Gulf Air to sharpen focus on Middle East<!-- -->


Gulf Air plans to increase the focus on its Middle East operations under a restructuring programme aimed at putting the regional airline back into the black.

James Hogan, Gulf Air's president and chief executive officer, said the planned expansion of the Middle East network would not happen at the expense of any of the airline's other destinations.

Gulf Air is set to release its new schedule on October 27.

The airline is in talks to join global airline alliances such as Star, One-World or Sky.

In the region, Gulf Air already has a code sharing arrangement with Oman Air for the Dubai-Muscat sector, while it also has a similar arrangement with Qantas for certain sectors in Australia.

The airline is working on fleet expansion plans and the details will be ready by September.

Gulf Air is talking to both Airbus and Boeing to work out comprehensive packages in terms of the existing fleet of 32 aircraft.

Hogan said he would be looking for a swap arrangement for certain type of aircraft that Gulf Air has for another type. There will be also a scope for regional jets, he added.