19 OCTOBER 2015
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Talks aimed at replacing the Gulf Air fleet with up to 50 new aircraft are at an advanced stage, the carrier said last week.
Sahar Ataei, Chief Financial Officer, said negotiations with manufacturers were expected to finish by the first quarter of next year.
“We are looking at both narrow- and wide-body aircraft for replacement of (the) current fleet... and for growth,” Ataei said.
The airline is being restructured in a bid to return it to profit, planning on switching from low-value transit traffic to high-yield point-to-point routes. It has a fleet of 28 Airbus aircraft.
Gulf Air reported an annual loss of BHD62.7m (about £107m) in 2014, down from BHD93.3m (£160m) in 2013, and said it was “optimistic” about 2015, although it did not say when it would return to profitability.
Ataei added: “Legacy debts will be completely paid off before end-2016 and Gulf Air is current and on track with all service providers and suppliers since the restructuring in January 2013.”
She said Gulf Air would consider leasing and financing options for the new fleet, which would be put on Gulf Air's current routes as well as new destinations that fit with its growth plans. www.gulfair.com
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