Bahraini flag carrier Gulf Air expects to take delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 by the end of this month, the airline said April 6, as it unveiled the first look at its new branding.

The airline expects its Boeing 787-9—the first of 10—to be delivered on April 27. It marks the start of a complete rollover of the airline’s fleet, with the new orders including 17 Airbus A321neo and 12 A320neo, as well as six further options for 787s.

The new aircraft will replace the A320s, A321s and A330-200s that currently constitute the fleet.

The first two 787-9s will serve Gulf Air’s double-daily London Heathrow service, offering increased capacity and improved on-board products and services, from June 15. 

The 787-9s will have a two-class, 282-seat configuration with a 26-seat Falcon Gold business-class cabin, plus 256 seats in economy.

A new business class section will be “best in class,” according to CEO Krešimir Kučko, who has said that new business-class seats had been benchmarked not against other carrier’s business class, but first-class, seats. While declining to give further details, he said the cabin would be considerably better than normal business-class offerings from other airlines.

“The same goes with the neo. It will have lie-flat seats in business-class in the A321s flying the longer destinations, such as Paris and Frankfurt.” The airline’s current A321s also have this feature—unusual in a single-aisle aircraft. Gulf Air says that the arrangement has proved popular on the Bahrain-Paris run.

The airline also unveiled its new branding. The current livery of a gold forward fuselage and dark blue engine nacelles will be replaced with an all-white fuselage, with oversized Gulf Air titles on the forward fuselage and a more naturalistic rendition of the company’s falcon logo on the fin. The engine nacelles are painted gold.

The airline said it will reveal further details over the coming weekend, during the Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix motor race.

Alan Dron alandron@adepteditorial.com