7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018
Local News

Gulf Air places $5bn order

MANAMA: Gulf Air has ordered 35 Airbus medium- and long-haul aircraft in a deal worth $5 billion dollars (BD1,89bn), it was announced yesterday.

The order for 15 Airbus A320s and 20 Airbus A330s is worth "$5bn at catalogue prices", Airbus commercial director John Leahy said at the Berlin Air Show in Frankfurt, Germany.

Mr Leahy acknowledged that major contracts often included negotiated discounts and the final value of aerospace deals is often a closely guarded secret.

The outcome can vary widely depending on the economic situation, the number of aircraft sold and whether or not the client has bought planes from the same manufacturer in the past.

Yesterday's deal was signed by Gulf Air chief executive Bjorn Naf, a Swiss national, and Airbus head Thomas Enders, a German.

"The A320 will serve Gulf Air's regional destinations while the A330 will operate on the airline's European route and enhance its Far Eastern services," Mr Naf said.

Gulf Air planned to focus on Middle Eastern service, Mr Naf added, much as the airline Swiss has in Europe.

"There will be enough cake for everybody. Of course, there's competition but it's the same in Europe, for European airlines. We want to be a niche product," he said.

Mr Naf said it remained open whether Gulf Air would buy the future Airbus A350 jet now under development.

The company's order yesterday followed one in January for 16 Boeing 787 passenger jets worth around $6bn, along with an option for eight others. Gulf Air plans to increase its fleet to 45 planes by 2013 from 25 at present.

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