Bahrain's Gulf Air plans purchase of 50 Airbus planes

Published September 9th, 2015 - 12:28 GMT

Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air is planning to buy up to 50 Airbus aircraft, Information Minister Isa Al Hammadi said yesterday.

The massive new contract was discussed between the King and President Hollande, he said.

Gulf Air met Airbus and discussed the airline’s future narrow- and wide-body fleet requirements – up to 50 aircraft,” Mr Al Hammadi said.

“Discussion will be finalised by the end of the year and an announcement will be made during the Bahrain International Airshow,” which takes place in January next year.

The two leaders discussed several “mega-projects”, Mr Al Hammadi said, as Bahrain plans to build a new airport terminal and a second causeway linking it to Saudi Arabia.

They also discussed ways of bolstering Bahrain-French partnership with the King welcoming President Hollande’s participation in the GCC Consultative Summit.

As part of Gulf Air’s plan to buy up to 50 aircraft from Airbus, Transportation and Telecommunications Minister Kamal Ahmed held discussions with Airbus officials yesterday.  

The meeting was attended by Gulf Air acting chief executive officer Maher Salman Al Musallam, Airbus Group chief strategy and marketing officer Marwan Lahoud and Airbus Middle East managing director Fouad Attar. 

Speaking on the development, Mr Ahmed said that the move reflected Gulf Air’s significance as the key national asset, connecting Bahrain globally and supporting the kingdom’s long-term aspirations for economic development and diversification.

“We have seen considerable positive progress achieved by Bahrain’s national carrier on both operational and financial level since the airline embarked on a comprehensive restructuring in 2013.

“Optimising Gulf Air’s fleet is an ongoing process and a critical component of its current and long-term strategic business direction,” the minister added.  

Commenting on the discussions, Mr Lahoud noted that Airbus had been a long-term and committed partner of Gulf Air since 1992. 

“We are delighted to have had Bahrain’s national carrier utilise the Airbus family for its developing fleet requirements and we also anticipate a fruitful and mutually beneficial relationship going forward,” he said. 

Gulf Air currently operates an all-Airbus fleet consisting of 28 combination wide narrow and wide body aircraft that serve the airline’s 
network of 43 destinations.



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