The first of two Gulf Air E170s (Advanced Range) was displayed at the January Bahrain International Air Show prior to its entry into revenue service. The acquisition of the aircraft is an integral part of the airline’s restructuring plan to offer better connectivity and more frequencies in the Gulf and surrounding countries with right-sized capacity.
The E170s are configured with 7 Business Class and 60 Economy Class seats. The cabin is outfitted with an audio and video-on-demand entertainment system manufactured by Thales of France. The addition of in-flight entertainment on its E170s allows Gulf Air to schedule the aircraft on long sectors and deliver a high- quality passenger experience.
The Gulf region has long had a reputation for poor connectivity and low frequency flights, especially from hub airports to secondary markets. E-Jet-sized aircraft give airlines a new tool to serve those routes with greater frequency without adding excess capacity.
Gulf Air’s CEO, Mr. Samer Majali, says the E170s will allow the airline to “test markets with very little risk.” The issue of regional connectivity is fundamental to Gulf Air’s network strategy. “Our objective is to serve every Arab capital with a least double-daily service.”
With the Gulf Air announcement, seven commercial airlines have now ordered or are flying Embraer E-Jets in the Middle East.