Gulf Air (GF, Bahrain Int'l) has announced it will take delivery of its maiden B787-9 during the second quarter of next year.

In January last year, the Bahrain-based operator confirmed it had revised an existing order with Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) for sixteen B787-8s into the larger -9 variants.

As it stands, an official press communique states a total of five B787-9s will be delivered by the end of 2018 with an additional two aircraft arriving by end-2019 and three arriving by end-2020. The second batch of six will be delivered between 2023-24.

Gulf Air’s B787-9s will seat 282 in a two-class configuration; twenty-six in Falcon Gold Class and 256 in Economy Class. The Trent 1000 from Rolls-Royce has been selected to power ten of the jets.

With their deliveries, the B787-9s will gradually replace Gulf Air's fleet of six A330-200s which currently average around 17 years of age.

In terms of its narrowbody fleet renewal plans, Gulf Air will replace its sixteen A320-200s and six A321-200s with twenty-nine A320neo Family aircraft ordered direct from Airbus (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac). The order entails seventeen A321neo and twelve A320neo (ten of which were confirmed in 2012). Of the A321neo, nine will be standard with the remainder Long Range variants.