ON MARCH 2, Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, launched services to Basra, Iraq, on a four times per week basis.
The first Basra flight departed Bahrain at 10.15am in the presence of Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer Mr Samer Majali, senior officials from Bahrain Civil Aviation Authority, Bahrain Airport Company and Gulf Air executives.
Mr Majali, who travelled on the inaugural flight, was received at Basra Airport by His Excellency Mr Nizar Al Jabri, the Acting Governor of Basra, senior members of the Civil Aviation Authorities, airport officials and many representatives the media.
Addressing the media and the VIP gathering at Basra Airport Mr Majali said: “We are pleased to fly into Basra today, our fourth destination in Iraq.
“Gulf Air’s relationship with Iraq goes back nearly 35 years with our first flight to Baghdad in 1976. When we recommenced our services to Baghdad in September 2009, I promised to connect more destinations in Iraq and I am pleased say that we have added Najaf, Erbil and today, Basra.”
Mr Majali continued: “As the largest network carrier in the Middle East, Gulf Air’s strategy is to connect Bahrain and important under-served markets in the region. Basra, as the third largest city of Iraq, has great potential with substantial petroleum exploration related businesses and other trades, but is not adequately served by air currently. By launching our service to Basra, we are not only enabling the people and businesses of this great city to connect to Bahrain, one of the fastest growing economies in the Middle East, but also opening doors to the entire Middle East, European, Asian and North African markets.
“Our Basra flights have been scheduled in such a way that they provide very good two-way connectivity to all the major GCC points, such as Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait and Muscat in addition to key destinations in Europe, North Africa and Asia from 40 minutes to three hours of connecting time. I am sure Basra will also be a successful one like our other routes in Iraq.
“Finally, I would like to thank His Excellency Mr Nizar Al Jabri, the Acting Governor of Basra, Iraq’s civil aviation authorities, Basra Airport officials and the media for all their cooperation,” Mr Majali concluded.
Gulf Air is offering a two-class cabin service, Falcon Gold and Economy, on all services while using both Airbus and Embraer aircraft types.