The Bahrain-based airline Gulf Air has ordered 16 Boeing 787 Dream liners valued at around $ four billion and taken options for eight more, an airline official has told AFP.
"Gulf Air has signed with Boeing a firm order for 16 Boeing 787 aircraft and taken the right to purchase eight more of the same aircraft," Adnan Malek, acting head of corporate communication at Gulf Air said on Saurday.
The value of the firm order for the new long-haul jets at list price is around four billion dollars, while the total amount would go up to $ six billion if options are firmed up in the future, he added.
The struggling carrier had announced during the Dubai air show that it was planning to renew its entire fleet looking to order up to 35 planes.
Gulf Air's newly appointed chief executive Bjorn Naf said during the show that the company was holding intensive talks with Boeing and its European rival Airbus, but he did not rule out leasing some aircraft.
The cash-strapped airline aims to build up a fleet of 45 to 50 aircraft by 2013, compared to 25 aging planes now, he said.
The announcement of the order with Boeing came as US President George W Bush started a two-day visit to Bahrain, the first-ever by a US president to the key non-NATO ally, which is home to US Navy's Fifth Fleet and one of the few Middle Eastern states to have a free trade deal with the United States.