Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, are set to explore deeper cooperation following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the Bahrain International Airshow.
MOU scope includes provision for:
- Joint codeshare operations as preferred partners between and beyond hubs
- Development of commercial agreements to enhance guest experience
- Coordinated Engineering and Cargo services in Abu Dhabi and Manama
- Plans to offer reciprocal ‘earn and burn’ on frequent flyer programs
The wide-ranging MOU covers scope to introduce joint codeshare operations between Abu Dhabi and Manama, as well as on the global flight networks beyond the two carriers’ GCC hubs.
The MOU also contains plans for greater commercial cooperation in the fields of cargo, engineering, guest experience and the optimisation of pilot training facilities.
In addition to exploring codeshare operations, the teams at Etihad Guest and Gulf Air Falconflyer loyalty programs will shortly begin discussions which would see members of each programme being offered reciprocal earn and burn opportunities.
The teams in both carriers’ engineering and cargo divisions are also set to begin talks about greater cooperation. These discussions would look at optimising MRO (maintenance repair operations) opportunities, as well as ways to increase volumes of freighter traffic flowing into and out of Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.
Gulf Air currently operates four return daily flights between Bahrain and Abu Dhabi while Etihad currently operates three return daily A320 operations between Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.
Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Gulf Air Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner A9C-FA (msn 39996) LHR (Wingnut). Image: 944463.
Gulf Air and Boeing today celebrated the delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner for the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain. The airplane also debuts the carrier’s new livery.
Gulf Air is set to take delivery of four more Dreamliners this year. The airline plans to introduce the 787 on its twice-daily service between Bahrain and London Heathrow before deploying the long-range efficient jet on other routes.
Boeing has delivered more than 670 787s since deliveries began in 2011. The 787 fleet has flown more than 240 million passengers while saving over 23 billion pounds of fuel and enabling airlines to open more than 180 new nonstop routes around the world.
The first Gulf Air 787 – painted in the airline’s new livery – recently flew a special mission to the airline’s home base to perform a fly pass over the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix. Formula 1 race fans were treated to a dramatic aerial display prior to the start of the championship race.
Top Copyright Photo (the other image by Boeing): Gulf Air Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner A9C-FA (msn 39996) PAE (Royal S. King). Image: 941700.
Gulf Air aircraft slide show:
Gulf Air is expecting its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft which will be delivered in April 2018.
The new type will operate the airline’s long haul routes, gradually replacing its Airbus A330s.
A total of 5 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft will enter Gulf Air’s fleet by the end of 2018 with an additional 2 aircraft arriving by end of 2019 and 3 arriving by end of 2020.
Gulf Air’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners will offer 282 seats in a two-class configuration, with 26 Falcon Gold Class seats and 256 Economy Class seats.
The 787 will enter service on the Bahrain – London (Heathrow) route on June 15.
Gulf Air has promised a new livery with the first 787. With the pictured 787 we get a glimpse of the new livery with a re-stylized falcon logo on the tail. The rest of the livery is likely to be unveiled at an official event and will be different from this earlier concept drawing (below).
Copyright Photo: Gulf Air Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner N1789B (A9C-FA) (msn 39996) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 941307.
Gulf Air aircraft slide show: