Gulf Air cuts orders of Airbus, Boeing aircraft

Bahrain's national carrier Gulf Air said Monday that it would cancel orders of Airbus A330 and Boeing 787 long-haul planes as it adapts its fleet to the company's role as a regional carrier.

Gulf Air said in a statement that "it has signed amendment agreements with both aircraft manufacturers to realign its original orders to meet its long-term strategic needs."

The airline said it had cut an original order of 24 fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliners, submitted in 2008, to 12-16 aircraft depending on how its needs develop. The aircraft were to be delivered by the end of the decade.

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Gulf Air's order of wide-body A330s from Airbus, which had already been reduced to six, will be switched completely to single-aisle medium-haul A320 family aircraft that are a better choice for a regional carrier.

The airline will now take delivery of eight A320 aircraft by the end of this year and order 16 more fuel-efficient A320 Neo aircraft.

A Gulf Air spokesman said by telephone from Manama that the agreement with Airbus could allow the airline to reduce further its order.

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© 2012 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Nov 12, 2012