Gulf Air Embraer 170s to have Flybe crew and MRO support

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Middle Eastern carrier Gulf Air's Embraer 170s are to be flown by pilots from UK regional airline Flybe under a start-up pact which also includes engineering support.

Flybe, which operates the larger Embraer 195, is providing 16 pilots to Gulf Air, which recently leased two 170s for local operations.

The aircraft will also receive line support from Flybe. The UK carrier is supplying eight engineers to Gulf Air.

Flybe's initial three-month agreement with the Bahrain-based flag-carrier is similar to that through which it supported the early development of Greek operator Olympic Air, says a Flybe spokesman.

The pact includes training services as well as acceptance and delivery services for Gulf Air's Embraers.

Flybe chief executive, Jim French, says the agreement demonstrates the company's ability to provide a range of services and act as a "one-stop" aviation source.

Gulf Air is testing the potential of regional jets ahead of a possible expansion of the fleet.