Gulf Air identifies initial routes for regional jet service

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Gulf Air has identified several routes on which it will test regional jet operations, but reiterates that it will not necessarily settle on the Embraer 170 in the longer term.

It has started using the type on the route to Larnaca in Cyprus, but is also planning to deploy the aircraft on services to Istanbul, Athens and Muscat.

Gulf Air, which is leasing two Embraer 170s, also intends to use the jets to the Iraqi cities of Baghdad and Erbil.

"My aim is for Gulf Air to serve every Arab capital with at least a double daily service," says the carrier's chief, Samer Majali.

But the airline says the rapid introduction of the leased jets is being undertaken in parallel with a full evaluation of "all the regional jets on the market" before it decides which type to select for a more permanent fleet. The Embraers are on lease for three years, with a five-year extension option.