Gulf Air upgrades Manila Service

February 28, 2009

MANAMA, BAHRAIN, - Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, intends to upgrade Manila service from Airbus 340 to Boeing 777-300ER aircraft starting May this year.

The airline recently signed an agreement to lease four new Boeing 777 ER aircraft from Jet Airways as part of the airline's re-fleeting and product-enhancement strategy. Three of the new aircraft will join the airline during March 09 while the fourth one will join in May.

The aircraft will be used on a number of routes including flights to London, flights to Kuala Lumpur, flights to Bangkok and intra Gulf Routes, gradually replacing the Airbus 340s.

"The introduction of these four aircraft is another important step in our strategic direction towards re-fleeting, enhancing our product and strengthening our presence as the carrier of choice in the Middle East and beyond," said Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer Mr. Bjorn Naf.

The kingdom of Bahrain and the Philippines recently expanded its Air agreement Wednesday with the Middle Eastern state bagging more flight entitlement for the island State.

Bahrain is now entitled to 50 weekly flights to the Philippines, up from the current 13. Philippines, on the other hand, has no flight restrictions to Bahrain. Philippine Airlines on the other hand enjoyed fifth freedom to London and Europe.

The 50 flights are divided as follows:
8 flights to Manila, from 6
28 flights to Clark, 5th freedom rights
7 flights to Cebu, from 1
7 flights to other international airports.

Porvenir P. Porciuncula, deputy executive director of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), described the air talks with Bahrain as "very friendly and cordial."

Philippine Airlines flies daily between Manila and Bahrain under a code-sharing agreement with Gulf Airways. It is also planning to launch new services from Cebu.

The wide body Boeing 777-300ER is the largest long-range twin-engine commercial airplane in the world. It extends the 777 family's span of capabilities, bringing twin-engine efficiency and reliability to the long-range market. The aircraft come with a luxurious interior and a host of amenities providing the most comfortable travel experience to both premium and economy class passengers in a three-class configuration, i.e., First, Business and Economy with a capacity of 312 seats.

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