Gulf Air firms up 777-300ER lease deal with India's Jet

By Nicholas Ionides

Middle Eastern carrier Gulf Air has firmed up a deal to lease four new Boeing 777-300ERs from India's Jet Airways.

Gulf Air says the lease agreement was signed on 22 February and three aircraft will join its fleet in March followed by the fourth in May.

It says the aircraft will be used for services to several destinations such as London Heathrow, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur as well as within the Middle East.

The deal had been expected as Gulf Air said last month that it intended to lease four 777-300ERs to replace Airbus A340-300s. It did not say at the time from where the aircraft would be sourced but Jet was seen as the likely provider as it had said it was seeking to lease out four of its 777-300ERs.

Gulf Air is already wet-leasing two Airbus A330-200s from Jet on a temporary basis.

Jet has been seeking to lease out several of its widebody aircraft after dropping some of its international routes and slowing international expansion plans. It has 777-300ERs on lease to Turkish Airlines and recently firmed up a deal to lease two A330-200s to Oman Air.

Reports from India quote Jet officials as saying the four 777-300ERs will be leased to Gulf Air for 42 months. The reports say the aircraft will be on wet-lease for the first six months, after which they will revert to dry leases.

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