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Gulf Air In Bid To Buy Six Aircraft

Fri May 24, 2002 12:21 am

Gulf Air in bid to buy six aircraft

By RICHARD MOORE

GULF Air has reportedly reached a deal in principle to acquire six new aircraft -provided it gets a cash injection from its owning states.

The airline would get five new Airbus A320s and one Airbus A330 by early next year, under the deal with a European aviation broker.

It is understood Gulf Air would take the planes on lease, with an option to buy.

"But the additional aircraft acquisition deal is pending the cash injection approval by its four ownership states (Abu Dhabi, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain)," said a source.

Gulf Air has reportedly asked its own states to increase its capital by $272.5 million (BD103m), but Qatar and Oman have already refused, according to other sources.

Gulf Air received a BD60m cash boost last summer.

The six new aircraft will be needed to meet growth proposals currently being considered by consultants Simet Hellielson and Eicher (SH&E), called in to help the troubled airline.

Meanwhile, the airline's new president and chief executive James Hogan assumed his new duties on Sunday, succeeding Ibrahim Al Hamer, who held the position since January 2001.

Mr Hogan is an Australian and former chief executive officer of Australia's Ansett Airlines and the UK's British Midlands Airways.

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