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Gulf Air’s top officials with members of the media at Bahrain International Airport
after the press briefing

Gulf Air invests $20m to upgrade A330 fleet

MANAMA, January 28, 2015

Gulf Air has invested $20 million to upgrade four of its Airbus A330 wide-body aircraft in line with global best practices, it has emerged.

The national carrier's acting chief executive Maher Salman Al Musallam yesterday (January 27) told a press briefing that the retrofit is part of a comprehensive product enhancement strategy, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

“Fitting this upgraded equipment to our A330 fleet enhances the onboard experience while reflecting our ongoing commitment to our long-haul operations,” he added.

Al Musallam said the airline was targeting load factors of 75 per cent this year and has seen improvements in all performance parameters year-on-year.

The retrofit was launched in the first quarter last year, with three key partners - Avianor, Zodiac Aerospace and BEAerospace.

Designed specifically for Gulf Air and integrating various elements of passengers' feedback, it has resulted in fully-flat bed seats in the Falcon Gold Class, revamped seats in Economy Class and a state-of-the-art in-flight-entertainment system throughout.

The first retrofitted plane was received in August last year and the last one in December.

Gulf Air's acting chief technical officer Jamal Hashim said the airline took the initiative to turn an obsolete product of 15-year old design and specifications into a modern, contemporary offering and ensuring consistency in the product standard across the fleet.

“Newly configured for a total of 214 seats in a two-class configuration of 30 Falcon Gold Class seats and 184 Economy seats, the retrofit delivers significant enhancements across both cabins,” he said.

The new 22-inch wide Falcon Gold Class seats convert into fully-flat beds measuring 1.90 metres in length and come equipped with an in-seat massage facility, privacy dividers, fully adjustable armrests and significant storage space.

The new Economy Class seats offer a greater recline to compliment an 18-inch seat-width and an adjustable head and foot rest to expand leg space.

For optimum onboard entertainment, all seats in Gulf Air's upgraded A330 aircraft include an integrated Audio-Video on Demand feature, an individual touch screen (15-inch in Falcon Gold class and nine-inch in Economy) in every seat and high quality, noise-cancelling headphones.

A suite of movies, video and audio titles in several languages are on offer, in addition to games.

The newly retrofitted aircraft will mainly service Gulf Air's London Heathrow T4 and Bangkok routes.

Gulf Air flies to London nonstop twice daily and operates six weekly flights to Bangkok.

The airline currently operates an all-Airbus fleet with 28 modern aircraft that hold a combined average age of six years.

The airline said its fleet of wide and narrow body aircraft enable it to meet demand for its extensive regional network and strategic long-haul routes.

The press briefing was held on board one of the newly retrofitted Airbus A330 aircraft. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Gulf Air | airbus | A330 | Invest | aircraft |

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