• Deal will be completed in early 2016, says chief financial officer of Gulf Air
  • Earlier announcements suggest the manufacturer will be France-based Airbus

Bahrain’s Gulf Air is at an advanced stage of negotiations to place orders for 50 new aircraft, according to UK news agency Reuters.

The deal will be completed in early 2016, says Sahar Ataei, chief financial officer of Gulf Air. Earlier announcements suggest the manufacturer will be France-based Airbus, although this has not been confirmed by Ataei.

The narrow and wide-body aircraft will replace Gulf Air’s current fleet of 28 Airbus planes, and allow future expansion.

Gulf Air is completing a government-backed restructuring process to reduce its debt burden, including a BD545m ($1.4bn) cash injection.

Annual losses were BD62.7m in 2014 and BD93.3m in 2013. These were the best financial results for the carrier since 2004.

It will look into financing and leasing options for the new aircraft.

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