Bahrain Air postpones expanding fleet as fuel price rises

05 June 2008
Bahrain Air will postpone adding a third plane to its fleet until later in 2008, as it waits for aircraft leasing rates to drop due to the current fuel crisis.

The low-cost airline, which was launched in February, operates a fleet of two Airbus A320s. It had intended to begin operations with three aircraft but had difficulty finding planes at a viable price in 2007 when the leasing market peaked before the spike in oil prices took hold.

With several low-cost carriers having gone bust in recent months, the company has seen more planes available in the market and leasing rates drop. However, company planning director Bharat Majmudar says it will wait until after the summer to bring in its third aircraft.

The airline will look to add a further three planes to its fleet in 2008 in time for the peak summer season.

“We have an agreement already for one aircraft and are talking to a range of leasing companies,” he says. “On certain models of aircraft, rates have dropped by 5-10 per cent in the last four months and we will wait for them to drop further.”

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