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A320neos trickle into Middle East

Middle Eastern carrier Gulf Air has taken delivery of a second Airbus A320neo, but the re-engined type remains relatively sparse in the region.

Gulf Air received its first A320neo, powered by CFM International Leap-1A engines, in August last year.

By the end of January carriers in the Middle East had received three directly-ordered aircraft – one A320neo apiece for Gulf Air and SalamAir, with Arkia picking up an A321neo.

Arkia has also indirectly taken a second A321neo while Flynas and Jazeera Airways have each received an A320neo.

Middle Eastern carriers have directly ordered 264 A320neo and A321neo jets, but only 1% of them have so far been delivered, compared with 12% of the 1,770 Asia-Pacific orders and 10% of the 1,107 European orders.

The region had originally been set to receive the first ever A320neo but launch customer Qatar Airways dropped out of line, eventually replacing its deal with an order for 50 A321neos, the first of which it is yet to receive.

Gulf Air is taking 12 A320neos and 17 A321neos as part of a modernisation programme which also includes 10 Boeing 787-9s.

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