Bahrain’s flag carrier Gulf Air has converted its 2008 order with France’s Airbus and the US’ Boeing to 16 wide-body, two-aisle Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and 29 narrow-body, single-aisle Airbus A320 and A321 Neos (new engine options).

The order is valued at an estimated $7.6bn, with the first deliveries due to start by the second quarter of 2018, the airline said.

Gulf Air, which has been implementing a programme to reduce its losses, did not disclose the agreed financing structure with the manufacturers.

It is understood the carrier has managed to reduce its financial losses by about 85 per cent since 2012. Bahrain’s Transport Minister Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed said in December 2015 that the government will continue to invest in the airline to help achieve profitability.

The order for newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft will allow Gulf Air to achieve lower operating costs in line with its goal to achieve long-term commercial sustainability, according to acting CEO Maher Salman al-Musallam.