Bahrain’s national carrier had expected to unveil plans to purchase 35 new aircraft at a cost of around $3bn by the end of November last year (MEED 13:11:07).

However, talks with the manufacturers Airbus and Boeing remain ongoing following delays due to Eid and Christmas, and the busy Hajj period.

“The Hajj is a critical period for all the carriers in the Gulf and this has been our priority,” says a Gulf Air spokesman.

“There has also been disruption because of the Eid and Christmas festivals, with senior staff away. The talks are in the final stages and we expect to have an announcement by the end of the month.”

The spokesman confirms that Gulf Air will purchase a mixed fleet, with planes from both manufacturers. However, he says plans to seek investment in Gulf Air by a foreign partner airline had not made progress.