22 July saw Bahrain flag carrier, Gulf Air, receive its first retrofitted A330 at Bahrain International Airport. The aircraft has been newly configured for a total of 214 enhanced seats in a two-class configuration of 30 full-flat Falcon Gold Class and 184 economy seats, and an enhanced IFE system.
Created in conjunction with three key partners – Avianor, Zodiac Aerospace and B/E Aerospace – the new Falcon Gold seats (marketed as “first class at a business class fare”) convert into fully-flat beds measuring 1.90m in length. The Falcon Gold seats offer more personal space between seats than the airline’s previous A330 business product, with a a 22in-wide armchair. The new economy seats offer passengers the very latest in comfort: a greater recline to complement an 18in seat-width and an adjustable head and foot rest.
All seats in the upgraded A330 include integrated AVOD, an individual touch screen (15in in Falcon Gold class and 9in in economy) in every seat and high-quality headphones. A range of movies, video and audio titles in several languages are on offer, in addition to games. A USB port is available in every seat to allow passengers to easily charge electronic devices.
Upon its arrival the aircraft was welcomed by members of the national carrier’s executive management team, led by acting CEO Maher Salman AlMusallam, who commented: “This is an important milestone for Gulf Air as we continue to shape our new strategic direction, which sees us strive to transform and revitalise all facets of the national carrier’s operations while offering a best-in-class product. Today, we are delivering on our commitment to continually upgrade our product offering – strengthening our long-haul operations with our retrofitted aircraft – in line with developments that saw us, in 2012, receive our newest narrow-body aircraft (A321 and A320ER).”
Passengers travelling on our upgraded A330 aircraft, in both classes, will now have a more relaxing and enjoyable experience. This overhaul of our wide-body fleet demonstrates our ongoing commitment to offer superior products and services to our passengers and we look forward to receiving their valued feedback.”
Gulf Air’s second retrofitted A330 is scheduled to arrive in early August while the carrier’s A330 fleet retrofit is scheduled to be completed by the last quarter of 2014. Gulf Air’s A330 aircraft are used primarily on London and Bangkok routes.