Gulf Air is currently in the process replacing its aircraft operating on various Indian destinations with Airbus 320 Neos and Airbus 321 Neos, the chief executive of the airline has said.
Boeing Dreamiliners will be occasionally deployed on some of our routes in India. Dreamliners cannot be operated on the Indian routes on regular basis because of the capacity restrictions under bilateral rights with India, said Kresimir Kucko, CEO of Gulf Air.
The Bahrain flagship carrier operates 82 weekly flights to 8 Indian cities. Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Cochin, Calicut, Trivandrum and Kolkota are the Indian airports it operate direct fights.
Kucko said with Gulf Air adding more new international destinations such as Milan, New York and Mykonos (Greece), the carrier expected more Indian travellers to use its flights for their onward journey to Europe and the US.
Gulf Air officials said the carrier also wanted to expand its operations in India to more cities and is currently awaiting approvals from the Indian aviation authorities.
Kannur in Kerala is among the new airports Gulf Air wants to start direct services to from its hub in Bahrain. It is also keen to expand its cargo operations from India but is constrained due to the capacity restrictions under the bilateral rights.
Gulf Air and SpiceJet has signed a memorandum of understanding last week in Delhi for exploring possibilities for greater cooperation between the two carriers.