Gulf Air maintains 26-aircraft fleet

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Gulf Air is holding steady the number of aircraft in its fleet at 26 units, as part of its restructuring process.

The Bahrain-based carrier’s 2013 financial results will be revealed later this month, and industry observers expect an improved performance an all sectors. The airline halved its first-half losses in 2013 and achieved a further 50% cut in losses in the third quarter as operating results were 24% better than predicted.

Gulf Air continues to focus on its narrowbody fleet as part of a network realignment. The fleet was reduced to 26 aircraft a year ago as the airline concentrated on regional point-to-point services from Bahrain, alongside a limited number of continued services to Europe and Southeast Asia.

The Middle East carrier denies industry reports that it is looking at selling some of its owned Airbus A330s. Gulf Air will overhaul its A330 interiors with a $20 million refit, including fully flat business-class seats. Four of Gulf Air’s six A330s will go through the refit from June, while a decision on the remaining two aircraft will be taken later, said Gulf Air acting chief executive Maher Salman Al Mussalam at the Bahrain air show.

Gulf Air says the sale of two new Airbus A321s is ongoing. It booked a parking space at an Airbus facility a year ago for the two aircraft, which were delivered new in December 2012, a tender document shows. The aircraft are equipped with IAE’s V2527-A5 engines.