Bahrain national carrier Gulf Air has launched Boeing 787-9 services on the airline’s Manama-Jeddah route. The airline intends to operate the Boeing 787-9 on several regional routes over coming weeks before it starts Bahrain-London Heathrow services on June 15.

“Gulf Air’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner service to and from Jeddah over the coming weeks will give our Saudi-based travelers the chance to experience our new and enhanced offering,” Gulf Air CEO Krešimir Kučko said.

The arrival of the first 787-9 marks the start of an influx of new aircraft at Gulf Air. It plans to introduce 39 new Airbus and Boeing aircraft in the next few years, with the first five Boeing 787-9s and two Airbus A320neos arriving this year. The new aircraft will facilitate the national carrier’s expansion plans to 8 new routes this year.

After the initial service to London, Gulf Air will next introduce the widebody on the Bahrain–Casablanca, Morocco service.

Separately, Canada’s WestJet has launched its seasonal Halifax-London Gatwick route, marking the first time the ultra-LCC has used Boeing 737 MAX 8 on transatlantic services.

“WestJet continues to demonstrate its commitment to innovation using its fleet of fuel-efficient, guest-friendly Boeing MAX aircraft for transatlantic service,” WestJet interim EVP-commercial Tim Croyle said. “This service also demonstrates our commitment to support efforts on the part of Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada to enhance trade and tourism, and grow the economies of both Canada and the United Kingdom.”

On May 31, WestJet will launch its second transatlantic 737 MAX 8 flight, between Halifax and Paris. The service will mark the first time WestJet has operated to the European mainland.

Alan Dron alandron@adepteditorial.com