Boeing and Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air have finalised 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 787s.
"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 revitalise its fleet through the economics and passenger comfort that the Dreamliner will bring."
Throughout 2007, Gulf Air and Boeing conducted an extensive aircraft acquisition analysis that explored the strengths of the 787. With the claimed best fuel burn in its class, lower maintenance costs due to the 787’s composite structure, and interior features and comfort that add to the Dreamliner’s marketability, the 787 has been validated by airlines across the globe. The 787 is the fastest-selling new airplane program in history with a total of 857 orders from 56 customers since launch in 2004.
"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."
In addition to bringing big-jet range to mid-size airplanes, the 787 provides improved fuel efficiency and will use 20 per cent less fuel for comparable missions than today’s similarly sized airplane. The Dreamliner travels at speeds similar to today’s fastest wide-bodies, Mach 0.85, and also allows airlines greater cargo revenue capacity. Passenger improvements on the 787 include larger windows, an interior environment with higher humidity and overall increased comfort and convenience.
"We are committed to Gulf Air’s success," said 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 the airline."