* Gulf Air to cut Dreamliner order to 12-16, from 24
* Airbus order for 20 A330s revised
* Fleet restructuring reduces liability by 50 pct - CEO
DUBAI, Nov 12 Gulf Air, Bahrain's
struggling national carrier, has cut its order for Boeing's
Dreamliner and also revised a deal with Airbus,
as it restructures its fleet to cope with a tough market.
Gulf Air said on Monday a new deal with Boeing meant its
order for widebody 787s had been cut to 12-16 aircraft from the
24 ordered earlier.
The aircraft are scheduled for delivery towards the end of
the decade when they will replace Gulf Air's widebody fleet.
Its Airbus order for 20 A330 widebody jets will now be
replaced with eight A320ceo - or current engine option - family
aircraft, to be delivered by year-end and up to 16 A320neo - or
new engine option - family aircraft.
Gulf Air has a fleet of 38 aircraft.
The fleet restructuring reduces Gulf Air's long-term
financial liability of approximately $5 billion by over 50
percent, chief executive Samer Majali said in a statement.
Competition from other Middle East airlines such as Etihad,
Qatar Airways and Dubai-based Emirates, as well as
recent anti-government protests have resulted in falling
passenger numbers for the airline.
Gulf Air said in January that it planned to shrink
operations and seek cash from government funds.
The airline laid off 200 employees in May last year with
bookings down by a quarter following the Arab Spring uprisings.