Gulf Air stated (12-Nov-2012) that after extensive negotiations with Airbus and Boeing, its two key suppliers of wide-body and narrow-body aircraft, it has signed amendment agreements with both aircraft manufacturers to realign its original orders to meet its long-term strategic needs. The carrier said that during 2011, it engaged in extensive discussions with both airframe manufactures to renegotiate its order book. "This has become necessary in light of the tough economic conditions faced by the global aviation industry recently including high-fuel prices and a slump in air traffic as well as the regional developments over the last fifteen months resulting in the forced suspension of a number of destinations impacting revenue," the carrier said. The revised agreement with Airbus ultimately permits the conversion of the existing wide-body obligation into eight A320ceo family aircraft, all of which will have be delivered by year-end, plus up to sixteen A320neo family aircraft slated to join the airline’s fleet as replacement and/or growth for the current single-aisle fleet in the latter part of the decade. The revised Boeing agreement, allows the airline to reduce its widebody 787 requirement to 12 to 16 aircraft (from 24 ordered previously) depending on Gulf Air’s strategic requirements. These aircraft are scheduled for delivery towards the end of the decade and will replace Gulf Air’s current wide-body fleet. [more - original PR]
Gulf Air: “As long-standing trade partners, Airbus and Boeing have understood our challenges and I am delighted that we have arrived at mutually agreeable solutions in-line with the Government directive to put the airline firmly on a path towards sustainability. The revised orders reduce our long-term financial liability of approximately USD$ 5 billion by over 50% and the remaining liability more effectively meets Gulf Air’s future fleet replacement and/or growth requirement," Samer Majali, CEO. Source: Company statement, 12-Nov-2012.