Gulf Air talks with Etihad Airways expand codeshare agreement

Monday, April 29, 2019


Gulf Air is now in talks with Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways to expand an existing codeshare agreement, the Bahrain carrier’s chief commercial officer said, as the airline seeks to expand its network and become the region’s boutique airline. Gulf Air is the flag carrier of Bahrain, headquartered in Muharraq, adjacent to Bahrain International Airport. Gulf Air operates scheduled services to 50 destinations in 28 countries across Africa, Asia and Europe. Its main base is Bahrain International Airport. It was formerly a multinational airline owned by Bahrain, UAE, Oman, and Qatar.



Etihad Ailrines said in the statement, the scope of a partnership with Etihad can include domains in which they might find strengths. Vincent Coste said this on Sunday on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. The business partnership might expand to include maintenance and cargo handling, but is currently focused on the codeshare. The expansion agreement began March 20.



The state-owned carrier, which flies five Boeing 787 jets equipped with Rolls Royce engines, isn’t facing issues with the Trent 1000 engine, Coste said, after Rolls recommended extra checks for excessive wear.



Gulf Air plans to continue flying the Boeing 787 and will get 10 more jets by 2020, he said.  Gulf Air is in talks with airlines in the US and India to forge codeshare partnerships. Airline recorded 78% load factor in the first quarter and it increased to 85% in April. Gulf Air will also receive 29 Airbus 320 and 321 variants by 2020. The carrier denied that it’s undergoing a restructuring and said there are no plans to reduce headcount.



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