Manama : Gulf Air witnessed a historic moment when it took delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner yesterday.
The aircraft landed at Bahrain International Airport at 3 pm local time following its delivery from the Boeing factory in the United States.
The Dreamliner was welcomed with a traditional water cannon salute in the midst of media and other aviation officials as the brand-new aircraft taxied to the terminal.
Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer Krešimir Kučko and airline’s executives were on board the Dreamliner as a delegation of VIPs, dignitaries, government and aviation industry representatives and members of the media welcomed the aircraft at the airport terminal.
“We are delighted to welcome Gulf Air’s newest aircraft, a game-changer for the Kingdom’s national carrier that will not only elevate Gulf Air’s product and service offering and passenger experience but will also allow us to expand our network in a strategic manner. 2018 will see Gulf Air open eight new routes to Abha, Alexandria, Baku, Bangalore, Calicut, Casablanca, Sharm El Shaikh and Tabuk,” said Gulf Air Chairman and Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Zayed R. Alzayani.
“With such expansion, we are creating growth opportunities within Bahrain’s financial and tourism sectors,” Alzayani stated, adding that going forward, every kind of traveller will be able to enjoy a state-of-the-art, modern, relaxing and memorable experience as Gulf Air’s new fleet will be outfitted with superior seats, in-flight entertainment and much more.
“We are looking forward to Gulf Air becoming an airline of choice, which is our strategic goal,” he said.
The aircraft will service a number of regional routes before it takes on the Bahrain -London, Heathrow route from June 15.
Gulf Air’s incoming fleet of 39 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft will see by end-2018 the arrival of five new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and two Airbus A320neo aircraft. Two Dreamliner services have been announced so far this year; the Bahrain - London, Heathrow service and the Bahrain - Casablanca, Morocco service.