Gulf Air (GF, Bahrain Int'l), the national carrier of Bahrain, and Indian low-cost carrier (LCC) SpiceJet (SG, Delhi Int'l) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore greater cooperation between the two airlines. The MoU was signed by Krešimir Kučko, Gulf Air’s Chief Executive Officer and Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director at SpiceJet.

Besides a codeshare and interline agreement, the MoU will also see the two airlines explore growth opportunities beyond network expansion by leveraging each other’s strengths. Gulf Air and SpiceJet will look at collaborating in the field of pilot training as well as enhancing their respective cargo and engineering services.

On the agreement, Kučko said: “This is a historic event for both Gulf Air and SpiceJet as we strengthen commercial ties between the two carriers; creating more choices for our valued passengers to explore new cities across our networks. We have a longstanding relationship with the Republic of India and we feel proud to work closely with our friends at SpiceJet.”

SpiceJet's Singh added: “I am extremely happy at the signing of this MoU and the beginning of this new partnership between SpiceJet and Gulf Air. This partnership will immensely benefit the two airlines and our passengers in times to come. These are exciting times for SpiceJet as we pursue our international expansion plan. We are developing an extensive portfolio of destinations both at home and in international markets. The Middle East has always been among our top priority markets. This agreement is going to play a very important role for SpiceJet’s next phase of growth as we continue to explore the innumerable opportunities around us.”

Gulf Air currently operates 82 weekly flights to eight destinations in India: Mumbai Int'l, Delhi Int'l, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi Int'l, Hyderabad Int'l, Kolkata Int'l, and Bangalore Int'l. According to the ch-aviation PRO airlines module, the Bahraini carrier has numerous codeshare and marketing agreements with other airlines around the world, but the MoU with SpiceJet represents its first in India.

SpiceJet currently operates flights to more than 50 destinations in India. The LCC is the third-largest airline in Delhi in terms of weekly capacity, behind IndiGo Airlines (6E, Delhi Int'l) and Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l), but the number two carrier in Mumbai, again behind IndiGo.