Bahrain's Gulf Air signs deal for closer ties with SpiceJet

SpiceJet strikes second interline agreement with Gulf-based airlines, following Emirates deal earlier this year

Gulf air, Bahrain

Bahrain’s flag carrier Gulf Air and Indian low cost airline SpiceJet has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore greater cooperation between the two airlines, sister publication Arabian Business reported.

This is the second interline agreement SpiceJet is striking with Gulf-based airlines, the first being with Emirates signed about six months ago.

The MoU with Gulf Air, signed by Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director, SpiceJet, and Krešimir Kučko, CEO, Gulf Air, in New Delhi on Wednesday, is seen as a first step in a proposed long-term commercial relationship between the two carriers, which could encompass many more areas going forward.

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“The MoU will create more choices for our customers to cities across our networks,” Gulf Air CEO Krešimir Kučko told media.

“Gulf Air also has strong cargo operations to Europe and Africa and we can have strong cooperation with SpiceJet on strengthening each other’s cargo businesses,” Kucko said.

​The partnership will immensely benefit the two airlines and our passengers in times to come," Singh said in a statement. "The Middle East has always been our top priority markets."

SpiceJet currently does not operate flights to Bahrain, while Gulf Air operates 82 weekly flights to 8 Indian cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi and Hyderabad.

SpiceJet officials indicated that the airline has plans to launch direct flight to Bahrain soon before the two carriers enter into a full-fledged codesharing arrangement.

Kučko, however, said though SpiceJet does not operate to Bahrain, Gulf Air passengers can benefit immensely from the Indian carrier’s vast domestic network if the two enter into a code-sharing arrangement.

SpiceJet currently operates about 630 daily flights, mostly within destinations in India but also to several international destinations including those in the Middle East.

It has recently announced setting up a hub at Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) and starting flights to the city from Delhi in December.

“We hope to launch the flights to Ras Al Khaimah soon as currently we are in the process of getting the approval process,” Singh said.

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