Thursday, January 24, 2008

Gulf Air

Gulf Air has signed a MOU (Memorandum Of Understanding) with Boeing over the weekend for the purchase of 24 Boeing 787-800s + with Airbus for 8 A 320s. With regards to the Boeing order, 16 are firm orders whilst 8 are options. Boeing has informed GF that first delivery will be in 2016. However, GF is talking to leasing companies such as ALAFCO of Kuwait to lease out their fleet of B 788s from 2010-11 onwards until theirs are delivered from Boeing.


Finally the much hyped order by GF is revealed to the public. Its a good move to stick to one airplane type for premium medium/long haul flights i.e. B 787 and one for short haul regional flights i.e. A 320 as that keeps operational and maintainance costs down.
However, what most people cannot phantom is why the B 789 wasnt ordered as you cannot replace a 3 class 270 seater A 343 with a 200 seater B 788! The answer to that is simple. BAH-Bahrain is a city that sees very little O&D traffic volume from all over the world unlike its neighbours such as AUH, DXB, RUH & JED. Hence, since GF's flights will be filled by 95% 6th freedom / transit traffic, it only makes sense to be safe by ordering medium sized aircraft rather than take the risky ambitious route by ordering 300 seater planes just for prestige purposes.

Yes only a handful of GF's B 788s will see a 3 class layout i.e. approximately 6 aircraft used for LHR/CDG/BOM/FRA/JED flights where as the remaining ones would be configured to accomodate 230 pax in a 2 class layout for high density Indian subcontinent & Far East flights.

GF's business model has now changed where by they are focusing on increasing frequencies to key markets such as SYZ, MHD, LHR, BOM etc rather than increase capacity. In this way, by offering more frequencies to key markets, it hopes to attract the business traveller i.e. high yielding pax more often than not.

No comments: