris Airshow.
Gulf Air was founded in 1950. Today, it is owned by the governments of Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and is the only truly pan Gulf airline in the region. The airline’s network extends from Western Europe to Asia and covers 43 cities in 32 countries. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )