Carrier Places 16 Firm Orders, Eight Purchase Rights
Aero-News has learned that over the weekend, Boeing and
Bahrain's national carrier Gulf Air finalized negotiations for up
to 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in a deal that could be worth
approximately $3.9 billion at list prices if all options are
exercised. The agreement is for 16 787s on direct order, with
purchase rights for eight additional planes.
"Gulf Air has been a premier carrier in the Middle East for more
than half a century," said Marty Bentrott, Boeing Commercial
Airplanes vice president of Sales for The Middle East and Africa.
"We look forward to helping Gulf Air revitalize its fleet through
the superior economics and passenger comfort that the Dreamliner
Throughout 2007, Gulf Air and Boeing conducted an extensive
airplane acquisition analysis that explored the strengths of the
787 -- which, according to Boeing, include the best fuel burn in
its class, lower maintenance costs due to the aircraft's composite
structure, and interior features and comfort that add to the
The 787 is the fastest-selling new airplane program in history
with a total of 857 orders from 56 customers since launch in 2004.
Not all is rosy for the Dreamliner project, however; as ANN reported, Boeing
announced last week a new three-month delay in the Dreamliner's
first flight -- meaning no planes will be delivered in 2008.
That delay is less likely to impact
Gulf Air, however, as its aircraft are slated for delivery years
"As the cornerstone of our fleet, the 787 will help re-establish
Gulf Air's predominance within The Gulf," said Gulf Air Chief
Executive Officer Bjorn Naf. "Our goal is to increase the airline's
efficiency and profitability, and we have selected the 787 to be
the core of our fleet for the next generation to meet both our
passengers' and our stakeholders' expectations."
"We are committed to Gulf Air's success," added Mahmood Kooheji,
Gulf Air's Board Chairman. "In choosing the 787, we are confident
that we've made the very best choice for the long-term success of