Gulf Air and SMBC Aviation Capital have announced an agreement for the purchase and leaseback of six Airbus A320neo aircraft.
This is SMBC Aviation Capital’s first deal with Gulf Air and follows a competitive tender process.
Delivery of Gulf Air’s Airbus A320neo aircraft commenced from August.
The airline currently serves all its destinations with a combination wide and narrow body fleet and has orders for 39 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft with delivery having commenced in early 2018.
Gulf Air’s incoming fleet will see by end-2018 the arrival of five Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners in addition to one Airbus A320neo aircraft.
Alongside this, in 2018 the airline continued to enhance its product and service offering, launched six new destinations and expanded its network to serve 47 cities in 26 countries.
Gulf Air Chief executive officer, Krešimir Kučko said: “We are delighted to begin a new relationship with SMBC Aviation Capital and successfully mark the financing of our six new A320neos as we diversify our financing relationship to support aircraft acquisition.
“These aircraft will allow us to greatly enhance our fleet, enabling us to deliver operational efficiency and an upgraded customer experience.
“The upcoming deliveries of our six new Airbus A320neo will support the airline’s network expansion plans while affording us flexibility in our fleet planning – allowing us to transport Gulf Air passengers more seamlessly across the Gulf Air network.”
SMBC Aviation Capital currently has 20 A320neos in its portfolio and an order book of a further 129.