Gulf Air, the Kingdom of Bahrain’s national carrier, and SMBC Aviation Capital, an aircraft leasing company, have announced a six-aircraft agreement for the sale and leaseback of six Airbus A320neo aircraft.
Serving its network of destinations with a range of wide and narrow body aircraft, Gulf Air is expected to receive five Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, as well as an additional Airbus A320neo aircraft by the close of 2018.
In the last year alone, the carrier has launched six new destinations and has expanded its network to serve 47 cities in 26 countries.
Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer, Krešimir Kučko, said, “We are delighted to begin a new relationship with SMBC Aviation Capital and successfully mark the financing of our six new A320neos as we diversify our financing relationship to support aircraft acquisition..
“These aircraft will allow us to greatly enhance our fleet, enabling us to deliver operational efficiency and an upgraded customer experience. The upcoming deliveries of our six new Airbus A320neo will support the airline’s network expansion plans while affording us flexibility in our fleet planning — allowing us to transport Gulf Air passengers more seamlessly across the Gulf Air network.”
Adding his viewpoint on the deal, Peter Barrett, CEO, SMBC Aviation Capital, shared, “We are very pleased to partner with Gulf Air to assist with the airline’s ambitious fleet expansion plans. The A320neo incorporates the latest in aviation technology to provide our airline customers with a more modern, fuel-efficient aircraft. As a new customer and our first entry into the Kingdom of Bahrain, we look forward to working alongside Gulf Air for the coming years.”