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ILA 2008: Gulf Air order doubles fleet

Gulf Air doubled the number of Airbus aircraft in its fleet when the Bahrain based airline placed a firm order for 35 aircraft at the show yesterday.

The order comprises 15 A320 single aisle aircraft and 20 A330-300s. The contract was signed by Björn Näf, Gulf Air CEO, and Tom Enders, Airbus President and ceo.
Gulf Air already operates 10 A320s, six A330-200s and nine A340-300s.

“Gulf Air is taking huge strides forward in its strategy to re-fleet and expand its network and this contract is a significant milestone in this direction as we aim to become the airline of choice and the pearl of the Gulf,” says Mr. Näf.

“Expanding our fleet with Airbus will ensure a smooth introduction of the new aircraft into our existing fleet with the best operating economics in their class and our customers will appreciate the high levels of passenger room and comfort.”

Gulf deal

The A320 will serve Gulf Air’s regional destinations, while the A330 will operate on the airline’s European routes and enhance its Far Eastern services.

 “Gulf Air is undergoing a rapid expansion we are delighted to partner the airline in their ambitions. These aircraft not only offer unbeatable economics, but in today’s world where green issues are a concern, Gulf Air has chosen the world’s most fuel efficient and productive aircraft on the market”, said Enders.

Airbus could be signing another major order today. Reports from Brussels suggest that Russian carrier KD Avia based in the territory of Kaliningrad, will announce a commitment at ILA today to take 25 new narrowbodies. Director business development and planning Mikhail Baskov told delegates at the EU-Russia Airlines Dialogue in Brussels that the company would announce the deal at the Berlin show.

“We have been assessing manufacturer A and manufacturer B for some time. I don’t want to say now which we have selected because we have the announcement tomorrow,” he said.

Airbus declined to confirm that an order was imminent but Boeing Commercial is not at the show.

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